26 April 2016 Current Affairs: The influential Congolese musician Papa Wemba has died aged 66 after collapsing during a concert . The musician, whose real name was Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, rose to fame in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa during the 1970s with the band Zaiko Langa Langa, whose guitar-based fusion of Latin and African dance styles inspired a generation of African musicians.
With a new band, Viva La Musica, Wemba moved to Paris in the 1980s and helped popularize Congolese music beyond Africa. He toured in the 1990s with British rock star Peter Gabriel and appears on his “Secret World Live” album.
Wemba also was a pioneer of the “sapeur” youth culture marked by its dedication to extravagant fashions. The young men are known for wearing stylish suits and fedora hats, standing out in stark contrast in countries where poverty is endemic. He helped modernise Congolese rumba music, making it one of the most popular sounds in Africa.
Together with his bands Zaiko Langa Langa, Isifi and Viva La Musica, he racked up hit after hit, including L’Esclave and Le Voyageur, and worked with international stars like Peter Gabriel. He appeared in two feature films, Life Is Beautiful (1987) and Wild Games (1997).