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Papa Wemba's Funeral Ceremony Held in Kinshasa, DRC Congo

Thousands of fans earlier today (Wednesday) attended the funeral for one of Africa's biggest music stars, “rumba king” Papa Wemba in Kinshasa the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. His famous songs were played, before he was laid to rest.  Large crowds gathered outside the Notre Dame Cathedral, where the private service is taking place. Wemba, dubbed the king of Congolese rumba, died at the age of 66, after collapsing on stage in Ivory Coast on 24 April.

 
President Joseph Kabila had on Tuesday posthumously awarded Papa Wemba the title of Grand Officer of the National Order.
 
“We elevate you posthumously to the rank of Grand Officer of the National Order of the Kabila-Lumumba national heroes for your merits, and your loyal and distinguished services to the Congolese nation,” Joseph Kabila said during an official ceremony honoring Papa Wemba on Monday, May 2 at the People's Palace in Kinshasa.
 
Several authorities, including the presidents of both houses of Parliament, the Prime Minister, and members of the government, attended the ceremony.  Congolese Minister of Culture Banza Mukalay also proposed that April 24 (the day Papa Wemba died) be proclaimed a national day for Congolese music.
He also announced that the Congolese government was going to propose to UNESCO that Congolese rumba be added on the world intangible cultural heritage list.  The representative of Congolese musicians, Nyoka Longo, and a daughter of Papa Wemba also spoke.
 
 
 
 
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