The celebration turned tragic. While the Urban Music Festival Anoumabo full swing in the night from Saturday to Sunday in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), the Congolese singer Papa Wemba collapses on stage, victim of an illness, and died a few hours later, at the age of 66, leaving a people and a continent orphan.
the Pope of Congolese rumba was one of stars of the event organized each year by the group Magic System.
Around 5 pm 10 am, after a long evening concerts, it succeeds the rapper Kery James and the star of Cameroonian music Charlotte Dipanda face several thousands. Front of the stage, girls linked together for no n’dombolo famous Congolese dance brought up to date in France with the song “undermined as ever” Master Gims, son of a former musician Papa Wemba.
VIDEO. fatal malaise for Papa Wemba in Abidjan
The show is broadcast live on RTI chain of the Ivorian national television. Fifteen minutes after the start of the concert, as he begins his third song, he fainted behind his dancers. The musicians continue to play a few seconds before trying to rescue him. The public locally remains puzzled as viewers who can follow the concert at home. RTI stops its transmission. The lights of the festival are off, plunging a human tide in the dark. Red Cross supports artist and carries the clinic to the Hotel Dieu of Abidjan while crowd movements complicate evacuation.
“I have a degree in first aid I struggled to keep people away but there were too many people, “says Belaji, vivacious Ivorian who spoke a long time with the singer, hand in hand. “He asked me to learn Lingala (note: language spoken in Congo) and we discussed the powers of the mind. It was prescient, “she said between sobs. “We have already lost Prince this week, but for us Papa Wemba is an equally important icon says an African journalist who interviewed the day before. He was a father to everyone, besides, everyone called him Papa. In Congo, it was treated with the same honors a president. “
In the courtyard of a modest hotel on Sunday, his manager, his musicians sounded, waiting patiently, take in their arms the many people who came to support them. Tears fall under the dark glasses of one of her dancers. Incredulous face this brutal end.
“At a lunch on Saturday he told me not to understand the artists who retired, tells Claudy Siar, presenter of the program on RFI Tropical colors, who knows since 1985. He often spoke of Molière, certifying that he too wanted to die on stage. “