King of Congolese rumba death remains a mystery.
This follows the death of Papa Wemba whilst doing what he loved most: performing for fans.
The 66 year old, fell ill on Saturday while performing in Ivory Coast, Abidjan, accoding to media reports.
“Papa Wemba wanted to die on stage, that’s what he told me two weeks ago when I spoke to him on the phone,” Salif Traore, a festival promoter and singer also known as A’Salfo, told the AFP news agency.
The electric performer first burst on to the African music scene in the 1960s and scored one chart-topper after another, fusing African traditions with Western pop and rock influences.
In a career spanning nearly five decades, he won many fans across Africa and the French-speaking world.
Off stage, he had a brush with the law, after being convicted by a Paris court in 2004 of smuggling illegal immigrants into France by disguising them as members of his entourage, but walked free as he had already served four months behind bars.
Eric Didia, a promoter of Congolese music in Ivory Coast and friend of Wemba who was at the Ivosep morgue on Sunday morning, said Wemba will long be remembered.
“I do not know if this is a loss for African music, because the music does not die. People can listen to Papa Wemba songs in 50 years, in 100 years,” he said.
It also remains a mystery on how many kids he had, though he was married and even then, it is unknown how many wifes he had.
Messages of condolence are still pouring in worldwide in his honour.