The Democratic Republic of Congo has just acquired a new museum. It is the residence of the late musician Jules Shungu Wembadio, known as Papa Wemba. The award ceremony took place on Sunday 24 April on the occasion of African Music Day. Indeed, Papa Wemba was a great icon of Congolese music. After his death on 24 April 2016, the Congolese government expressed its desire to buy his villa and turn it into a museum of rumba.
So on the sixth anniversary of his death, his main house was officially rehabilitated and transformed into a museum and modern recording studio. Located in a district called Ma campagne in the commune of Ngaliéma in Kinshasa, this house is becoming the place where people come to learn about Congolese rumba.
“It is here that Congolese Rumba will be told through words, photos, videos, music, sculpture, dance, poetic texts, research and archives,” said Catherine Kathungu, Congolese Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage.
This intention is motivated by the cultural influence of the country thanks to this internationally renowned artist. Thus, it is a first in the cultural history of the DRC, where the government immortalises an artist by creating a museum honour him. “In this house of a certain luxury, to the taste of the king of Rumba, we will also do exhibitions, conferences, auctions, compositions, rehearsals and others,” added the minister, promising that “the largest audio studio for audio recording of music”, will be built there.
As a reminder, Papa Wemba, the Congolese idol, died on stage on 24 April 2016 while participating in the ninth edition of the Anoumabo Urban Music Festival (FEMUA), organised by Magic System.