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Special message de Peter Gabriel apres la mort de Papa Wemba

Papa Wemba & Peter Gabriel

Papa Wemba & Peter Gabriel

Version Francaise:

J’ai été choqué et profondement touché par la mort de Papa Wemba,

C’est difficile pour moi de réaliser que je parle apropos de lui maintenant dans le passé.

Papa Wemba avait un talent extraordinaire, la musique coulait en lui sans effort et il pouvait creer de frisson avec sa jolie et emotionelle voix que je n’ai jamais entendu ailleur.

Sa musique était remplie de doux et joyeux rythme, mais la passion venait atraver sa facon de chanter qui transmettait la tristesse, speciallement dans sa voix haute, ce que j’avais remarqué touchant.

Je me rappelle avoir parlé avec Chris Blackwell apropos des belles voix d’Afrique et il m’avait dit que Papa Wemba etait le meilleur de toute l’Afrique.

Papa Wemba etait profondement affecté la violence et la pauvreté dans son Pays et il detesté le stéreotype de l’occident par rapport a l’Afrique. C’est cela la raison qu’il avait creé le Movement de Sapeur(Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes d’Élégance – SAPE) qui donnait les jeunes la confiance en soi en se presentant au monde. Ce qui etait banal et flamboyant a donné beaucoups de jeune d’Afrique de l’Ouest et Paris une vraie identité et la fierté.

Le probleme avec l’immigration en France et Belgique, contrebande, fessant entrer les gens en Europe illégalement était le point bas de sa carrier. Mais il est toujour gentil et assume que sa motivation avait été honoré.

Je me sens provilégié de l’avoir connu et avoir eu la chance d’ecrire, enregister et faire le tour avec l’un de meilleurs chanteurs et musiciens du monde.


Original version (Anglais)

I was very shocked and saddened to learn of Papa Wemba’s death last night.

It is hard to realise I now have to talk about him in the past.

He was such an extraordinary talent – music flowed out of him effortlessly and he could thrill people with one of the most beautiful and emotional voices I have ever heard.

His music was full of gentle rhythms and joy, but the passion came from the power of his singing, which always carried a sadness, especially in his high voice, which I found really moving.

I remember talking to Chris Blackwell about all the great voices of Africa and he said that Wemba was the greatest of them all.

Papa Wemba was deeply affected by the destructive violence and poverty in his country and hated the western stereotypes of an Africa without hope. This was one of the reasons he created the Sapeur movement (Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes d’Élégance – SAPE) which gave young people real confidence in how they looked and presented themselves to the world. What seemed to some as trivial and flamboyant gave many in West Africa and Paris a real identity and pride.

His run-in with the French and Belgian immigration authorities for smuggling people into Europe was a real low-point in his career, but we only ever saw him act kindly and always assumed that his motivation had been honourable.

I feel very privileged to have known him and to have had the chance to write, record and tour with one of the world’s greatest singers and musicians.

– pg


Eugene Masikini quand quelqu’un comme Chris Blackwell dit à Peter Gabriel que de toutes les voies africaines, Papa Wemba était le meilleur alors il y a plus rien à dire
pour ceux qui ne savent pas, Chris Blackwell fut le producteur de Bob Marley et son groupe les Wailers et propriétaire de Island Record
Pierre Bianchi I was the live sound engineer Papa Wemba, for over 10 years. since 1995, I traveled the world with him. Africa, USA Canada, Europe. We did a lot of miles together
I remember him as a great artist, an amazing singer, but above all a man of exceptional beauty of soul and kindness. His voice was like the song of a nightingale. I am so sad. RIP Wembadio .Pierre
Pascale Ragon When I learnt about his death I remembered the secret world tour shows in Paris and the incredible emotion he delivered along with one of my other favorite african artist, Geoffrey Oryema. I didn’t follow the rest of his Carrier but he Will be remembered as one of the greatest artist in Africa. You helped him as a mentor, I’m sure, and you can be proud of that.
Thank you for your so Nice statement, as Always, and Take care of yourself.
Sylvia Storm Please take good care of yourself Peter. Im terrified of all these deaths lately. I dont know you in person but you have allways been a part of my spiritual family. Please take care.
Aris Claude Mukendi In January of this year Papa Wemba told a tv show host during an interview (currently in French and available on youtube) that he feels like he’s gonna leave this earth during one of his performances in front of his fans.
I think he died a happy man, exactly like he predicted it. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence but he went went out like a soldier during a war, he passed doing what he loved.
RIP #PapaWemba

Jean-Paul K. Nzala Papa Wemba is really the king of the congolese rumba!!! And you PG did do great in his career as you helped introduce him to a even greater public in Europe and U.S. May God bless you. RIP Papa Wemba !
Anthony D. Silva I was introduced to this artist’s mesmerizing voice via one of your Real World music sampler CD’s. So sad to lose another great artist, may he rest in peace.
Di Mateu Cool le Cibliminal Africa and the world have lost one of the best voices! May the Lord have mercy on his soul. Rest in peace Papa Wemba(Jules Shungu Wembadio)
Blanchard De Plaizir Thank you so much Peter Gabriel for this testimony! You helped Our Daddy Papa Wemba put out music on world stage! Zaire loves you always! Today, with this genuine testimony, you have cemented Papa Wemba’s name on world stage of Big artists!! Thank you! Merci mingi, Asante Sana! Matondo!
God Bless you Peter


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