Congolese Rhumba Hopes to Make UNESCO World Heritage List

The Democratic Republic of Congo has given the official kick-off to a campaign to put Congolese rhumba, one of the most popular forms of music in Africa, on Unesco's Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The bid which was lodged in 2020 by both the DR Congo and its smaller neighbour, Congo-Brazzaville. 

Congolese rhumba developed in the Congo River basin in the 1940s, was inspired by Latin and Caribbean music. It gained widespread popularity in the 1960s and 70s, developing spinoffs, including a high-tempo version called soukous.

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Congo's Rhumba king, the late Papa Wemba (file photo).

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