The coronavirus epidemic continues to disrupt life across the world. The disruption is gathering steam in African countries that have recorded cases as compared to for example Italy where the entire country is almost in a lockdown.
The impact on gatherings is an area that most African governments have moved to control. Kenya has barred public gatherings after recording its index case. Uganda and other countries are calling for less gatherings.
Our main coronavirus hub is seized with major developments around the epidemic. This piece will focus on the impact on entertainment and other cultural events.
Congolese ‘King of Soukous’ dies
A Congolese music star reputed by his fans as ‘King of soukous’ – a high tempo dance music enjoyed across the continent died on Thursday in the French capital, Paris.
Aurlus Mabélé real name is Aurélien Miatsonama, was from Congo-Brazzaville and moved to France in the 1980s. He died in a Parisian hospital, aged 67. Though unconfirmed the death has been linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement of his death according to Congolese local news site IciBrazza was first posted by his compatriot Mav Cacharel on Facebook.
“Good evening everyone, I have sad news to announce the death of my famous friend, brother and collaborator Aurlus Mabélé, which happened this Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 14 pm, in the Paris region, from the follow-up of (a) coronavirus (case),” Cacharel’s post read in part.
The deceased’s daughter, singer Liza Monet, also tweeted on Thursday that her father had died of coronavirus.
“Thank you for honoring his memory. It is a great legend of the Soukouss that the Congolese people have lost today. I am inconsolable and collapsed. My dad whom I love so much … Aurlus Mabele …,” a translation of her tweet read.
Sky News Africa reports that his manager, Jimmy Ouetenou, disputed the coronavirus account saying that Aurlus had long-term health problems. He confirmed that talks were afoot to repatriate his body for burial back home.
In the meantime, his coffin will be placed in a burial vault until travel restrictions due to coronavirus are lifted, reports BBC Afrique’s Rose-Marie Bouboutou.