Who is Koffi Olomide? A Biography of the Congolese Soukous Legend
Koffi Olomide is one of the most popular and influential musicians in Africa. He is a singer, dancer, producer, and composer of soukous, a genre of dance music that originated in the Congo. He has sold millions of albums and won several awards, including four Kora Awards and a Gold Disc in France. He is also the founder and leader of the Quartier Latin International orchestra, which features some of the best talents in African music.
Early Life and Education
Koffi Olomide was born Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba on 13 July 1956 in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo (then known as Belgian Congo). His mother was Congolese and his father was Ghanaian. He grew up in Kinshasa, the capital city, where he developed a passion for music and learned to play the guitar. He was also a bright student who excelled in mathematics and economics.
After finishing high school, he earned a scholarship to study in Bordeaux, France, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in business economics. He also holds a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Paris.
Koffi Olomide started his musical career in the late 1970s, when he joined the band Viva la Musica, led by his mentor Papa Wemba. He initially worked as a composer and songwriter, but later became a lead vocalist. He also began to develop his own style of soukous, which incorporated elements of rumba, funk, and pop.
In 1986, he formed his own band, Quartier Latin International, which soon became one of the most successful and influential groups in African music. The band featured talented singers and dancers, such as Fally Ipupa and FerrÃ© Gola, who later became stars in their own right.
Koffi Olomide has released over 30 albums, both solo and with Quartier Latin International. Some of his most famous songs include “Loi”, “Effrakata”, “Papa Ngwasuma”, “Femme”, and “Pont Rouge”. He has also collaborated with other artists, such as Youssou N’Dour, Mory KantÃ©, Papa Wemba, and Brenda Fassie.
Koffi Olomide has won several awards and honors for his music. He is the first African artist to fill the Bercy arena in Paris with 17,000 fans in 2000. He has also received four Kora Awards (the African equivalent of the Grammy Awards), a Gold Disc in France for selling over 100,000 copies of his album Haut de Gamme: KoweÃ¯t Rive Gauche, and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Afrimma Awards in 2018.
Personal Life and Controversies
Koffi Olomide is married to Aliane Olomide, and they have seven children together. He also has other children from previous relationships. He is known for his flamboyant lifestyle and extravagant outfits.
However, Koffi Olomide has also been involved in several controversies and scandals throughout his career. He has been accused of sexual assault, violence, kidnapping, fraud, and plagiarism by various people. He has also faced legal troubles and bans in several countries, such as France, Zambia, Kenya, and South Africa.
Koffi Olomide is widely regarded as one of the greatest artists of African music. He has influenced many musicians across the continent and beyond with his innovative and versatile style of soukous. He has also contributed to the promotion and recognition of African culture and identity through his music.