KOFFI OLOMIDE!!! who doesn’t know the man, the legend & the myth? Born Antoine Koffi Olomide (aka Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba among other aliases)he was nicknamed “Antoine Makila Mabe” meanig ‘Bad Blooded Antony’ because he was born on the Friday 13th August 1956 in the town of Stanleyville (now Kisangani), in the then Zaire now Democratic Republic of Congo. Koffi was born to a DR Congolese father and a mother from Togo and grew up in the city of Leopardville (now Kinshasa), the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in a rich family, where education was valued. He grew up rather comfortably in Kinshasa.
At school he was a very bright student who excelled at his studies, because of that his father sent him to study in Bordeaux, France where he obtained a Bachelors Degree in Business Economics. He is also reported to hold a Masters Degree in Mathematics from the University of Paris.
Olomide begun his career at Viva La Musica led by already famous and established Papa Wemba, at first as a composer and song-writer, and later as a vocalist and lead-singer. He launched his solo career In 1986. He formed his own backing group known as Quartier Latin. Since then, he has performed and recorded both with the group and by himself. Over the years, he has built up a faithful fan base Internationally, particularly in Africa and Europe. Koffi popularised the slower style of soukous, which he dubbed Tcha Tcho.
Earlier in his career for about ten years, he experimented with various Congolese genres and finally created his own style: Tcha-tcho. Tcha-tcho is a sub-form of Soukous with sensual dance rhythms and playful guitar tunes. The lyrics are often melancholic and because of his seductive voice, Koffi has been compared to Julio Iglesias and Barry White. To much of his (mostly female) fan base, Koffi is the image of a perfect lover. Others are rather put off by his constant display of luxury and sex.
Koffi’s music can be quite controversial, taking on current events and topics considered taboo in some conservative societies, Some of his videos were censored or banned by the Congolese government. (Which just made him even more popular among fans though.)
He has also participated in the salsa music project Africando. His 2001 16 track double album “Effrakata” (which means “burglary” in Lingala).won four Kora Awards on a single night at the annual Kora Awards in South Africa for 2002/2003, including the award for Best African Artist, which he had earlier won in 1998. In 2005 he won Kora Award for “Best African Artist of The Decade”.
Olomide’s album Haut de Gamme: Koweït, Rive Gauche is listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
He has worked and trained many young musicians some of whom have since left his Quartier Latin band and gone solo while a few are still sticking with him. Some of those who have left are Fele Mudogo, Sam Tshintu, Suzuki 4×4, Soleil Wanga, Fally Ipupa, Montana Kamenga, Fere Gola and are so far doing fairly well on their own.
Koffi, who mostly refers to himself as Mopao, has a brand new release known as La Chicotte a Papa, having recently excelled in hits like Cle Boa, Lovemycine, Diabolos, Grand Pretre Mere and Soupou, among others. Mopao has also proven to be of such very high standards of talent which could easily be compared to the once king of African rhumba the late Luambo Makiadi, who equally saw many artistes pass through his expert hands during his days. Today, Mopao is the undisputed king of romantic rhumba. Not only that, he is in fact Africa’s biggest musician today.
Koffi Olomide is reported to be very intelligent and wealthy. He is married and is the father of seven (7) children: Aristote, Elvis, Minou Miss Univers, Didi Stone Nike, Rocky, Del pirlo Mourhino and Saint James Rolls. Olomide’s father, who is currently in poor health, lives in Paris, France. Olomide’s mother lives in Kinshasa and works as a jewellery dealer in the Zando Market in the city. Koffi has an elder brother, Johnny Ko, who also lives in Paris.
In January 2010 a rumour started on facebook that Koffi Olomide had died in a car accident spread like a wild fire prompting the Rhumba maestro to make a LIVE TV eppearance and refute the rumours. Throughout the 15 minute question and answer session, the singer struggled to fight back tears, but eventually sobbed as he blamed his enemies for the rumour that he had been involved in a road accident.
He also broke down as he talked of his ailing father who was abroad at the time, wondering why his detractors would start the rumours when his father needed moral support.
But whether you care for such a life style or not: Koffi’s music will definitely get you in the right mood to dance the night away!…and among other reasons, is what makes KOFFI OLOMIDE THE LEGEND!!!
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT KOFFI
:Koffi means Friday
:Koffi was born on the Friday 13th
:Olomide’s debut album is 1983’s “Ngounda” (The Exile).
:Early his career Koffi worked with Zaiko Langa Langa.
:Koffi cites Kassav led by the charismatic frontman, Jacob Desvarieux, as one of the most important influences on his work.
:Koffi’s international career really got off the ground in 1988, with the release of the single “Henriquet”.
:Between 91-94 Koffi recorded no less than seven albums! “Golden Star dans Stephie” appeared in 1991. 1992 saw the release of “Diva”, a Quartier Latin album entitled “Pas de Faux Pas” and Koffi’s solo album “Haut de Gamme”. “Noblesse Oblige” was released in 1993, and the following year saw the release of another Quartier Latin album, “Magie”, and a new solo album entitled “V12”.
:The success of Koffi’s 1993 album, “Noblesse Oblige” saw him sell over 100,000 copies, earning the singer his first gold disc!
:In November 1994, Koffi and his group Quartier Latin found themselves at the N°6 spot in the French record chain FNAC’s best-selling charts (beating rock idols Nirvana and French rap king MC Solaar!)
:Koffi stirred controversy when he sang the praises of Ivorian rebel leader Guillaume Soro in the song “Riziki” off the double album “Monde Arabe” which he self produced after his label of 15 years went under.
:In 2005, Koffi Olomidé, true to his usual polemical self, stirred up yet more controversy by adopting the pseudonym Benoît XVI, just as the real Benoît XVI was made Pope. The National Episcopal Conference in Congo strongly condemned the singer’s action, claiming it showed a lack of respect for the head of the Catholic church. Koffi – considered as a megalomaniac by his critics and slightly crazy even by fans’ standards – later changed his name, reinventing himself as “Décakoraman” (a reference to his triumph at the Kora Awards in 2005 where he was named African Artist of the Decade).
:Since 1997 Koffi Olomide’s albums have been certified gold or better, they includes Loi, Ultimatum, Droi De veto, Attentat, Force De Frappe, Effrakata, Monde Arabe, Affaire D’Etat, Danger De Mort, among others.