No show as Koffi deported amid fans’ fury over tickets refund

A hall in Bomas of Kenya where Congolese Artiste Koffi Olomide was to perform on 23rd July 2017. Photo by WILLIS AWANDU

Congolese musician Koffi Olomide was yesterday deported to his country after Friday evening's drama at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Koffi, popularly known as Le Grand Mopao or Mopao Mokonzi was deported to Kinshasa, via a Kenya Airways flight at 12 noon.

The 60-year-old musician was accompanied by three dancers and his lead singer Cindy Lokole, while the rest of the crew was to depart later in the evening.

The Rhumba star was caught on camera assaulting one of his female dancers at the airport, an incident that caused a huge uproar. In the video that went viral, Koffi was seen mercilessly kicking one of his female dancers called Pamela on Friday morning shortly upon arrival.

Koffi was in the country to perform at a concert courtesy of Nsanna Promotions that was scheduled for yesterday.

The Standard on Sunday established that a number of advance tickets going for Sh2,500 and Sh4,000 for VIP seats since April 23, had been sold out.

Now that the man of the moment has suffered an unforeseen fate, promoters have been left to deal with the aftermath.

“All I want is a refund. We are not to blame for what has happened,” said one Rhumba fan who did not want to be named.

We tried to reach one of the promoters Jules Nsana, for comment in vain.

Indeed, the show’s cancellation is a big blow for the promoters, given that the event had been hyped and thousands of fans were planning to attend.

Reports show the team was booked in at a posh five-star-hotel where they were to spend a few nights.

What Rhumba’s bad boy did has not only angered Kenyans but also his DRC fans back home.

“He has paid for his bad behaviour. Koffi’s story should be a lesson to all of us as stated in the book of Proverbs 18:21. Your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men,” said a source from DRC.

Koffi was arrested on Friday at about 9.50pm outside Citizen TV where he had done an interview in which he vehemently defended himself.

Arrogant artiste

In the interview, Koffi denied assaulting Pamela and instead insisted he was protecting her from a con who wanted to steal her luggage.

“I love women and I would never assault them. What you saw back at JKIA was nothing but a camera trick. I strongly believe there are a section of people who want to tarnish my name through bad press,” he said.

As soon as he was done with the TV interview, police officers who were waiting for him outside arrested him and took him to JKIA cells where he was held until his deportation to Kinshasa.

The move by police follows an arrest warrant by Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet who condemned the musician’s action.

Earlier in the day, the National Gender and Equality Commission asked Mr Boinnet to arrest the Lingala star over his action that was caught on camera.

The commission’s chairperson Winfred Lichuma said it was unfortunate that the incident happened in full glare of cameras and police officers.

In a statement after his arrest, she said: “Violence against women and girls cannot be accepted in any shape, form, or manner it is a blatant violation of their human rights. We commend the action taken by the Kenya Police and look forward to his immediate deportation.”

The singer has a history of violent behaviour.

He has been banned from staging concerts in Europe because of this negative track record.

A few years ago, he was almost jailed in Zimbabwe for beating a fan and in 2012, he was given a three-month suspended prison sentence for assaulting his producer, Diego Lubaki, over a debt.

Many agree that Koffi’s behaviour had gotten out of hand and the Kenyan experience is a wake up call.

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