Lingala maestro Koffi Olomide thrills fans at Koroga Festival
ARTS & CULTURE
By Carolyne Nyanga | March 14th 2016
Renowned Congolese Rumba and Lingala music kingpin Koffi Olomide entertained fans at Nairobi's Aboretum during the bi-monthly Koroga festival.
The artiste, popularly known as Mopao Mokonzi, arrived in the country on Friday night. He last visited Kenya 14 years ago.
He is with his Quartier Latin Internationale Orchestre. "I am happy to be back in Kenya after a long time. Thank you Kenyans for your warm welcome and gesture, that is something that has made me feel at home," said the musician.
Olomide, who first performed here in mid-1990s and again in 2002 at City Cabanas, Nairobi, promised his fans the best entertainment.
"I intend to give my fans the best of my latest music and dance style," he said, adding his fans would have the chance to 'eat' from the palm of his hands as they enjoy the music he described as unique.
"I will ensure that I use the opportunity to re-ignite the long-lost memories of original Rumba music, which has been described by many as dead and buried," added the musician.
Among his latest hits is 'Selfie - Ekotite', a song that has reignited his status as one of the most-sought-after African musicians after his long silence.
'Selfie' garnered more than two million likes on You-tube two weeks after release, making history across the world and particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The 60-year old musician has more than ten albums under his cap, among them 'Effrakatta', 'Ultimutum', 'Abracadabra' and 'Sylvie'.
Olomide said it has taken him so long to come to Kenya because he did not get invitations from local promoters. "I have been busy staging shows across the world, my latest tour being in Angola earlier this week," he said.
So then, does he plan to quit music for politics as has been rumoured? Without denying or admitting, Olomide described music as a great part of him ever since he was a child in Kinsasha.
"Politics is a good thing and I don't see anything wrong in one wanting to venture into other fields," he said.
The musician denied claims by critics, who have said his career has been going down, terming it a ploy by his rivals to finish him through bad press. "Anyone is entitled to their opinion, which is a good thing. The truth is that I am still the reigning king of Rumba music," he told The Standard in an exclusive interview.
He also denied claims that top Congolese musicians are known to use black magic to gain fame and remain relevant.
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