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Saying no to violence

By The Standard | July 25th 2016

NAIROBI: Soukous music maestro Koffi Olomide ran afoul of the Kenyan government last Friday. After landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for a much-publicised concert, Olomide was captured on camera kicking one of his dancers, forcing her to run fearfully away from him.

Those who are familiar with Olomide say he has a violent streak that has landed him in trouble on several occasions. In 2012, for instance, a court in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) convicted the popular singer and handed him a three-month suspended sentence for assaulting a music producer.

In the same year, in France, Olomide was accused of raping one of his dancers. The musician’s latest act raised a national outcry that prompted the Inspector General of Police to order his arrest and subsequent deportation. Indeed, that was an appropriate action.

For a country that has gone a long way in ensuring that gender violence is eliminated, it would have reflected negatively on our gains to allow Olomide to continue with his Bomas of Kenya concert. Indeed, it would have like dismissing our painstaking efforts to treat women with dignity as equal members of society.

Olomide's fans might be a disappointed lot but they must look at the bigger picture and agree that decorum must be observed by all irrespective of their station in life.

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