If the name Koffi Olomide doesn’t ring a bell then you were never a fan of Makossa and didn’t listen much to radio in Africa between 2002 and 2009, because during that period, Koffi Olomide – the Congolese Makossa sensation was the ‘thing’.
It is however disheartening how many superstars handle their fame and wealth, especially entertainers. This is said because it has become too often, and sadly so, the rate at which the dark past of these celebrities crawl up into the future to haunt them and rub their reputation - built from hard work, in murky waters.
The scenes of celebrated American entertainer, Bill Cosby who was dragged out of a courtroom in handcuffs as he was led to prison at age 81 for cases of sexual assault that took place as early as the mid-1960s, was a sorry sight.
‘I believe I can fly’ crooner, R-Kelly is facing a similar challenge as he has been alleged of abusing some of his dancers at the early stage of his career. Name it, Michael Jackson, Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson, etc; the list is endless of celebrities who at one point or the other have faced abuse charges.
Sadly, Koffi Olomide’s name has crept on to the list also, as the 62-year-old musician is standing trial for allegedly sexually assaulting 4 former dancers who say they were held against their will at a villa outside Paris.
The charges against him include sexual assault, violence, coercion, and kidnapping; the crimes were allegedly committed in the French capital between 2002 and 2006.
The musician denies these allegations but French prosecutors are not having any of it as they believe they have enough evidence to prove their case and are seeking a seven-year prison sentence against the Congolese music star.
Koffi himself has not helped matters as he has a history with assaulting women or rather, has been entangled in controversies involving assault of his dancers. At one time, Kenyan authorities arrested, detained and deported him over the assault of his dancers at an airport.
He also faces similar charges in his home country as well as in Zambia, where he was once banned from entering.
Koffi Olomide (whose real name is Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba) is a household name across Africa and despite his allegations, remains a favorite among many political top guns; he was the guest performer at a recent end of year presidential ball in Equatorial Guinea.
You will recall that the singer released a song in 2016 dedicated to women weeks after he was arrested for kicking a female dancer in Kenya.
The song titled “Mom-sorry” has a chorus of “Mama Pardon” – French phrase for ‘sorry mom,’ as Olomide is heard singing at some point saying “forgive me.” Apparently an apology for the assault that got him arrested, deported and charged in court in less than a week.
What are your thoughts?
Header Image Credit: Music In Africa