Koffi Olomide

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Koffi Olomide
Koffi Olomide.jpg
Background information
Birth name Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba
Also known as Koffi
Born (1956-07-13) 13 July 1956 (age 58)
Kisangani, DR Congo
Genres TP OK Jazz & Franco Luambo Makiadi
Occupation(s) composer
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1978 - Present

Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba, also known as Koffi Olomide (born 13 July 1956), is a DR Congolese soukous singer, dancer, producer, and composer. He is also known by a multitude of other names and aliases. Koffi had several gold records in his musical career.[1]


Olomide was born on Friday 13, July, 1956, in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo. His mother named him 'Koffi' because he was born on a Friday. He grew up in a middle-class family, without any musical background among his relatives. During his youth, Olomide would improvise by singing popular songs with his own lyrics and altered rhythms until a neighbour taught him to play the guitar.[2]


Described by fellow students and his teachers alike as "a very bright student", Olomide earned an academic scholarship and went to study in Bordeaux, France where he obtained a Bachelor's degree in Business Economics. He is also reported to hold a Master's degree in Mathematics from the University of Paris.[3]

Musical career[edit]

Upon his return to the Congo in the 1970s he joined Papa Wemba's band, Viva la Musica, at first as a composer and songwriter, and later as a vocalist and lead singer. In 1986, Koffi formed his band known as Quartier Latin, which celebrated its 20-year-anniversary in 2006. Since then, he has performed and recorded both with the group and by himself. Over the years, he built up a faithful fan base internationally, particularly in Africa and Europe. Koffi popularized the slower style of soukous, which he dubbed Tcha Tcho. Koffi's music can be quite controversial, taking on current events and topics considered taboo in some conservative societies. He also participated in the salsa music project Africando. For his effort, Effrakata, released in 2001-2002, Koffi received four Kora Awards on a single night at the annual Kora Awards in South Africa for 2002 and 2003, including the award for Best African Artist, which he won in 1998. More recently, he won the Kora Award for "Best African Artist of The Decade". This established of one of his many aliases, the 'Quadra Kora Man'. Koffi had several gold records in his musical career.[4]

His music[edit]

Olomide's album Haut de Gamme: Koweït, Rive Gauche is listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[5] In March 2003 Olomide released "Affaire D'Etat", a double CD album featuring 18 tracks.

Olomide was parts of Papa Wemba musical, viva la musica in the early 1980s. He has 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 4x4, Soleil Wanga, Fally Ipupa, Montana Kamenga, Ferre Gola and are so far doing fairly well on their own.[citation needed] However "Suzuki 4x4" has recently showed up once more in some of Quartier Latin shows, along with new recruits like Cindy le Coeur, a female singer with very high pitched vocals.

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. Koffi's very high standard of talent could easily be compared to the once king of African rhumba, the late Luambo Makiadi, who also saw many artists pass through his expert hands during his days. Today, Koffi is the undisputed king of romantic rhumba.[citation needed] Today he is one of Africa's most popular musicians.[6]


Koffi Olomide is reported[citation needed] to be very intelligent and wealthy. He is married and is the father of seven children: Nzau Twengi 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. A younger brother, Tutu Roba,lives in London, England.[7]


Koffi Olomide With Grand Kalle


  1. ^ Koffi Olomide Has Many Other Names
  2. ^ "Koffi Olomide Biography". Pan African Allstars. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  3. ^ The Education of Koffi Olomide
  4. ^ The Music Career of Koffi Olomide
  5. ^ "Rocklist.net...Steve Parker...1001 Albums". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  6. ^ The Music of Koffi Olomide
  7. ^ The Family of Koffi Olomide

External links[edit]