Koffi Olomide

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Koffi Olomide Ali
Birth nameAntoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba
Also known asKoffi Olomide Mamie Wata
Born (1956-07-13) 13 July 1956 (age 62)
Kisangani, Belgian Congo
  • Composer
  • arranger
  • producer
  • singer
InstrumentsVocals, guitars, percussion.
Past membersFally Ipupa, Ferre Gola, Bouro Mpela

Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba (13 July 1956),[1] known professionally as Koffi Olomide, is a Congolese Soukus singer, dancer, producer, and composer. He has had several gold records in his career. He is the founder of the Quartier Latin International orchestra with many notable artists, including Fally Ipupa and Ferré Gola.


Olomide, was born on 13 July 1956 in Kisangani, DRC. His mother named him Koffi because he was born on a Friday. He grew up in a middle-class family, without any musical background. During his youth, Olomide improvised by singing popular songs with his own lyrics and altered rhythms until a neighbor taught him how to play the guitar.[2][3]


Described by fellow students and his teachers alike as "a very bright student," Olomide got a scholarship 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.[1][2][3]

Musical career[edit]

Upon his return to the Congo in the 1970s, Koffi joined Papa Wemba's band, Viva la Musica, initially as a composer and songwriter, and later as a lead vocalist. In 1986, he formed his band known as Quartier Latin International, which celebrated its 20th 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. His 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, Koffi received four 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 one of his many aliases, the 'Quadra Kora Man.' [3]

His music[edit]

Olomide's album Haut de Gamme: Koweït, Rive Gauche is listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[4] In March 2003 Olomide released "Affaire D'Etat", a double CD album featuring 18 tracks.

Olomide was part of the Papa Wemba musical, in the early 1980s. He has trained many young musicians, some of whom have since left his Quartier Latin band and gone solo. Some of those who have left are Fele Mudogo, Sam Tshintu, Suzuki 4x4, Soleil Wanga, Bouro Mpela, Fally Ipupa, Montana Kamenga, Ferre Gola. 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, recorded here, in the song L'Amour N'existe Pas (Love doesn't exist).

Koffi – who mostly refers to himself as "Mopao" – has a new release known as La Chicotte a Papa, having recently excelled in hits like Lovemycine, Diabolos, Grand Pretre Mere and Soupou, Cle Boa, among others. Koffi's talent could be compared to the once king of African rhumba, Franco Luambo Makiadi, who also saw many artists pass through his expert hands during his days. Today, he is one of Africa's most popular musicians.[3]


Olomide has a history of assaulting people.[5][6] In 2008 he was accused of kicking a cameraman at a concert in Kinshasa; the matter was resolved out of court.[7] In 2012 he was convicted of assaulting his producer, and received a three-month suspended sentence.[7] In July 2016 while on a concert trip to Kenya, Olomide was filmed kicking one of his female dancers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The video went viral, his planned concert at The Bomas of Kenya was cancelled, and he was deported.[7][8][9] Five days later he was arrested at his home in Kinshasa, and the same day sentenced to 18 months in prison, which, after the intervention of the Congolese head of state, was commuted to three months.[10]

See also[edit]


Koffi Olomide With Grand Kalle


  1. ^ a b Dan B. Atuhaire (21 April 2014). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Koffi Olomide!". Kampala: Bigeye.ug. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b PAA (2002). "Koffi Olomide Biography". Pan African Allstars (PAA). Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d AMS (November 2011). "Koffi Olomide – Dance the Night Away With Congolese Soukous". African Music Safari (AMS). Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  4. ^ Parker, Steve (2005). "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". London: Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  5. ^ Teresa N. Washington (29 Nov 2016). The African World in Dialogue. Oya's Tornado. p. 26.
  6. ^ Abdikarim Hussein. "The long list of Koffi Olomide assault cases". tuko.co.ke.
  7. ^ a b c BBC News (23 July 2016). "Koffi Olomide case: Kenya deports singer over airport 'kick'". London: British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  8. ^ Mutamu, Bernadine (23 July 2016). "Congolese musician Koffi Olomide deported after alleged JKIA assault". Daily Nation. Nairobi. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  9. ^ Nigeria Vanguard (24 July 2016). "Kenya deports Koffi Olomide who kicked dancer". Vanguard (Nigeria). Lagos. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  10. ^ Amos Ngaira, and Hilary Kimuyu (27 July 2016). "Lingala maestro Koffi Olomide gets three months in prison". The EastAfrican. Nairobi. Retrieved 27 July 2016.

External links[edit]