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 59)
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),[1] is a DR Congolese soukous singer, dancer, producer, and composer. Koffi has had several gold records in his musical 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 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. During his youth, Olomide would improvise 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, 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.

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 Lovemycine, Diabolos, Grand Pretre Mere and Soupou, Cle Boa, 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 he is one of Africa's most popular musicians.[3]


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. 

External links[edit]