Koffi gig snubs local rhumba acts

HARARE - Congolese rhumba star Koffi Olomide, pictured, will perform in Harare again next month with only Sungura and Zimdancehall musicians sharing the stage with him, a development which is not going down well with local rhumba groups.

The Loi hit-maker will perform at Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on August 3 supported by sungura ace Alick Macheso, Suluman Chimbetu and Winky D; courtesy of Sound Blaze Productions.

Jack Mapanga of BV Labien Musica told the Daily News yesterday that local rhumba groups are unhappy with the way promoters had sidelined them.

“Koffi is a rhumba artiste and it makes sense if local rhumba groups support him. Even Koffi will not be happy to be curtain raised by musicians who specialise in other genres.

“Whenever international dancehall musicians perform in the country, Zimdancehall musicians are invited to curtain raise. Davido and Diamond Platinumz were supported by like-wise musicians such as Jah Prayzah and Oliver Mtukudzi. Why is our case different?” Mapanga asked.

Some of the rhumba acts in the country include Lady Storm, Diamond Musica, BV labien Musica, Dr Bitumba, Juntal and Madiz among others.

“It is a very sad observation that once again a promoter decides to deny Zimbabwean rhumba outfits such as BV Labien, Musique D’Afrique and Best of All Musica a chance to show what they are made of.

“BV has 17 albums to date and is having fair airplay where I am also having my share of airplay. The promoter should have afforded us a chance to show what we can do.

“Our inclusion is more on a commercial side as the promoter needs to recoup his expenses as well as to spice up the concert and accommodate as many fans as possible.

“Generally, he should have included local rhumba groups to show the world that we have groups that can equal Koffi.

“As for business I think he is for profit rather than promotion of rhumba,” Wellington “Dr Bitumba” Maruta of Musique D’Afrique said.

Calisto Murawo of Sound Blaze Productions said rhumba artistes were not available when they tried to get hold of them.

“We tried a number of rhumba artistes but they were not available,” he said.

Meanwhile, Koffi, 62, has had a good relationship with Zimbabwe, headlining the country’s big events.

In 2014, the singer performed at the wedding of the country’s former first family wedding, being the highlight of the entertainment there.

He performed at the wedding of Bona Mugabe and Simba Chikore before headlining the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority’s Harare International Carnival rhumba night in 2015.

Dancer Beverly Sibanda apparently charmed Koffi when she joined him on stage uninvited during the Rhumba Night concert held at Longcheng Plaza.

This resulted in her featuring in Koffi’s Angola video, where she stole the limelight from other dancers, and reports suggest that this did not go well with the dancers.

Koffi has built a faithful fan base internationally over the years, particularly in Africa and Europe.

He popularised the slower style of Soukous, which he dubbed “Tcha Tcho”.

The Congolese superstar, who calls himself Mopao (Big Boss), has received a number of international awards, including Kora Awards for

Best African Artist of The Decade and Best African Artiste.

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