Musician Koffi Olomide’s impending visit to Rwanda has generated debate on whether the Congolese Lingala maestro should be allowed to perform in Rwanda, a country famed for putting women at the forefront through empowerment.
On July 23, the Congolese Lingala maestro Olomide was deported from Kenya, after he allegedly assaulted one of his female dancers.
The news that the 60-year-old singer is set to perform on December 31 at the Kigali Convention Centre generated a heated debate with some people arguing that Rwanda should not host a musician who abuses women.
But, according to the show’s organizer, the Congolese star is remorseful for his disgraceful actions that were caught on camera and went viral on social media.
Oscar Karekezi, the CEO of Count Down Events Ltd, the company organising the concert, told The New Times, that despite the veteran singer’s misconduct in Kenya, he will abide by the country’s code of conduct.
“Rwanda is a forgiving country, and this is what we want to portray as Rwandans. Rwanda is also a country that respects people, we shared with him (Olomide) the code of conduct because he knows Rwanda doesn’t want disrespectful people, especially when it comes to gender,” explained Karekezi.
Karekezi said that Rwandans would want to watch Olomide live and that negotiations are ongoing for the singer can stage another big concert at the stadium in future.
The Director of Gender Promotion in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion and advocate for women’s rights, Redempter Batete, said that while the concert is beneficial, the singer ought to apologise.
“Koffi Olomide’s concert will be of benefit to the economy, leisure industry and relations with DR Congo,” she said, adding that “What Olomide did in Kenya is totally against women’s rights. And as a country that is at the forefront of women’s rights, he needs to apologize for his attitude towards women to prove to us that this will not happen again. We look forward to his apology as a country that respects women.”
Edward Munyamaliza, the president of the Civil Society platform, said: “I was of support of Kenya’s decision to deport Koffi Olomide because nobody should violate women’s rights. However, he deserves another chance. If he has learnt to respect women, and people in general, then he will improve his fan base. It should not be about Rwanda alone but even his home country and elsewhere.”
The organizers have also lined up renowned Rwandan female DJs to spin disks at the show. Rwandan born, international DJ Flor, real names, Flora Nyirimbabazi, DJ Makeda and DJ Ira are expected to grace the show.
Koffi Olomide is one of Africa’s most celebrated musicians – renowned for songs like Selfie, Effrakata, Cobetox and Mito, among very many others.