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12 arrested after fans of Ivorian musician DJ Arafat opened coffin and undressed him

September 02, 2019 at 08:30 am | News

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola | Staff Writer

September 02, 2019 at 08:30 am | News

Thousands gathered at a stadium funeral concert on Friday. Pic credit: Reuters

Scores of fans of Ivorian music icon DJ Arafat have been arrested over the forced invasion of the late musician’s grave.

DJ Arafat, whose real name is Ange Didier Huon, died in a fatal motorcycle accident in August at the age of 33.

According to a press statement by the Mayor of Abidjan, Vicente Tohbi Irie, 12 people have been arrested, adding that “investigations will continue for the arrest of all culprits and to locate the responsibilities at all levels.”

The burial ceremony for the late musician, known for commercializing music in the West African nation, was characterized with chaos after fanatics stomped his graveyard. Describing the incident, the mayor’s office referred to it as a “desecration of the tomb” of the musician.

After his death, a large stadium concert was held in his honour before he was laid to rest on Saturday. Celebrities from across the continent, who were known friends of the singer, paid their last respect.

Davido for DJ Arafat funeral
Nigerian musician Davido pays last respect to a friend_Photo: Gettyimage

Law enforcement agencies resorted to using tear gas to manage the crowd who gathered at a private family ceremony which was held locally.

Policemen stand guard at the entrance of the Williamsville cemetery
Policemen stood guard at the entrance of the Williamsville cemetery during the funeral_Photo: AFP

“We wanted to see the body of our idol before the tomb was sealed,” one unnamed fan told AFP.

Fans overwhelmed police officers securing the grave as dissatisfaction grew at being kept away from seeing the last remains of DJ Arafat. They forcefully opened his grave and coffin before taking photos and videos of the corpse and subsequently posting on social media networks.

Pallbearers carry the coffin of late Ivorian singer DJ Arafat leaves the Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium in Abidjan
Dj Arafat laid to rest_Photo: AFP

Dj Arafat died at the main hospital in Abidjan with a fractured skull after his motorcycle collided with a car. His death sent shocking waves across the continent as he was a true representation of Ivorian music.

His songs were well patronized in Francophone Africa and he was referred by many as the “King” of Coupe-decale (cut and run), an Ivorian form of dance music.

Image result for Dj arafat body
Fans open the coffin of the late music icon, Dj Arafat_Photo: France24.com

Known for hit songs such as Dosabado, Kpangor, Zoropoto, Enfant Beni and Moto Moto, DJ Arafat symbolized the flashy, well-dressed lifestyle associated with music and musicians. Most of his songs feature fast percussion, deep bass and hip-hop style of vocals.

Despite his dominance in the music scene, he became controversial having faced accusations of domestic abuse.

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