When it was announced that Congolese Soukous singer Koffi Olomidé was set to perform at a show in South Africa, activists moved to petition the relevant authorities to stop that from happening citing his rape conviction in France.
Born Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba, the 62-year-old, in March this year was found guilty of the statutory rape of one of his dancers when she was 15-years and subsequently handed a two-year suspended jail sentence by a French court.
Olomide, who was absent during the sentencing was also ordered to pay 5,000 euros to the former dancer in damages and was also fined the same amount for his role in facilitating the illegal entry of three women into France, reports BBC.
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Additionally, four of the singer’s former dancers accused him of sexually assaulting them on many occasions in France as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo between 2002 and 2006. They also accused him of detaining them in a villa outside Paris where they eventually managed to escape in 2006 but chose not to return to DR Congo fearing retaliation from Olomide.
According to IOL, Olomide was billed to perform at the Shimmy Beach Club in Cape Town on June 30. However, a group by name the Stop Koffi Olomide Collective launched a campaign and petition and sent letters to the Presidency and ministers of Home Affairs, Justice and Correctional Service and Arts and Culture with the following demands:
- Denial of Koffi Olomide’s entry into the country. If a visa has been granted, we request that it must be cancelled;
- Cancellation of all Koffi Olomide shows;
- A public statement by the relevant government department notifying the public that a decision has been taken to disinvite; and
- Co-operating with Zambian authorities in the event that they request his extradition and arresting him upon arrival.
The group also announced their intention of staging protests in Johannesburg and Cape Town if their demands were not met to “ensure that Koffi Olomide is stopped from performing in this country,” they said, IOL further reports.
As the campaign intensified and gained grounds, the Shimmy Beach Club announced the cancellation of the show on their Twitter page on Tuesday.
“Please note that @ShimmyBeach made the decision last week not to host the Koffi Olomide event that was being run by an outside promoter,” they posted.
Olomide’s career has been marred with a handful of controversies and run-ins with the law.
In 2008, he was accused of assaulting a cameraman from a local TV station at a concert in Kinshasa, DR Congo. The two later reconciled. He was also handed a suspended three-month jail sentence after assaulting his producer in the same country in 2012.
He was deported from Kenya in 2016 after he was caught on tape allegedly assaulting one of his female dancers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.
Zambia issued an arrest warrant for him in 2018 on charges of assaulting a Rwandan photojournalist in Lusaka in 2012.