Congolese Rhumba artiste Koffi Olomide (66) disappointed fans with his performance on Saturday in Kadoma. Short-changed, short, short-changed, short-changed, was written on every reveller’s face, after his lacklustre performance at Kadoma’s Odyssey Hotel.
But let us give to his fashion; he is still there and colourful plumage still sweeps many a fashionista off their feet. He was dressed to the point, as if he was attending a show in the ceremonial home of fashion, Milan, Italy. A Hanging Belly!
Koffi, who was the headlining act at the much-hyped Africa Explosion gig, appeared lost from start to finish. He appeared uninspired and his body language summed it up when he took to the well decorated stage, which met international standards.
Adding salt to injury, the rhumba stalwart appeared on stage late even though he was at the venue. Koffi gave the event organisers a torrid time with his conduct.
He further riled fans when he remained holed up in his parked vehicle at the show venue when his band was already on stage. Before the show, Koffi was in the company of his close associates in the car park for too long and it defies logic why he did not go on stage on time.
The boo boys, who had been anxiously waiting for him, showed their dismay which prompted him to leave the parked car and dash to the stage.
He was lucky not to be pelted with objects as fans showed their maturity on the night Kadoma hosted one of the world’s renowned acts. After sensing that fans were not happy, Koffi invited Roki on stage and the two performed the song Patati Patata. The performance was cut short and still Koffi failed to convince fans that he still has the mojo.
Despite the support from the Congolese community, Koffi had a nightmarish day which can easily pass as a mere “fraud” from an artiste of his calibre. Entrepreneur and socialite Zodwa Mkandla tried her best to cheer up Koffi when she joined him on stage as he belted out the song “Papa Mobimba”.
Her intention was to psyche up the rhumba stalwart who stuttered on the big occasion. The only positive thing he left is that he has managed to convince local rhumba acts that it’s never too late to revive the genre.
Fellow countryman, Rhumba artiste Pitshou Lumiere, who was part of Koffi’s entourage, was as jovial as ever. Members of Ban Des As, Bana Ngwasuma and BV Labien Musica also graced the event. On a positive note, Lady Storm justified her inclusion in the line-up. She made her life easier, with her energy sapping performance set to revive her fortunes which had taken a serious wane.
“I have always loved rhumba and this was the being staged to probe my mettle. I wasn’t on vacation but I came here to make a statement,” she said.
Dendera maestro Sulumani Chimbetu proved that he was the man for the big stage. Where he got the energy to wow fans from start to finish remains a topic for another day. However, his fans were not amused by his performance.
“He always gives his best each time he takes to the stage. Whether the hall is packed or empty, he makes sure he leaves fans clamouring for more,” said one of Sulu’s associates who escorted him to his car.
“I was humbled by the crowd’s response and it means a lot to me,” he said.
Jah Prayzah had a good day in office. Kurai Makore, a nephew to US based Chimurenga musician Thomas Mapfumo performed earlier. Enzo Ishall and Tamy Moyo were also part of the line-up. They also put up a scintillating performances. South African outfit Mafikizolo were the closing act, going on stage 4am but did not disappoint.
Event organisers, Odyssey Entertainment, nailed it. Despite late kick-off, everything was in place.The stage met international standards while the lighting and sound was superb. The show was fully packed and also attracted some of the local socialites, celebrities and business personalities.
However, somehow the two show hosts — radio personality Shugeta and Butterfly — struggled to win hearts of fans. According to how they presented, it seems the two are good on radio and not public events, which promoters need to take into consideration.
DJ Shugeta had a night to forget as he riled Koffi who ordered him off stage. Koffi is particular with his stage each time he performs as he doesn’t tolerate nonsense. Fellow promoter, Partson “Chipaz” Chimbodza was among the guests.
He was assisting Tich Mharadze with logistics. “As promoters we always support each other. I am proud of him because we learn from each other. “We are one big family,” he said.
Fellow promoter Josh Hozheri who was part of the crowd added: “As their chairperson, I am proud that my boys are doing well.
“Tonight, I was really impressed by Sulu. We should invest in our local guys and also learn from foreign acts. I can safely say Sulumani was the best performer here. He is focused as he takes his job seriously.”