Africa

Koffi Olomide case: Zambia gig cancelled after 'assault'

Koffi Olomide from DR Congo and dancers of the Quarter Latin group, perform 30 April 2005 at the Iba Mar Diop stadium in Dakar Image copyright AFP
Image caption The rumba star has a previous conviction for assault

Organisers in Zambia have cancelled a planned concert by one of Africa's biggest musicians, Koffi Olomide, in a row over an alleged assault in Kenya.

Kenyan authorities deported the Congolese rumba star on Saturday after video footage of him appearing to kick one of his female dancers went viral.

The Agriculture and Commercial Society of Zambia said the "disappointing" incident was behind its decision.

Olomide has denied assault, though he has since apologised for his behaviour.

In a post on his official Facebook page on Sunday, the singer apologised to his fans, especially "women and children", asking for forgiveness.

"I profoundly regret what happened... it was a moment of madness," Olomide told Congolese national broadcaster RTNC, in an interview attached to the same Facebook post.

The star apologised directly to the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who may have felt "dishonoured by this behaviour".

The footage of Friday's incident at Nairobi's international airport sparked outrage on social media.

Kenyan authorities deported Olomide, 60, and three of his dancers on Saturday to DR Congo's capital Kinshasa, following a public outcry over the incident.

Speaking to BBC Afrique on Friday, he denied kicking anyone and said he had tried to "stop" a "girl who wanted to fight the dancers I came with".

The video broadcast on Kenya's KTN News shows police intervening to stop the apparent attack on the woman.

Kenyan Youth and Gender Minister Sicily Kariuki had called for the singer's deportation.

"His conduct was an insult to Kenyans and our constitution," she said. "Violence against women and girls cannot be accepted in any shape, form or manner."

The star has been in similar trouble in the past:

  • In 2012 he was convicted in DR Congo of assaulting his producer and received a three-month suspended prison sentence
  • In 2008 he was accused of kicking a cameraman from DR Congo's private RTGA television station and breaking his camera at a concert in Kinshasa but a reconciliation was later brokered.

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