Nairobi has become a major international city in the continent and world at large. All the key world leaders from POTUS Barrack Obama to PMOI Benjamin Netanyahu to Pope Francis have slept in the City in the Sun. Economists from UNCTAD to TICAD have eaten lunches here. Tourists and sportmen. And so entertainers and musicians would follow soon. Anyone who wants to be noticed can show up. Enter Koffi Olomide.
Koffi is a musician that everyone who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s knows. His songs like Loi were all over the airwaves. Lingala/soukous was very popular then although majority of Kenyans do not understand a word. The dancing styles were out of this world, but not as suggestive as they are today. This was the music that was played in clubs back then. Not the Nigerian spectacle that is witnessed these days. Reggae was not so mainstream. Koffi was one of the biggest Lingala acts besides Awilo Longomba, Papa Wemba, Tabu Ley among others. Their music audio and videos came in cassettes.
But wait, this is 2016 and Koffi is still big in the music industry? Singing about selfies? At 60, he should at least behave.No matter what drugs you are on, or not on, you can not go around kicking people, and specifically kicking WOMEN! I know I’m now sounding like a feminist but surely it can not happen in this self-righteous city. Worse things happen here. How many women are slapped in City Hall every week? And nobody cares. Nobody takes action. Police do not arrest the offenders. But lightning does not strike twice, Mr. Le Grand Mopao or whatever you call yourself. Hii ni Nairobi. You can be crucified by your own fans. They can literally bay for your blood. You will be the scapegoat that carries all the sins of those who raise their hands, or legs, against women.
He had arrived on the spotlight. TV cameras were rolling at the airport. This is a big international star. Everything he does is documented. He had come to do a gig or two but ended up only doing a kick. One kick. He even appeared on TV answering tough questions about the kick. You do some things that you live to regret. Spontaneous things you do that end up soiling your reputation. Like kicking a woman because somebody wanted to pickpocket her. You were protecting her, right? We didn’t think so. Or maybe the women were fighting and he was separating them? He was protecting his wife, wasn’t he? That doesn’t make sense either.
So he was rebuked, judged, prosecuted and convicted by the public court’s keyboard warriors. Hash tags were thrown around. He had just performed in Nairobi with that cameo-appearance and that was it. On the tarmac, no big stage, no people shouting your name, singing to Ekotike, dancing and taking selfies and certainly no laughing all the way to the bank.Whoever said Kenya Hakuna Matata lied. He was deported the following day.