By Denis Dibele
KAMPALA - Congolese singer Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba, a.k.a Koffi Olomide and his music are still relevant to Uganda.
After an absence spanning over 10 years, the soukous singer, dancer, music producer, and composer made a grand return to Kampala, a place he once had a cult status.
His performance at the Lugogo Cricket Oval was for a charity cause courtesy of Rotary Uganda for the construction of a blood bank at Mengo hospital.
A number of Rotarians flooded the cricket oval and a fair number of Lingala music lover too paid allegiance and money to get the feel of the soukous maestro.
With local sensations Jamal, Grace Nakimera and Rema as some of the curtain raisers, Jose Chameleone was evidently absent on the list of performers before Olomide took to the stage.
Musician Alvin Law from Canada, who has no arms, came on stage shortly before Kofi, and he played the drum using his feet to the amazement of many revelers.
His unique abilities on stage earned his a thunderous applause on a memorable night in Kampala.
Grace Nakimera performed with a local dance troupe while Jamal was backed up with the band.
Then came the moment everyone was waiting for. Olomide hit the stage at exactly 10pm clad in an African print suit and brown Texas boots with four queen dancers who were grinding provocatively in revealing outfit. And their trademark was clear, even from afar – their semi-nude bodies bore tattoos and pins.
A huge crowd saw the Congolese musician perform at Lugogo. PHOTO/Denis Dibele
And the Congo man, together with his troops, did not disappoint. PHOTO/Denis Dibele
Even Vice President Edward Ssekandi did some bit of jigging at the concert. PHOTO/Denis Dibele (FULL PICTORIAL HERE)
The band members tried to tune the instruments and finally got the tunes right before doing what they do best – entertain.
Olomide’s grand entrance only showed that he had returned to his old playfield (Kampala) as the Oval teemed with excited fans.
Then not far into Olomide’s highly anticipated performance, a somewhat ostentatious young man made his way to the stage, not to join in the entertainment, but instead to put his financial muscle on display.
The swanky guy, armed with “bodyguards” and clasping a wad of notes, for a brief moment there stole the show away from the star of the night as he took his dear time to dish out the money to the singer.
Who wouldn’t accept such free cash?
And so with the mic glued in one hand, Olomide thankfully accepted the cash with the other hand and buried the notes down into his pockets.
The mysterious "tycoon” certainly had a share of the limelight!
His flamboyant generosity also saw the 15 band members have a share of the free dimes.
And he wasn’t done yet. He pitched camp just behind the backup singers with a black briefcase and would occasionally return to tip the soukous musician who eagerly welcomed him.
Comfortably tucked in the VIP section sat Vice President Edward Ssekandi who seemed to follow the events on the stage as he sipped away on his drinks.
Drinks flowed around generously, as did the music.
Olomide could be an old-timer in the soukous music genre but the audience too had a number of a much younger generation that enjoyed the Friday Lugogo concert.
Koffi Olomide serenaded Kampala and he took us back in time with Andrada, Loi, Efrakata and the crowd duly sang along. He often stopped the band and asked his fans what music they wanted him to play.
By close to midnight, he was winding up but the crowd was still demanding for more. He pleaded to his fans that he had a flight to catch to Nairobi at 2am so they should let him do his last song.
Koffi Olomide gets fans yearning for more in Kampala