Kenyan authorities last Saturday deported Congolese musician Koffi Olomide to the Democratic Republic of Congo after he was caught on camera kicking his female dancer at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.
The video footage of Koffi kicking the dancer went viral and sparked outrage on social media.
The most disturbing aspect of this issue is that Koffi had the courage to physically assault a female dancer in public and in the presence of police officers but he wasn’t arrested immediately.
He was only arrested after the video of the incident went viral and provoked widespread condemnation of his gesture. One can therefore assume that without public outcry, nothing could have happened to Koffi.
It is equally disturbing to note that in the video none of the people present seems to oppose and challenge the musician to stop the assault. The poor girl being attacked by her celebrity employer is left alone. That’s very bad.
We must stop tolerating violence against women. Koffi most probably attacked the female dancer in Nairobi because he knew he could get away with it. We strongly doubt if he could do such a thing at an airport in any developed country.
The Kenyan authorities did well to deport the Congolese musician. However, before doing that, they should have ordered him to pay compensation to the lady he assaulted. They should have also ordered him to pay compensation to the promoters of his show which was cancelled.
Koffi deserved to spend some time in prison in Kenya. Since the Kenyan Penal Code states that any person who unlawfully assaults another is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year, who knows why the Congolese musician was freed.
The Kenyan authorities were supposed to act to ensure the victim’s safety. If Koffi can kick the female dancer in public, at the airport and in the presence of police officers, what can he do to her in private? Considering the influence Koffi wields back home, what awaits this lady once they get back there? Organizations fighting for women’s rights should keep in touch with the lady.
What Koffi did was an insult to women’s dignity and the least he could do was to apologise to women and children.
We hope that his apologies are not part of a PR strategy to repair his damaged reputation and save him from further concert cancellations.
The Agricultural and Commercial Society of Zambia has just cancelled Koffi’s planned shows in Lusaka over the assault in Kenya.
Njoya Tembo, President of the Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM) condemned Koffi’s violent behaviour in Kenya. “Koffi has proved to be violent when musicians are generally peace ambassadors,” Mr Tembo told Lusaka Times.
The ZAM president revealed that the Congolese musician had previously attacked one of his dancers and a photojournalist in Zambia. “With this background, Koffi must be allowed time to handle his anger and emotions in peace, at home, in Congo DR. It is sad that a person we consider as a senior musician and role model in the region has gone on rampage assaulting women with impunity. He has proved to be bad influence in the past as well as in the present.”
Mr Tembo is absolutely right. Koffi has proved to be a disgrace to musicians who are generally peace loving and role models.
He must therefore learn to manage his anger and change the way he treats women. And while he is doing that, many other concerts should be cancelled.
By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a