Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba, also known as Koffi Olomide (Friday, July 13, 1956), is a DR Congolese soukous singer, dancer, producer, and composer.
He was born in Kisangani, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His father is Congolese (Gbandi tribe from Equateur region) and his mother was born from a Sierra-Leone father and a Congolese mother (Songye tribe from Kasaï region). According to the ethnic custom of his Sierra-Leone grand father, his mother named him ‘Koffi’ because he was born on a Friday. Koffi grew up in the city of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in a middle-class family, where education was valued.
Upon his return to Congo in the 1970s he joined Papa Wemba’s band, Viva la Musica, at first as a composer and song-writer, and later as a vocalist and lead-singer. He launched his solo career. In 1986, Koffi formed his band known as Quartier Latin, which celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 2006. Since then, he has performed and recorded both with the group and by himself.
Over the years, he has built up a faithful fan base Internationally, particularly in Africa and Europe. Koffi popularized the slower style of soukous, which he dubbed Tcha Tcho. Koffi’s music can be quite controversial, taking on current events and topics considered taboo in some conservative societies. He has also participated in the salsa music project Africando. For his effort, Effrakata, released in 2001-2002, Koffi received four Kora Awards on a single night at the annual Kora Awards in South Africa for 2002 and 2003, including the award for Best African Artist, which he had earlier won in 1998. More recently, he has won the Kora Award for “Best African Artist of The Decade”. This led to the establishment of one of his many aliases as the ‘Quadra Kora Man’.
Click on an image to view a larger version