He was so famous in the 90s for his soukous, which comes from the French word secouer, meaning to shake, and its dancers are renowned for their erotic moves. Like other Congolese musicians, he is known for his extravagant lifestyle and flashy outfits.
His famous song then was Mzinalitata. He is still performing and the following is his story.
Kofi Olomide was born on a Friday 13th of august 1956, in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was nicknamed ‘Antoine Makila Mabe’ meaning, ‘Bad blooded Antony’.
Young Antoine grew up in a fairly comfortable surroundings, but there were no musicians in his family. He used to have fun working on familiar, popular tunes giving them his own lyrics, changing the rhythms. A neighbour of his realised that he possessed a true talent and encouraged him by teaching him the guitar.
Koffi was a skilful student and passed a scientific baccalaureate.Â Following his diploma, his father sent him to France to study Business Administration at the Bordeaux Business University. He got his diploma in 1980. At the age of 18, despite his success as a brilliant student, the young man was still very attracted to arts and music in particular, showing a gift for song writing and singing.
During the 70s, he began to build a reputation among the Zairean community as a songwriter. Onia was his first success. In 1977, Koffi’s brother encouraged him to record his first songs. During his holidays, he recorded Asso and Princesse Ya Senza -a hommage to women- at the Veve studios in Kinshasha, from then on, he collaborated with artists such as Papa Wemba and Zaiko LangaLanga. Koffi was awarded the title of Best Zaire artist in the year 1978 for the single Aniba.
A turning point in Kofi’s career was in 1983 when he recorded his first album Ngouda and showed a strong determination in becoming a main force in African Music. Two duets were performed and recorded with Yakimi Kiesse and Fafa from Molokai.
In 1986, he started his first real group called ‘Quartier Latin’. At the same time, he was heavily impressed and influenced by the groups such as Kassav. After 10 years of success he also decided that he wished his career to take a more international turn.
The long awaited international fame truly started in 1988 when the song Henriquet -hommage to Miss Congo- became a huge hit. From then on Koffi’s nickname became ‘Golden Star’.
He enjoyed a great success with the song written for his only daughter Minou called Elle et Moi, this song described the enormous joy and emotions that he felt after her birth. During the 90s, Koffi built his fame on his characteristics Soukous Love also called TchaoTcho. From 1990 until 1994, Koffi enjoyed a growing success. In less than four years, he published over seven albums under his own name, or under the groups name ‘Quartier Latin’. In 1992, he was awarded ‘Best male singer’ and ‘Best video clip’ at the African Music Awards in Abidjan. Today Koffi is unanimously recognised as the most celebrated and distinguished Zaire modern artist.â€”Panafricanallstars.com