Congolese rumba artist Koffi Olomide has been criticised by some Zimbabweans for chanting President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s name in a song released on Wednesday.
The artist, born Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba, flew to Zimbabwe to collaborate with local artiste Rokford “Rokie” Josphats three weeks ago.
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On the track, Patati Patata Koffi’s deep voice is heard singing: “Zimbabwe hoyee! ED Mnangagwa, Number 1!”
The lyrics did not go down well with a section of Zimbabweans, particularly those in the opposition.
The “shout out”, as it is referred to in nightclub and party scenes, irritated MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, who did not hide her displeasure. She said in a Facebook post:
So, your ‘plan’ is to capture artists, make them sing your praise and then you will suddenly become popular?
It will not work. The people can see from their pockets that the country is going in the wrong direction. Rumba propaganda won’t change this. We need new leaders.
Another prominent goverment critic, Hopewell Chin’ono, who has been arrested three times in the past twelve months on spurious charges, said:
The song died before it was even heard. It is probably the most expensive music production in Zimbabwe, but it will die because one name was mentioned.
The song was recorded under Passion Java Records, a company owned by prosperity preacher Passion Java.
Java, a self-proclaimed prophet and comedian, is vigorously pushing on social media for Mnangagwa’s popularity.
Koffi, 65, is not new to politics. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he recently joined the Alliance des Forces Democratiques du Congo political party.