Internationally acclaimed Congolese rhumba artist Koffi Olomide has drawn criticism in Zimbabwe 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 music prodigy Rokford “Rokie” Josphats three weeks ago.
On the track Patati Patata, Koffi’s deep voice is heard singing: “Zimbabwe hoyee! ED Mnangagwa, Number 1!”
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.
“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,” she said in a post on Facebook.
The song did not get a single mic (rating) from media activist Hopewell Chin’ono, who 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.”
It was recorded under Passion Java Records, a company owned by prosperity preacher Passion Java. He is vigorously pushing on social media for Mnangagwa’s popularity.
The adage “who pays the piper dictates the tune” comes into play as Koffi pays homage to Java and other members of the Affirmative Action Group (AAG), a Zanu-PF aligned black empowerment group.
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.
When election season approaches, music plays a big role in political campaigns in Zimbabwe. In the past both the MDC and Zanu-PF have had musicians pushing their narrative.
The next general elections in Zimbabwe are slated for 2023 but between now and then, by-elections for more than 40 parliamentary and 80 council seats must be held.
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