Lingala maestro Koffi Olomide is the real bad boy of African music, he has had several brushes with the law over the past 20 years of his music career.
The 65-year-old singer has been making headlines again for all the wrong reasons after an appeals court in France convicted him of holding four of his former dancers against their will.
Koffi Olomide was on December 13th 2021 convicted of depriving the women of their liberty at a villa in Paris between 2002 and 2006. He is to serve an 18-month suspended sentence and pay them compensation.
In addition to the suspended sentence, Koffi was ordered to pay a fine of $11,000-$36,000 to each dancer.
French public prosecutor wanted the court to sentence Koffi for a minimum sentence of eight years but the judge declined.
The judge also cleared Congolese singer of sexually assaulting four of his former dancers. One of them had alleged Koffi assaulted them in hotels, in cars and in recording studios.
December 13th 2021 conviction aside, Koffi has had several brushes with the law in the past 20 years, with cases ranging from assault, suspected rape, indecent dancing styles to provocative lyrics.
In 1998, he damaged the passport of promising singer Suzuki Luzubu, who was in his Quartier Latin International Band’s entourage for concerts in Nairobi.
In 2008, Koffi was accused of kicking a cameraman from DR Congo’s private RTGA television station and breaking his camera at a concert, but the two later were later reconciled.
In 2012, the Lingala maestro was convicted in DR Congo of assaulting his producer and received a three-month suspended prison sentence.
That same 2012, apart from being charged with assaulting his music producer in a payment row, he was also charged with assaulting a journalist in Zambia.
In 2016, the veteran singer was arrested and deported after he assaulted one of his female dancers in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Kenya.
Days after he was deported to DRC, Congolese authorities arrested Koffi. A campaign to have him arrested was orchestrated by lawmaker Zakarie Bababaswe who had filed a petition on behalf of the Congolese public to have him punished for the assault that happened in Kenya.
Koffi Olamide was prosecuted and jailed for three months, commuted down from 18 months on former President Joseph Kabila’s intervention, without the option of a fine.
The controversial Lingala singer served time in Makala Prison in Kinshasa before he was released after three months.
In 2018, Koffi was at it again. Zambia ordered his arrest after he allegedly assaulted a photographer.