Following the bizarre incident where one of Africa’s mega stars, Koffi Olomide, kicked one of his dancers and his eventual expulsion from Kenya, human rights activists and feminist movements have been calling for a total boycott of Koffi’s concerts planned for July 29th in Zambia. In a write-up published in Zambia Report, one of the campaigners, Joe Mwansa Lombe Kaluba* says, ticket holders should stay away to show solidarity with abused women.
I have been a fan of Koffi Olomidé since I was a teenager. I loved or should I say I still love his music and some of them songs we sung them during our bustele days at Kasama Boys’ Secondary School and Mungwi Technical Secondary School. His music has been good. But of late the singer of Civilisé which caught the airwaves I think in 1990 has really disappointed me.
As a promoter of youth and women recognition and non-violence especially that is done or on women I am gutted by his foolish behaviour.
The problem I have with people who have money especially men is that they abuse women and go free without anyone doing anything. They can pay lawyers can’t they? I think we need to pressure those organizing Koffi’s shows in Zambia to call off the event (his shows) or for people to boycott them/it.
The other problem l see is that our social movements especially those who claim to represent the aspirations of women, children or youth have become toothless as they are all political groupings now. Times like this are when we need you. Zambia needs our social movement to step up and lead such boycotts.
I am doing a comparative study of Kenyan and Zambian Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the rest of the civil society on their involvement or roles in matters of democracy, human rights and sound lobbying.
I can say that our friends in Kenya are more advanced in terms of lobbying and involvement than our Civil Society Organizations(CSOs). They have their own weaknesses but according to my research our social movement is more compromised than the East African country’s groups.
As you may already know Koffi Olomide was arrested and deported partly due to the pressure from CSOs especially women and human rights organizations. As I have noted above I feel we need to push the organizing committee of this year’s Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show to cancel Koffi’s shows.
Should the Show society go ahead and have Olomide at the show grounds in Lusaka from the 29th July to the 1st of August. His shows should be boycotted to show solidarity for the people being harassed like that dancing queen. If you bought the tickets to see Koffi’s show you know what to do… stay away. If the shows are free. Simply stay away.
I have been very critical on our CSOs not only in Zambia but in Africa because I think most of them are so inclined to political issues. Not that it is not important, but I think they need to be seen in times like this.
We need to protect our young women and young people. Protection is also seeing that we are committed to protest and lobby for justice regardless of our political affliction. For me this is beyond sex, religion or status. It should be condemned by all.
I know people will say he is human he is prone to make mistakes. I agree with that. But I think others should learn from it. Koffi apologized afterwards yes. But I think there is a difference between apologizing for publicity and apologizing because you are sorry.
In my opinion he did it for publicity just like many public figures in entertainment, politics or sports will do. We make mistakes but we have to show commitment to work on our mistakes so that we don’t repeat them in future.
I would however advice all of us who are aggrieved by Koffi’s action not to use emotions, our sex or political affliction when dealing with things like this. For me what Koffi did has to be condemned whether done to a man or a woman.
What matters is that he did it to a human being and should be condemned by all. Despite this I will strongly support the condemnation of any matters related to the harassment of women and young people as they are always disadvantaged.
In this regard I would like to challenge responsible CSOs, the media, women, human rights and youth activists to show that we as Zambians don’t support irresponsible artistes and so called public figures. For the Show Society if Koffi performs it shows that you are more interested in money than moral.
Boycott Koffi’s shows. #BlockMide Tell a friend and share this.
Joe Mwansa Lombe Kaluba is a PhD candidate-Political, Gender and Transnational Studies at the International Postgraduate Centre (IPC), Faculty of Social Sciences at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany.