Koffi Olomide, one of Africa’s most popular singers, has been charged with the assault of his producer and held in custody overnight. The rumba star, 56, was arrested after a fracas on Wednesday at a hotel in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The courtroom was packed to see the star, who leads the Quartier Latin band.
He was defended by more than 10 lawyers.
The altercation with his producer, Diego Lubaki, was over a debt of 3,000 euros ($3,680, £2,345), the court heard. The magistrate told the AFP news agency on Wednesday that the singer risks up to six months in jail if convicted. The case was postponed until Thursday.
The music he plays is known as “soukous”, which comes from the French word “secouer”, meaning “to shake”, and its dancers are renowned for their erotic moves.
Born in Kinshasa in 1956, Koffi Olomide won a scholarship to do a maths degree in France. On his return to the then-Zaire, he joined the band of musician Papa Wemba, initially as a songwriter. He later struck out on his own and in the 1980s his soukous style gained popularity around Africa and he has won several Kora All Africa Music Awards.
However, his career has not been without controversy and the raunchy performances of some of his songs have been banned in some countries