Singer Koffi Olomide to run for DRC Senate seat

Congolese musician Koffi Olomide.

Singer Koffi Olomide has declared interest in running for election to the Senate in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He is due to stand in the province of Sud-Ubangi, in north-west Congo in the April 22 polls on behalf of the AFDC-A party.

Koffi Olomide, real name Antoine Abgepa, will be 68-years-old this year and was appointed ambassador of Congolese culture by President Félix Tshisekedi in 2022. For just over 10 years, Koffi has had ambitions to enter politics.

He tried to get closer to the PPRD, Mr Joseph Kabila's party, during the former president's reign. He is currently a member of Bahati Lukwebo's AFDC-A, which belongs to  MrTshisekedi's coalition.

The singer, who has a career spanning almost 50 years, intends to get fully involved in the country's political issues.

Born to a Congolese father and a mother from Sierra Leone, Koffi has made a career out of singing languorous love songs.

"I have served the Congo. I've restored the image of my country, Congo, throughout the world and in Africa with my music. People know how well I've done it over the years.

"Everywhere I go it's always the same kind of welcome as what I've just seen. And I'd like to thank the people who came to the airport today and left their things behind. Who do you think they came to welcome? The son of the soil.

"The son of the soil is in trouble. For the past ten years or so, wherever I go, people tell me they see me serving the Congo in ways other than music. Koffi, you've got to become a senator, they've even seen me a bit higher than that. I could play one of these roles even without a salary", he declared. He then added:

"When you listen to me speak, I can stick my neck out and it's obvious: I love my country. I love the Congo and I love the well-being of the Congolese people. It hurts me when I see people in total comfort having fun with billions and people who have nothing to eat for 2, 3, 4 days.

"I see mothers in the street in disarray, children in the street when it's time to go to school. It hurts me. I say this to you sincerely. And if that's why the people, my brothers and sisters, want to send me into this field - then yes, I say yes. Because I want to be their spokesperson".