Zimbabwe’s queen of dancing Beverly Sibanda almost had a torrid time in the Democratic Republic of Congo as Congolese superstar Koffi Olomide’s dancers initially snubbed her during her visit there.
Bev, who travelled to the DRC last Tuesday, had been invited by the prominent rhumba musician to feature in a music video for one of the songs on his latest album – Abracadabra.
Her manager Harpers Mapimhidze said Koffi, who initially met Bev two years ago when he performed in Harare, was impressed by her dance moves when she joined him on stage for an impromptu performance.
This prompted him to look for her contacts so the two would work together.
And when she met him at his base, his dancers apparently felt threatened and tried snubbing her.
“Bev travelled well to the DRC and touched down at Kinshasa where she was met by Koffi’s crew. As they got down to business, Koffi’s dancers didn’t seem so co-operative as they were jealous of Bev, but their boss wouldn’t have any of that and intervened,” said Mapimhidze.
He said the dancers later warmed up to Bev after probably realising she was just there for a few days and was not there to take their jobs.
Bev, who was in the DRC for three days, returned to Zimbabwe last Friday for performances in Bulawayo.
On her encounter in the DRC, she said she learnt a lot, especially new soukous dance routines.
“I learnt a lot from Koffi’s crew and also from the Rhumba icon. We recorded a lot of video clips which we’ll be used on Koffi’s music videos for the Abracadabra album,” said Bev.
She said she would incorporate some of the routines learnt from the DRC into her routines.
Mapimhidze said hopefully when the video featuring Bev is released it will raise her profile internationally.
“Being featured on Koffi’s music video is something that comes once in a lifetime. Hopefully with Koffi’s profile and Bev’s immense talent, doors will open for her not only in Africa, but across the world,” said Mapimhidze.
According to his biography, Koffi started out in music when he joined Papa Wemba’s band Viva la Musica at first as a composer and song-writer, and later as a vocalist and lead-singer.
In 1986, Koffi formed his band known as Quartier Latin, which celebrated its 30-year anniversary last year.
Over the years, he has built a faithful fan base internationally, particularly in Africa and Europe.
Koffi is famed for popularising the slower style of Soukous, which he dubbed Tcha Tcho.
For his effort, ‘Effrakat’, released in 2001-2002, received four Kora Awards on a single night at the annual Kora Awards in South Africa.