The Ivorian singer and award-winning star of the Coupé-Décalé dance genre, DJ Arafat has died after a road accident in Abidjan. His death was followed by an overwhelming wave of grief and tributes for the talented singer, AFP reported on Monday August 12th.
The news of the tragic road accident that occurred in the night, had reached every broadcasting service by 8am (08:00 GMT) on Monday morning, followed by hundreds of fans arriving in tears at the hospital, chanting outside “Arafat cannot die”, in the Abidjan's Cocody suburb where the 33-year-old singer died.
According to messages and pictures circulating on social media, he had been driving a motorbike on Sunday night and smashed into a car. Critically injured, the singer was taken to the hospital where he later died.
Arafat, whose real name was Ange Didier Huon, was born in Abidjan in 1986, and had released 11 albums, mainly of Coupé-Décalé, a dance music form combining rapid percussion, choppy rhythms with hip hop-style vocals, with a great French-speaking fan base, both in western and central Africa.
Both the Ivorian Culture Minister Maurice Kouakou Bandaman and Ivorian football star Didier Drogba have paid tribute as well as offering their condolences to those close to the singer, assuring that a special tribute would be held to honour the late musician.
Arafat was named Artist of the Year at the Ivorian Coupé-Décalé Awards in 2016 and 2017, and among his hits were ‘Kpangor’, ‘Zoropoto’, ‘Enfant Béni’ and his latest single ‘Moto, Moto’. He was well-known for his love of motorbikes.
Born to his mother, a well-known singer and his father a prominent sound engineer, he developed an early passion for the music world. Later, as he was growing up, he started as a DJ in the clubs on Rue Princesse in Yopougon, one of Abidjan's night-life districts.
According to Ozone, a hip hop producer and television host, Arafat’s natural charisma will remain a force for Ivorian and African music, as he will always be considered the legend of Ivorian music, according to AFP.