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Patati Patata: Roki, Koffi Olomide Collabo Strikes Right Chords, Almost

Music is an all-weather companion, whether you are sad, or happy, it fits any occasion. Africans for instance, have rightly adopted music to...

Music is an all-weather companion, whether you are sad, or happy, it fits any occasion.

Africans for instance, have rightly adopted music to their maximum benefit, fusing it into their everyday life. It has become their daily bread.

By @Comic24Derick

When a baby is born, Africans dance and sing for the arrival of a new blessing into their lives, and the newly born is showered with gifts to welcome him or her.

Next, when there are graduation ceremonies, music is used to enhance the occasion. Everybody from the community is welcome, nobody is censored, the good, the bad, and even the ugly.

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Weddings also showcase the value of music to Africa. Here, an avalanche of dancing skills is dished out with aplomb, to celebrate the nuptials.

At funerals, Africans express their sorrow through music, however, the tempo is subdued to suit the somber occasion. Other high-pitched songs can be summoned to celebrate the deceased.

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For mothers, they know how to use music to soothe babies when language has failed to calm the wailing young, or dispatch a toddler to sleep. But music prevails, somehow.
Roki and Koffi Olomide 
Music is used to express and modulate emotion. It is primarily used to control the moods of the singer or the listeners. It is, therefore, an art that fits every occasion, and is created for various reasons.

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Some of motives might be ceremonial, recreational, or a mere artistic expression. The artistic space is democratic, it belongs to both the opponents, and the appreciators. These come in various forms, some being armchair critics, or just accidental cheerleaders, caught by the whirlwind initiated by a certain idea.

For some, it will take time and extra listening to sink in. You cannot decipher the true value of a creative process at face value, or by just listening to one chant delivered on a track, and elect to sideline other polished parts of the act.

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Patati Patata, a trending rhumba collaboration featuring granddad of the genre Kofi Olomide, born Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba and resurrected Zimbabwe urban grooves crooner Rockford Josaphat has propelled some emotions into overdrive.

Explaining the song to the media, Passion Java records manager, Boss Lashan said, “The title of the song comes from the phrase, ‘Et Patati Et Patata’ which is an informal and kind of fun way of saying someone is running off at the mouth, in short-talking a lot.”

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“This song is for the people, it’s a dance song which is all about having a good time. life is short everyone should enjoy and what better way than to do so through music? “This one will surely get you on your feet,” Lashan said.

Also included in the song is Raymond Shaban Mwakyusa, a Tanzanian singer better known by his stage name Rayvanny. From the onset, the duet was billed to be a heartstopper, owing to Olomide’s global fame and his gigantic musical stage presence.

The DRC’s citizen influences a loyal following, when he sings, never mind what he utters, rhumba disciples are dispatched into a hysterical gyration. And when the music promoter, Passion Java romped him, the musical promoter knew his agenda would be rewarded, at least.

Judging from his countless previous global outings, Olomide is revered for teasing his clientele, with subtle, synchronised moves. When he landed in Harare, the recording and shooting were shrouded in both mystery and secrecy, tolerantly, the rhumba aficionados waited.

Days translated into weeks, and finally, the D-day arrived on 5 July. Two days after premiering, the video accrued over 2 million views and still counting. In achieving that feat, it has become one of the tracks to surpassing the million mark in a day, tumbling previous musical records on YouTube.

As anticipated, the broadcast of the song attracted rebuke and praise from different quarters. This is not new, and it is not the last time it will happen, critics and praise singers will exist in tandem. 

Still, the music will play on, whether it satisfies their taste buds or it soils them. Professor Jonathan Moyo, known for his rabid tweets targeting Harare fought in Roki’s corner.

“If anyone is offended by the insipid Kofi Olomide lyric, "ED Munangagwa, Number One", which he chants only once in his "Patati Patata" collabo with Roki & Tanzania's Rayvany, then they need a moral compass. The chant is dumb, but not offensive. Give #Roki a break, he deserves it,” tweeted Professor Moyo.

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Another journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono was on a different wavelength, releasing a salvo aimed at both the project funders and the exiled intellectual.

“I disagree with @ProfJNMoyo on this one. He is only looking at Roki, ignoring the owners of the project, and how it is funded, and where the funds are coming from, and who is being deprived with the looting of these funds,” Chin’ono said in a tweet. “We can’t be upset with looting, and not its outcomes”

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The exchange continued with Moyo, tweeting, “Fine. And I disagree with you @daddyhope on this one. Olomide & Rayvany aside, I am with #Roki, a Zimbabwean artist whose artistic & livelihood interests matter. Artistic content is owned by its creators. I've seen no EVIDENCE that looted funds have been used to produce the song.”

While the Twars proceeded, the video was meanwhile breaking new ground. The social media combats propelled it further, with other artists like the Jurasema hit marker, joining in the raging debate to congratulate his peers.

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Remember, with music you don’t have to understand everything, not even the language is a barrier to enjoy the beat. Not every beat must have a meaning attached to it, sometimes you just have to dance on.

What it lacks in meaning, it is compensated with sleek moves, creativity, and some of the curious regalia. The song might have many critics, but it will dissipate stress and uplift some downtrodden spirits, especially during the sweeping pandemic.

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The song might not be number one, but it has struck the right chords, it has tickled countless emotions. And come December, when celebrations are back in full swing, the rhumba song will be a special request for many party-goers.

Come election time in Zimbabwe, patriots will request more replays, particularly for the chants that have sent the social media on a tailspin.

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