DJ Arafat buried as Davido, Fally Ipupa join thousands of mourners

DJ Arafat buried as Davido, Fally Ipupa join thousands of mourners

President Alassane Ouattara led thousands of fans gathered in Ivory Coast's capital Abidjan on Saturday 31, to pay tribute to famed music icon, DJ Arafat.

The 33-year-old Ivorian, whose real name is Ange Didier Huon, died in a motorcycle accident.

The tribute concert attracted some heavyweights in the African music scene including Fally Ipupa, Maître Gims, Davido, Sidiki Diabaté, and Koffi Olomide.

Social media posts showed a packed stadium with additional screens being set up outside. The ceremony was also broadcast on radio and TV.

An online petition had called on the government to allow the use of Félix Houphouët Boigny stadium, which seats 35,000 people. The Ivorian government also gave Sh2.5 million towards the event and said it would pay for his funeral ceremony.

DJ Arafat was one of the most popular African musicians in the Francophone world, and had been referred to as the "king" of coupé-décalé (cut and run), an Ivorian form of dance music. The musical genre was created by Ivorian Douk Saga in Paris in the early 2000s during the civil war in Cote d’Ivoire.

With its suggestive dance moves and emphasis on flashy lifestyles, it was a way of showing young people still wanted to have fun.

DJ Arafat's hits included Dosabado, Hommage à Jonathan and more recently Moto Moto which has more than four million views on YouTube.

With 10 studio albums in his 15-year career, it is no doubt that he had a big influence on the French music scene as both singer and producer.

In a press briefing on Wednesday 28, the Minister of Culture, Maurice Kouakou Bandame announced the possible creation of a museum to honour the artist. The motorcycle involved in the accident, his vehicles and personal belonging could be conserved to generate income for his heirs, the minister said.