Ivorian star DJ Arafat whose real name is Ange Didier Houon, died on Monday of injuries he received in a motor bike crash on Sunday. The 33-year-old died in a hospital in Abidjan after having treatment after the accident.
Celebrities, fans and many French-speaking African countries are also mourning the musician who was also called the “King of Coupé-Décalé” who they loved and were proud of. Coupé-décalé is a dance music sound originating from the Ivorian diaspora and Côte d’Ivoire. It means “to cheat someone and run away” in Ivorian dialect. The dance style is popular in many French-speaking countries in West Africa.
The Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara offered his condolences to the musician’s family and the arts community. “It is with great sadness that I learned of the premature passing of Houon Ange Didier “DJ Arafat” Youth Icon and ambassador for Ivorian music and culture. I extend my sincere condolences to his mother, his children, his biological and artistic families as well as to all his fans. My prayers are with them during this painful ordeal,” President Ouattara wrote on his Facebook page.
According to Yves Jay Jay (his representative), “He was Ivory Coast’s best musician”. Ivorian ex-football star Didier Drogba shared his condolences on his Twitter account.
Other public figures who expressed sadness was the country’s defense minister, Hamed Babayoko who described the artist as his “son” and said his death was a loss to African culture.