DJ Arafat, an Ivorian singer with a huge following in francophone Africa, has died after a road accident in Abidjan, the state broadcaster RTI said on Monday.
According to messages and pictures circulating on social media, he had been riding a motorbike and smashed into a car. Critically injured, he was taken to an Abidjan hospital, where he later died.
Born in Abidjan in 1986, DJ Arafat, whose real name was Ange Didier Huon, was avidly followed in French-speaking western and central African countries.
He has been referred to as the “king” of coupé-décalé dance music and one of his biggest hit songs, Dosabado, has over five million views on YouTube. Coupé-decalé (meaning “cut and run”) was born in the early 2000s during Ivory Coast’s civil war and emphasised that young people still wanted to have fun despite the conflict.
DJ Arafat came to symbolise the flashy well-dressed lifestyle associated with the music, which features fast percussion, deep bass and hip-hop-style vocals.
The singer was also known for his love of motorcycles and featured them in his most recent hit, Moto Moto, which was released in May, which has more than four million YouTube views.
Fellow artists have also been sharing their condolences, including Nigerian star Davido, who took to his official Tweeter handle to pay tribute to Arafat. The Nigerian superstar posted an old picture of himself and Arafat while professing his love for the late artist with the caption, “RIP Yorobo. I love you”.