Queen of Afro-zouk coming to Kampala

Friday August 26 2022
zouk queen

Ivorian Monique Seka aka Queen of Zouk, will be performing in Uganda on August 27, at the Victoria Hall, Kampala Serena Hotel. PHOTO | POOL


Award-winning Ivorian Afro-zouk musician Monique Seka, also known as the “Queen of Afro-zouk music” is coming to Uganda for her first performance in the region in her over three-decade-old career.

Nicknamed the diva of Ivorian music, she is known for her exceptional voice and the musical fusion that she generates. Her Afro-zouk genre is popular across West Africa, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean islands off the African coast.

A vocalist and singer-songwriter, Seka started her professional music career in 1987 and embraced not only the music of her homeland of Ivory Coast including Akan and Mandingo styles, and the Mapouka dance, but also influences from the rest of Africa such as Afrobeat, rhumba, and soukous; and salsa and zouk from the rest of the world.

“Afro-zouk is a clever mix of traditional music from my region with that of the islands. In the zouk that I do, we find percussion and African sounds,” Seka says.

She will be the main performer at the Legends Alive VIP Concert on August 27, at the Victoria Hall, Kampala Serena Hotel.

VIP early bird tickets are already on sale for Ush100,000 ($26.3), the VIP gate price will be Ush150,000 ($39.5), and a VVIP table is Ush3 million ($791.3). The concert is organised by RG-Consult Ltd.


Speaking to The EastAfrican in an interview ahead of her arrival in Uganda, Seka said; “Music is my passion. I was born into it, I grew up in it, and it’s my life. The desire to please my audience and myself is what motivates me to excel continue. It’s however not easy these days with the lack of producers.”

Seka was born in 1965 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, third generation of a music dynasty being the daughter of Seka Okoi Athanase, an Ivorian singer famous in the 1970s. She was her father’s apprentice before joining the Ivory Coast TV Orchestra.

“I was surrounded by my grandmothers, the Comoé sisters, who were the first musicians in Ivory Coast, and my father, who was a musician in my grandmothers' band at the time. My childhood was immersed in music except that my mother did not want me to sing. It was my aunt, Tantie Affoué, to whom I paid tribute in my first album, who encouraged me.”

She said she picked Afro-zouk because “at the time, I was living with an uncle and on Sundays, he used to play records by Haitian artists, and when I joined the Ivorian television orchestra years later, we used to accompany him and play all kinds of music.

“And I also noticed that at that time, Ivorian music was not played in discos. So, I said to myself, why not merge the traditional music of my country with that of the islands. That’s what gave us L’afro zouk (Afro-zouk) with arrangements by Manu Lima.”

Lima is one of the best producers on the African show scene in Paris. Former leader of Cabo Verde Show, Lima was instrumental in relaunching the careers of many great African artists, such as Pépé Kallé.

Seka's third album, Okaman, released in 1995, sold more than one million copies according to Craig Harris earning her international acclaim and recognition.

“I’m taking time on my next album, but my fans can rest assured that something is in the pipeline, including my 35-year career anniversary.”

Seka currently lives in Lyon, France with her husband who is also her producer-cum-manager Dominique Richard and their three children, a daughter and two sons.