Brief History, Biography of Late Francophone DJ Arafat


DJ Arafat‘s real name was Ange Didier Huon. He was born on January 26, 1986, in Yopougon, a district of Abidjan. He was a man of man dealings; an Ivorian singer, composer, producer and musical arranger and he was considered by many to be one of the greatest singers in Africa and the pioneer of the offbeat Coupé-Décalé (a dance music form combining rapid percussion, choppy rhythms with hip hop-style vocals). He had a considerable influence on Ivorian musical culture. He is considered the most popular artiste in Ivory Coast with over 2.3 million followers on Facebook.

Arafat was born in Ivory Coast, Cocody, to singer Tina Glamour (also known as Tina Spencer) and Houon Pierre, both of whom were musicians. Arafat grew up in a vulgar world greatly supported by the media hovering around his touring mother, especially in the 1990s when Tina Spencer exhibited obscene, daring stage performances. This would later go on to affect his psyche and his mindset as a child.

His mother worried about these tours and felt the early exposure would come back to haunt the young boy. In a bid to ‘save’ him, young Didier was left to fend for himself. From the age of 11, he fell prey to drugs and banditry and socialized with street urchins whose negative life rubbed off on him.

How DJ Arafat Got his Name

Very young, DJ Arafat had many Lebanese friends in Abidjan, who constantly nicknamed him Yasser Arafat, the former leader of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Because it was attributed to the temperament of the leader of Fatah. He decided to adopt the nickname as his stage name. This was before he was taken in by Roland Le Binguiste, a music producer who took him to the studio after spotting Arafat’s talent at an event in Abidjan. Prior to being discovered, he started as a DJ in Yopougon, one of Abidjan’s night-life districts.

With time, DJ Arafat’s fame spread to Europe and the United States of America, thanks in part to sports stars who made some of the genre’s dance steps popular. He was named “Best Artist of the Year” at the Ivorian “Coupe-decale” Awards in 2016 and 2017.

He was a lover of bikes. As a matter of fact, he featured them in one of his latest hits, Moto Moto, a song that enjoyed 1million views in less than a day and went on to become a sensation. Arafat released 11 albums in total. His first was released in 2000.

How Did DJ Arafat Die?

On August 11, 2019, Arafat became the victim of a motorcycle accident that occurred at night, early in the morning of August 12, 2019, in Abidjan. Unconscious, he was admitted to the Emergency Department at the Polyclinic of the Two Plateaux, in a vegetative state and he suffered in particular from a skull fracture and edema. Sadly, he died from his wounds at about 0800 GMT on August 12, 2019, leaving behind his son, Houon Mael and an infant daughter.

His motorcycle reportedly hit a car driven by a journalist from Radio Côte d’Ivoire before his passing.

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