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Kinks that soiled good writing lately

Koffi Olomide, the man himseluf, is coming to Nairobi. You know, Koffi, Congo’s ageless king of rhumba. The maestro who doesn’t even need to sing anymore. With the backdrop of pulsating drumbeats and scintillating guitars, the man could just growl in that deep-throated bass that only he can, “Tchaaaatcho“, and, just like that, a million dollar song is made.

Yeah. That Koffi is coming to town this December, according to multiple media. And the Star wrote a welcome story, which promptly got soiled by a single wrong number in Koffi’s age.

Koffi Olomide set to thrill Kenyans at Kasarani indoor arena concert”, said the heading of a November 3 story by Maureen Waruinge.

A bullet summary at the top, repeated in the body, said, ‘Born on July 13, 1965, Koffi’s real name is Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba.”

Born in 1965? That would make Koffi 58 years old. Wrong. The man was born in 1956, all other sources say.

By switching six and five, the story inadvertently made the king of Tchatcho nine years younger. The Star has not corrected the error online.

Then, Liberia went to elections. The incumbent, President George Weah, the football legend turned politician, was on the ballot against former Vice President Joseph Boakai. It was a close contest. The elections went into a runoff.

And the Daily Nation sprung out this heading on November 18: “Weah misses Liberia election ‘penalty shoot-out’”.

That was a whacky headline. Then, it was presumptuous. Nowhere did the story make a connection between Weah and this football analogy.

In fact, upon clicking the link a new heading in plain English greeted you: “Liberia President George Weah concedes defeat to Boakai”.

The story would have passed muster if it qualified the first, “penalty shoot-out” heading. Otherwise, the first heading was just cheap.

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