I am an actor and storyteller in the troop MUFWANKOLO, mythical company of popular Swahili theater of Katanga, but also composer and singer in the group MUJIK’A KWETU. I have since tried to promote multiculturalism by combining Katangan influences and new, European and West African sounds.
I started as an actor in the Mufwankolo theater troupe in 1999. I started the musical group Mujik-a Kwetu in 2009.
I applied for this grant because it will allow the troop and the group to participate hand in hand in a socio-political project and to be part of a long-term reflection on social justice. This opportunity will allow us to carry out a quality public utility project.
Produce the show at the Institut Français and at the Center Wallonie-Bruxelles in Lubumbashi, then on the stages of the city and the province, to get a message across in rural communities.
The work created thanks to the Africalia grant is a play based on the musical storytelling technique. It combines direct narration to the audience with danced musical interludes that illustrate the story. The songs were composed especially for Mhamiaji by Sando Marteau. The play includes moments of direct dialogue with the audience, in the tradition of Lushois theater. It is a bilingual Swahili-French work.
The play aims to question North-South inequalities in a health context that spares no one and during which the notion of "solidarity" is central.
The play focuses on post-colonialism and the weight of the past on Africa’s current issues. On the capacity/incapacity of Africans to take control of their destiny in a world governed by money. It is also about the European Eldorado and the reality of African migrants who have become undocumented, fleeing from countries that persecute them : "You set fire to my hut ? I’ve come to live with you". Finally, it deals with the irreconcilable interests of the North and the South through the prism of monetary wealth.
If these subjects are at the heart of current events in Europe, they are still taboo in the DRCongo. The aim is to open the debate in a country where freedom of speech is limited and where the European dream is shattering entire families.
The work questions the solutions to get Africa out of its problems. Copying other realities is not a solution : even modestly, we must innovate.
The grant really motivated the group when cultural activities were at a standstill. Having a final deadline to deliver the show was very stimulating. It gave us time to work and to rekindle a creative dynamic.
The show is perfectible : it needs to be fine-tuned, because as the troupe worked on it, everyone wanted to add extra messages. While it was initially about telling a story (why the immigrant leaves the DRCongo for Europe / how did we get there ?), each participant took the opportunity to express : their frustration against the oppressive power, against the weight of global institutions, against ourselves too, and their hope for better days.