... Kinshasa?

by Miss Bern Bangala

Taboo (Issue I/2021)

Here in Kinshasa, everyone is talking about the consultations with President Félix Tshisekedi that have been underway over the past few weeks. The president is talking to people from all sectors of the country, to women doctors, entrepreneurs and association members - and even to us artists, musicians and writers. This process is new. Until now, the government has only talked to its own kind.

With the lockdown, the president has grown concerned about the country's problems. He has not been able to travel and has been thinking about what is not working in Congo. Artists have put forward several demands because our situation has deteriorated with Covid. Most of us have no social security, many have become homeless, divorces have increased and so has violence against women.

We feel like orphans. This is because many festivals are funded with international money, which has abruptly stopped. We told the president that censorship must be lifted and money from authors' rights should go directly to the artists. Compared to other countries in the African Union, artists in Congo are in a bad position.

As told to by Stephanie Hayek
Translated by Jess Smee

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