On January 17th, a group of local artists (Pitcho Womba Konga, Fredy Massamba, Badi Banx, Caroline, Kamanda, Lety, Jack, Karim, Christian, Malkia and myself) pulled off “the Action” in L’Horloge Du Sud, better known as the Afro-European cultural spot in the center of Brussels. The date was chosen carefully to launch the “Congolization” artistic movement while remembering the assassination of Patrice Lumumba (he had murdered by a conspiracy of the Belgian and American governments along with General Mobuto). Pitcho Womba Konga, myself and all our cultural partners wanted to promote more than ever spaces where artists related to the Congolese diaspora could freely tell their side of the story.
This summer I’ve been hired as a freelancer for Iggy, MTV’s global music website. The site is aimed at young people to introduce them to the idea that pop music is a global phenomenon (if today’s tech savvy youth already didn’t know.) I get paid by Viacom every time I put something up there, but it’s a pretty quick moving stream of content, and posts tend to disappear rather quickly. I thought it would be good to run each one of my posts as a series over here on Africa is a Country.
The business of journalism as we know is in trouble and there’s a scramble for a “new journalism model,” with VICE.com held up as the latest prototype (see here, here and here). I am not so sure VICE is the new journalism–it’s partnership with “old media” (CNN, HBO) is old fashioned, it mostly produces sponsored content (nothing new there), owns an advertising agency and makes nice with Rupert Murdoch. Of course, VICE’s style represents something fresh. With its diversity of topics and irreverence, it is a vast improvement on the talking heads of cable news. But, there is also much to dislike about Vice.
On a recent trip to Johannesburg (which is in Gauteng Province), a couple of friends decided to invade a Congolese restaurant in Yeoville; Kin Malebo on 31 Raleigh Street in Yeoville. The game was between DR Congo and Niger; I had access to a camera and decided to tag along. Good times were had by all.