Author – Joe Mulumba
Create businesses, education centers, engineering projects, agricultural projects that have cultural roots embedded and replayed over and over ad nauseam. Advertisements must always align cultural values with financial goals of selling the product. The land must be worked. The meat, the fish, must be provided. Electricity and water must be privatized.
There are three sectors of growth for the Congo to be the proud, strong, and powerful nation that it ought to be: The political sector: With the third election that just took place in Congo’s history, our generation is slowly awakening to the rights and privileges that ought to be granted to them as deserving citizens of a rich nation. The cultural sector: you can only go as far and as up only as far your roots are deep. Artists, writers, fashion designers, actors, directors, painters and everyone related to the cultural wealth of our nation ought to produce works that will inspire and galvanize the population into producing, manufacturing Congolese products and back and forth.
“We must always be political. I think that culture, for example is always very political. It always has been and always will be….because a culture represents the values, the values for which one fights. If one is fighting for a revolution, one is talking about more than just changing governments and power, and that is changing the value system. What carries that value system is one’s culture….Culture is a cohesive force. It is what keeps people together. Culture is very important in the fight, because a lot of people have fought against their oppressors yet maintained the culture of their oppressors, and culturally they are the same as their oppressors. They haven’t fought for anything actually. All they have done is change powers, but that is not a revolution.
You have to understand that changing powers is not a revolution. Black people in America, Africans who live in America, especially must understand that and begin to alienate our people completely from the culture and values of Western society. That is going to be particularly difficult because all of us live within those values and it is going to be very hard for us to root them out. I mean that it is like people who say that they want to be be black. But being black is an awfully hard job in the United States. It is very, very difficult, and we have to constantly try to understand the rejection of Western values and the pickup of new values. It is very, very difficult. But our first task is all the more to alienate our people at every chance we get from the Western culture and values, because once they are alienated there will be no influence over them. That is what we are seeking. We are seeking to stop all influence of Western culture on our people — completely.” Kwame Toure (land and power)
You can’t look in the future, if you can’t look in the past. These elections were just a blip. Joseph Kabila is a blip. His father was a blip. Mobutu was a blip. Lumumba’s legacy will live on. The concept of a nation: a community formed by its ethnic identity, religion, language, and culture is still new in Africa. 50 years. Just a toddler compared to other nations; the heritage of colonialism and of those pre nation times before colonialism still slow down to the process of building a nation. A lot of us young Congolese sometimes don’t realize our place in history and in the history of our country. It is necessary to pull back as far back as possible and as forward as possible to start thinking in terms of generations instead of our own personal career goals.
We are to embrace the fate of our nation on our shoulders. Doctors, engineers, soldiers, preachers, writers, poets, musicians, activists, entrepreneurs, political leaders, we all have a stone to place to build the nation. We have to be single minded in our pursuit, in our thirst, in our hunger, in our trials, in our wounds and in our deaths. The intellectual and the bourgeois elite has to come to an understanding to be single minded in the destruction of opposition’s forces to Congo and to the support of creative and nurturing endeavors for the Congo. The proletariat, the people has the hunger, the thirst for a leader, for resources to be available to take part in the fight, in the building of a different nation. It will take love, money, leadership, wounds, prayers, medicines, determination, sacrifice but it will happen. We may not see it. Our children may not see it. Our grand children may not see it, but our grand grand children will see it.
Congolese children born in the diaspora, Congolese studying abroad, Congolese with the pockets to go and come as they want should be bringing back home not just western delicacies, but essentials for deprived communities and critical minds to seemingly impossible situations on the ground. We have to connect and keep alive the lines of communication between all Congolese seeking to build a better Congo. We have to recognize and promote the services, the talents, the people who will improve on building the Congo. There are thousand, nameless and selfless workers at different sectors of our nation in education, in religion, in politics, in science, in health, in military who are all in search of a better Congo.
The identification of our skills and talents is a preliminary, but once that’s done, there’s no question as to what should be the purpose of our actions. As a writer, I intend to publish again and again and again against the atrocities, the corruption, the inaptitude of current Congolese leaders and celebrate those who fight selflessly to the peril of their lives to build a better Congo. It will take time. It will take lifetimes, but the fight has to start now. Every morning. Every evening. Every day. Until we honor those who came before us and create a future for our children.