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Symphony Orchestra in the Congo! Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste
A symphony orchestra in Central Africa
This is the first symphony orchestra of Central Africa, and one of the few in Africa.
People have had to make many of their musical instruments almost from scratch. Some people have to walk an hour and a half to get to their practice hall each day. Life is very difficult for most of these people, yet somehow they make it to the practice hall, learn their parts and symphonic music results!
Below are videos which show their level of performance..
For life in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the work these people display is extraordinary. Most Americans would never put this much effort into going somewhere to try to play classical music, especially if it involves walking all the way there and back.
You may want to take a look at Wikipedia, under Kinshasa, for much more detail about Kinshasa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kinshasa now has an urban population with over 9 million inhabitants. It is the second largest city in sub-Saharan Africa and it is also the second largest francophone urban area in the world after Paris. Lingala, Kokongo, Tshiluba or Swahili are used as the major street languages, while French is used for public services, newspapers, schools and governmental services.
Kinshasa will surpass Paris in population around 2020. It will also be the site of the 14th Francophonie Summit in October 2012. Kinshasa residents are known as Kinois.
This Spiegel article (a major business magazine of Germany) goes into more detail about the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste.
And here is part two:
German television has shown a new film on the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste. DVDs are available in this country.
I would also like to share with you one selection of Music Kimbanguiste, also from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is a large African church which has centers throughout Central Africa. No matter what your approach is in terms of religion, the music of this church is fascinating. In the final selection, you will hear "Remember Kimba," which refers to Simon Kimbangu. See if you like it as much as I do.
The following are pictures of Kinshasha. The first is of the Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in Kinshasha.
Lola ya Bonobo, located right outside of Kinshasa, is a world sanctuary for orphaned bonobos. Loya ya Bonobo means "paradise for bonobos" in Linglala.
Below is are two pictures of Kinshasha, from which this and much more music comes - from all of Francophone Africa. Later on, I will choose other countries (French, English, Portuguese) in Africa for their musicians and songs.
Below is the boat between Kinshasha and Kisangani.