Cultural Diversity

The Internet : A tool to promote Lingala to young Congolese descendants

Thanks to the development of afro-centrist movements on the Internet, groups of young Congolese born in Europe, wishing to learn their mother tongue have emerged. To meet their expectations, web sites with different subjects were created to encourage the learning of Lingala on the Internet.

The promotion of lingala in the world was essentially made thanks to  Congolese music which succeeded in being internationally exported. But since the beginning of 2000s, movements of panafricanist awakening appeared on the Internet. The objective of these movements, is to promote the African culture and to value it by adopting an afro-centrist position, to consider the African culture, and more widely, all cultures from an African point of view, and by recommending a return to the origins, or at least to get closer to it, by learning the history of their country and their mother tongue. Some web sites aim at reconciling Congolese descendants with Lingala or at introducing it to them.

Television programs: “Lingala facile” (“Easy Lingala”)

zacharie bababaswe lingala facile

Journalist, Zacharie Bababaswé

Presented by the journalist Zacharie Bababaswé, the program adopts the classic format of a television news. The editorial team makes reports and interventions exclusively in Lingala, in an approachable way. The program is visible on national Congolese television, by satellite television and through its web site. It is by this last means, and its ease of understanding that the program won in popularity, in the country and in among the diaspora.

Youth and militancy: “Lopango Ya Banka” (“The house of the Ancestors”).

lopango

Lopango Ya Banka

Hip-hop band from Germany and France, rapping exclusively in Lingala. They created a buzz around their song ” Telema Mpo Na Congo ” (Get up For Congo) on which they talk about the political situation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and invite young people to militate for peace. History books written in Lingala are promoted in their web site besides their own music, and that they have a “blog” section where articles are published (exclusively in Lingala) commenting on the political and cultural current events in Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as that relating to the diaspora in Germany and in France.

Playful and interractive learning: “Suka Epoque”

SukaCover Nr3-GF

“Suka Epoque” 3rd edition

The most significant action made on the internet to encourage congolese descedants learning Lingala is an online magazine called “Suka Epoque”. Meaning literally ” The End of a Period “, we can understand the title in two ways. It may be the end of a period, in the sense that we mark the end of the rejection of the Congolese culture for the benefit of the colonizing country; or, it can be understood as the best of periods. The word ” suka ” (The end in English), is often used to qualify something as “the best”. This site gives the possibility to the Internet users to take Lingala lessons with the publication of a dictionnary. It also publishes on line comic strips, with moral messages staging the everyday life of Kinshasa’s ( DRC’s capital) inhabitants. These stories are written in Lingala by the readers of the site who subject them to the editorial staff. It is a magazine conceived for and by young Congolese.

The Internet made possible for every one who wants to learn Lingala depending on their interrests: current events, militancy or just for entertainment.

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