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Amid Strife, Congo's Musicians Fight to Play
The Root ^ | September 16, 2013 | Rebecca Rattner

Posted on 09/15/2013 2:22:48 AM PDT by nickcarraway

Organizers of a music festival in eastern DRC struggle to keep their dreams of performing alive.

Jean Claude "J.C." Wenga, 24, expected to spend the last weekend of August performing in front of thousands of people from across Africa's Great Lakes region at a historic music festival in his hometown of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Indeed, the week before the festival, he was confident.

"Security here has never been an assurance," he said. "But nothing is, really, concerning me." Less than 72 hours later violence erupted, and as international governments and nongovernmental organizations evacuated personnel, the festival was postponed until February.

It would seem that skeptics regarding the Amani (Swahili for "peace") Festival's prospects, who were concerned about potential violence, had been proved right. But perhaps they're missing the point. In the face of ongoing failures to bring peace to eastern DRC, the organization of the festival itself may have been, as Wenga called it, une pierre de contribution -- which is a Congolese saying meaning, roughly, a stone in the foundation -- toward bringing attention to more than just violence in Goma, which has come to characterize the city.

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TOPICS: Local News; Military/Veterans; Music/Entertainment

1 posted on 09/15/2013 2:22:48 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway; Revolting cat!; Slings and Arrows

They take their Battle of the Bands competitions SERIOUSLY!

2 posted on 09/15/2013 8:08:10 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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