Its October and that means that Black History Month (in the UK) is back again for yet another round. I may not be doing a month series like I did last year (click here to read) but I will still be doing few October posts relating to being Black and representation. If you’re a long follower of mine you’ll know the drill by now and how I love writing about race on my blog.It’s one of my passions to be able to share my experiences as a woman of colour and on they way in which representation matters.
The first post will be about my home country Democratic Republic of Congo and what it has to offer if you’re new to knowing about the place. As they say there’s no better place to start than home itself right.
FACT: Did you know that in Tarzan (2016), Tarzan was speaking Lingala in the film to his African friends.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a Lingala and French speaking country located in Central Africa. However between 1971 and 1997 it was known as another name, Zaire. I may be biased in this opinion but the majority of Congolese food is tasty to say the least. I remember when I was at uni, I’d miss my mum’s cooking the most, so the odd trips home made me happy (including the fact that I’d pinch the food into tupperwares and take them back to uni with me). Although some foods are also popular in other African countries with different names, there are others which are unique to Congo itself. I’m going to stop whilst I’m ahead on the food talk because I could go on for days hahah.
FACT: Democratic Republic of Congo is the 4th most populated nation in Africa.
Moreover, Congo (DRC) is well known for its rich in natural resources. These being sources such as deposits of industrial diamonds,copper and cobalt; one of the largest forest reserves in Africa, including roughly half of the hydroelectric potential of the continent. I bet you didn’t think that would be the case did you? DRC is also filled with vast animal species, for instance African forest elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas, crocodiles and more. Another aspect which is quite wide in range in DRC are the different ethnic kingdoms. I only knew of Kongo, Tetela and Luba ethnic groups but it turns out there’s a whole bigger list out there. The other groups of the major kingdoms are made up of Teke (Bateke), Pende, Yaka, Lunda, Songe and Kuba people.
FACT: Congo gained independence from Belgium in 1960. King Leopold II killed over 10 million Congolese citizens and exploited the country of its resources, which played a part in the fall of Congo.
I could share all the pictures and facts about DR Congo but it doesn’t hide the fact that there is poverty and conflict within the country. So why am I not sharing that side? Well media and societal preconceptions already do a job of that without me adding further more on it. I did not want this post to share all the negatives of the country, but celebrate the country for the positives it has (which is often forgotten about as a whole when any part of Africa is mentioned). Just as Africa as a whole, it’s a pity that DRC is more known for its poverty and crime rather than its beauty and liveliness. Of course, I am talking from family stories and history, as I haven’t been back to my hometown since I was a little girl. Why haven’t I been back? Truth be told, I’m still waiting for the right time to go as I want to see DRC for what it is not what colonization has made it to be viewed as. I don’t want the fun and happy stories to get distorted in my head. You never know, I might travel in like 5-10 years time if God willing.
Before I sign off with my goodbyes for this post. There’s just one more thing to share with you lovely people.
I was kindly gifted a African pendant by an independent company named Danquah and I have the opportunity to share with my followers a code for some money off. The website is officially running so you’ll be able to make your purchases through there. As shown below, I chose the simple African pendant in silver but they have much more designs available on their page so do check it out. My code for money off is Ruth10 and their instagram page is @danquah_ltd.
Melanin Talks x
My mum still calls DRC “Zaire”. I’m quick to correct her though😂😂😂
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This was so insightful. There’s so much about DRC that I didn’t know. I’m yet to taste the food and this has made me even more excited! What do you think I should try?
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Aw I’m glad you’re interesting to try out the food Elle 😊 I’d recommend trying fried plantain with cooked spinach and chicken as a main. My go to dessert is always mikate (African doughnuts) especially when freshly made! x