It’s a happy independence day for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who mark 60 years since gaining independence from colonial rule today. Not only of Africa’s most mineral-rich countries, the DRC is also one of the most diverse nations in the continent; boasting more than 15 Bantu groups and over 70 sub-groups.
On this day, June 30 1960, Congo achieved independence from Belgium and became known as the Republic of the Congo. Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was elected the first Prime Minister, while Joseph Kasa-Vubu became the first President.
To observe the 60th anniversary of this historic day, we have spoken to Ferreira Munoko, a Congolese model and content creator with profound thoughts about the state of his home country. Ferreira understands his roots and his heritage extremely well, and in our special interview he explains how far his country has come, and how much further they have to go.
60 Years of Congo
Moziak Magazine: It’s 60 years of independence for Congo – how does it feel to be celebrating another big landmark?
Ferreira Munoko: It’s an honour honestly, the men who faught for Congo may not be alive but their legacy still lives, the likes of Patrice Lumumba.
MM: This independence day is a little different – how will you be celebrating it with the pandemic in mind?
FM: Sadly nothing, probably a virtual celebration with a few of our favourite DJs playing (DJ Kims) live on Instagram or Facebook even though we had plans for a cultural dinner and club celebration.
MM: What do Congolese people feel about the state of the country, 60 years on?
FM: People are in distress honestly because we want our country to be at peace quite honestly, the child exploitation and rape in the east of RD Congo makes it even more heartbreaking.
MM: What is your favourite thing about being Congolese?
FM: The hype my nation gives when you’re on the dance floor Is out of this world, you should try party with Congolese people post lockdown or even attend one of our weddings, trust me you won’t turn back.
MM: What are 3 foods or drinks from Congo that everybody should try once?
FM: Pondu (kasava)
MM: How would you describe Congolese style and fashion?
FM: Loud and extremely extra! It’s because Congolese men overdo everything they dramatize suits and its just a lot – but it works for us.
MM: Which Congolese song is on your playlist today?
FM: Quite alot actually because Congolese people are the life of the party but I’ll go for Loi by Koffi Olomide
Last but not least – if you could teach us any phrase in your home language, what would it be?
FM: Ko sakana na nga te (lol)😂😂 means don’t mess with me.
Ferriera was also kind enough to share some poetry, written by his friend and compatriot, which reflected on the journey which the DRC has endured:
It’s not as ABC or 123 when you are Congolese,
It’s a struggle of survival each day,
Congo a country with rich minds,
The pain and struggles of the youth is detrimental,
The pain and struggles of the elders are at a different state,
Tomorrow brings different challenges than yesterday,
Yet Congo stands tall again and again.
A country so beautiful and blissful,
A county so greatful for daily blessing and life,
An amazing unity within the night continent rich in history,
Past leaders who strived to fight against the oppressors,
A country that our families emerged from,
Struggled and became victorious throughout the challenges they faced,
The new generation of earthlings is the generation of change.
Many circumstances have been surpassed by the hero’s and heroines who brought us in this world,Simon Nsilulu
Teachings of love and kindness,
Teachings of forgiveness and tenderness,
Hate and prejudice is thing of the past in the youth of today,
Support and non hypocritical thoughts,
African giants have been born in a country of transformation,
Congolese people form a strong bond together that apart,
The flag 🇨🇩 has meaning, just like everyone who has pride in the land♥️.