In line with its mandate to develop the African creative ecosystem, the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), met with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as well as stakeholders from its creative industry, recently, in the capital city of Kinshasa, to discuss possible ways to protect the globally-renowned heritage of Congolese Rumba.
Recall that the Congolese Rumba was, in December 2021, added to the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) list of world intangible heritages, sparking conversation into the need to protect the iconic genre, which has long been revered as the soundtrack of Congolese history.
AFRIMA delegates from its international secretariat, based in Lagos, Nigeria, including; Mike Dada, executive producer and president; Olisa Adibua, associate producer; and Victoria Nkong; AFRIMA regional director, Central Africa; Ernest Ewane Egnon; AFRIMA juror representing Diaspora Northern America, as well as Matlou Tsotetsi, AFRIMA international executive committee member, met with Didier Mazenga; Minister of Integration, DRC; Catherine Kathungu Furaha, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage and Yvette Ngandu Kapinga, Commissioner in charge of Education, Health and Culture, Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), in the DRC Capital of Kinshasa to discuss a partnership, which would see Rumba spotlighted to Africans and the rest of the world as a sound of the future.
Furaha, who received the AFRIMA team with enthusiasm, lauded the initiative, adding that it will be beneficial to allow the Congolese Rumba to play a role in the unification of Africans, as well as develop the entertainment industry in the Central African region.
Dada appreciated the DRC hosts, noting that the partnership was strategic and vital as a prelude to the Biennale of the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence, which is scheduled to be held in Kinshasa at the end of the year.
“AFRIMA, which is celebrating its eighth edition, in November, this year, has always been a beacon of hope for the African creative industry. As the rest of the world celebrates our popular music, it is important that we honour and safeguard our pioneering and iconic genres, which have shaped our global image for several decades. The Congolese Rumba is such a powerful genre that is at the risk of being forgotten by the current generation of music lovers in Africa, and it is our responsibility as a pan-African body to showcase it and transfer this heritage to our younger music lovers,” Dada said.