MALAKI MA KONGO is one of the rare African cultural meetings (in the modern sense of the term) made in Congo by artists’ and men of culture’s sweat and funds.
These artists and men of culture, therefore, mean to preserve their expression of freedom and independence inside all of their artistic and cultural work.
The festival’s organization and especially its orientation do not want to have influences or inspirations that are external to the African cultural logics.
In Kikongo language MALAKI means festival, kermesse.
Unlike Matanga, which contains tanga for its root (singing) and which lasts two days, Malaki has laki for its root (date or program), and consequently people get ready to a one or two weeks long party. Time, this one, which corresponds to eight days, according to Kongo calendar: such calendar in fact counts only four days (nsila, bukonzo, mpika, tsaba).
Here is therefore our chance to present to the International audience our Kermesse made in Kongo.
Unpublished spectacles inspired by the rich African territory’s tradition. Living, eating, drinking, talking as in the old good time of cultural virginity, that one before the Portugueses’ arrival. Going time backwards and remembering Ngoma ya Kongo, the party percussion accompanying crickets’ fields and frogs’ fanfare to excite the goat-suckers night dances.
MALAKI MA KONGO is the return to the origins through theatre’s magic: camp fire, tam-tams’ choirs, rattles’ rolls, shakes’ shocks, because life itself swings and waves in an unknown trance, the frenetic waltzer of black skins under lightbugged nights.
We live all this, tasting biyoki, cane sugar and pineapple beer; mbulu and ntsamba (palm wine), all spiced by kola (cola), in powder and grain; and, why not, even by mundiondo (local root).
MALAKI has already known many editions, 7 of which were held in M’foa Brazzaville in Congo Rep. For war reasons, one edition was held in Kinshasa, Congo Dem. Rep.; another one in plain forest in Mbanza Ndunga; inthe last year the festival is held on three continents. The first and last show are always around a big campfire.
Created in 1991 in M’foa, Brazzaville, Rep. Congo, Malaki Ma Kongo was initially born as an African culture roots’ festival including different kinds of shows, story-telling etc. However, its main axis has always been theatre.
Although inspired to Kongo culture – which Malaki wants to be known and appreciated – the festival is open to the world’s cultures… The first and last show are always made outdoor, around a big camp fire.
Malaki ma Kongo is a “pret à porter” festival, able to move not only from country to country, but recently also from a continent to another.
Malaki has already known artists’ and men of culture’s participation from the two Congoes, Angola, Cameroon, Zambia, France, Ghana, Guadeloupe, South Africa and Italy.
Since early, Malaki got well developed into school’s and University’s environments, religious meetings’, big communities’ or ethnical minorities’ communities searching for deep Africa’s knowledge.
Malaki experimented the ethical tourism of Return to the Origins and it organized conference-debats; excursions; pilgrimages; shows; special dinners; exhibitions; seminars; research and initiation ateliers; etc. And all this keeps being organized any time is possible.
MBONGUI MALAKI MA KONGO is an adulterine child of North-South International cultural relations of the 80’s. Such relations’ balance was negative. On one side, these relations couldn’t give up to the International exchange system founded on the strongest one’s dictat logics; on the other side, these relations allowed themselves to be overcomed by privileged and personal relations with States’ leaders and groups.
Sony Labou Tansi, one of the privileged partners in the 80’s France/Africa cultural relations, summarizes such exchanges through these words:
“Cooperation is a Pandora box, an we haven’t yet found the key to open it”.
Malaki represents this key, that we dare to present to humanity
for Man to cease being wolf to Man.