Malaki Scholastic

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Culture in the school environment

- "You come from Con­go and you from Ivory Coast…?
…and you've had nev­er met before.…?

And voila, the short­est way between Braz­zav­ille and Abid­jian pass­es through Tori­no, Parigi or Limo­ges…

"If we (from South Africa) have prob­lems, it is because of apartheid… but you, inde­pen­dent since 1960, what's wrong with you? What under­mi­nes your devel­op­ment?"

The­se two phras­es - pro­nounced at the time when Masen­go ma Mbongolo's par­tic­i­pat­ed to the African Fes­ti­val in Italy (1987) and Switzer­land (1988) - rep­re­sent­ed amo­ment of depp think­ing.
The first phrase - repeat­ed­ly pro­nounced by Ital­ians - and the oth­er one - iso­late­ly said by a South African artist - were the drop mak­ing the vase over­flow­ing and caus­ing this kalei­do­scope named MALAKI MA KONGO  to be born.

1990, the the­atre group named Kon­go Dia Ntote­la was cre­at­ed, a group claim­ing the orig­i­nal sources, because - in Masengo's opin­ion - Africa's mis­for­tune is due to the fact that Africa got far away from its ori­gins. That's why the youth's world was cho­sen as an elect­ed place.

The first act was that of accept­ing the chal­lenge launche by the two above phras­es through a the­atre piece enti­tled:  Braz­za Kin­shasa Via Paris, a Masen­go ma Mbongolo's and Nzey van Musala's - from Con­go Kin­shasa - co-writ­ing.
This piece was exe­cut­ed by the Pool Male­bo Kon­go Dia Ntote­la group from Braz­zav­ille.
Final­ly LUMUMBA and Franklin BUKAKA's prophe­cy had come true: the Con­go river ceased to be a fron­teer for remeta­mor­pho­size itself into a boule­vard unit­ing the two Con­goes.

The piece was exe­cut­ed in many schools of the two world's clos­est cap­i­tal cities: Braz­zav­ille and Kin­shasa. The suc­cess met by the­se ini­tia­tives con­tin­ued into a big­ger ini­tia­tive that want­ed to approach not only the Con­goes' cap­i­tals' youth only any­more,  but also the artists  of the whole Cen­tral Africa.

It hap­pened that way that Nzey's and Masengo's fol­ly - sup­port­ed by the Kinshasa's Ger­man coop­er­a­tion - will­ing to orga­nize in plain Con­go river, on the Mbamou island's Fes­ti­val - an island sit­ed between Braz­zav­ille and Kin­shasa - got unfor­tu­nate­ly reduced - because of Brazzaville's patrons' will - to an inter­na­tion­al school the­atre fes­ti­val, fol­low­ing the  cir­cum­stan­cial part­ner ACDL's (Cul­tur­al Alliance for School Institution's the­atre) will.

This hybrid fes­ti­val became how­ev­er an high meet­ing place for the schools youth from cen­tral Africa. Young school theatre's tal­ents from Gabon, Cameroon, Rep. Cen­tral Africa, Con­go Kin­shasa and Con­go Braz­zav­ille became beau­ti­ful­ly alive.

As in all cas­es like this one, this abort­ed fes­ti­val didn't know but three edi­tions. Once more, in a teared up by war-coun­try, war had the best on artists' pas­sions.

In 1997, all Masengo's savoir faire was need­ed to get anoth­er school fes­ti­val rise up from FITES' ash­es, a fes­ti­val that could -  this time - be free from all colo­nial, eco­nom­i­cal, artis­tic and espe­cial­ly the­mat­ic entan­gle­ments. A true Scholas­tic Malaki  ma Kon­go  called Grand Prize of School The­atre.

The Malaki School was held by the LAAC. Malaki ma Kon­go cul­tur­al cen­tre was opened.

Such cen­tre pro­mot­ed cul­tur­al activ­i­ties (fes­ti­val, dance, the­atre, sto­ry telling, exhi­bi­tions, poet­ry…) and had as its own basis for the sale of local food prod­ucts.

The cen­tre pro­mot­ed, inside the numer­ous school build­ings, the fol­low­ing 6 the­atre pieces:

  • Herb bass or the hand­i­capped person's con­di­tion
  • Mar­t­in Luther King's dream
  • Call from Ténéré
  • The Mat­suanist Will
  • Braz­za Kin­shasa via Paris
  • The Pharaons' Gospel
  • Igno­rance trap

To ful­fill our needs, we set up - in col­lab­o­ra­tion with LAAC Amil­car Cabral Agri­coltur­al High School 's com­e­dy stu­dents - the fol­low­ing activ­i­ties:

  • Restau­rant - African cuisine among LAAC's orchards
  • African culture's ate­liers
  • Agri­cul­tur­al works (kitchen gar­dens and exchange with Amil­car Cabral Agri­cul­tur­al High School' s
  • DIDACTICIEL Infor­mat­ics Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter
  • Bib­liote­que spe­cial Kongo's cul­ture

In Italy

Dur­ing Malaki's fes­tiv­i­ties in Nove di Bas­sano (VI), schools were once again solicit­ed and the stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing to this cul­tur­al exchange look today at Africa from a dif­fer­ent angle.

We also worked sev­er­al times with pri­ma­ry schools (teach­ing dances, the­atre and drums to kids) and held con­fer­ences at the Uni­ver­si­ty "La Sapien­za" in Rome and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Pad­ua.