Read On

Fed up with Conrads' Colonel Kurtz and done with David van Reybroucks epic history of the Congo? There is more to entertain you.

The German journalist Andrea Böhm has travelled the Congo intensely and met many different people. She tells stories of a boxing-trainer for women. Where Muhammed Ali lost the legendary "Rumble in the Jungle" fight, she talks to victims of violence and to desperate miners and mixes her portraits and impressions with pieces of Congolese history. 
Andrea Böhm: Gott und die Krokodile, Eine Reise durch den Kongo. Pantheon: München 2011

Since 1985, the Belgian writer Lieve Joris has visited the Congo many times. A great-uncle of hers had been a missionary in the then Belgian colony. Her travel diaries and novels offer a rich insight to everyday life and contemporary politics. Her novel "The Rebels Hour" tells the fictionalised story of a warlord. Years after her first trip to the Congo, Joris became interested in the relationship between Africa and China. For her book "Op de vleugels van de draak" (On The Wings of The Dragon, 2013), Joris travelled between Africa and China, immersing herself in the world of Africans and Chinese who venture into each other's territory in the slipstream of big business contracts. 
Lieve Joris: Die Stunde der Rebellen, Malik 2008
Lieve Joris: On The Wings of The Dragon, 2013

But we have the music. Fiston Mwanza Mujila is a poet full of speed, rhythm and male slang. Born 1981 in Lubumbashi/DRC, he lives and teaches African Literature in Graz, Austria. His first novel "Tram 83" is named after the rotten bar, where a whole bunch of losers hang out, get drunk every night and dream of diamonds and sex with the chicks or single-mamas. Amongst the characters: a nice lunatic writer without a glimpse of a chance and his former friend, who went to war and came back a rich and brutal guy...
Fiston Mwanza Mujila: Tram 83, Zsolnay 2016