Friday, February 19, 2016

Congo: a Divided capital & country

Divided country

Congo like almost every other country on the African continent, that I have visited, is a divided country. The ordinary and majority poor masses are in one part of the country, while the minority “happy few”, form the next or other part of the country. They also have two distinct conducts. This is not geographic. When an ordinary Congolese man or woman says he or she loves you, it is real and sincere. However, whenever any Congolese elite expresses approval or says that he or she loves, you should question whether he or she is sincere or just laughing or making a mockery of you.

Professional lairs

In fact, most Congolese elite are an embodiment of insincerity, hypocrisy or a trinity. For what he or she says: is most often not what he/she thinks. In other words, what an elite Congolese tells you is more often than not, different from what he/she thinks and acts in a totally different manner. They are professionals in disguising or confusions and also blurring their real personas. It also a country whose elite are professionals in lies telling and manipulations, coupled with blackmail. In short, most of their elite are liars, they lie as they breathe. It is a country where there is no truth and where rumors and lies are considered as truth. These is partly so because,  freedom of speech is suppressed and those leading or ruling the country are themselves people who seldom speak the truth or are not honest and also enjoy hoodwinking their own very friends and allies. In other words, lying is a second habit of most Congolese elite.

Land of rumor mongers

This is the only country in the world, I believe, where people are rented or hired to lie, spread falsehood, spread rumor and blackmail adversaries or political rivals, especially within the political and economic field. It is an attitude that has spread into the social fabrics of the people. This is how it works. Whenever a political opponent wants to destroy the character of another one or blackmail, the richer or more astute one, will high rumor mongers, who will be put or asked to board all the lines of the Green and White painted buses, plying the streets of the country’s two biggest cities very early in the morning. These buses are usually full. The hired falsehood propagators therefore start to spread their venomous lies against a designated person. Before it is mid day, the entire city and country is agog with a lie that is considered as truth. It was Jean Bruno Richard Itoa MP and minister of Scientific Research of Congo who told me about the above technique, that he has been a victim of himself.

Divided capital & country

It is in this unique country that was formerly the capital of French-speaking colonial Equatorial Africa and also of France during the German occupation that I stayed. Congo, I also discovered, is the only county where, there is no cardinal point geographically. You are either from the north of the country or from the south. There is no east or west. In its capital, Brazzaville, known for its provincial calmness and little or no insecurity, the divide or untraced Maginot line between the north and south is located or can be seen at the French Cultural Centre otherwise known or abbreviated as the CCF. South or behind the French cultural centre of Brazzaville is located the large neighborhood called BasCongo. And BasCongo is the most industrious and vital part of the city. BasCongo is also the cultural and intellectual part of the city of Brazzaville and also the country. It is the home of one of Congo’s best writer: Sony Labou Tansi.

Barren north Brazzaville

To the North of CCF is located the northern part of the city of Brazzaville and it is also home to those ruling the country. The north of Brazzaville, besides having record number of night clubs, places of leisure and pleasure, large buildings and the latest or trendy SUVs, there is nothing cultural or intellectual  or attractive there to offer.  The northern part of Brazzaville, besides the Poto-poto School of fine arts  or Ecole de Painture de Poto-poto that is paradoxically run by people from the south of the city, it is barren intellectually and culturally. The city and country is also divided linguistically. The north speaks in majority Lingala language, while the south speaks the “Lari language” that stands for Langue Africaine de Renommer International or the Monokituba language, which is spoken in the greater Deep South. Even the job orientation in Congo is divided regionally. While the southerners who are more educated are in the civil service, albeit as junior staff, but doing all the jobs, whereas northerners who are less educated and lovers of easy life have flooded the army and the police. And northerners, who are more uneducated, are more often than not, chief of services and bosses within the administration. 

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