Lisapo The Congolese Tales
A Unique Oral Histories Project with the Congolese Community in Greater Manchester
Watch the Lisapo performance in our two fantastic videos.
Lisapo – The Congolese Tales is a live musical oratory featuring song, spoken word, narration, moving image and community. It tells the powerful story of the Congolese migration to Britain as a result of the destabilisation of their country and consequent civil war.
The event took place at Band on the Wall in June 2014 and was developed and produced by Community Arts North West with community members, artists and a dedicated team of volunteers. The project was funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Manchester City Council.
The performance was filmed by Clive Hunte (Busha Productions) with Bedos Mavambu and Alex Nicolaides and edited by Leah Llewellyn (Memorabeleah)
Watch the highlights in this short video
Or watch the full performance
This Friday (22nd August), representatives from the LISAPO team will be joining charities, musicians, fashion designers, comedians, poets and creatives from across the world at the Cre8 Centre in London for Passion For Motherland 2014. We’ll have a stall at the event with all things LISAPO for guests to discover and take away – our magazine, DVDs of our show in Manchester earlier this year, recipe cards, photos of the LISAPO project and more. Come find us for a chat!
Curated by top model, mother and human rights campaigner Lisette Mibo, PFM is an annual fundraising fashion showcase celebrating the best in Congolese culture with a very special programme of events. This year, the night will raise money for Menelik Education, a charity that works in the United Kingdom and the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure that vulnerable children, and young women in particular, have access to the educational, emotional and social care and opportunities they need to lead happy, healthy lives. With Congolese cuisine, prize raffle give-aways and what are sure to be some amazing performances – we can’t wait!
Some tickets are still available at £10 (£7.50 students, £15 on the door): http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/passion-for-motherland-a-vibrant-night-of-live-music-fashion-and-poetry-tickets-7462656005?aff=es2&rank=1
Check out the programme on the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/604337846351414/?fref=ts
Join us for a FREE film screening of our sell out musical oratory – LISAPO: the Congolese Tales.
The venue capacity is only 100 – so turn up early, as it’s first come, first served!
Get a sneak preview of the documentary we’re putting together about the making of LISAPO.
LISAPO – The Congolese Tales tells the powerful story of Congolese migration to Britain through music oratory; featuring song, spoken word, moving image, theatre and dance.
This special performance was created through a participatory arts heritage project with Music Director, Tyndale Thomas MBE; Libretto and Direction by Cheryl Martin; Vocal Leader, Emmanuela Macholi Yogolelo; Drum Maestro, Pat Mackman and Moving Image by Gary Stewart and Leah Llewellyn.
Featuring special guests Les Sapeur Congolais – the very elegant persons of DR Congo.
This performance was inspired by 29 oral histories from the Greater Manchester Congolese community who has been migrating to Britain since the late 1980s as a result of the destabilisation of the country and consequent civil war. Recorded in 2013, they now form a permanent public record.
Tuesday 29th July 7pm
Join us for the Lisapo web broadcast live from Band on the Wall, Saturday 28 June at 7pm (GMT +1)
With live text chat in English and French
LISAPO – The Congolese Tales tells the powerful story of Congolese migration to Britain through music oratory; featuring song, spoken word, moving image, theatre and dance. This special performance has been created through a participatory arts heritage project with Music Director, Tyndale Thomas MBE; Libretto and Direction by Cheryl Martin; Vocal Leader, Emmanuela Macholi Yogolelo; Drum Maestro, Pat Mackman and Moving Image by Gary Stewart and Leah Llewellyn.
Featuring special guests Les Sapeur Congolais – the very elegant persons of DR Congo
The performance is inspired by 29 oral histories from the Greater Manchester Congolese community who has been migrating to Britain since the late 1980s as a result of the destabilisation of the country and consequent civil war. Recorded in 2013, they now form a permanent public record.
Don’t miss this unique celebration of Congolese culture and heritage!
A Great feature on Jean Blanchard Azip, MC one of the participants from phase one – the oral histories
Click here for the full aticle
The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict took place last 10th to the 13th of June. The special Envoy was fronted by the Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie who succeeded in bringing together 1,700 delegates and 129 country delegations and 79 Ministers.
I also managed to go down to the event at the ExCel Centre London; take a look below at some of the beautifully inspiring images and performances I managed to capture:
Programmes for the 3 days:
Beautiful Bows, Bangles and Clips from Nigeria:
The Girl Be Heard stand asked passers by to write on a blue card why they thought girls should be heard. It was really interesting to read so many different thoughts.
Girl Be heard is a charity organisation that provide a safe space for girls ages 12-21 to write and perform their own work. Girl Be Heard attended the ESVIC summit to raise awareness through their show stopping stomp performance which highlighted the issues of Rape, Death and trauma in the DR Congo.
Renowned Congolese doctor and founder of the PANZI hospital Denis Mukwege, attended the summit for a question and answer session entitled “An audience with Dr Mukwegeo”. For more on Mukwegeo visit our article here.
I also met up with the wonderful Shana Mongwanga from AfricaLives!
So there you have a it, a collection of positive images for you to engage with. I hope by seeing these pictures that you have been inspired to become part of the movement, and raise awareness about the dreadful goings on not only in the DR Congo however also in other Countries in Conflict areas too.
To find out more about the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict Areas visit the Gov.uk page here.
There’s just over a week to go till Congolese Independence Day (June 30). Which can only mean one thing – there’s even LESS time to go till LISAPO: The Congolese Tales hits Band On The Wall with a live arts event celebrating the cultures, histories and people of Manchester’s thriving Congolese community. We can’t wait! Make sure you get your tickets before they go: http://bandonthewall.org/events/4365/.
In the meantime, here’s something to tide you over through the countdown to the day itself. We were so inspired by all the wonderful things we learned about Congolese women in our ‘Spotlight On Congolese Women’ series that we thought we’d share some more of the DRC’s most impressive individuals. Introducing: five men from the DRC! Question is, did you know they were Congolese? Take a look…
1. Vincent Kompany: Footballer & philanthropist
Vincent Jean Mpoy Kompany – star player at Manchester City FC, humanitarian and Manchester University student.
Not only is Kompany part Congolese, he’s also now (courtesy of a 2008 transfer to Manchester City FC) a Manc! Our kind of guy. His father, Pierre Kompany, is from Kinshasa, and his mother Jocelyne is Belgian. Between them they obviously had the right genetic coding for soccer stardom: both of the Kompany sons went on to become top class footballers, and Christel Kompany (Vincent’s sister) is the chairman of BX Brussels, a youth football team with an ethical lens that the Kompanys founded in their home town. As team captain at Man City, Kompany led the blues to an exciting Premier League win on homeground earlier this year.
With so much of his public profile centred on his million-dollar feet, its easy to forget about all of the offside action going on in this Belgian-born ‘baller’s head. When he’s not on the pitch, Vincent can be found in the library – he’s a part-time Business Administration student at Manchester Business School. He is also an international ambassador for the Congolese branch of SOS Children’s Villages, a charity that provides parentless children with a loving home in an SOS village.
2. Eddie Kadi: Creative comedian
Eddie Kadi – Comedian, actor, radio presenter, musician.
Born in Kinshasa, DR Congo in 1983, Eddie Kadi is cleaning up the UK comedy scene with his unique light-hearted, unpredictable, laugh a minute style. He has played sell-out gigs at London’s Hammersmith Apollo, Indig02 and Hackney Empire, and won a heap of different awards for being such an all round funny man. But it’s not only laughs he’s after – Kadi’s creativity extends far beyond the borders of comedy. He studied Media Technology at Kingston University, has appeared in films like Anuvahood (2012), presented radio shows for 1Xtra and Choice FM, voiced various characters for TV and film, and worked with Senegalese-American rapper Akon and UK artist Sway on different social and musical projects. Phew – busy guy!
Check out this hilarious clip of him at BBC3’s Comedy Empire:
3. Fabrice Muamba: the A-grader
Born in Kinshasa, Fabrice Muamba had a successful career playing for Arsenal and Bolton Wanderers football clubs from the age of 15. He was forced to retire from football two years ago, after he miraculously recovered from a near-death experience: his heart stopped beating for an hour following his collapse during a Bolton football match.
However, Muamba has not let the discovery that he suffers from a rare heart condition hold him back from a career in sport, and is now studying towards a BA in Sports Journalism at Staffordshire University. He also has another new role – chief taste-tester for his wife Shauna’s brand new company: ‘Mrs. Muamba’s’ is a brand new range of seriously tasty looking Caribbean cooking sauces coming to a supermarket near you!
Fabrice has also spoken about his experiences of being forced to leave Congo aged 11 for UN World Refugee Day.
4. Mohombi: To Sweden, with style
Mohombi Nzasi Moupondo – Swedish R/N/B singer and dancer.
Raised in Kista, a small Swedish town on the outskirts of Stockholm, Kinshasa born Mohombi has become a huge success on dancefloors across Europe, North America and Africa. He’s performed at venues all over the world, and features the likes of Nicole Scherzinger on his tracks. Having started his musical career as part of a Swedish hip hop group, Avalon, recent years have seen him branch out into a distinct, dancehall-influenced sound for his solo studio efforts. Perhaps its no surprise that he moves between different musical styles so fluidly – he does, after all, speaks five languages (Lingala, Swahili, French, Swedish and English)!
5. Merveille Lukeba: Screen star
Merveille Lukeba – UK-based film and TV actor
Born in Kinshasa in 1990 and raised in South London, Merv has racked up an impressive list of acting credits over the past 8 years. Fans of the BAFTA-winning E4 teen drama Skins will recognise him – in perhaps his biggest role to date, Merveille played troubled Congolese immigrant Thomas Tomone in the hit series’ 3rd and 4th seasons.