A conversation with Mutombo Nsenji, recorded February 10, 1974, at J. Fabian’s home in Lubumbashi.
F: [recording starts in mid-sentence]...ku: ku:...
M:... sawa vile nilianza kazhi/
F: mu mwanzo: wee ulizaliwa wapi?
M: ah: niko na miaka: nilizaliwa mu: dix-neuf-cent-trente: trente-et-un/
F: mm/ na wapi?
M: nilizaliwa na: Mweka/
F: kule Mweka/
F: Mweka mwenyewe ao: ao mu: mu mugini?
M: mu mugini: njo kusema: mu ville/
F: mu ville?
F: mu ville ya Mweka/
M: ya Mweka: ndiyo/
F: na bazazi: na bazazi balikuwa ku: kule: kutumika kazi ao?
M: hapana: banaikala tu bule/ beko banalima/
F: balilima kule?
F: mu trente-et-un/
M: mu trente-et-un: ndiyo/
F: kumbe: kiisha ulika: ulikala kule?
M: aah kiisha: mi nilikalako: minaanza kufwata masomo: minaisha masomo: sasa njo...
F: ... masomo gani? ma: ma:
M: minaisha sixième/
F: sixième: ah?
F: ... kule ku nani: bape: bamonpères?
M: ku: eeh: ku bamonpères/
| 1. F: ...to, to (tell)...
M: ...how I started out with work (as a painter).
F: First, where were you born?
M: Well, I am not young, I was born in 1931.
F: Mm. And where?
M: I was born in Mweka.
F: There in Mweka.
F: In Mweka itself or in a village (nearby)?
M: In a village, or rather, in town.
F: In town?
F: In the town of Mweka.
M: Of Mweka, yes.
F: And your parents, did they have a job there?
M: No, they had no job, they farmed.
F: They farmed there?
F: In ‘31/
M: in ’31, yes.
F: So then you lived there?
M: Yes, I lived there, I started going to school, I finished school, and then it was...
F: ...(you finished) school at what level?
M: I finished sixth grade.
F: Sixth (grade)?
F: Primary (school)?
F: ... with the missionaries there?
M: Yes, with the missionaries.
M: sasa njo pale minaanza kucontinuer na kufunda hii kazhi ya: ya nani: ya ku
F: kule ku masomo?
M: eeh/ ku masomo/
F: balikuwa na école d’art ao?
M: école d’art/ ya Mweka/
F: école d’art ya Mweka?
F: na: [pauses] ya mon: ya monpères?
M: ya monpères: ndiyo/
F: vile vile/
F: nani alikufundisha pale?
M: Père: Père Floribert/
F: aliisha kufa?
M: aliisha kufa/ eeh/
F: na muli: ile wakati mulifunda namna gani: muli: mulikuwa na: mulianza namna gani? ile mafundisho ya peinture/
M: mafundisho tulianza hivi/ tulianza: mbele alianza: ya kuonyesha sawa couleurs/
M: eheh: ya kupindula couleurs/
M: sasa: njo anaanza kuonyesha: anaanza kufanya croquis/
M: mufwate hivi: shee tuko tunafwata/ kiisha: njo: njo tunajua/ sasa njo tunaanza ku: kudessiner/
M: eheh/ njo kusema: nilifunda: ya école d’art: nilifunda ku miezi: munane/
F: miezi munane?
F: mu mwisho ya: ya ile masomo ungine?
M: eheeh/ ku mwisho ya ile masomo ingine/ ile inaisha sixième/
M: alafu ile: tunacontinuer na nani: ya école d’art/
F: mm/ mulikuwa bamingi?
M: ah: tulikuwa bantu: makumi mbili/
F: makumi mbili/ mm/
F: na balifundisha paka peinture? ao: ao:
M: eeh: balifundisha: peinture/ kulikuwa bangine: bakuchonga:
M: eeh/ kulikuwa bangine bakufanya bintu sawa kushuka: bakufanya bintu sawa ya nani: ya: hii ya baKuba/ bile: bile beko banavwala ku: ku: kichwa sawa nani: sawa chapeau/
M: eeh/ beko banafanya: alafu shee: tulifunda paka ya penti/
F: kushuka matapis ao?
M: eeh: matapis/
| 2. M: So then I continued to study this work of painting.
F: At the school there?
M: Yes, at school.
F: Did they have an art school?
M: An art school, of Mweka.
F: A school of art at Mweka?
F: And [pauses] that was (also run) by missionaries?
M: By missionaries, yes.
F: Who taught you there?
M: Father Floribert.
F: He is dead now?
M: He died, yes.
F: Long ago.
F: And, in those days, how did you study, how did you begin with the study of painting?
M: We began with the study like this: First we were shown mix (lit. to stir) colors.
M: Yes, how to mix colors.
M: Then (the teacher) began to show us how to do sketching.
M: You go like this (he said) and we followed (his instructions). Then, when we knew (how to do this) we began drawing.
M: Yes, I studied at art school for eight months.
F: Eight months?
F: That was after finishing (primary) school?
M: Yes, after finishing that other school, the one that ended with sixth grade.
F: I see.
M: But then we went on with art school.
F: I see.
F: Mm. Were there many of you?
M: Well, there were twenty of us.
F: Twenty, mm.
F: And they only taught painting, or?
M: Yes, they taught painting (but) there were some who did carving.
F: (Some) who did carving?
M: Yes, and others did weaving, like those baKuba things, the ones that are worn on the head, like a hat.
F: I see
M: Yes. That’s what they did but we just studied painting.
F: Was this tapestry weaving?
M: Yes, tapestry.
| 3. F: mm/ na ile wakati ile: muliuzisha ka:
ile ile: bintu balifanya?
M: ndiyo tuliuzisha/
F: kwa nani?
M: niliuzisha: mbele: minaisha hivi: minauzisha ku hôtel ya Mweka: kulikuwa Madame: eeh: Mad: Madame Mandrine [?Madeleine] ehh/ oui/ Madame Mandrine/ alikuwa na hôtel/
M: bon/ sasa minafanya ile: na ile tableaux: minamuuzisha tableaux makumi mbili/
F: makumi mbili?
M: eheh/ anaweka mu: mu nani: mu:
F: mu mo:
M: mu: mu nani: mu bar/
M: eeh/ sasa ingine: alinielezea ingine: nitatuma ku bulaya/
F: mais ikuwa: ilikuwa ma: tableaux ya namna gani? ya:
F: paka paysages?
M: eh: paka paysages/ haikuwa ya namna ingine hapana/
F: mais ile wakati ulianza: ulikuwa na modèle moya ya: ya kufanya?
M: hapana: nilikuwa minafwata tu modèles inaachana/
F: na uliikala na bazazi: ile wakati?
M: ah: ile wakati: minaachana na bazazi/
M: eeh/ maneno bazazi balibakia ku...
M: [overlapping] ...?...
F: beko kris: kris: eh: bakristiani?
M: eeh: eeh/ ndiyo/
F: beko bakristiani/
M: eeh/ sasa banakwenda kuikala ku quinze kilomètres na beko banalima/
M: eeh: sasa mi minabakia mu ville/
F: ile lugha yabo ilikuwa nini?
F: balisema lugha gani?
M: balikuwa nasema tshiKasai/
F: tshiKas: aah tshiKasai gani?
F: si njo bamingi? tshiKasai gani? tshiLuba/
M: tshiLuba: tshiLuba ah oui/ balikuwa nasema tshiLuba/
F: na balikuwa ya: ya: ya nkundi gani? bene: bene gani?
M: balikuwa: Bakwa Kalonji/
F: Bakwa Kalonji aah/
F: mm/ Bakwa Kalonji/
| 3. F: Mm. At that time, did you sell the things that were
M: Yes, we sold them.
F: To whom?
M: After finishing school I first sold (my paintings) at the Hotel Mweka. There was a lady, Madame Mandrine -- yes, that was her name – Madame Mandrine. She owned the hotel.
M: Alright. So I did those paintings and sold her twenty of them.
M: Yes. She put them up in – what is it again...
M: In the bar.
F: I see.
M: Yes. And that she told me, I’m going to send others to Europe.
F: But what kind of paintings were they?
F: Only landscapes?
M: Yes, just landscapes. There was no other kind among them.
F: But when you first started out, did you follow a certain model when you painted?
M: No, I used to follow different models.
F: Did you live with your parents at the time?
M: Well, at that time I was no longer with my parents.
F: I see.
M: Yes, because the parents lived...
M: [overlapping] ...?...
F: Were they Christians?
M: Yes, yes they were.
F: They were Christians.
M: Yes, At the time they had gone to live fifteen kilometers away and were farming.
F: I see.
M: Yes, while I stayed on in town.
F: What was their language?
F: What language did they speak?
M: They spoke tshiKasai.
F: Yes, but what kind of tshiKasai?
M: What do you mean?
F: Aren’t there many kinds of tshiKasai? Which one was it? There is tshiLuba...
M: TshiLuba, yes, tshiLuba. They spoke tshiLuba.
F: And what was the group they belonged to? What kind of bene were they?
M: They were Bakwa Kalonji.
F: Bakwa Kalonji, I see.
F: Mm. Bakwa Kalonji.
| 4. kumbe u: wee uliisha: ile wakati uliisha
kuacha: ilikuwa sawa quarante: quarante-cinq? quarante-cinq?
M: oui oui/ ilikuwa ku quarante-cinq/ ndiyo: quarante-cinq/
F: vita bado kuisha?
M: eeh: vile vita inaisha/
M: eeh/ ku quarante-cinq/
M: eeh/ sasa minatoka kule: njo be: njo minaanza ku: kupanda huku/ maneno ule natshingaliki tu maungo: maungo kidogo/
M: eheh/ nilikuwa hivi: minakuya: minaikala mu: mu nani: mu Mwe: nani: mm: Kamina/
M: eheh/ sasa minaanza kucontinuer kufanya paka ile tableaux yangu ile niko nauzisha/
F: mais: pa kufika Kamina: uliikala wapi? ulikuwa ku: na: na banduku kule?
M: eheh/ nilikuwa na banduku Kamina/ mu: njo kusema mukubwa yangu ule nilifwata wa mukongo/
F: ku KDL?
F: eyo/ kumbe uliikala kule?
F: miaka mingi?
M: ah hapana/ niliikala tu miaka mbidi/
F: miaka mbili?
M: eheh/ minatoka: minakuya huku/
M: ndiyo Elisabethville/
F: [overlapping] mu mwaka gani? [chuckles]
M: njo kusema ni mille neuf-cent: eh: mu: mu sa: mu: mu quarante-neuf/
F: ulifika hapa?
M: eeh: nilifika hapa/ njo mu soixa: eh: mu cinquante: tunaenda ku Port Elisabeth/ na ule mukubwa yangu ungine ule tulifanya naye hii tableaux/
| 4. So, when you stayed behind (after your parents moved)
this was around forty-five?
M: Yes, it was in forty-five. Yes, forty-five.
F: The war was not over yet?
M: Yes, the war was about over.
F: It was over?
M: Yes, in forty-five.
F: I see.
M: Yes. Then I left and began to move up here. In fact, I was still quite young.
M: Yes, the way it was, I (first) lived in –what was it again? – in Mwe(ka), or rather in Kamina.
M: Yes, that was when I went on to paint my pictures and sell them.
F: But when you came to Kamina where did you stay? Did you have relatives there?
M: Yes, I had relatives in Kamina, an older sibling, the one (born) before me.
F: (Did he work) at KDL (railway company)?
F: I see, so you lived there?
F: For many years?
M: Ah, no. I just stayed for two years.
F: Two years?
M: Yes, then I left and came to this place.
M: Yes, Elisabethville.
F: [overlapping] What year was that? [chuckles]
M: That was in nineteen, wait, in forty-nine.
F: You arrived here?
M: Yes, I arrived here. (Then) in sixty, or rather in fifty, we went to Port Elisabeth, together with that other older brother of mine with whim we painted these pictures.
| 5. F: oui/ mais mbele: mbele ya: yake: mais:
pa kufika hapa/
F: ulikutana maartistes ingine?
M: aah nilikutana artiste [with emphasis] moya/
M: eeh/ wa Brazzaville/ jina yake ni Paul/
M: eheh/ alikuwa nafanya humu/ njo kusema yee njo: alikuwa paka yee moya/
F: [overlapping] Paul: na jina ingine?
M: Paul: alafu jina ingine: maneno ali: alikuwa Camerounais/ alafu shiyue jina ingine hapana/
M: shiyue: oui/
F: Haroun? non/
M: maneno a: mbele alikuwa natumika ku: MASS/
F: ku MASS/
F: MASS ni nini?
M: alikuwa commis/ kama: maneno société ilikuwa humu mu ville humu: MASS/
M: eheh/ njo kule alikuwa natumika/ sasa: anaacha hii: anaanza kutumika paka tableaux yake maneno humu mbele balikuwa nauza tableaux sana/
F: tableaux ya namna gani?
M: alikuwa nafanya paysages byote hibi ya Gécamines: bantu: bintu tu yote ana...
F: ...ile wakati balifanyaka Gécamines?
M: ndiyo/ ilikuwa huku/ ya hapana: ilikuwa nani: eeh/
F: Union Minière?
M: Union Minière/
F: mais ile tableaux balifanyaka?
M: hii? eeh/
F: hata zamani?
F: na mapaysages: na...
M: ...na byote tu eeh/
F: alafu Mamba Muntu?
M: Mamba Muntu hapana hapana hapana/ Mamba Muntu ni sasa/
F: tutasumbulia juu ya Mamba Muntu/
M: [overlapping] eheh/ Mamba Muntu ni sasa/
F: kumbe ile Paul/ Paul: alikuwa Car: Camerounais?
M: eheh/ ndiyo/
F: aliisha kwenda sasa?
M: aliisha kwenda/
| 5. F: Yes, but before that, when you came to this place.
F: Did you come across other artists?
M: Well, I met an artist, [with emphasis] only one.
M: Yes, someone from Brazzaville, by the name of Paul.
M: Yes, he was painting here. He was the only one.
F: [overlapping] Paul, and what was his other name?
M: Just Paul, his other name – he was from Cameroon – I don’t know his other name.
F: (Could it have been) Haroun?
M: I don’t know – yes.
F: Haroun? No (it wasn’t).
M: He had been working at MASS.
F: At MASS.
F: What was this MASS?
M: He was a clerk, there was a company here in town (called) MASS.
M: Yes, that is where he was working. Then he quit that (job) and began to paint because they used to buy many pictures in this place.
F: What kind of paintings?
M: He did landscapes, all those pictures of the Gécamines, of people, everything he...
F: ... at that time, they were doing (pictures of) Gécamines?
M: Yes. It was here. Except, what was it called?
F: Union Minière?
M: Union Minière.
F: But they painted this (kind of) picture?
M: This kind? Yes.
F: Even that long ago?
F: In forty-nine?
F: And landscapes and...
M: ... and all, yes.
F: What about Mamba Muntu?
M: No Mamba Muntu, no, no. Mamba Muntu, that’s now.
F: I see.
F: We are going to talk about Mamba Muntu (later).
M: [overlapping] Yes. Mamba Muntu, that’s now.
F: So there was this Paul. Paul, he was from Cameroon?
M: Yes, he was.
F: Now he has gone away?
M: He went away.
| 6. F: bon/ ulifika hapa: [pauses] ulikutana
na: ulikuwa tena na banduku hapa?
M: ndiyo nilikuwa na nduku/
F: mm/ kumbe uliikala na: kwa: nduku/
M: eheh: niliikala kwa nduku: jina yake Lufuluabo Paul/
M: Paul: eheh/
F: mm/ ku Gécamines?
M: hapana/ mu: mu cité/
F: mu cité/
F: mm/ c’était cité gani?
M: cité ya nani: ku: commune ya Kenia/
F: Kenia: Kenia/
F: mm/ kumbe uliikala:
F: uliku: ulikawa tu kijana?
M: eheh: ndiyo/
F: bon/ na: hapa: pa kufika hapa: ulianza tena ile kazi yako ya:
M: minaanza paka hii ya artiste hii/
F: na ba: nani aliuza ile: ile wakati?
M: hii: ya humu?
M: baliuza kwiko: [pauses] eh: baliniuza tu ya mi kwiko: Monsieur moya alitoka ku: ku Zambia/ jina yake: Monsieur Dekost/
M: eheh/ aliuza tableaux miiingi: ya: ya kufikisha huku: trois cent/
F: trois cent?
M: trois cent tableaux/ alienda naye asema: alinielezea asema minakwenda kufanya exposition: ku Port Elisabeth/
F: Port Elisabeth?
F: mm/ Port Elisabeth: mu Afrique du Sud?
M: Afrique du Sud ndiyo/
F: kule chini?
M: eheh/ niliisha kufikamo/
F: wee uli: ulienda kule?
F: mu: mu: mwaka gani?
M: njo kusema tulienda mu cinquante: njo kusema cinquante-et-un/
F: cinquante: cinquante-et-un?
F: nani: nani: nani alienda? wee na?
M: miye na Tshibangu Ignace/ mukubwa yangu/
M: eeh/ na artiste tena/
F: paka wee: mwee mbili? bangine vile vile?
M: hapana/ paka shee mbili/
F: na nani ali: alilipa ticket?
M: ule alilipa ticket? ni Ignace/ ule mukubwa yangu/ maneno yee alikuwa mbele yangu/
F: mais ile wakati: [pauses] iliwezikana ku: kutembea vile: ku: kwenda kule ku...
M: ...balikuwa banakataza kwa kutembea tu bule/
M: kwendako tu bule/ asema kama uko na kazhi/
M: unakwenda kufanya kazhi kule: njo tutakupa nani: mukanda ja njia/ njo: laissez-passer/
F: oui mais: alafu mulipata hii kazi namna gani?
M: eeh/ tulipata: maneno: pale mi nilikuwa artiste/
M: na yee: artiste/ sasa tunakwenda: tunakwenda kuomba mukanda ya njia ya kwenda naye/
M: eeh/ sasa banaangaria ku mikanda asema aah bon: muzuri: maneno mwee munakwenda kufanya kazhi yenu: mwende/
F: ku Port Elisabeth?
M: ku Port Elisabeth/ mbele tunatoka hapa: tunaikala mu Ndola/
M: eheh/ un jour/ njo tunapanda mashua: Bulawayi:
M: eheh/ kutoka Bulawayi: Francistown:
M: eeh/ kutoka Francistown: Port Elisabeth/
F: Port Elisabeth?
F: [pauses, to himself] Fort Elisabeth: Port Elisabeth/ alikuwa na: karibu na: bahari?
M: eh: njo eko karibu na nani: Océan Indien/
F: Océan Indien/
F: ile ile fasi/ nilipita kule/
F: nilipita/ na uliikala: kule uliikala eeh: miaka gani?
M: tuli: tuliikalako miezi tatu/
F: miezi tatu bule?
M: miezi tatu tu bule/
F: kuikala wapi?
M: eh? tunaikala mu cité: ku banduku yetu bangine: maneno ule muntu: alituandikia adresse/
M: adresse ya ku nyumba/
F: kumbe baKasai kule?
M: ndiyo/ alikuwa infrimie/
M: njo kule tunakwenda kufikilia/
F: hata sasa banaikala tena kule?
M: hapana/ aliisha kutoka/
F: aliisha kutoka/
F: na mulisema lugha gani?
M: eh? sasa tunaanza kusema nayee paka tshiLuba/ alafu kule: kulikuwa paka: English/
M: eeh/ mais tulikuwa tunasikia: alafu kwa kusema:
F: kumbe mulitumika kule?
M: eeh tulitumika pale tableaux hii/
M: mais balikuwa banauza sana/
M: sasa: njo pale tunarudia huku/ sasa: mwaka ya sasa:
M: njo kusema: ile Makuta tulikuwa naye:
M: awa ya kufanya sawa hii matableaux: sasa haienda muzuri hapana: haitembea muzuri hapana/
| 6. F: Alright. So you arrived here. [pauses] Did you have
M: Yes, I had a relative.
F: Mm. So you stayed with your relative.
M: Yes, I stayed with a relative, his name is Lufuluabo Paul.
M: Paul, yes.
F: Mm. (Was this) in the Gécamines (workers’ settlement)?
M: No, in a township.
F: In a township.
F: Mm. Which township was it?
M: It was in Kenia township.
F: Kenia. Kenia.
F: Mm. So that’s where you lived.
F: You were still young?
M: Yes, I was.
F: Fine. So when you came to this place you resumed you work as a (painter).
M: I just worked as an artist.
F: And did (people) buy (paintings) at the time?
M: People from this place?
M: There was one who bought (my paintings), a certain Monsieur by name of Dekost who came from Zambia.
M: Yes. He bought a lot of paintings, close to three hundred.
F: Three hundred?
M: Three hundred paintings. He went away with them, explaining to me, I am going to organize an exposition in Port Elisabeth.
F: Port Elisabeth?
F: Mm. Port Elisabeth, in South Africa?
M: South Africa, yes.
F: All the way down there?
M: Yes. I have been there.
F: You went there?
F: What year (was that)?
M: We went in fifty, in fifty-one.
F: Fifty, fifty-one?
F: Who went, you and?
M: Me and Tshibangu Ignace, my older brother.
F: I see.
M: Yes. He was an artist, too.
F: Only the two of you or were there others?
M: No, just the two of us.
F: And who paid for the ticket?
M: The one who paid the ticket? That was Ignace, this older brother of mine, because he was already there before I came.
F: I see.
F: But was it possible at that time to move around like that and go there to...
M: ... it was forbidden to just move around.
F: I see.
M: Just to go to a place without a purpose. If you had work.
F: I see.
M: If you went there to work then (the authorities would say) we’ll give you a travel permit, a laissez-passer.
F: Yes, but how did you get this job?
M: Well, I got it because I was an artist.
M: And he (my brother) also, so we went to ask for a travel permit.
M: Yes. So they looked at the papers and said, alright, fine, because you go there to work in your profession, you may go.
M: We went.
F: To Port Elisabeth?
M: To Port Elisabeth. When we left here we first stopped in Ndola.
M: Yes, for one day. Then we took the train to Bulawayo.
F: I see.
M: Yes, from Bulawayo it was to Francistown.
M: Yes, from Francistown, Port Elisabeth.
F: Port Elisabeth?
F: [pauses, to himself] Fort Elisabeth, Port Elisabeth. Was that close to the sea?
M: Yes, it’s close to the Indian Ocean.
F: The Indian Ocean.
F: That’s the place. I passed through there.
F: I went through. And how many years did you stay there?
M: We stayed there for three months.
F: Just three months?
M: Just three months.
F: Living where?
M: What? We lived in a township with some other relatives of ours. The one (we stayed with) had written down his address for us.
F: I see.
M: His home address.
F: So there were people from the Kasai there?
M: Yes. (Our relative) was a male nurse.
M: That’s where we went when we arrived.
F: Right now, are they still living there?
M: No, he left.
F: He left.
F: What language did you speak.
M: What? With him we would speak tshiLuba but the language there was just English.
M: Yes. We could understand it, but as to speaking...
F: So you worked there?
M: Yes we worked, painting these pictures.
M: People bought a lot of them.
M: Then we came back here. That was in the same year.
M: What I’m saying, the money we had.
M: The money we made with the paintings – there was a moment when things did not go well.
| 7. F: ya sasa?
M: eheh/ sasa....
F: zamani ilikuwa gani?
M: zamani ilikuwa natembea muzuri sana/ tutaweza kuuza: utaweza kuuza hata manguo: bintu ya kudya muzuri: sasa: sasa: hapana/
F: mais: bale baliuz: baliuza: ile wakati: balikuw: balikuwa bazungu?
M: ndiyo/ balikuwa banauza sana/
F: mais bantu? bantu...
M: ooh: ba: bantu hapana/ ile shiku: bantu hapana/ hata moya/
F: hata moya/
M: eheh/ bantu hapana/ paka bazungu/
F: kumbe: muliikala kule mwezi paka: sababu ya nini paka: mwezi tatu?
M: tulilala mwezi tatu juu ya kusema: maneno ule: ule tulikwenda naye:
M: alikuwa na boga asema aah: maneno: huku ni mbali: sasa tuanza tu turudie/
M: eheh/ njo pale tunarudia naye/
M: nilimuelezea mi minasema: tuikale/ asema hapana hapana: turudie/
M: eheh/ njo pale tunarudia naye/
F: tu: mulirudia/ kiisha: uliikala hapa?
M: kiisha: paka humu/ minaikala paka humu/
M: eheh/ sasa minaanza kufanya tu paka hivi polepole: iko natembea polepole: na sasa tu/
F: na sasa/
| 7. F: (Are you talking about) now?
M: Yes, now...
F: So how was it before?
M: Before, things went very well. We were able to buy clothes, stuff to eat well – nowadays not anymore.
F: But the ones who bought (paintings) at that time, they were Europeans?
M: Yes, it was above all Europeans who bought (them).
F: But what about Africans (lit. people)? Africans...
M: Oh, not the Africans. In those days, it wasn’t Africans, not a single one.
F: Not a single one.
M: No. No Africans, only Europeans.
F: I see.
F: So you stayed there (in Port Elisabeth) only for three months, why?
M: We spent (only) three months because of my companion.
M: He was afraid. This so far away here, let’s go back.
F: I see.
M: Yes. So I went back with him.
M: I talked to him insisting we should stay. He said, no, let’s go back.
M: Yes. Therefore I went back with him.
F: So you returned. After that you stayed here?
M: After that I just stayed here.
M: Yes. Then I began to do my painting, slowly continuing with it up to this day.
F: Up to this day.
| 8. F: sasa: uli: ulioa bibi: mwaka gani?
M: eh: nilioa bibi: paka mu cinquante mule/
F: mu cinquante?
M: ule bibi wa mbele: sasa: tuliachana naye/
F: bukweli kunaisha?
M: eheh: bunaisha/ maneno yee hapana kuzala hapana/
M: eeh/ sasa wa pili: nilimuoa mu: mu ci: eh: njo kusema mu cinquante-sept/
M: cinquante-sept/ sasa tuko naye na batoto: ba: batoto inne/
M: eheh/ bangine mbili: banakwenda/
F: baliisha kukomea?
M: hapana/ tu: ...?...tudogo/
M: eheh/ bale banaisha komea/
F: mm/ [pauses] na unaikala mu: Kamalondo sasa?
M: eh: haba: eh?
F: ile ile commune unaikala/
M: mu Kenia/
F: mu Kenia tena?
F: mm/ uko na nyumba yako?
M: hapana: niko tu paka nyumba ya...
M: eheh/ juu: nyumba ile nilipata mbele ya mbele: bananidanganya/
M: maneno ya: pale tulienda sawa: ile shiku ya vita mu soixante/
F: ah mulipashwa ku:
M: eheh/ sasa tunakwenda/
M: eh/ pale tunakwenda: kurudia: nyumba banaisha kudanganya/ ku ustaki wapi: bon: kupata moyen ya kupata nyumba: difficile/
F: [overlapping] hapana/
F: nani alikamata?
F: bo benyewe?
M: eeh bo benyewe banakamata/
F and M: [laugh]
F: kumbe sasa unapashwa kulipia?
M: eheh: sasa niko nalipia/
| 8. F: Now (another question), when did you marry you wife?
M: Well, I married my wife there in fifty.
F: In fifty?
M: That was my first wife, we were separated.
F: The marriage ended?
M: Yes, it ended because she had no children.
F: I see.
M: Yes. The second one I married in fifty-seven.
M: Fifty-seven. Now, with her we had children, four of them.
M: Yes. Two of them have left.
F: They left?
F: (Because) they had grown up?
M: No (not all of them). The small ones (are still with us).
F: The small ones?
M: Yes. The others are grown up.
F: Mm. [pauses] And you live in Kamalondo township now?
M: (You are talking about) them?
F: (No, I mean) the part of town where you live.
M: In Kenia township.
F: Still in Kenia?
F: Mm. Do you own your house?
M: No, I just have a house which I...
M: Yes. Because I was cheated out of the house I had before.
F: How so?
M: It happened when we left during the war in sixty.
F: Ah, you had to (leave).
M: Yes. So we left.
M: Well, when we came back the house had been taken away. Going to court was useless and to find the means for a house is difficult.
F: [overlapping] No way.
F: Who took it away?
M: The government.
F: The government?
F: Single handed?
M: Yes they took it single handed.
F and M: [laugh]
F: So now you have to rent?
M: Yes, now I rent.
| 9. F: mm/ mu ile: ile miaka mingi: ulitumika
tu kazi ya: ya artiste?
M: ya artiste ndiyo/
F: haukutumike: kazi ingine?
M: kazhi ingine nilifanya: pale niliona kazhi haitembee muzuri hapana/
M: bon: niliingia ku: ku Monsieur Liko: Monsieur Lezar: Monsieur Lezar: Monsieur Liko/ kule beko banafanya ma: fenêtres na bi: minaanza kazhi ya ajusteur/
M: eheh/ sasa minatumikako miezi: eeh: miaka mbili: minatoka/ minaanza kutumika paka kazhi yangu ya: dessinateur/ sasa minatoka kule: eh: minaona tena habitembee muzuri hapana/
M: minaanza kutumika ku: ku Beroti Fer/ paka kazhi ya ajusteur/
M: eheh/ minatumika weee: miaka: miaka mbili/ minatoka/ njo sasa minaanza kufanya tu paka ile matableaux/
F: tangu: tangu: miaka gani sasa?
M: miaka niko naye sasa?
F: non non: hii: hii: tangu: tangu: ile kazi ya:
M: ya ajusteur?
F: uli: ulianza:
M: aah oui/ ya: kuko: kuko ne: ni mu soixante-deux/ soixante-trois/ ku Monsieur Liko/
M: eheh/ bon: sasa: soixante: soixante-cinq/ ku: kwa nani: Beroti/
F: kiisha uli: uliacha mu soixante: eeh:
M: mu soi...
F: ...soixante-sept ao?
M: soixante-sept à soixante-huit/
M: eheh/ sasa: njo kuanza...?...
F: unatumika tu kule: ile kazi ya:
M: paka hii kazhi ya nani:
F: ya peinture/
M: ya peinture/
| 9. F: Mm. During all those many years you only worked as
M: As an artist, yes.
F: You didn’t work in another job?
M: I took a job when I saw that my work (as an artist) did not go well.
M: Alright, so then I got employment with Monsieur Liko – or was it Monsieur Leza? – Monsieur Liko it was. They made windows and things like that. I began as a metal worker.
F: Metal worker.
F: I see.
M: Right. So I worked for two years and then I left and began to work as a painter. The reason why I left the job was that I saw that things were not going too well.
M: So I went to work for Beroti Fer, again as a metal worker.
M: Yes. I worked (there) for two years. Then I quit and from then on I just painted these pictures.
F: Since then – how many years (would that be)?
M: (You mean) how many years (old) I am now?
F: No, no. Since you had this job as...
M: ...metal worker?
F: Since you began (to paint only).
M: Ah yes. Alright, in sixty-five I was with Beroti.
F: Then you left in sixty...
M: ...in sixty...
F: .. in sixty-seven, right?
M: (I worked there from) sixty-seven to sixty-eight.
F: I see.
M: Yes. Then I began...?...
F: ...?... in sixty-eight?
F: (From then on) it was this work...
M: Only this work...
F: Of painting.
M: Of painting.
| 10. F: sasa inaonekana kama bantu banau: banauza/ mm?
zamani balikuwa tu: bazungu/ mais: sasa:
M: sasa bantu benyewe habauze hapana/ beko banauza tu [with emphasis] kidogo/
M: eheh/ mais habauze: habauze sana sana hapana/ haitembee tena muzuri hapana/
F: wee uli: una: kila kila juma unafanyaka matableaux ngapi?
M: kila juma?
M: bon: nitaweza kufanya tableaux: [pauses] quinze/
F: mm/ kumi na tano?
M: eheh/ alafu ka: unafanya hivi quinze eh?
M: njo kusema kama uko nafanya: unaenda naye banauza: iko muzuri/
M: unafanya: binaikala: unaanza kutembeatembea: wapi: kuuza hapana/
F: si njo unatembea mara ingine kama bana: ile siku ya malipo?
M: ya malipo mais:
M: par chance/
M: utaweza tu: bataweza ku: kununua ao mbili: tatu:
F: ku: ku Gécamines: bananunua?
M: ah beko bananunua tu:
F: hapana mingi?
M: mm/ hapana mingi hapana/
F: na bazungu sasa: bananu: bananua mingi?
M: kulikuwa bazungu: balikuwa bananunua sana: juu ya: beko banafanya hivi: banatosha/ eh?
M: kwa mbele kutuma/
M: eheh/ mais tuli: tulionana muzungu ingine aliuza ya mingi/ aliuza kama ni: trente hivi/
M: bon: alienda naye/ alinielezea asema...
M: eeh/ ni Belge/ alisema kama minarudia: nitakuwa kuuza tena/ na kule alienda alienda lote/
M: yee hapa kuya tena hapana/
F: mm/ a: na hapa sasa: uko na bazungu ingine banauzisha: bana: banauzaka?
M: wapi/ sasa hapana/
M: sasa: mais: kidogo/
F: kidogo/ sawa wale wandugu kule: si njo?
M: eheh: huku eeh/
F: bo baliuza?
M: baliuza eh/
F: na bengine?
F: bengine wapi mu: mu ville? hapa:
M: mu ville sawa ngambo ya kule: baliuzaka mbidi/ siku ingine/ mais: pa kuuza iko sasa ya rarement: mais njo kusema: hii bintu niko nafanya:
M: maneno sasa: mi shina na: ao na: muzungu sawa client ya kupatana naye: uko namufanshie: eh?
M: ya mingi: yee iko nafanye: njo: vile kama kama: iko nafanya vile: kazhi itaweza kutembea muzuri/ sasa kazi iko inatembea tu bule kabisa/
F: bule bule/
| 10. F: Nowadays it appears that Africans buy (paintings).
Mm? In the past it was only Europeans but now...
M: Africans as such don’t buy, no. They buy [with emphasis] very little.
M: Yes. But they don’t really buy a lot. Things are not going well anymore.
F: How many pictures do you paint per week?
M: Every week?
M: Alright. I can do [pauses] fifteen paintings.
F: Mm. Fifteen?
M: Yes. However, you may do fifteen, right?
M: When you do your rounds and people buy them that’s fine.
M: (But it can happen) that you paint and the stuff just sits there. You keep walking around, nothing happens. (People) don’t buy.
F: Don’t you make your rounds sometimes on payday?
M: On payday, still...
F: I see.
M: If you are lucky.
M: People will buy two or three.
F: How is it at Gécamines, do they buy?
M: Ah, they do, so-so.
F: Not a lot?
M: Mm. No, not a lot.
F: And the Europeans nowadays, do they buy many (paintings)?
M: There used to be Europeans who bought a lot. What they did was take them off (the stretchers), you understand?
M: Before sending (them away).
M: Yes. I was acquainted with one European who bought a lot, something like thirty (paintings).
M: So he went away with them. He told me...
F: (Was he) a Belgian?
M: Yes, he was Belgian. When I come back, he said, I am going to buy more. And wherever he went he went for good.
M: He never came back.
F: Mm. And how about right now, do you have some European customers?
M: No way, not now.
M: (Well there are some) but few.
F: Few. For instance those friends (of ours) over there, didn’t they (buy some)?.
M: Yes, (those who live) here, yes.
F: They bought (some)?
M: They did, yes.
F: And others?
F: Where, here in town?
M: In town, over there, they bought two (paintings) the other day. Still, the kind of things I do are seldom bought these days.
M: Because nowadays I don’t have a European customer in the sense that we get together and you work for him, you understand?
M: (Doing) a lot. If he would do that my work could go well. But nowadays business is really bad.
F: Really bad.
| 11. F: kumbe: ile unaona kama: [pauses]
zamani: ni paka bazu: bazungu ba: baliuza/
F: sasa bantu banaanza kuuza/
M: banaanza kuuza eeh/
F: sawa vile kutembea ku: manyumba ya bantu: eh? minaona: bamingi beko na: tableaux yako/
M: eeh beko naye/
F: na ile: ile: tableaux banapendaka: zaidi: ni tableaux gani?
F: paysages? bantu?
M: bantu eeh/
F: banapendaka paysages/
M: eh: oui oui/ bantu banapenda [pointing to paintings]: Gécamines/
M: bangine banapenda: eh: nani? huyu/ huyu wa fimbo/ na nani? na Mamba Muntu/
F: na Mamba Muntu/
M: njo bile banapenda ku bantu/ [points to paintings] paka ile: na ile: na ile/ ba: ile ya: nani: sawa paysages: kidogo/
F: aah/ mm/
| 11. F: So, the way you see it, [pauses] in the old days
only whites bought (paintings).
F: (Whereas) now Africans begin to buy them.
M: They are beginning to buy, yes.
F: Visiting African homes I observe that many have your paintings.
M: Yes, they have them.
F: And which are the paintings they like most?
F: Landscapes? Africans (like them)?
M: Africans, yes.
F: So Africans like landscapes.
M: Well, yes. Africans like [pointing to paintings] (pictures of) Gécamines.
M: Others like – what is it again? Yes, this one, the Whip. And what else? Mamba Muntu.
F: And Mamba Muntu.
M: Those are the ones that are popular among the people. [points to paintings] This one, and this one, and this one. These landscapes not so much.
F: Ah. Mm.
| 12. F: sasa: ile: [pauses] wee: hauna na: na mutoto ao
muntu ingine ya ku: kukusaidia hapana?
F: kwa fa: kwa kuuzisha: tableaux/ bengine minaona: bengine artistes: beko banatumika: na: na beko na: mutoto moya:
M: eheh/ banakwenda kuuzisha eh/
F: kwenda kuuzisha/
M: mais: maneno batoto: nilibeba batoto bangine mbili: kuniuzishea: wapi/ banakwenda tu:
M: mm/ kumuona tena hapana/
M: anakwenda tu ...?.../
M: aah yeye/
F: sasa: ahm: [pauses] ile: kama unafanyaka: tableaux kumi na tano: kila juma/
F: unauzisha yote?
M: kwa kuuza: njo iko difficile/ utaweza kufanya juma moya: tableaux vile kumi na tano/ alafu pa kuuzisha: utaweza kufanya: awa: mi: miyenga tatu/ ao mbili/ mu: pa kuuza: ao bata: utaweza kubakia ao na tableaux mbili/ pa kuuza unatembeatembea: unatembeatembea: leo: hapana/ ao leo: moya/ ah shiku ingine mbili/ shiku ingi: [claps]
| 12. Now, [pauses] You don’t have a child or some other
person to help you?
M: Oh no.
F: With selling paintings. I noticed that other artists work with a youngster.
M: Yes, (youngsters) who go around selling.
F: Going around and selling.
M: About youngsters – I took on two of them so they would sell (paintings) for me – that was a flop. They just went away.
M: Mm. Never to be seen again.
M: He just went away...?...
M: Ah, that one.
F: Now, [pauses] if you paint twenty-five pictures every week.
F: Do you sell them all?
M: About selling, that’s difficult (to tell). In one week you may do twenty-five paintings but, as far as selling them, it may take you three weeks, or two, (and in the end) you may still be left with a couple of paintings. To make your sales you keep walking around and around. One day (you sell) nothing, on another day one, next day two, and so on. [claps]
| 13. [pauses] sawa ile kazi unafanya sasa: ya artiste:
F: ku: ku mecho yako/ inaachana kwa kazi ingine namna gani?
M: ya artiste eh? kwa sasa: inaachana/ juu: haba: hakuna ba kuuza mingi hapana/
F: oui/ non/
F: ile ile minataka kujua ni: kama unaona: wee ulifanya kazi ingine/ sawa ajusteur ulifanya/
F: sasa hii kazi ya: ya bantu ya kazi: sawa kazi ya mu Gécamines: na ao kazi: kazi ya nani: ya ajusteur:
F: iko inaachana: na: kazi ya artiste namna gani?
M: inaachana maneno kazhi ya rej: ya artiste eh? kama uko na fashi muzuri ya kutumika uko na fanya: beko nauza eh?
M: yee: kazhi ya artiste ina: inapita/
F: kupita namna gani?
M: inapita kazhi ya...?...
F: oui mais kupita namna gani?
F: kupita namna gani?
M: juu ya kupata ma: ma: nani: Makuta/
M: eheh/ [pauses] eheh/
| 13. [pauses] The work you are doing now, that of an artist.
F: In your eyes, how does it differ from other kinds of work?
M: (The work) of the painter you mean? Nowadays it is different because there are not many customers.
F: Yes, but no...
F: What I want to know – when you look at other kinds of work, for instance, when you were a metal worker.
F: The kind of work that the employees of Gécamines do, or a job as metal worker.
F: How does it differ from the work of an artist?
M: It is different because an artist’s work, if you have a nice place where you can work, you paint, and people buy, right?
M: In that case an artist’s work is better.
F: How so, better?
M: It is better than...?...
F: Yes, but how?
F: In what way is it better?
M: In terms of making money.
M: Yes, [pauses] yes.
| 14. F: uliona: sawa bangine unaona: kazi ya: ile ile: kazi
ya matableaux ya: artistes ingine/
F: sawa unaona namna gani? beko: bengine beko: banajua kazi yabo: bengine habajue mais: tutajua namna gani?
M: maneno ile: inafanya: muntu: sawa vile anafunda/ kwiko bangine: yee hapana kufunda mu masomo hapana/
M: bangine iko nafunda tu: kuangaria tu: sawa muntu anafanya hivi: njo anaanza kufanya/ anauza tu iko muzuri: awa banapita naye banauza: anasema aah kumbe mina: minajua/
M: eh/ alafu kwiko bangine: sawa sawa muntu anawa: wa: wa: anaisha kufunda: yee anayua kwa kufanya kazhi muzuri: ao kuyua: hii: hii kintu iko namna gani/
M: hapa: hapa peko: peko: peko: faute/ hapa peko muzuri: hapa peko muzuri/ alafu kwiko bangine: wa: iko nafanya tu bule/ yee: yee hapana yua hapana/
| 14. F: You have seen the work, the paintings of other
F: How do you look at it? Are there are some who know their work while others don’t – but how will we know which is which?
M: About that – a person paints as he learned (his work). There are some who did not learn it at school.
F: Mm. Some learn just by observing how someone paints and begin to paint himself. If he sells that’s fine. If people come and buy he’ll tell himself, ah, this means I know (how to do it).
M: Yes. But then there others. Such a person has studied and he is competent in his work. He knows what it is about.
M: (He knows) this part is wrong, that part is good. But there are others who just paint without knowing the difference.
| 15. F: uko na: ulikuwa kufundisha bengine ba:
M: mi nilifundisha bantu mbili/
F: bantu mbili/
F: beko wapi?
M: beko: ungine iko ku Likasi/
F: ku Likasi?
F: jina yake ni?
F: Kayembe/ mm/
M: kwiko ingine: ungine aliisha kwenda: ungine njo kusema iko Bulawayi na sasa/
F: na Kasai?
F: beko Kasai?
M: beko Kasai ndiyo/
F: anaikala kule Bula: Bulawayo:
M: eheh/ iko nafanya paka matableaux/
M: eeh/ sasa eko na chance/ njo kusema: eko na Makuta sasa ya mingi maneno kule: beko nauza tableaux kabisa/
| 15. F: Have you taught others?
M: I taught two persons.
F: Two persons.
F: Where are they now?
M: One of them is in Likasi.
F: In Likasi?
F: His name is?
F: Kayembe, mm.
M: Then there is the other one, he left and is now in Bulawayo.
F: (Did the two also come) from Kasai?
F: They are from Kasai?
M: The are from Kasai, yes.
F: (One of them) lives in Bulawayo.
M: Yes. He does paintings.
M: Yes. He is lucky, he has lots of money now because down there paintings sell really well.
| 16. F: uliona: mapeintres ingine ya hapa Zaire: bengine baliuzishaka: matableaux kwa bazungu na bei: bei muzuri? uliona kama peintre mara ingine alipata nyumba yake: na voiture: na sawa vile commerçant? alikuwa:
ni kusema peintre kuwa na: na utajiri: na Makuta mingi: uliisha: uliisha:
uliisha kuona vile?
M: hapana/ njo kusema eh? peinti: kama anakuwa tu na mali mingi: njo kusema anafanya ile ka: njo kusema hapana kazhi ya pe: ya nani ya peintre hapana/
M: anafanya mu kazhi ingine/
F: anafanya mu kazi ingine/
M: ao anapata bintu ingine: anauzisha: njo anapata: mingi/
| 16. F: Have you seen that other kind of painters here in Zaire, those who sell their paintings to Europeans for a good price? Have you ever met a
painter who got his house and a car, like a businessman? A painter who is
rich, with lots of money – have you ever seen something like that?
M: No. What I’m saying is if a painter is rich he did not make his wealth by working as a painter.
M: He made it with other work.
F: He made it with other work.
M: Or gets other things he sells and that’s how he makes a lot.
| 17. F: acha nitafunga kule:
F: njo vile makelele/ [walks away to close door] ile: ile: tableau kule [points to painting on the wall] ...?...unafahamu peintre yake?
M: ule alifanya?
M: alafu shiyue kama ni nani/ [pauses] ashimujua/
F: unaangaria namna gani?
F: iko muzuri ao?
M: mais: [pauses] haina muzuri zaidi/ mais iko muzuri kidogo/
F: mm/ na ile: ile ingine?
F: ya Kanyemba/
M: aah hii iko muzuri/
F: hii ile muzuri?
M: yee anayua: yee alifunda/ minamujua/ huyu/
F: jina yake ni nini?
M: jina yake: kama ni Kanyemba/ minamujua tu ku: ku uso/ ku nsula/
F: ku nsula?
M: eh maneno nilimuona shiku ingine na matableaux/
F: hapa mu Lubumbashi?
M: nilimuonaka eeh/
M: zamani/ alafu kwa kusema: oui oui aliisha kufanya tu: na tena matableaux mingi: niliisha kuona matableaux yake mule chini/
F: mule chini wapi?
M: paka humu: mu Kenia/ ku muntu ingine aliuza hii/ yee: yee iko artiste/
F: Kanyemba Yav/
M: yee iko artiste/ Kanyemba? iko humu/
F: sasa iko mu Kolwezi
M: iko Kolwezi? ahh: c’est vrais/
F: na ile ni Mwenze/
M: huyu ni Mwenze?
F: Mwenze/ uliisha kusikia: jina yake?
M: jina yake: ndiyo/
M: Mwenze eeh/
F: na tena/ [pointing to other paintings]
M: kwiko bangine/ nani? ule: [looks at painting] Kasongo/ ule ni Kasongo? alafu mi: mi: mi hapana mujua hapana/
M: eeh/ kwiko bangine:
M: huyu minayua/
F: huyu: nani?
F: hapana/ ni: hapana/ si Ndaie/ ni Muteba/
F: asema Muteba/ tuko na ingine ya Ndaie/ [goes to look for it]
F: tuko naye/ ile ni Muteba/
M: aah ule ni Muteba/
F: mais tuko na ingine ya Ndaie/
M: mais wanafanya hii méthode moya/ na Ndaie/
F: Ndaie: unamufahamu?
F: munakutana na:
M: ndiyo/ ndiyo/ minamujua eh/
F: ile Kabinda?
M: alafu huyu mi sikujua hapana/
F: hapana/ Pilipile: Pilipili: uliisha: uliisha kusikia jina yake?
M: ndiyo/ maneno kuko baartistes mingi/ minaisha kushikia majina yabo/ Pilipili/ na kwiko ingine Mbaala: kama Mba: bamingi/
F: muntu wa Tchad/
| 17. F: Wait a moment I’m going to close (the door) there.
F: Like this it is (too) noisy [walks away to close door]. How about this painting there [points to painting on the wall], do you know who painted it?
M: The one who painted it?
M: I don’t know who this is. [pauses] I don’t know him.
F: What do you think of it?
F: It’s a good one, or?
M: Well, [pauses] not very good, just a little.
F: Mm. And this other one?
M: This one?
F: It’s by Kanyemba.
M: Ah, that one is good.
F: That one is good?
M: He knows (what he does), he had training. I know him.
F: You know him?
F: What is his name?
M: His name is something like Kanyemba. I just know him by sight.
F: By sight?
M: Yes, because the other day I saw him with some paintings.
F: Here in Lubumbashi?
M: I used to see him around, yes.
F: (Was this) some time ago?
M: Some time ago. Yes, yes, he has done lots of paintings, I saw them down there.
F: Down where?
M: Just here, in Kenia township, at the place of someone who bought these (paintings). He is an artist.
F: Kanyemba Yav (is his full name).
M: He is an artist. Kanyemba? He lives here.
F: Now he is in Kolwezi.
M: He is in Kolwezi? Ah, that’s right.
F: A Lunda.
F: And that one is a Mwenze.
M: This one is a Mwenze?
F: Mwenze. Have you heard his name?
M: His name, yes.
M: Mwenze, yes.
F: And there are others [pointing to other paintings].
M: There are others, who are they? This one [looks at painting] (it says) Kasongo. Kasongo? Him I don’t know.
F: I see.
M: Yes. There are more.
M: This one I know
F: This one, who is it?
F: No. No this is not Ndaie, it is Muteba.
F: It says Muteba (on the picture). We do have another one by Ndaie. [goes to look for it]
M: I see.
F: We have one but this one is by Muteba.
M: Ah, so this one is by Muteba.
F: But we have another one by Ndaie.
M: But they paint the same way. (He) and Ndaie.
F: Do you know Ndaie?
F: Have you met him?
M: Yes, I have. I know him, yes.
F: You do?
F: (And what about) this Kabinda?
M: That one?
F: That one.
M: Him, I don’t know.
F: You don’t. Pilipili. Pilipili, have you heard his name?
M: Yes. There are so many artists whose names I have heard. Pilipili. There is another one, Mbaala, or something like that – there are so many of them.
F: (Do you mean) Bela?
F: (Someone who was active) long ago?
F: He came from Tchad.
| 18. F: kumbe mu cinquante kama ulifika: uli: uliona bale
Mwenze: na Pilipili: na: nani: na: na Bela: balikuwa kutumika mu chap moya/
M: ba: Pilipili?
M: balikuwa banatumika chapu moya?
F: mm/ bale bote/ balikuwa na: na nkundi ya baartistes:
M: aaah oui/ eheh/
F: ile ile nkundi ulifahamu?
M: ndiyo minajua yee/
F: ku: balikuwa na muzungu moya/
M: eh balikuwa na muzungu eeh/ alikuwa nabafundisha/
F: ile muzungu: jina yake?
M: jina yake njo minasahabu/
M: aaah: oui/
F: uliisha kuona ile atélier kule/
M: ndiyo: hapana: shikuona: mi bado kuona na macho hapana naye/
F: mais ile wakati ya mu cinquante: mulikuwa bamingi? artistes bamingi hapa?
M: kulikuwa ba: na mu cinquante: kulikuwa bamingi/ kulikuwa: paka: Tshibangu Ignace:
M: na ule minakuelezea ule wa: ule wa Brazzaville/
M: eheh/ na: nani tena ungine? na Katumba Bernard/ aliisha kutoka: shiyue kama eko fashi gani/
M: na ungine: mmm: Tshimbala Ari/
F: Tshimbala Ari?
M: Ari/ eheh/ aliisha kwenda mais: maneno yee: ni muntu wa: Port Francqui/
F: ya Port Francqui ah/
F: Thimbala Ari/
F: na tena?
M: na bale bangine alafu shiyue majina yabo hapana/
| 18. F: So, when you arrived her in fifty, were you aware
of those (painters) like Mwenze, Pilipili, and Bela? The worked in the same
M: People like Pilipili?
M: Who worked in the same atelier?
F: Mm, all of them. The formed a group of artists.
M: Aah, yes. Yes.
F: Did you know that group?
M: Yes I knew it.
F: They were together with a European.
M: Yes, they were together with a European who taught them.
F: What was the name of that European.
M: His name I forgot.
M: Ah, yes.
F: Have you seen this atelier there?
M: Yes, well, no, I have not seen it myself.
F: But at that time, in fifty, were there many of you? Were there many artists here (in Lubumbashi)?
M: In fifty there were lots of them. There was Tshibangu Ignace.
M: And the one I told you about, the one from Brazzaville .
M: Yes, and then another one? And Katumba Bernard. He left, I don’t know where he is now.
M: And another one, mm, Tshimbala Ari.
F: Tshimbala Ari?
M: Ari. Yes. He left, he was from Port Francqui.
F: From Port Francqui, I see.
F: Tshimbala Ari.
F: And then?
M: There were others but I don’t know their names.
| 19. F: na hapa sasa? sawa una: unaona hapa sasa/
F: nani ni: peintre bien? na:
F: na humu/
M: Tumba Joseph/
F: Tumba Joseph?
M: mm/ eko humu: eko mu Bel Air/
F: mu Bel Air?
M: eko: eko artiste: eko anafansia ku nyumba/
F: ku nyumba/
F: kufanya: kufanya tableaux ya namna gani?
M: eko anafanya: njo kusema: paysages:
M: yote: ya ka: na nyama:
F: uko na adresse yake?
M: a: adresse ya ku nyumba shiyue hapana/
F: mu Chaussée gani: eko?
M: eko mu Chaussée de Kasenga/
F: Chaussée de Kasenga?
F: karibu na Chaussée de Kasenga?
M: eheh: karibu na Chaussée de Kasenga/
F: Tumba Joseph?
M: Tumba Joseph eheh/
F: pa kukutana naye: nitafanya namna gani? Tumba/
F: kama tunataka kukutana naye?
M: munataka kukutana naye?
M: ao miye: kama minamuona:
F: utuweza kumuelezea/
F: kumbe yee: unaona kama ni artiste: muzuri?
M: eko artiste eheh/ ni [with emphasis] wa zamani/ depuis: depuis quarante: depuis quarante-et-un/
F: Tumba Joseph?
M: oui oui/ depuis quarante-et-un/ yee iko paka artiste/ na sasa/.
F: hapa sasa?
M: na sasa eko paka artiste/ mbele: ali: aliacha ile ya artiste: anaanza kutumika/
F: mais ile: ile: eko mu nyumba yake?
M: eko ku nyumba: eko na nyumba yake eh/ nyumba yake ile: alipata mu hivi/ maneno: alikwenda: alikwenda ku Kasai: anakwenda kupata kama ni bintu gani/ anauzisha njo anapata nyumba/
F: Bel Air?
M: ku Bel Air/
F: kwenda Chausséé de Kasenga: ni mu gauche: ao mu: mu...
F: huku ku:
F: mu droite?
M: mu: mu: eeh mu droite/ paka: oui oui/ njo kusema: paka mu Bel Air/ pale peko trafour/
F: oui oui/
M: mu trafour/
M: eheh/ njo pale/ na alors pa nyumba mi shijue hapana/
F: Tumba Joseph/
M: Tumba Joseph/
| 19. F: And what about right now? What you observe now.
F: Who (among them) is a good painter?
M: Tumba Joseph.
F: Tumba Joseph?
M: Mm. He lives here, in Bel Air.
F: In Bel Air?
F: Is he (still) active?
M: He is an artist who does his work at home.
F: At home.
F: Doing what kind of paintings?
M: He does, I would say, landscapes.
M: All kinds, (sometimes) with animals.
F: Do you have his address?
M: His home address I don’t know.
F: On Chausée...
M: He lives on Chaussée de Kasenga.
F: Chaussée de Kasenga?
F: (Or) close to Chaussée de Kasenga?
M: Yes, close to Chaussée de Kasenga.
F: Tumba Joseph?
M: Tumba Joseph, yes.
F: How would I go about meeting him? Tumba.
F: If we wanted to meet him?
M: You want to meet him?
M: I (could arrange this). When I see him.
M: I’ll inform him.
F: I see.
F: You could inform him.
F: So him you regard as a good artist?
M: He is an artist, yes, and has been [with emphasis] for a long time, since forty, forty-one.
F: Tumba Joseph?
M: Yes. Since forty-one he has always been an artist, up to this day.
F: Right now?
M: Right now (he only works as) an artist. There was a time when he stopped (painting) and took a job.
F: But now he can be found at his home?
M: He is at home, he has his own house, yes. His house he got when went to the Kasai to get some stuff. He sold it and this is how he got his house.
F: I see.
F: Bel Air (is where he lives)?
M: In Bel Air.
F: Going down on Chaussée de Kasenga, is it on the left or...
M: ...here, (on this side).
F: On this side.
F: (So it’s) on the right?
M: It’s on the right yes, in Bel Air where you have that crossroads.
F: Yes, yes.
M: At the crossroads.
M: Yes, that’s where it is. (But) I don’t know where (exactly) his house is.
F: Tumba Joseph.
M: Tumba Joseph.
| 20. F: na tena?
M: eeh: ungine?
M: ungine hapana/ kwiko naye: bangine bamingi/ alafu: paka haba njo bale mina: minajua njo...
F: na Ndaie unafahamu/
M: Ndaie/ ndiyo/
F: njo: si njo artiste?
F: na bengine?
M: na: Ndaia: naaa: kwiko bangine kidogo kidogo: alafu nitabaelezea/
F: una: unafahamu majina yabo?
M: ndiyo/ paka ule Ndaie: na ungine: Katumba/
M: Katumba/ na ungine:
F: Katumba aliisha kwenda/
M: hapana: eh: Katumba ungine/
M: hapana ule hapana/
M: eko: beko paka mu: mu Katuba/ nitabalezea kama minamuona/
F: oui oui/ ni muntu muzee ao muntu anaisha...
M: ...hapana ya: eko angariki na maungo kidogo/
F: Katumba/ [pauses] ungine?
M: mmm: habana: bale maneno: bale bangine beko banafanyafanya bintu ya bulebule/
F: ya bulebule: sawa: nani: Kapenda/ unamujua?
M: Kapenda? Kapenda minamujua eeh/
F: Kapenda: ile: ile na tableaux yake kule: ku Route de Munama/
M: aah oui: oui oui/ ule anatandikaka matableaux: minajua/
F: na Nkulu/
M: na Nkulu eheh/
M: Nkulu njo anafanyaka matableaux [turns to look at paintings] shiyue mwee bado kuona tableaux yake ya:
F: tuko naye/ tuko naye/
M: muko naye?
F: na tena nani? Tshibumba/
F: Tshibumbu/ Tshibumbu/
M: ahah oui/ minamujua/ minaisha kusikiliza...?...
F: anaikala wapi?
M: anaikalaka mu: non anaikalaka Ruashi/ mu Ruashi/
F: Ruashi ao Ki: Ki: Kipushi?
M: ule ni Kipushi/ oui/
F: Tshibumba/ na: tena: Ndaie tuli:
M: Ndaie Fréderic eeh/
F: mm/ Beya: Ilunga/ Ilunga/ Beya Ilunga/ tuko naye/
| 20. F: And then?
M: (You mean) another one?
F: Another one.
M: There is none. Of course, there are many others but those are the ones I know.
F: You also know Ndaie.
M: Ndaie, yes.
F: He is an artist, or not?
M: Yes, he is.
F: How about others?
M: Well, there is Ndaia and a few others. I’ll inform them.
F: Do you know their names?
M: Yes. There is this Ndaie and another one, Katumba.
M: Katumba and another one.
F: Katumba left.
M: No, this is another Katumba.
F: I see.
M: Not the one (we talked about).
F: Where (does he live)?
M: He lives in Katuba. I am going to tell him when I see him.
F: Yes, yes. Is he an old person or someone...
M: No, he is still young.
F: Katumba. [pauses] Another one?
M: Let me see, not really because the others just produce trash.
F: Trash, like Kapenda. Do you know him?
M: Kapenda? Kapenda I know, yes.
F: Kapenda with his paintings there on Route de Munama.
M: Ah, yes, yes. He is the one who spreads his paintings (on the roadside), I know him.
F: Kapenda, right?
F: And Nkulu.
M: And Nkulu, yes.
M: Nkulu is the one who does paintings like [turns to look at paintings] – I don’t know, perhaps you haven’t seen his paintings yet.
F: We have some. We have some.
M: You do?
F: And who else is there? Tshibumba.
F: Tshibumbu, Tshibumbu.
M: Ah, yes. I know him. I heard ...?....
F: Where does he live?
M: He lives in – no, he lives in Ruashi. In Ruashi.
F: Ruashi or Kipushi?
M: That one is from Kipushi, yes.
F: Tshibumba. There is Ndaie, we (talked about him).
M: Ndaie Fréderic, yes.
F: Mm. Beya Ilunga. Ilunga. Beya Ilunga, we have paintings by him.
| 21. sasa: mwee artistes/ hamuna na nkundi?/
M: mais: maneno shee bantu:
M: hatuna: hatuna sawa hapana/ tulifanya nkundi mbele/ ya kusikilizana: tufanye tu kintu moya ao tufanye: centre yetu tunafanshiako kazhi/
M: [with emphasis] wapi/ bantu habana muzuri/ kuomba Makuta kwa gouvernement: ule bali: balileta Makuta: anakimbia: anakimbia naye/
M: eeh: anakimbia naye/
F: na: yee alikuwa nani?
M: ku: ...?...: jina yake alikuwa: eh: Mukendi/
M: eheh/ a: anakimbia na Makuta/ na...
F: ...sasa ao zamani?
M: ni paka: njo kusema mu: njo kusema mu soixante: mu soixante: non: mu se: mu septante/
F: mu septante/
M: mu septante eeh/ tulifanya tu nkundi muzuri ya kusikilizana: twende tukaombe Makuta ku gouvernement:
M: atupatia Makuta: shee tuanze kutumika naye kazhi/ iko iendelee muzuri/ aah / kule anaenda: alienda yee moya/ balimupatia kama ni: kama ni cinq cent Zaire/
M: a: anakimbia/
F: anakimbia naye?
M: mm anakimbia naye/
M: hatumuone tena/ [laughs]
F: sasa muko: muko na carte d’artiste?
F: uko na carte d’artiste/
M: ndiyo: niko naye/ nayee inabakia mu nani: niko naye/
F: unapasha kul: kulipa?
F: ni ngapi sasa?
M: eh: ya kulipa?
M: ya kulipa ni: ni trois Zaire/
F: trois Zaire/
F: kuli: na: na unauza wapi? kule ku...
M: ...kule ku: ku: ku nani: ku eh [pauses] arts: arts: artistes/ ni pale kama ni: ts: vile banaandikako: njo vile mina:
F: ile ile karibu ya ta: theâtre kule?
M: ndiyo karibu na theâtre ya ngambo ya huku/
M: eheh/ peko bureau pale/
F: Culture na?
M: eheh/ ndiyo/
F: njo ule?
F: kumbe bo bana: banaandika: majina ya artistes yote?
F: eyo/ na: mais: kumbe sasa: hapa sasa: kila artiste: anafanyaka tu kazi yake/
M: ndiyo eeh: iko anatembeatembea tu paka vile/ mais hakuna nkundi/ eh: busikilizana hapana/
M: ule muta: mutaweka ni président: atakuwa anatusemesha bote/ anakwenda: banamupatia Makuta: anakimbia/
M: binakuwa tu bule/
F: mm/ ni vile/ kumbe: ts: [pauses] kila kila artiste anatumika tu kazi yake/
| 21. F: Now, don’t you artists have an association?
M: Well, we Africans.
M: We don’t have that sort of thing. We set up a nice association some time ago. The purpose was to get together, even to start our center where we would work together.
M: [with emphasis] What a fiasco. The people (involved) were no good. They asked the government for money and then the one to whom it was given ran away. He ran away with it.
M: Yes, he ran away with it.
F: Who was he?
M: ...?... His name was Mukendi.
M: Yes. He ran away with the money. And...
F: ... was this recently or long ago?
M: It was just in sixty, in sixty, no, it was in seventy.
F: In seventy.
M: In seventy, yes. We set up a nice association to cooperate and to go ask the government for money.
M: (The idea was that the government) would give us money and we would begin to work with it and our work would go well. Aah (what happened was) this fellow went there alone and he was given something like five hundred Zaire.
M: He absconded.
F: He ran away with it?
M: Mm, he ran away with it.
M: We never saw him again. [laughs]
F: Do you have a carte d’artiste now?
F: Do you have a carte d’artiste?
M: Yes, I have one. It is (at home but) I have one.
F: Did you have to pay for it?
F: How much is it nowadays?
M: You mean the fee?
M: The fee is three Zaire.
F: Three Zaire.
F: And where to you buy it? Over there at...
M: There, at this place – what is it called? – the Arts (department) the one for artists. That is where they issue them. So I (have one).
F: Is this the place near the theater there?
M: It is near the theater, on this side.
M: Yes. That’s where they have an office.
F: Culture and (something)?
M: Yes, that’s the one.
F: That’s the one?
F: So they keep a register of all artists?
F: I see. So, the way it is now, every artists works on his own.
M: Yes, he just makes his rounds. But there is no association, no cooperation.
M: (The idea was) that the person whom you made president would be the spokesman for all. He went (to the government), they gave him money, and he ran away.
M: It came to nothing.
F: Mm. That’s how it is. So then [pauses] every artist does his own work.
| 22. na: sasa: nazani tutaweza: nitabeba ile:
F: na wee utaweza kunielezea ile maana yake: ya kila tableau: [noise of paintings being brought] kumbe tuanze na: na ile: ile nani?
M: Mamba Muntu/
F: Mamba Muntu oui/ sasa maana yake njo nini?
M: maana yake?
M: maana ya mamba muntu: ao mu: mu: sawa shee bantu/ maana ya mamba muntu ni kintu moya: iko natoka mu mayi: alafu njo kusema iko sawa milakre/
M: eheh/ iko sawa milakle/ mais alors...
M: milakre/ eko milakre/ ni kintu inatoka mu mayi maneno: shee: miye:
F: milakre? aah miracle/
M: mi bado kuiona hapana/
M: eeh/ kwa kuiona hivi na macho hapana/ njo kusema niliona mu kaphoto moya hivi/ balinielezea ku muzungu:
M: alinielezea asema: hii kintu: iko inatoka mu mayi: mbali/ alafu tuko na jibelles: unafuchama hivi njo unamukamata:
F: na jumelles?
M: eheh/ iko natoka mu mayi: mbali/
M: eheh/ unamu: kamata na jumere/ pale ananipatia kale kaphoto: njo pale minaangaria minaanza kufanya Mamba Muntu/
F: ile photo?
F: uliona na muzungu gani?
M: ni: paka ile muzungu nilikuelezea: Monsieur Decoster/
M: eheh/ njo alinipatia kale kaphoto/ alikuwa i...
F: unabakia tena naye?
M: ah: hapana/ njo kusema kalipotea/
M: kuko balikuwa bangine beko banaomba:
F: ahah/ ah/ balimuona wapi?
M: asema tunamuonaka paka mu: mu nani: mu mayi/ ao ku océan Indien:
M: njo kale alinielezea/ njo mule anatokaka/ mu mayi/
M: ni mayi yote munene/ alafu ya kusema tumayi tudogo hapana/
| 22. And now, I think we can (look at the paintings) I am
going to get.
F: And you can explain to me the meaning of each picture. [noise of paintings being brought] So, let’s start with this one, what is it called?
M: Mamba Muntu.
F: Mamba Muntu, yes. Now, what is its meaning?
M: Its meaning?
M: The meaning of Mamba Muntu – the way we Africans (see it) is that she is something that comes from the water, you could say she is like a milakre.
F: Like what?
M: A milakre. She is a milakre. Something that comes out of the water although we, I...
F: Milakre? Ah, miracle.
M: I haven’t seen her yet.
M: No. Not with my own eyes. I did see her on a small photograph. A European told me about it.
M: He told me, this thing comes out of the water, somewhere far away. But we have binoculars and if you keep hidden you can catch her.
F: With binoculars?
M: Yes. (When) she gets out of the water, far way.
F: Far away?
M: Yes. You can catch her with binoculars. Then he gave me this little photograph, I looked at it, and began painting Mamba Muntu.
F: From this photo?
F: Who was the European where you saw it?
M: The one I told you about, Monsieur Decoster.
M: Yes, he was the one who gave me this little photograph. He was...
F: ...do you still have it?
M: Ah, no. The little thing got lost.
F: I see.
M: There were some who borrowed it.
M: (And) it got lost.
F: I see. Where did they see her?
M: One sees her in the water, or in the Indian Ocean.
M: That, according to the little he told me, was where she emerged from the water.
M: It’s always large bodies of water (where she lives), not in some tiny (pond or stream).
| 23. F: sasa ulianza ku: kupenta ile Mamba Muntu/
F: ulianza: mu mwaka gani?
M: hii Mamba Muntu njo kusema: nilianza paka hapa mu septante/
M: mu septante eeh/ njo mule nilianza Mamba Muntu/
F: sababu ya nini? maneno bantu banauza?
M: eheh/ balikuwa banauza mingi/
M: mais sasa: njo beko nauza tu kidogo kidogo/
F: kidogo kidogo?
F: maneno be: mingi beko naye?
F: na tena: pa kuendelea na maana yake/ kumbe: anaikala tu mu mayi/
M: anaikala mu mayi/
F: sasa: iko na saa yake/
M: eko na saa yake/
F: alafu: saa? maana yake ni nini? ni:
M: ile: njo kusema eh? maneno: miye balinielezea:
M: asema: njo ile bintu anapendaka kuvwala/
M: saa: na hii: boucles d’oreilles eh?
M: [points] hii/
F: hii bracelet aah/
M: bracelet eeh/ na bintu bingine: wapi: na saa na vile: njo vile anapendaka: kuvwala/
F: na nyoka?
M: na nyoka/
F: nyoka/ maana yake...
M: ... nyoka beko banatembea: shiku yote paka na nyoka/
F: mais: maana yake ya nyoka: njo: njo nini?
M: maana yake ya nyoka?
M: njo kusema nyoka: njo: eko sawa nduku yake nayee/
F: nduku yake nayee?
F: mais: bantu banauza ile tableaux juu ya nini?
M: juu ya kuweka mu nyumba ao [claps] kuangaria muzuri: ni kintu inaonekana sawa kintu ya mbali/
F: ya mbali?
F: si mara ingine banasema kama: unamuona: utapata Makuta?
M: ah oui/ bantu banasemaka vile asema: kama unamuona:
M: utaweza kulokota hata lunywele/
M: nywele yake: ao anaacha: anaacha sawa ku mayi hivi:
M: wee unakuya kuya kulokota: utaweza kupata mali/ alafu shiyue miye: kama ni namna gani [claps]/
F: [laughs] wee bado kuona?
M: eheh mi bado kuona/
F: wee bado kutana na moya: ya...?...?
M: ah bado/ bado: hata shiku moya/
| 23. F: So then you started to paint (pictures) of this
F: When was that?
M: With these Mamba Muntu pictures I began just recently, in seventy.
M: In seventy, yes. That was the year I began with Mamba Muntu.
F: Why? Because people bought (the pictures)?
M: Yes. They were buying lots of them.
M: But now they only they buy a few.
F: Only a few?
F: Because many people already have one?
F: Now, to go on (talking about) its meaning, so she lives in the water.
M: She lives in the water.
F: Then there is the wrist watch she wears.
M: She wears her watch.
F: But why a watch? What does it mean? Is it...
M: That one – I’ tell you how it was explained to me.
M: It is one of the things she likes to wear.
M: The watch and those ear rings, right?
M: [points] And this here.
F: This bracelet, yes.
M: A bracelet, yes. And other things, all kinds of them like the watch, that is what she likes to wear.
F: And what about the snake?
M: And the snake?
F: The snake, what does it mean...
M: ...the snake, she and the snake always move together.
F: But what is the meaning of the snake? What is it about?
M: The meaning of the snake?
M: The snake is something like her companion.
F: Her companion?
F: But why are people buying those pictures?
M: To put them up in the house, or [claps] to enjoy looking at them, it is something that seems to be from far away.
F: From far away?
F: Don’t they say sometimes that you are going to get money if you see her?
M: Ah yes. People talk like that. If you see her.
M: You may be able to pull out a lock of hair.
M: Of her hair. Or you find some she left near the water.
M: If you manage to get hold of it you may make a fortune. But I don’t about that. [claps]
F: [laughs] You never saw this?
M: No, I never saw this.
F: You never met a person to whom (this happened).
M: Ah, not yet. Not yet, never.
| 24. F: mm/ c’est ça/ kumbe Mamba Muntu/ sababu ya nini:
ile Mamba Muntu yote tuliona/ eko paka muzungu/ Madame moya ya muzungu/
M: eh: ndiyo eeh/ balinielezea hivi/ mamba muntu: inaikalaka paka mwanaume: haikalaka mwanamuke/ eheh: eh: oui: ku inakalaka paka mwa:
M: mwanamuke: hapana mwanaume/
F: ma: hapana mwanaume?
M: mm/ njo vile balinielezea/
F: mais: ni muzungu sababu ya nini?
M: eh shijue/ balisema maneno maungo yake: iko paka mweupe/
F: [pauses] maana yake: ts: [pauses] inafanana tu na Madame moya muzungu/
F: [laughs] sababu ya nini?
M: mm/ asema maneno maungo yake iko paka mweupe/ bale: maneno: kulikuwa muntu moya eh? alinielezea asema niliisha kumuona/ mais: mi nilimuelezea: ulimuona namna gani? asema nilimuona kulopola/ anatoka mu mayi/
M: ah pale ulimuona: ulikimbia? asema: ah: nilikimbia/ ah: minasema: ulikimbia namna gani? maneno bana: banasemaka: kama unakimbia hauweze kufanya: seconde: bana: banaisha kukamata/ kwiko nyoka/
M: asema: niliona tu tu paka hivi: minafuchama minakimbia/ minasema hapana/
F: mm/ [chuckles]
F: mm/ bon/ njo: mamba muntu/
M: njo mamba muntu/
F: mm/ niko na: ah kama ni: mais: eko na jina ingine?
M: hapana/ jina: jina ingine: paka: iko paka mamba muntu/
F: mais mu tshiKasai?
M: mu tshiKasai? paka mamba muntu/
F: mamba muntu?
F: mami wata?
M: mami wat: mu nani: mu: Lingala/
F: mu Lingala?
M: Lingala eeh/
F: njo mami wata/
M: mami wata/
F: ahah/ bon/ na ile ni tableaux moya bantu banaombaka?
| 24. F: Mm. That’s it, about Mamba Muntu. Why is it that in
all the pictures we saw
Mamba Muntu is a European, (looking) like some European lady?
M: Well, yes. People explained it to me like this: Mamba Muntu is always male, never female. Or rather, the other way around, she is always...
M: Female, not male.
F: Never male?
M: Mm. That’s what I was told.
F: But why is she European?
M: Well, I don’t know. I was told her body (lit. her limbs) is always white.
F: [pauses] But what does that mean? [pauses] She really resembles a certain European lady.
F: [laughs] Why?
M: I don’t know.
F: You don’t know?
M: No. Her body is said to be white. There was someone who told me, I have seen her. So I said to him, how did it happen you saw her? He said, I saw her when I was fishing, she came out of the water.
M: Ah, when you saw her you ran away? Yes, he said, I took off. Ah, I said, how did you get away? Because what they tell is that, if you hesitate just for a second, the snake will catch you.
M: I barely saw her, he said, I took cover, and got away. I told him, no way.
F: Mm. [chuckles]
F: Mm. Alright. So much about Mamba Muntu.
M: So much about Mamba Muntu.
F: Mm. I have (still another question): Does she have another name?
M: No. (No) other name, just Mamba Muntu.
F: But in tshiKasai?
M: In tshiKasai? Just Mamba Muntu.
F: Mamba Muntu?
F: (Not) Mami Wata?
M: Mami Wata, that’s in Lingala.
F: In Lingala?
M: In Lingala, yes.
F: There is it Mami Wata.
M: Mami Wata.
F: I see. Alright. So this is a painting people keep asking for?
| 25. F: mm/ na tena ile sasa: Gécamines/
M: bon/ Gécamines eh?
F: mumbunda na:
M: mumbunda/ bantu banapendaka eh?
M: juu: ya kusema: ya: ya: kusema: ao ataweza kuchukua kwenda naye fasi ingine: asema: angarie hii fasi nilikuwa/
M: mu nani: mu Lubumbashi/ Gécamines yo hii/ na bantu: bantu banaipenda juu ya nini: juu ya kuona usine/
M: eeh/ juu ya kuona na mampara na bintu byote bile bikoamo: njo ile banapendeka ku bantu/
F: ile tableaux: wee uliisha: uli: ulipenta namna gani? paka ku: ku mawazo yako: ao: ao ulikuwa kule: ku: kuangaria mbele kama ni hivi/
M: mbele nilienda kuangaria/ niliangaria: sawa vile: bantu banapenda/
M: eh/ bon/ bantu anapenda ao kuangaria: sawa mbali/ maneno: nilikuwa su: sawa ngambo ya huku:
M: njo pale minafanya sawa: ngambo ya humu:
M: kuangaria mule/ nilio: nili: nilikwendamo: mina: minacopier: njo minaanza kufanya/ bon/ sasa shiendamo hapana/ niko nafanya tu maneno ni kintu ina:
F: kumbe ulianza na: kufanya croquis kule?
M: croquis ndiyo/
F: kule: kule inje?
M: ndiyo/ minafanya croquis kule kule inje/
M: eheh: njo sasa minakwenda kufanya/
F: na sasa unafwata tu modèle moya/
M: ndiyo aah: mi: minafanya tu modèle moya/
F: ni vile/ [points out] ile ni gardes?
F: ya sasa/
F: kumbe ni juu ya kukumbusha: kukumbusha bantu?
M: ndiyo juu ya kukumbusha bantu asema: ni usine: biko hivi na hivi: na tena bantu banapenda kuangaria sawa Gécamines: aaah Gécamines: Gécamines: Gécamines/ banapenda/
F: banauzisha bya mingi?
M: eheh banauza: kwa kusema: bantu anauzaka yee tu/
M: eheh: banauzaka/
F: mm/ banaomba/ kama banaomba: banaomba namna gani? banasema tu:
M: eheh ba: ba: una: unakuwa naye...?...
F: fansie: unifansie Gécamines?
M: ndiyo ndiyo/
| 25. F: Mm. Now to this one, Gécamines.
M: Fine. Gécamines, eh?
F: ...smoke stack with...
M: The smoke stack. People like that one, right?
M: Because – how shall I put it? – a person may choose to take it along when he moves to another place and (then he can say) look, this is the place were I used to live.
M: (That was) in Lubumbashi. This is what Gécamines looks like. Why do people like (this painting)? Because they have the factory before their eyes.
M: Yes. Because is also shows the dump and all those things there. That’s what people like.
F: How did you paint these pictures? Just from imagination, or did you first go there and observe what it is like?
M: First I went to take a look at it. I look at it the way people like it.
M: Yes. Alright. People like the view from a distance. Because if I stand on this side.
M: Then this is how I paint it.
M: For a view from over there, I go there, copy it and then I paint it. Alright. Nowadays I don’t go there anymore. I just paint it because this is something (I have in my head).
F: So you started out with making a sketch on location?
M: A sketch, yes.
F: Over there, outside?
M: Yes. I made a sketch there, outside.
F: I see.
M: Yes, that’s what I went to do there at the time.
F: And now you just follow one and the same model.
M: Yes. I paint after the same model.
F: I see. [points out] Those are the guards?
F: (The ones that are there) today.
F: So this is something to remind, to make people remember?
M: Yes, it is to remind people: This is the factory, this is what it looks like. And people really like to look at Gécamines. Aah, they say, Gécamines, Gécamines, Gécamines. They like that.
F: Do they buy it a lot?
M: Yes, they do. There are people who only buy this (picture).
F: They do?
M: Yes, they do.
F: Mm. They ask for it. How do they ask for it when they order one? Do they just say...
M: Yes, (they ask), do you have one...?...
F: Do a Gécamines for me?
M: Yes. Yes.
| 26. F: na sasa ile/ pa kuomba ile/ [picks up another
M: aah ni hii/ hii banapenda: juu ya hivi/ pale tulikuwa zamani/ ni njo kusema...
F: ...mais pa kuomba ile banas: banataya namna gani?
F: ji: jina yake ni nini?
M: njo kusema: jina yake hii: ni prison ya zamani/ njo kusema buloko/ fasi ya...
F: oui oui mais kama bantu banafika kwako/
F: banasema: unifansie: nini? banasema:
M: unifanshie ya: bantu ya zamani/
F: ya bantu ya za...
M: ya buloko ya zamani/
F: mm/ si njo banasema Colonie Belge?
M: eh: oui oui: ah: Colonie Belge/
F: ao Fimbo/
M: aah Fimbo oui/
M: bantu banaipenda juu ya: ya: kujua/
M: maneno: mu quatorze à dix-huit: eeh: dix-neuf: eh oui: quatorze:
M dix-huit/ bon: njo kusema: pale: baBelges: pale: pale balifika eh?
M: njo kusema balikuwa banatufanya paka hivi/ juu: bantu banapenda kuona: kwa kujua asema kumbe njo vile balikuwa banafanya bantu/
F: paka quatorze dix-huit?
M: eheh/ njo kusema na mu: na mu cinquante: na mu soixante: na mu soixante/
M: njo mwisho/
F: mm/ [pauses, points out] kumbe yee: ile ni muzungu?
M: ile ni muzungu/
M: sasa: huyu ni police/
M: eheh: eko anapika huyu nani: fimbo/
M: sasa huyu ni nani: clairon/ eko anapika nani: eko anapika nani: clairon/
M: eheh/ huyu/
M: huyu soldat/ ah: huyu beko napika: haba njo beko ku nkamba: haba baliisha kubapika/
M: eh/ haba beko banaenda ku mayi: kwenda kulo: kushota mayi/
F: ile TP njo nini?
M: njo kusema: ni: maneno zamani:
M: bilikuwa bintu byote: bya gouver: bya nani: bya gouvernement: baliandika paka TP/
M: eheh/ ao nyumba ya...
F: ...?.... TP ni: maana yake ni nini?
M: TP? kama ni: travaux publiques
F: ah: travaux publique/
M: oui: eh: travaux publiques/
F: sasa uliweka: nani: prison:
M: eh prison du territoire Mweka/
| 26. F: And what about when they ask for that one. [picks
up another painting]
M: Ah, this one. This one they like for the following reason. Long ago we were...
F: ...(yes) but to order it, what do they say, how do they call it?
F: What is its name?
M: Its name is old-time prison, the jail, a place where....
F: Yes, yes, but when people come to your place.
F: They say, paint for me what? They say...
M: Do a painting of people long ago.
F: Of people long ago.
M: Of a jail long ago.
F: Mm. Don’t they say Colonie Belge?
M: Ah, of course, yes, Colonie Belge.
F: Or the Whip.
M: Ah, the Whip, yes.
M: People like this one because they want to know.
M: Because in fourteen-eighteen, or was it nineteen, no, it was fourteen...
M: ..eighteen. Well, that was when the Belgians arrived right?
M: This is what they used to do to us. Therefore people like to see (this painting), so they know, this is what they did to people.
M: In the past.
F: And that was in fourteen-eighteen?
M: Yes, that is to say, in fifty and sixty, in sixty.
F: No longer,
M: It was over.
F: Mm. [pauses, points out]. What about him, is he a European?
M: That one is a European.
M: Now, this one is the police.
F: The police.
M: Yes. He is beating that person with a whip.
M: Now this one is the bugler. He plays the bugle.
M: Yes, this one.
M: This one is a soldier. Ah, that one they are beating and those who are tied up are the ones they finished beating.
F: I see.
M: Yes. Here are the ones who go to get water.
F: What does this (inscription) TP mean?
M: What it means – in the old days.
M: Everything that belonged to the government was marked TP.
M: Yes. Even the houses of...
F: ...?... what does TP signify?
M: TP? Something like travaux publiques.
F: Ah, Public Works.
M: Yes, Public Works.
F: Then you put down, “Prison...
M: Yes, “Prison of Mweka Territory.”
F: Your home town.
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