with Mwenze Kibwanga, recorded January 8, 1973 at his home and atelier in
1. F: ...kwanza hii: hii kintu minataka kujua: ah: ni mwanzo yako/ sawa vile ulianza mu hii kazi ya:
F: ya peintre artiste: ah: ilikuwa wakati gani? uli: chagula hii kazi namna gani?
M: ah/ sasa inafaa kwanza?
M: mm/ asema nilichagua maneno nilipenda/
F: maneno ulipenda?
M: eheh: nilipenda/ sasa njo vile nilichagua na masomo/
F: alafu: ah: uli: ulijua namna gani kama ulipenda? uli: ulifanya sawa: ku u: ku utoto?
M: ku butoto ndiyo/ njo kusema kwanza paka ku butoto: nilikuwa hata: na: kufunda/ lakini sana nilipenda kudessiner/
F: hata: hata ku butoto?
M: ahah/ kiisha: niliona tena kwa bamissionnaires mingi wanakuya mbele: kama wanakuya: beko wanaita batoto kudessiner ao wanakuita bantu ku: kudessiner/
M: sasa na mi niliona vile ilikuwa muzuri/
F: njo ilikuwa wapi?
M: ile wakati nilikuwa ku mukini yetu/
F: ...?... kule ku:
M: Malemba Nkulu/
F: ku Malemba Nkulu?
M: Malemba Nkulu: njo...
F: ...paka Malemba Nkulu ao mukini ya karibu?
M: ku: njo kusema: Malemba Nkulu: njo chefferie sasa/
M: zamani ilikuwa territoire Mwanza/
M: mm/ sasa mugini yetu ni Kilumba/
M: njo mule nilizalikwako/
F: ni karibu ya: ya:
M: ya: Malemba Nkulu/
M: maneno Malemba Nkulu ni territoire/
M: sasa: mwiko...
F: ni kati ya: ya Kikondja na Malemba Nkulu?
M: Malemba Nkulu iko tu: mm...
M: Kikondja ni Bukama/ Kikondja ni Bukama/
F: ndiyo/ alafu hi mugi: hii mugini yako?
M: Kikondja: territoire ni Bukama/
M: nani: Malemba Nkulu nayo njo territoire ya ile: machefferies Mulongo: Nkulu: Ngoy Mani: Kilumba: ile: Malemba Nkulu njo territoire mukubwa kule/
F: ulizaliwa mu mwaka gani?
M: nilizaliwa mu mille neuf cent vingt-cinq/
M: mwaka makumi mbili na tano/ mm/
1. F: ...First this: What I should like to know is your beginning, how you started out with this work...
F: ...of a painter. When was that? How did you choose this work?
M: Ah, should we start now (with the recording)?
M: Mm. I chose it because I liked it.
F: Because you liked it?
M: Yes, I liked it. That is how I chose it at school.
F: But, well, how did you know that you liked it? Did you make (your choice) during childhood?
M: During childhood, yes. That is, starting during childhood I learned. Above all I liked to draw.
F: Already during childhood?
M: Yes. Then I saw that many of the missionaries, when they first arrived, would invite children as well as (adult) people to do drawings.
F: I see.
M: Then I also saw how good this was.
F: Where was that?
M: At that time I lived in our village.
F: ...?...over there in...
M: Malemba Nkulu.
F: In Malemba Nkulu?
M: Malemba Nkulu is...
F: ...Malemba Nkulu or a village nearby?
M: That is to say, Malemba Nkulu is now a chiefdom.
F: I see/
M: In those days it was (part of) Mwanza territory.
M: Mm. Now, our village is (called) Kilumba.
M: That is the place where I was born.
F: It is near..
M: ...Malemba Nkulu/
F: I see.
M: The thing is, Malemba Nkulu is (the name of) the territory.
M: Now, there is in...
F: Is (the village located between) Kikondja and Malemba Nkulu?
M: Malemba Nkulu is, mm...
M: Kikondja belongs to Bukama. Kikondja belongs to Bukama.
F: Yes. But what did your village belong to?
M: Kikondja is part of Bukama territory.
M: Malemba Nkulu is (another) territory, consisting of those chiefdoms of Mulongo, Nkulu, Ngoy Mani, Kilumba. Malemba Nkulu is the territory there.
F: What year were you born?
M: I was born [in French] in nineteen hundred and twenty-five.
M: [in Swahili] In the year twenty-five. Mm.
2. F: na kumbe: ulikuwa: uli: ulienda mu: mu masomo ya: ya mission?
M: ya mission/ mbele niliingia ma: mi: masomo mille neuf cent trente-quatre/
M: trente-quatre: ku masomo ya protestants/ paka ya Mwanza: maneno kulikuwa missionnaire moya ...?...
F: ...ya nani: ya Spilinga?
M: ya Sipringa/
M: nilifanya kule s: miaka sita/
M: kiisha nafika mu ma: trente-neuf: quarante: mu quarante-deux minatoka ku mugini yetu/ pale minaisha kuyua kudessiner kiloko/
F: mm/ hata mu masomo?
M: hata mu masomo/
M: ile masomo: sawa vile zamani masomo alikuwa: muzungu kabisa/ minatoka: minasema minakwenda: njo minakuya hapa Lubumbashi/
M: sasa nilifika huku Lubumbashi: sikuona mufano ya ku: kulya muzuri hapana: sawa kulipa vitu muzuri hapana/ njo minaanza kuendeleza kudessiner/
M: siku kilokokiloko na macrayons: na nani: na aquarel/ kufika mu:
F: ya kuuzisha?
M: mara moya tu sawa bazungu bengine banapenda wanauza kiloko: ingine naweka tu/
F: uli: ah: ulikala: ulikala wapi? mu...
F: ...kwa ndugu?
M: kwa ndugu ndiyo/
M: kwa ndugu yake: kwa ndugu yake ya: baba yangu/
M: ndiyo/ sasa mu maquarante-cinq: mina: minaona sasa: m: vita inaisha/
M: sasa ba: ba: bapeintres ya bweupe bamingi banaanza kufanya maexpositions humu: banaanza ku: kufanya: bengine mu mambalambala beko nafanya niko naangaria: naona na yangu: haikuwe muzuri hapana/ sasa njo minasema kumbe kazi hivi ni hivi/
M: tu minakankamana hapana nakamatiza: na [pauses] mu: quarante-cinq: quarante-six:quarante-six minapata muzungu moya: jina yake ni: Gaston Prentinx/
M: Prentinx aah/ Prentinx alikuwa anatumika mu Cophaco:
M: mu Cophaco hii ya nani: iko inatumika mu Gécamines/
M: zamani alikuwa Union Minière/ sasa pale: yee anasema: minaona ile: ile wee uko nafanya iko muzuri kabisa/ lakini inafaa na muntu ya kushauria/ maneno huku hamukuwe masomo ya nani: ya: ya: dessin:
M: hapana/ sasa njo pale ananiita ku nyumba yake: iko na: ana: nipa franga ya kuuza macouleurs: manani: matoîles: mapinceaux/
M: mm/ sasa mi: pale minaanza kufanya/ inakuwa kazi muzuri
F: hata: ulifanya sawa portraits ao?
M: sawa maportraits eh: nilikuwa portraitiste tu ile wakati/
F: [pointing to a portrait on the wall] sawa vile niliona kule?
M: ah sawa ile/
M: ndiyo/ kupita ile/ kufanya tu sawa vile: maneno: nilikuwa natumika na nani: mamodèles ya ba: Rubensi: ma...
M: ...Rubens: aah/
M: ...nani: ba: bale baartistes wa zamani nili...
M: ...?...naona: namna gani/ ilikuwa sawa...
F: hii: hii: wakati ulifanya copies ya Rubens ya ...?... ao nini?
M: co: hapana sawa copies: kuangaria namna gani: mufano ya nini: ma: couleurs: mufano gani ya m: malignes:
M: bintu sawa: angaria: sawa vile tunakwenda mu exposition: utaona: huyu artiste anafanya hivi: huyu hivi:
M: nakwenda mu hii sense mule/ kiisha: iko ,,,?...
F: uliikala: hata wapi ule?
M: yee pale ananipa nyumba moya kwa:
M: mm/ Maniema: pale Avenue
F: Père Baeyens/
M: mm/ alikuwa Kipushi/ sasa père Baeyens anakuya: anasema ah: iko anafanya muzuri/ njo anaanza kunipa ma: maphotos ya: ya arishi ya Mungu/
M: minafanya arishi ya Mungu: a: na leo/ na leo iko mu nyumba ya Kipushi/ mu nyumba ya Mungu ya Kipushi/ kiisha ...?...
F: ...hii: hii: aah/ njo ilikwa zamani kabisa/
M: kabisa ah/
F: na balichunga mu hii: nyumba ya Mungu?
M: ni ya sasa ndiyo ikoamo/ ile ilikuwa copies/
M: copies ya ba: peintres ya zamani/ sasa mi: ananipa juu ya kufanya: mu nyumba ya Mungu/ nilimufansia pale: kiisha minafanya vitu ingine ingine: ma: madessins ingine/
M: sasa quarante-sept: quarante-six: quarante-sept: quarante-huit: quarante-neuf: niko paka nafanya ile: bitu ya mufano ile/
2. F: So, you went to school at a mission?
M: At a mission. I entered school in nineteen hundred and thirty-four.
M: Thirty-four, the Protestant school at Mwanza because there was one missionary...?...
F: ...a Methodist (school)?
M: Methodist (school).
M: There I did six years.
M: Then, in ’39, ’40 – in ’42 I left our village. By that time I had some knowledge of drawing.
F: Mm. Already in school?
M: Already in school.
school – in those days school was thoroughly European. I left, telling myself
I go (elsewhere). So I came here to
M: When I
arrived here in
M: With time, little by little, ( I made some progress) doing pencil drawings and aquarelles until...
F: (Was this) for selling?
M: Now and then some Europeans who liked (my paintings) bought a few, the rest I put aside.
F: I see. Where did you live? With...
M: ...I lived with...
F: ...with relatives?
M: With relatives, yes.
F: I see.
M: With a relative of my father’s.
M: Yes. Then, in forty-five, I saw that the war was over.
M: Many of the white painters began to put on exhibitions here. They began to paint, some of them on the road(side). I watched them painting and when I compared their work to mine (I realized) that mine was no good. So, I told myself, that is what this kind of work looks like.
M: My effort were in vain but I stuck to it and [pauses] in forty-five, forty-six, in forty-six it was when I met a European, his name was Gaston
M: Prentinx, yes. Prentinx worked for Cophaco.
M: For Cophaco, a company that worked for Gécamines.
used to be Union Minière. So then he said, I see
that the painting you do is quite beautiful but you need someone to advise
you because here (in Elisabethville/
F: (Of) art.
M: No. So then he told me to come to his house and gave me money to buy paints, canvasses, and brushes.
F: I see.
M: Mm. That was when I started painting. It was great work. Europeans would come and bring photos of their wives and children to be painted.
F: So you did something like portraits?
M: Like portraits, yes. I was a portraitist at that time.
F: [pointing to a portrait on the wall] Like the one I saw over there?
M: Yes, like that one.
M: Yes. Better than that one. Because when I worked I was following models such as the likes of Rubens...
M: Rubens, yes and...
F: The one...
M: ...those artist of the past...
M: ..?... I observed how (they worked)...
F: Did you copy Rubens at that time...?... or what did you mean (when you mentioned Rubens)?
M: Copies, no, just look at the way he had with colors and lines.
F: I see.
M: Looking at things like that. It’s like when we go to an exposition: You are going to notice, one artist does it like this, another one like that.
M: That’s how I advanced there. Then there was...
F: Where did you live at that time?
(Prentinx) rented a house for me on Avenue
M: Mm. Where
M: So that’s where I lived. Then we come to forty-six. There was a missionary, Father Baeyens, he was Kipushi.
F: Father Baeyens.
M: Mm. He was in Kipushi. One day Father Baeyens came (to my place). Ah, he said, he paints beautifully. That’s when he gave me pictures showing stories from the Scriptures (lit. of God).
M: So I painted stories from the Scriptures. Up to this day they are in a building at Kipushi, the church at Kipushi. Then...?...
F: ... Ah, so this was really long ago.
M: Long ago, yes.
F: And they kept them in that church?
M: Yes, they are still there right now. They were copies.
M: Copies of painters of the past. He gave them to me to do paintings for the church. So then I worked for him. After that I did this and that, other pictures.
M: Then we get to the years forty-six, forty-seven, forty-eight, forty-nine. (During that time) I only did stuff of that kind.
3. M: kufika mu nani: mu cinquante: [correcting himself] eh mu quarante-huit/ mu quarante-huit: sasa Def: sasa quarante-sept: Desfossés alikuya/
M: quarante-sept/ ndiyo/ Desfossés anafika humu/ ...?...
sawa anakwenda kumuita: asema niko na mutoto moya iko anafanya dessins
muzuri/ vile wee uko artiste inafaa ukuye angaria ni namna gani huyu/
M: lakini mi sikupendaka hapana/ minasema muzuri: mitakuyaka/ sasa quarante-huit anapita:kama quarante-neuf inapita: mu cinquante: kiisha tena tunaonana Desfossés/ tunakutana asema: oh inafaa unakuya/ hapana: wee uko: kama uko unakuya kwangu utakuwa artiste kabisa: una: batakuyua kabisa/ kiisha anaandika yee moya: anaandika ile: vile niko naandik: vile nilikuwa natumika miye/ asema: hapana kuuza vitu sasa: bile beko nafanya humu: beko wanafanya macopies: siku ingine watafanyaka franga: siku ingine batafanya [trailing off]/ maneno yee alikuwa: journaliste ana...
M: mm/ anaandikaandika mubaya/ sasa: Prentinx sema asema kama wee unaendeleza ile: Desfossés hana: yee hapana kupenda hapana/
M: anafanya mubaya/ vile ilikuwa zamani: wakati ya colonie ilikuwa mu: matata/
F: hii wakati ya nani?
M: ya mbulamatari: ya Belges...
F: ...eheh/ Belges: mm/ [chuckles]
M: sasa minaacha/ sasa pa kuacha... [pauses]
F: unaacha nini?
M: naacha ile dessin ya portraits: ya nini:
F: [overlapping] ...dessins ya portraits?
M: mm/ asema ni weye: asema...
M: minaacha tu: kutumika: bana: banasema ni wee iko anaandikia vile: iko anasema: maneno anatafuta ba: bakufwatafwata na mambo/ asema oh bakaanze kumufwata yeye: bo: ku bei kiloko: sasa shee benyewe bataanza kukatala bintu yetu: asema iko bei nguvu: iko mubaya:
M: minasikia ya huyu muzungu na: minasema muzuri/ sasa minakwenda: nitaonana tena naye Desfossés mara ingine/ asema kuya kwangu: nitakuwa kukufundiza: kwiko batoto bengine wanakuya ku nani: ku: [hesitates] maneno wakati ile: balikuwa waSpringa na: na katolik/
M: mu yu: mu kazi inne: kulikuwa congé ya masomo: watoto hapana kwenda mu masomo/ minaangaria bale batoto: kuonyesha namna gani ya kufanya: paka vile: niko nabe: niko nabafundiza/ kiisha mu kazi tatu: batoto ya: ya katolik banakuya paka vile: congé ku mangaribi: minafundiza/ kiisha minaendelea paka vile: tunakuwa rafiki/ anasema: hapana kufanya sasa ile ya: ya maportraits: mapaysages vile/ acha...?... inafaa mufanya ya: uko nawaza wee kitu yako wee moya/
M: sasa pale njo minawaza: inakuwa nguvu/ ...?...minaanza kufanya hivi: mistari hivi/
F: hii: nani?
M: hii niko nafanya ma: ile ya style ya sasa hii/
F: una: mais: unai: unataya namna gani: hii?
F: ...jina yake?
M: iko trait(s)/
M: minaanza kufanya/ mu français/
F: mu français/ sawa vile Pilipili yee anafanya...
M: ...ah Pilipili: sasa ananionyesha: angaria Pilipili: angaria Bela: Bela alikuwa kufanya: kilole hivi/ [demonstrates] Pilipili alikuwa kufanya ma: mazéros hivi/
M: aah: ma: petits points/
Getting to fifty, [correcting himself] in forty-eight – it was in forty-eight
or rather in - forty seven when Desfossés came (to
forty-seven, yes, Desfossés arrived here. ...?...[Prentinx] called on him
saying, I have a youngster who does beautiful drawings. Since you are an artist
come and see how he works, whether he is good. Mm. So, Desfossés came and
said, aah, since I came here (to
M: But I did not like it. I said, fine, I’ll come by (some time). Then forty-eight went by, so did forty-nine. Finally, in fifty, Desfossés and I saw each other again. When we met he said, oh, you must come, by all means. If you come to my place you’ll become a real artists, they really will know you [trailing off]. Then he himself wrote (something) about the way I paint. Don’t buy the stuff they paint here (he wrote), they are just doing copies, some day they’ll make money, then again they’ll do [trailing off]... Because he was a journalist, he...
F: ...who (was that)?
M: Mm. He kept writing negative things (about local painters). Then Prentinx kept telling me, if you go on (with the kind of work you are doing now) Desfossés is not going to like it.
M: What he does, (he’ll say) is bad. That’s how it was in those days, there was trouble in colonial times.
F: Whose times?
M: Under the Belgian regime...
F: ...I see, the Belgians. Mm. [chuckles]
M: So I gave it up. Then, after I had given it up... [pauses]
F: What did you give up?
M: I gave up painting portraits, what not...
F: [overlapping] ...painting portraits?
M: Mm. He said, it’s up to you...
F: ...that’s (what he said)?
M: I gave up painting. People said, it is you he is writing about and talking like that because he wants people to get involved in these matters. What he is saying is they should follow him, instead of (selling our work) cheaply we should begin to give up our stuff and stop saying (doing things differently) is expensive and that’s bad.
M: I listened to this European and told myself, fine, now I’m going to meet up again with Desfossés. Come to my place, he said, I’ll teach you. (At the time) there were some (school) children who came (to his place) – Methodists and Catholics.
M: On Thursdays there were no classes, the children did not go to school. I looked after those children, showed them how to paint, and that way I taught them. Then, on Wednesdays, the Catholic children came. They had the afternoon off and I taught them. So I went on with this and we became friends. He said, don’t go on painting those portraits and landscapes. Leave that, what you should do is something you thought up yourself.
M: So then I did some thinking but it was difficult. That’s when I began to paint lines like this.
F: (Paint) what?
M: The way I paint, in this style (I work) now.
F: But how do you call this (style)?
F: ...what is its name?
M: It’s [in French] traits (lines).
M: That’s what I began painting, (it is called lines) in French.
F: In French. Similarly, Pilipili painted...
M: ah, Pilipili – at the time (Desfossés) showed me, look at Pilipili, look at Bela.
Bela painted with his fingers, like this [demonstrates]. Pilipili was doing zeros like this.
M: Yes, little points.
4. F: ni kusema kama wee ulifika: Pilipili alikuwa...
M: Pilipili ba mbele kule na Desfossés/
F: ya mbele?
M: mm/ na mbele...
F: ...ya mbele/ na Bela?
M: Bela alikuwa naye ku Chari Ubangi/
F: ku Chari?
F: sawa: sawasawa:
M: sawa boy yake/
F: ah: boy yake/
M: Bela alikuwa boy ya: ya Desfossés/ kutoka: pale vita
iliisha: banatoka ku Ubangi kule: kiisha: kufika
M: Bukavu: anakuwa kufika na huku/ na Bela yee njo alikuwa boy yake/
M: nani: Bela aliona: maneno: Pililipili nayee hakuanzaka hapana/ Pilipili alikuwa peintre ya nani: ya bâtiments ya:
F: ya bâtiments/
M: ya: mm/ mwenye alianzaka ni muntu moya ya
M: yee alikuwa: Kilima Oscar/
F: Kilima Oscar/
M: Oscar/ sasa anaacha buKilima Oscar: anasema Kyoswa/
M: ...?... Kilima [chuckles]
F: [overlapping, laughs]
M: ndiyo ni Kyoswa/
F: njo anasema: sasa?
M: sasa hanakuwa: hatujue wapi/
M: eeh: hatujue/ njo ule yee alikuwa journaliste: ana: alikuwa anaandika ku nani: ku: ku Esso: ku journal moya ilikuwa Echo/
M: ku Essor moya Echo: alikuwa inaitwa tu Echo/
M: sasa hivi: yee alienda ku: ikala: juu ya kufanya maclichés ya nani: ku:
M: ...kufanya clichés: eh: ya kuimprimer ya kufanya nani/ njo ile Desfossés alimuitaka: juu ya ma: mapapiers alikuwa anaandika: majournal yake alikuwa anaandika yee alifanya ile nani/
M: sasa anaona ilikuwa muzuri: njo baPilipili iko anakamata beko banaweka ku papier hivi: [demonstrates making a print] kiisha anasigner/
M: na Desfossés anaonyesha na bazungu ingine: banasema ah iko muzuri sana/ njo banaendelea: nabo wanabakiamo wanaanza kufanya madessins muzuri/
M: kiisha na benginebengine: kulikuwa: Kabala: Ilunga: Nkulu: na: na Kimpinde/
M: Kipinde/ na Aron: Aron inakuwa sculpture/ wakufanya ma: bankishi/
F: ah ni ya: ya: jina yake sawa Arabe:
M: jina yake: alikuwa Springa ...?...
M: alikuwa Springa yeye/
M: mm/ Aroun/
M: alikuwa muntu wa Springa/
F: ...?... alikuwa yee...
M: ...alitoka ku
F: ku Zambie?
M: ku Living: ku nani: ku
F: mm/ [pause]
F: sasa wee ulibakia Spiringa? wee:
M: ah: minachanger religion: pale minakuya...
F: [overlapping] ...unakuwa catholique?
M: yes alikuwa catholique/ na mi paka catholique/
4. F: In other words, when you arrived Pilipili was already...
M: Pilipili belonged to the first group (who worked) with Desfossés.
F: The first group?
M: Mm. The first one...
F: ...the first one. And Bela?
M: Bela was with him (Desfossés) in Chari Ubangi.
M: As (his)...
F: Ah, he was his servant.
M: Bela was
the servant of Desfossés. When the war was over they left Ubangi and got to
M: Via Bukavu he arrived here. Bela was (still) his servant.
M: Bela observed [interrupts himself] – Pilipili had not started yet, he was (still) a house painter.
F: A house painter.
M: Mm. The
person who made the beginning was someone from
M: That was Kilima Oscar.
F: Kilima Oscar.
M: Oscar. Then he dropped Kilima Oscar and called himself Kyoswa.
M: ...?.,. Kilima/ [chuckles]
F: [overlapping, laughs]
M: Yes, it was Kyoswa.
F: Is that what he calls himself now?
M: Now he is no longer around, we don’t know where he is.
F: I see.
M: Yes. We don’t know. He was a journalist who used to write for Esso(r), (or rather) for a paper called Echo.
M: A paper like Essor, it was called Echo (du Katanga).
M: It was like this: He (Kyoswa) made printing plates in...
M: ...he made printing plates. That’s why Desfossés wanted him (for his atelier). (He got to know him) through his journalistic work for papers where (Kyoswa) did (the printing plates).
M: He saw that (Kyoswa’s work) was good. So then he printed what Pilipili and others painted on paper, like this [demonstrates making a print) and then he signed it.
M: Desfossés showed (the prints) to other Europeans who said, ah, this is really beautiful. So they stayed (with Desfossés) and went on to produce beautiful paintings.
M: After that, several others (joined the group), Kabala, Ilunga, Nkulu and Kimpinde.
M: Kipinde. An Aron, he did sculpture, carving statues.
F: Ah, his name sounds Arabic.
M: (Despite) his name, he was a Methodist.
M: He was a Methodist.
F: He was?
M: Mm. Aroun.
M: He was a Methodist.
F: ...?... he was...
Living(stone), or rather from
F: Mm. [pause]
F: How about you, did you remain a Methodist?
M: Well, I changed my religion when I came....
F: [overlapping] ...you became a Catholic?
M: He was Catholic, so I became a Catholic.
5. M: kiisha: [pauses] tuna: minaanza hii mu nani: mutumikio ya: ya: ya lignes hii ya mistari/
F: mm/ ya nani: ya?
M: hii mistari tunaita kiSwahili asema mistari/
M: train: mistari mu Swahili/
M: banasema: mushtari moya:
M: moya ni mushtari/
M: hii mingi: mistari/
F: mingi mistari aah/
M: aah: nafanya mistari/
F: mm/ njo ina: fanana na: na nani: ah: ni nani? minajiuliza namna gani uli...
M: ...maneno zamani kwa mufano sawa: bale banakuwa kufanya sculpture ya zamani:
M: ah: bankishi ya zamani: banakuwa saa yote banafanya:
M: ah: ya ndani /
F: ...?...yake oui/ sawa vile bale basculpteurs/
M: basculpteurs walikuwa wanafanya/ sasa mina: hii peinture yangu ilikuwa inaitwa peinture sculpture/
M: hmm [chuckle] ni sawa iko sculpture:
F: [overlapping] sculpture/
M: eheh/ njo vilevile/ njo vile nilikuwa nawaza/
5. M: Then, (to continue) [pauses] I began working with those lines, those mistari.
F: Mm. Those what?
M: Those mistari as we call them in Swahili.
F: (What you called in French) traits?
M: Train, mistari in Swahili.
M: They say mustari in the singular.
M: One is called mustari.
M: In the plural it’s mistari.
F: Many are called mistari.
M: Yes, so I paint lines.
F: Mm. It looks like – what is it again? – I am asking myself how you (got the idea).
M: It comes from – for instance, long ago you had those who did traditional carving.
M: The carvers of statues. In the past they always worked (that way). When a carver worked on an object it was (like) geometry.
F: I see.
M: Ah, [cutting] into (the object).
F: ...?...yes, like those sculptors.
M: Sculptors, that’s what they were. Now, my kind of painting was called sculpture painting.
M: Mm. [chuckle] It is like sculpture.
F: [overlapping] Sculpture.
M: Yes. That’s what it is like. That was what I thought up.
6. F: na: [pause] hii wakati kama:
M: ya Desfossés/
F: ah/ c’est ça/ ulibakia kule? ali...
M: aah sasa anasema hapana kwenda fasi ingine/
M: hapana kwenda fasi ingine: inafaa tunabakia na mi/
M: ah: anasema....
F: ...anakulipa? alileta chakula ao nini?
M: hapana/ alikuwa analipa franga kiloko/
M: maneno pale mi niliisha kupata bibi/ nakuwa na: naoa/
M: ananipa: analeta franga kilokokiloko juu ya kusharia [kusaidia] ku kulya/
F: alikuwa na: eh: [interrupting himself] uli: hii wakati uliisha kuoa?
M: ndiyo/ mu macinquante mi nilioa/
M: mm: mm/ sawa cinquante/
F: ahah/ sasa...
M: ...?... sasa ilikuwa nguvu pa kulya: pa kuoa: kuikala tu hivi ni ...?...nilikala bule/
M: aah ile: ni yeye njo alikuwa anakamata Makuta/
F: na alichunga?
M: alikuwa naweka mufuko yake/
M: yote: hata Pilipili: hata nani: hata Bela: kama anafanya exposition: franga inakuya: ni: alikuwa nayee mufuko yake/
M: mm/ na tulikuwa: tunateswa sana ku ile wakati/ pata: Makuta hapana/ mapeintres yee anasema ah: minaleta penti: ah minaonyesha kazi: ao: fasi iko yangu: byote vile: hakukuwa namna ya shee ku:: kukuwa muzuri hapana/
M: ...alikwa anapata Makuta: kutuma...?...
F: ...alikuwa muntu: yee alikuwa muntu...
M: ...alikuwa muzee eh? alikuwa Français/
M: alikuwa muzee/ alikuwa na soixante: alikuwa na soixante-cinq ans/ [pause] sasa kama yee bado mutumia....
F: soixante-cinquante nini?
F: aah/ alikuwa muzee?
M: alikuwa muzee/
M: alikuwa na age soixante-cinq ans/
F: eyo/ njo kintu/
M: sasa yote ile: aliyua mu fasi yote ya kutuma nani: ma: matableaux/
F: yee alikamata ile?
F: ts ts/
M: sasa anakuya....
F: na bote? bote wee/
M: bote tu/ shee bote/ na bale nilikutana/ lakini analeta
tu kipande kiloko: kwa mufano kama:
M: mu francs ya zamani/ paka vile moya moya/ na alifanya
kintu hapana/ paka kiloko
M: cinquante-quatre: mm: trente mars/ alikufa/ sasa munakuwa moya mwengine: Belge/ nayee anafanya paka mufano moya/ sasa: ule alikuwa anafanya muzuri kiloko/ anafanya commision/ tunatumika matableaux hivi: banaweka mu fasi moya/
F: yee: yee aliuzisha?
M: yee alianza kuuzisha vilevile/
M: kiisha kama anauzisha: anatokamo franga: ana:
anaitukulia [kulipa?] kiloko/ ya kupita ya Desfossés/ yee alianza kukabula
M: pengine: dix mille: pengine: cinq mille/ paka vile: maneno anakata kipande: ya kuleta na baartistes/ kipande ya kuweka ya kuuza bitu ingine/ kipande na bale benyewe beko na mu commission yabo/ na vile tulifika mu nani: tunaendeleza kufika mu cinquante huit: tunakwenda mu Bruxelles/ ilikuwa exposition universelle/ kuluria [kurudia] mule na yee benzake wanasema ooh: iko anaiba ma: bitu ya: baartistes: yee hapana kuyua pa franga: iko anabalia:
F: nani alisema?
M: bazungu ingine/
F: bazungu bengine/
M: ilikuwa tu maneno maneno: na: Frère Marc ya ku nani: ku
M: Frère Marc: ule alifondé...
F: ule alifondé Saint-Luc?
M: Saint-Luc yaa/
M: nayee vilevile kule nayee banamuangaria ooh anabeba
franga ya baartistes: oh: byote vile vinakuya nguvu: Frère Marc alikwenda
siyue ni Bukavu:
6. F: And [pause] (back to) the time when you joined (the atelier of) [searching for the name]...
M: ...of Desfossés.
F: Yes, that’s it. Did you stay on? Did he...
M: Aah, he told me right away, don’t go anywhere else.
M: Don’t go elsewhere, we must stay together (lit. we must stay with me).
M: Ah, he said...
F: ... did he pay you, give you food, or what?
M: No, he paid a little money.
M: Because I had a wife by then, I was married.
M: He gave me a little bit of money to help with the food.
F: Did he have, eh [interrupting himself] so, by that time you were already married?
M: Yes. I got married in the fifties.
F: The fifties?
M: Mm, mm. around fifty.
F: I see. Then...
M: ...?...at that time there were problems with feeding a married couple ...?... so I lived by myself.
F: And when you sold your paintings, who took the money?
M: Ah that -- (Desfossés) used to take the money.
F: He (did)?
F: And he kept it?
M: He used to put it in his pocket.
M: All of it. It was the same with Pilipili, or with Bela, when he organized an exposition and money came he had it in his pocket.
M: Mm. And we suffered a lot in those days. We got no money. He said, I give paints to the painters, I show them the work, the place is mine. All things considered, it was impossible for us to do well.
M: ...he was the one who got the money and sent it...?...
F: ...what kind of person was he?
M: ...he was and old man, right? A Frenchman.
M: He was old, sixty, sixty-five. [pause]. Perhaps at that time he...?...
F: Sixty-five what?
M: Years (old).
F: Ah, so he was an old man?
M: He was an old man.
F: I see, that’s something.
M: Now, he knew everything about places to send the paintings to.
M: When money came he was the only one to know about it. [chuckle]
F: (And) he took that (money)?
F: Well, well.
M: Then came...
F: And this goes for everyone, all of you?
all of us, among those I met. Still, he gave away a small part of it. If you
got the first prize, from (expositions in)
M: In the currency we had then (lit. in old Francs). And he painted nothing. (If he paid us at all) it was just a small sum. Then he died. Desfossés died in [pauses] in the year of nineteen hundred and fifty-four.
M: Fifty-four, on March 30, he died. Then there was another person, a Belgian who operated in the same manner. What he did was a little better in that he worked on commission. We worked on the paintings and they stored them in some place.
F: (And) he was the one who sold them?
M: He also began to sell them.
M: Then, when he made a sale and money came it he paid us a little, more than Desfossés. He would hand out perhaps ten Zaire.
F: Ten Zaire?
M: Maybe ten
thousand (Francs), maybe five thousand, something like that. What he did was
take out one part to give it to the artists, one to put aside for buying
supplies (lit. other things), and another one for those to whom he owed a commission.
So we kept going until we got to fifty-eight when we went to
F: Who said that?
M: Other Europeans.
F: Other Europeans.
M: There was
a conflict with Frère Marc, the one who was in
M: Frère Marc, the one who founded...
F: The one who founded Saint-Luc.
M: Saint-Luc, yes.
M: He had
the same reputation there (in
7. [clears his throat] inakuwa:
M: anakamata masomo: inakuwa: officiel/
M: mille neuf cent cinquante-sept/ inakuwa ku Académie:
F: ...Académie ya Beaux Arts/
M: [overlapping] Académie des Beaux Arts/ Académie officielle: des Beaux Arts/
F: ni kusema zamani alikuwa ya ba: bamonpères?
M: zamani ilikuwa tu ya bule hivi ya: nani: ya ba: ya privés/
F: ya privés/
M: ya privés/
F: sawa Desfossés: ...?...?
M: ah/ kiisha Moonens aliisha kwanza:
F: na hii muzungu ingine: jina yake ni?
M: Moonens ndiyo/
M: nitaweza kukupa mapapiers...
F: ...aaah: ni...
M: Laurent Moonens...
F: ...nilisoma mu ile kitabu balitosha hii kitabu ya...
F: ...des catalogues ya: ah: siku ingine minaleta/
M: ahah/ Pilipili alikuwa kuonyesha wapi: sijui/
F: hapana/ ku Saint-Paul/
M: ah: ni kweli/
M: mm/ na mulikuwa jina ya Moonens?
M: ndiyo/ yee alikuwa artiste mukubwa: alikuwa wa fanya portraits: alikuwa portraitiste wa muzuri/
F: aliisha kufa?
M: sijui kama: mi nilifika mu Bruxelles: bananionyesha asema iko mu Nice/ mu France/
F: mu Nice?
M: mu Nice/ mm/ kama aliisha kufa: hatusikie tena habari yake/
M: nasikia muzungu mwengine asema: ah iko tu muzuri: ?kulya ndiyo/
his throat] What happened was
M: It took over the schools which then became “official.”
F: (That was in) fifty...
M: Nineteen hundred and fifty-seven. (That also went for the ) Academy.
M: [overlapping] The Academy of Fine Art (becoming) The Official Academy of Fine Arts.
F: Does that mean that before the it was run by the missionaries?
M: Before it was just a private school.
F: (Run) by private persons.
M: By private persons.
F: Like Desfossés’ (school)?
M: Yes. Then Moonens took over.
F: And there was this other European, what was his name?
M: Moonens, yes.
M: I could give you documents...
F: ...aaah: he was the one....
M: Laurent Moonens.
F: ...I read about (him) in this book. There was a book published...
F: ...catalogs of – I’ll bring it along some other day.
M: Yes. Pilipili showed you where (to get it), I don’t know.
F: No, (I found it) in (the book shop) Saint-Paul.
M: Yes, that’s right.
M: Mm. And Moonens’ name (was mentioned)?
M: Yes. He was a great artist. He painted portraits. He was a good portraitist.
F: Is he dead (now)?
M: I don’t
know. When I was in
F: In Nice?
M: In Nice. Mm. About whether he died – we had no news about him.
M: I did hear another European saying that he is doing well, yes.
8. F: na hii: hii: bengine? sawa Bela: Bela alienda?
M: Bela: tulifika mu cinquante-six: eh? mille neuf cent
cinquante-six/ Bela alisikia mubaya: kulipa muzuri hapana: byote vile aliona:
ma: iko anatumika kazi yake: iko anakwenda kulia bantu bengine: aliona ah:
minakwenda/ Bela pale alitoka: anakwenda ku: tuliwaza alikwenda kwabo: kumbe
M: wa Chari/ sasa: anafika mu
M: muzungu moya/
F: [overlapping] yee aliisha alikufa/
F: eh/ hii: hii ...?...
M: aah/ aah/ Ardeff alikufa? njo kule Bela alikuwa anatumika/ kule iko matableaux mingi ya Bela/ kiisha Ardeff iko tena na matableaux ingine alikuwa anauza kwa Desfossés: iko anakwenda naye kule/ njo miaka yote Bela alikuwa anatumika: paka wakati ya évènements: ya mvita/
M: alikatala/ yee hapana tena kutambuka kwenda mu:
F: na bengine?
M: kiisha Kabala/ nayee wakati paka ya mvita vile vile: nayee alitoka humu: anakwenda ku: ku Kinkondja/
F: ku Kikondja?
M: iko ku:
M: jina paka ya mugini yabo ni maYolo/
M: Yolo tu/
F: Yolo/ ni karibu ya?
M: mu chefferie: [interrupts himself] kama unafika Kinkondja:
M: sasa unatoka mu Kinkondja unakwenda mu mugini yabo ya Yolo/
F: anaikala tena kwake?
M: anaikala tu paka kule tu/
F: na: anatumika? ana:
M: balimuita ku kuwa mwalimu/
F: [overlapping] sawa: sawa artiste/
M: sawa m: sawa mwalimu kufundiza/ sasa yee: sijue ana: anasema anapenda pombe mingi:
M: yee hapana tena ku: fanya bintu hapana/ anaikala tu mwabo/
F: eh eh eh/
M: Ilunga vile vile: Ilunga nayee: iko ku Kayeye/
F: ni kweli?
M: ah/ ku Kayeye/ nayee iko anafanya mara moya mapaysages: anaacha kutumika ile ya kazi yake/ maneno alikuwa anatumika mufano moya ya Pilipili/
M: bandeke ile: bamamba: mufano ya:
M: kufanya tu ma: petits points hivi/
F: ahah/ Ilunga?
M: Ilunga/ zamani alikuwa Ilunga Norbert/ sijui sasa kama ni nani/
F: ahah/ ni kusema sasa anafanyaka paka paysages?
M: paka paysages ndiyo/ ...?...
F: hii coucher de soleil?
M: [overlapping] ...?... ah coucher du soleil/
M: ...?...[chuckles] aah/ [pauses] sasa kwiko moya Kipinde/ nayee anaacha kabisa: iko anafanya paka mule balikuwa anatumika pamoya na Pilipili/
F: ali: yee alitoka wapi?
M: yee: yee naye balikuwa pamoya na Pilipili ku T.P.: anaita...
M:...ku Travaux Publiques: eh/
M: nabo balikwa banatumika mu ma: kazi ya ...?.../ hii ma...
F: ...ya ya...
M: ...ya bâtiments/
F: hii peinture ya: ya:
M: ...ya bâtiments/ sasa: yee Pilipili alikatala/ ana: anafwata paka hii/ yee anabakia paka kule/ iko anafanya paka ma: ku peinture ya bâtiments/
M: humu/ ndiyo/
M: ni kazi ya ...?... Kimpinde/
F: pasipo: pasipo kupeintre?
M: wapi: anaacha ?habyo kabisa/ anaacha/
F: unawaza: namna: sababu gani yee aliacha?
M: yee aliacha: sijue: maneno mingi/ unajua mingi beko
M: anafanya mbili tatu: ana: pima bei [chuckles] itafwata
bwingi hivi: paka vile/ eh: habayue aseme ni kazi tu: sawa kazi yote/ njo
F: sawa Pilipili?
M: mm/ sawa Pililipili [chuckles]
M: anaweza kufanya kintu moya: anafanyamo ah hii banaipenda kabisa/ anafanya anafanya/ alafu haina vile hapana/
8. F: And how about the others, such as Bela. Bela went away?
M: Bela – we
now come to fifty-six, right? Nineteen hundred and fifty-six. Bela was angry
because he wasn’t paid well and about everything else regarding the work he
did. He went around complaining about that to others. (Eventually) he saw (no
other way out and told himself) ah, I am leaving. Bela left and, we thought,
he went back to his home country. So he went to
M: A European.
F: [overlapping] He is dead.
M: He died?
F: Yes. ...?...
M: Aah, I see. Alhadeff died? (Anyhow,) that’s where Bela was working, many of Bela’s paintings are there. Besides, Alhadeff also had other paintings which he bought from Desfossés. He went with him to that place. All those years Bela kept working (at Alhadeff’s) until, when the upheavals of war came, ...
refused (to go on). He no longer thought of going to
F: And about the others?
there was Kabala. He also left (
F: To Kikondja?
M: He lives in...
M: The name of their village is maYolo.
M: Just Yolo.
F: Yolo. That’s near where?
M: It belongs to the chefferie [interrupts himself] – you come to Kikondja.
M: Then you
leave Kikondja and you get to their
F: Does he still live at home?
M: He just stays there.
F: And does he (still) paint? Does he...
M: He was appointed as a teacher.
F: [overlapping] ...(work as) an artist?
M: (He works) as a school teacher, giving classes. Right now, I don’t know, he says he likes a lot of beer.
M: He no longer does any painting. He just lives in his home (village).
F: Well, well, well.
M: It’s the same with Ilunga. Ilunga lives in Kayeye.
F: Is that true?
M: Yes. In Kayeye. He paints some landscapes now and then but he no longer does the kind of work he used to do, which was like Pilipili’s.
M: (Painting) those birds and crocodiles, in the manner of (Pilipili).
F: I see.
M: Painting those little points.
F: Ahah. Ilunga?
M: Ilunga. Before, he used to be Ilunga Norbert. I don’t know what his name is now.
F: I see. In other words, he only paints landscapes?
M: Only landscapes, yes. ...?...
F: Those sunsets?
M: Ah, sunsets.
M: ...?... [chuckles] well. [pauses] Then there was another one, Kipinde. He gave up painting altogether. He only painted as long as he worked together with Pilipili.
F: Where did he come from?
M: He and Pilipili were both at T.P. ...
M: ...at Travaux Publiques (Public Works), yes.
M: Their job was working ...?...
F: ... working as...
M: ...as house (painters).
M: ...houses. Then, when Pilipili gave that up and went on to (become an artist) (Kimpinde) stayed on (at T.P.) as a house painter.
F: Here (in
M: Here, yes.
M: It’s a job...?...Kipinde.
F: No longer painting (as an artist)?
M: No, he gave that up altogether. He gave it up.
F: Why do you think he gave it up?
M: He gave it up. I don’t know, for many reasons. You know, there are many who like (paintings) but in a lot of homes you come to you don’t find those kinds of things. There is no demand for this sort of work. (A painter may) do one picture and all he thinks of is selling it.
M: He does two or three and then tries (to get a good) price depending on how many (he sells) [chuckles]. That’s how it goes, yes. They don’t know that this is work like any other. What happens is, when he sees that he has problems selling...
M: ...he gives it up.
F: Like Pilipili?
M: Mm. Like Pilipili. [chuckles] When he paints he only thinks of selling.
M: He may do one painting and (when he notices) that people like it, he keeps on doing (the same painting). But that’s not how it works.
9. F: sawa [pauses] minaona siku yote mu: mu hii: mu ville ...?... jana:
F: analeta: anatembea na inne:
F: alors: ni nani anafanyaka hii?
M: ile kwiko bengine banatoka Kinshasa/
M: maneno Kinshasa ile bintu ya vile bana: kamatiza kabisa/ unaona: si njo unaisha kufika pa: place nani: ?Branconnier alikuwa kule ...?.../ beko wanaweka mangaribi: ...?...
M: mu nani? mu soko? Branconnier/ kama unakwenda mu Trente Juin/
M: una: una: pita ile bâtiment ya: Sabena?
M: unakwenda/ peko fasi moya wanafansiaka benyewe....
M: ku: ku nani: nyumba ya: ambassadeur ya Belgique hivi: sasa pale peko: pa kipande wanaweka/
F: na bale bantu balitoka Kinshasa?
M: nawaza bale balitoka: njo bale bantu beko wanatoka kule wanakuya huku/
M: sasa banaleta na batoto kwenda kuuzisha vile/
F: batoto ba....
M: ...bale ba: ni bale balifundaka kiloko kwa nani: kwa Ardeff/
F: kwa Ardeff?
M: ah/ na bangine baliingia ku Académie: kule kulala masiku mingi hapana: inamushinda: anatoka: anaanza kufanya...
9. F: Another thing [pauses], in (the center of) town ...?...I keep seeing, just yesterday...
F: I saw
someone going around, carrying four (paintings).
F: Who paints those?
that -- there are some who come from
M: Where, in the market place? (No) on (Place) Branconnier. If you walk on (Avenue) Trente Juin.
F: I see.
M: You pass the Sabena building?
M: There is a place where they always do (their business)...
M: Near the residence of the Belgian ambassador, that’s where they display (their paintings).
F: And those
people come from
M: I think
that is where they come from. Those are people who come here from (
M: Then they give (their paintings) to some youngsters who to go around and sell them.
F: Youngsters who...
M: (Those painters) are people who have studied a little at Alhadeff’s (atelier).
F: At Alhadeff’s?
M: Yes. And others went to the Academy there but did not stay for long. Finding it too difficult, such a person would leave and just start painting.
10. F: na wee ulikuwa na: na: mutoto ya: ya kufunda: sawa disciple?
M: disciples banakuwa bamingi/ nafundiza wa: lakini kulikuwa sawa huku ku nyumba yangu hapana/
M: paka ku: masomo vile/
F: ku masomo?
M: aah/ ku Académie beko bamingi sana/
F: hata moya: yee anafanyaka sawa weee: ali: alifunda hii style: style yako?
M: hapana: mi hapana ku: ma: maneno mbele ya kufunda walisema: haifai muntu iko anafunda style yake/
M: Desfossés alisema: haifai ku: kucopier: m: muntu
anafanya wee una: unafunda/ sasa njo ile nani uliona kwiko mutoto moya ku
M: kulikuwa: ministre moya nduku yake: iko namupatia masafari ya kwenda: namupatia bourse anamutuma mu: mu Bruxelles/
M: kufika mu Belgique: iko: wanasikilizana wazungu wengine walikuwa humu: anaanza kufanya kazi paka sawa hivi mi: mi niko nafanya: maneno alikuwa na bitabu ingine wanamuonyesha: eko anafanya/
F: na jina: alikuwa na jina yake/
M: jina ni ya Mwenze/ ts/ mm/ sasa...
F: ...sasa alifanya: eh: alifanya copies ya:
M: alicopier jina
M: Charles/ Mungolo/ Mwenze Mungolo/ iko mu Kinshasa/
F: iko mu Kinshasa?
F: anafanya gani?
M: iko commerçant mule eko na: mufanya nani: magazin eko anauzisha mankisi: ma: ma...?...
F: ah: com: commerce ya d’art/
F: eh/ ts/ [laughs]
M: mm/ maneno ile na Frère: ile mu nani: mu: cinquante:
[pauses] mu septante et un/ nilikwenda ku
F: hii nani: ah hii Mwenze: ingine/
M: hapana: miye/
F: ah weye/
M: nilifika na: na Frère ...?...: wanasema tutakushauria/
njo nilifanya exposition juu ya kuonyesha bantu
M: sasa njo: Frère Cornet alini: alifanya article mule na:
fanya exposition ku Acédemie des Beaux Arts ya nani: ya
M: sasa bamingi baliyua asema aah: kumbe njo Mwenze mwenyewe/
10. F: And did you have a youngster who studied (with) you, something like a disciple?
M: There were many disciples whom I taught but that was not here in my house.
M: Only at school.
F: At school?
M: Yes. At the Academy there were lots of them.
F: (Was there) one who painted like you, who learned this style of yours?
M: No. I did not (teach my style). Because we were told before starting to teach, no one should learn his (teacher’s) style.
F: Who (said that)?
said, you must not copy what someone does with whom you study. Now, there is
this one young man in
M: One of
the ministers was his relative. He arranged for him to travel. He got him a
grant and sent him to
M: When he
F: And he (worked) under his name.
M: His name, Mwenze. Well, mm. Then...
F: ...he painted copies of...
M: He really
copied the name. Everyone said, ah, this how he paints with this technique of
lines, there are the lines. What kind of “technique of lines?” Hm. He was in
Mungolo.. He is in
F: He is in
F: What kind of work does he do?
M: He is a businessman over there, running a shop where he sells statues, and....?...
F: Ah, so he is an art dealer.
F: Eh, well. [laughs]
F: I see.
M: Mm. In –
when was it again? – fifty [pauses] in seventy-one I went to do some painting
F: This other Mwenze.
M: No, I (was there)
F: Ah, you.
M: When I came to Frère ...?... they said, we will advise you. So then I did an exposition to show people that (person) is not Mwenze, the real Mwenze is this one.
M: It was
Frère Cornet who wrote an article about me and I did an exposition at the
F: I see.
M: A lot of people knew it then, ah, so this is the real Mwenze.
11. sasa: [pauses] nazani: naza: bon: nazani nani? minafanya kujua vizuri tu sawa: ile wakati: ulichagula: hii stylo yako hii:
F: namna gani? yee alifika namna gani?
M: pa kuchagula style: paka vile/ [knocks on table]
ilikuwa mufano ya: iko sawa
F: eeh/ nani ana: hii wakati nani alicritiquer?
M: ma: majournaux ya humu/ ya: ya
M: journaux/ sasa ni: ni Desfossés tu alikuwa nafanya ile yote/ na baartistes bengine...
F: ... journaux gani? ya:
M: journal Essor du Congo:
F: Essor du Congo?
M: kulikuwa Essor du Congo:...
F: ...kumbe tuta: tutaweza kunga: kuangaria kule mu archive/ beko nayo/
M: sijue/ mane: maneno ma: miaka inapita/ vingine vinaharibika vile/
F: ah ...?...
M: zamani ilikuwako/ maneno: pa kujua tena ili:
M: njo vile/ nilikuwa na bitabu ingine ya ku kwanza: kufanya iko anafanya: byote bile iko paka moya moya anabeba: na vile inaisha/
F: mm/ sijue
Madame [searches] Markovitch/
M: Markovitch/ alikuwa professeur visiteur/
M: yee alikuwa muFrançais/ tulikwenda naye: alia: alitaka ku: kunishauria juu ya exposition hii:
M: kuona namna gani tuliona/ minasema: kama munataka kujua
mufano ya Desfossés: inafaa kwenda kwa Sartenaer/ tunafika kule: Sartenaer
anaonyesha: alikuwa paka na kitabu moya/ alinipata kitabu: Sartenaer: ya:
F: [overlapping] hii ya Desfossés naye ...?.../
M: mm/ kwiko journal moya nani: ile: Couleur [Courrier] d’Afrique: anabeba anabeba lote: yee hapana ku: kunirudishia/
F: Courrier d’Afrique/
F: njo vile/ na sasa: sawa vile nili: nili: kuuliza juu ya style: ya kupata style/
M: paka mu macinquante mule niliona: sasa: sawa mi balisema aah: uko artiste kabisa: upate style yako/ upate style yako/ njo bana: mina....
F: ...uko na neno ya: ya kusema mu Swahili style?
M: style/ ahah/
F: paka mufano?
M: ni mufano/
M: style ni mufano/
M: mm/ mufano ya ma: yako ya ku...?...sema
M: eeh/ ... namna ingine/ iko sawa hivi na huku/ ku
Afrique: hukuwa nani: iko na style/ bote banakuwa wanatumika tu mufano moya:
kama unaona pengine tableau ya muzungu moya: anatumika ao: bamingi sawa ku
M: inafaa muna: tafuta style moya ya kusema: hii:
M: ile inaonyesha ni mufano yake ya Bela/
M: ile tulifansia juu ya kusema: baseme fulani iko na: mufano yake ya kutumika/ kila muntu iko na mufano yake ya kutumika/
M: haiseme aseme tulifanya sawa: ah: lakini ya bankambo/ ao tulifanya: kusema ah: maneno bazungu banapenda kuuza hapana/
M: mara mingi unaona wee moya: inayala humu/ bazungu: ff: bamingi banakuya banasema: f: bamingi hawapende hapana/
F: nani? ba: nini? habapende nini?
M: habapende hii matableaux/
M: eheh/ banapenda ile kitu ya kufanya sawa muntu vile iko/ ni bamingi habapende ile ya kufanya...
11. Now. [pauses] What is it I am thinking about now? I really would like to know about the time when you chose your style.
F: How? How did it come (to you)?
M: Choosing a style – (it happened) like that. [knocks on table] In an atmosphere of a lot of criticism.
F: I see. Who did the criticizing at the time?
M: The local
newspapers, all over
F: The papers?
M: The papers. Now, Desfossés was behind all this, and some other artists.
F: Which journals?
M: The journal Essor du Congo.
F: Essor du Congo?
M: There was the Essor du Congo...
F: ... so we will be able to look this up there in their archive, they (must) have one.
M: I don’t know. Many years went by and some things got destroyed.
F: Ah ...?...
M: There was one in the past. Because I would remember something when I saw it. Before, I used to save all papers. Nowadays, with all this moving around (I lost many). Also, lots of people came and asked for them. Ah, they said, I am going to return them for sure, and then went away with them for good.
M: That’s how it goes. I had some books, introductions to painting. One after the other, all that got carried off and nothing is left.
F: Mm. I don’t know, [perhaps] Sartenaer
has the archives now.
M: Sartenaer. The other day we visited him. He knows the story of Desfossés. He knows about it because they were fellow-travelers. But we had a certain lady here, Madame [searches] Markovitch.
M: Markovitch. She was a visiting professor.
M: She was (fluent) in French. We went around with her and she wanted to advise me about this exposition.
M: To see
how we saw. I said, if you want to know about Desfossés you need to go to
Sartenaer. When we got there, Sartenaer showed her a book. When I asked for
it Sartenaer gave it to me. Then I got to
F: [overlapping] ...one for which Desfossés also (wrote).
M: Mm. There was this journal Courrier d’Afrique, someone took it away and never returned it.
F: Courrier d’Afrique.
F: That’s how it goes. Now, back to my question about style, how to find a style.
M: It was in the fifties when I noticed people talking (about me), ah, you really are an artist, you should find your style.
Find you style. That’s when....
F: ...do you have a word for style in Swahili?
M: (It’s) style, yes.
F: Just mufano (example)?
M: It’s mufano.
M: Style is mufano. Mm.
M: Mm. Your way of (painting). When people look at it, even though they don’t see a signature, they’ll say, this one is by so-and-so, he paints like that.
M: Yes. ... (it’s) distinctive. The
way it is here in
M: You must search for a style, such that, when you look at (a painting) you say, so-and-so did that. It began with Bela. Bela painted with his fingers.
M: What this shows is Bela’s style.
M: When people see finger painting they’ll say, without seeing a signature, it’s Bela who did this.
M: This is what we worked on. People should be able to tell an artist from his style.
M: That doesn’t mean that we painted in the style of our ancestors or that we did it because Europeans liked to buy (that kind of work).
M: You (must have) observed yourself, there is too much (of that going on) here.
Many of the Europeans who come through don’t like it.
F: Who (are you talking about)? What don’t they like.
M: The don’t like these paintings.
F: The paintings?
M: Yes. What they like is a realistic presentation, painting a person like he is. Many don’t like the way (we) work...
12. [overlapping] ...na unawaza nini juu ya Chenge? sawa vile tulikutana hii: ku ile exposition/
M: ile Chenge vilevile: unaona Chenge: hakuwa nafanya vile
hapana/ yeye anakuwa nafanya sawa vile baKinshasa wanafanyaka/ alikuwa mu
F: [overlapping] ...?...
M: ku Saint-Luc ya/ sasa tena alifanya exposition moya mu soixante mule: habakuuza bintu yake/ mukubwa yake banauza: sculpture yake maneno yee: alikuwa anatumika sculpture muzuri/
F: ya hii: na: na: miti?
M: [overlapping] ...ule: ya miti eh/
F: njo mukubwa yake ya:
M: ...mukubwa ya ule munene: ya peintre/ yee baliuza bintu yake/ tangu zamani yee iko anatumika muzuri: banauza bintu yake/ sasa yee peintre: habakuuze hapana/ banaangaria: yee anaangaria: njo kusema ali: kuwa kuangaria mastyles yetu huku: anaangaria styles ya: kuko wazungu wengine: balikuwa wanafanya/ kulikuwa Walter Frank alikuwa anafanya: feux de brousse/
M: mm/ Frank Walter/ iko mu Afrique du Sud...
F: Frank nani?
M: Walter mm/
F: mm/ mafeux de brousse: siku yote?
M: feux de brousse siku yote:
M: na mafleurs na vitu ingine tu alikuwa kufanya muzuri: peintre bien/ yee anakamata ao kipande huku: anakamata kipande huku: sasa anavumbula ile: mufano anatumika sasa hivi/
M: sasa anafanya: banasema ah: unachanger unachanger: nayee anaendelea paka vile/
F: ni kusema anafanya paka ya kuuzisha?
M: nayee iko anafansia: iko anasikia maroho ya bantu/ vile bantu banapenda/ ana: anaanza kufwata paka ile/ sasa ...[trailing off]
12. [overlapping] ...and what do you think of Chenge, going on what we came across at this exposition.
M: This Chenge is another case. You see,
not paint in this manner, he worked like the people from
F: [overlapping] ...?...
M: At Saint-Luc. Now, when he had an
exposition in sixty people did not buy his stuff. They bought his elder brother’s sculpture because he did beautiful carvings.
F: Wood carvings?
M: [overlapping] ...wood carvings, yes.
F: He is the older brother of...
M: ...the older brother of the tall one, the painter. He has been selling his things for quite a while because his work is beautiful while the painter (Chenge) had no buyers. In his view, looking our styles here, I took them for the styles of certain European painters, for instance of Walter Frank who used to do those bush fires.
M: Mm. Frank Walter who (now lives) in Sout Africa.
F: Frank who?
M: Walter, mm.
F: Mm. Bush fires, all the time?
M: Bush fires, all the time.
M: And flowers and such things which he did well, he was a good painter. He would pick up one element here, another one there, developing his style in this manner.
F: I see.
M: He kept doing this and people would say, ah, so you are changing all the time.
That’s how he went on (and on).
F: I see.
F: In other words he painted to sell?
M: He worked for that. He understood what people desired, what they liked, and that’s what he followed. Now ...[trailing off]
13. sasa: hii: itaendelea namna gani? mi: minaona mu Zaire: ni paka wee: eh....
F: ...na hii école yako: una: unaanza kuwa muzee:
F: sasa: bavijana bataendelea namna gani? unajua na: eh: muntu ingine: iko artiste sawa wee?
M: wavija: wekoako wavijana/ wekoako/ kuko bangine bale: tulifundiza/ bale ba kufanya ma: pale Desfossés alikufwa/
M: sasa Moonens anaisha kukamata école:
F: na ba: na bo balikamata style yako ya...?...
M: ...na bo beko: sawa Mwembia/
M: Mwembia Floribert/
F: Floribert Mwembia/
F: anaanza ...?... wapi/
M: twiko paka naye ku Académie kule: iko paka humu/
F: mi bado kujua: mi bado ku:
F: kuona: ona: tableaux...
M: ooh bekoamo wanafanya muzuri
F: hii: yee ali: pita: alipata style yako?
M: na yee alipata yake style/
M: hata Mwembia vile vile sasa: anaacha vile alikuwa anfanaya anaanza ku: kuingia pa Académie/
F: banaikala huku ku...
M: ...paka mu
F: sijue kama siku ingine: tuta: tutaweza kupita na:
F: eko na: beko na tableaux yabo mu nyumba?
M: beko na tableaux/ beko na matableaux: lakini hapana mingi: kiloko: ya kuuzisha/
M: ah niko napenda...
F: ...bana: banafanyaka tu...
M: ya kuuzisha ndiyo/
F: beko bavijana?
M: batoto ndiyo/ sijue matrente ans?
F: matrente ans?
M: mm/ ni bantu wanaisha kuoa na wabibi: na watoto/
F: ni kusema: [pauses] haba: pite? habapite wee ao?
M: ah ile iko kitu ingine maneno mufano ya kupita...
F: [overlapping] ...?... mu hii yote inafaa: inafaa siku yote inafaa kama bavijana...
M: ...banapita ba: banani: banapita bale bakubwa/
M: ma: mara mingi: habatake kup: juu ya nini hawapite? banapenda kuuzisha tu/ paka ile/ angaria sawa mufano: frère Chenge huyu/ ana: kamatiza: anasimama paka mu ile ...?... ya mufano ya kuuzisha/
M: anatumika anauzisha/ rouge na mu nani? ba: bazungu wanapenda ile? batouristes wanapenda ile? paka ile/ anauzisha juu ya apate Makuta mingi/ lakini pa kusema kuwaza bitu...
F: ni kusema hana artiste ya kweli/ artiste...
M: [overlapping] ...beko bamingi ana...
F: ...?... juu ya nini?
M: artiste iko anatumika juu ya: kuendeleza: nani? mm/ ya kufundiza/
F: ya kufundiza?
M: ...na kuvumbula kuvumbula mufano: kuvumbula mifano ingine/
13. How will
it go on? What I see in
F: ...and your school. You are getting old.
F: Now, how will the young move forward? Do you know anyone (among them) who is an artist like you?
M: There are young (artists). They are around. There are some whom we taught, those who painted after Desfossés had died.
M: And Moonens had taken over the school.
F: And were there some who adopted your style...?...?
M: ...there were some, such as Mwembia.
M: Mwembia Floribert.
F: Floribert Mwembia.
F: Where did he begin?
M: He is with us at the Academy, he lives here.
F: I didn’t know that. I haven’t....
F: ...seen any paintings...
M: Oh, there are some very good painters around. There is Mwembia....
F: Is he one who got your style?
M: He found his (own) style.
F: His (style)?
M: He follow it when he paints people. Then there was Kabongo, Joseph. However, Kabongo is among the many who are popular because they like to paint things Europeans like and buy...
M: Even Mwembia nowadays, he stopped painting the ways he did when he first got into the Academy.
F: He lives here in...
F: I don’t know, we could visit him, some other day.
M: I’ll tell him.
F: Do they have (some of their) paintings at home?
M: They have paintings. They have paintings but not many, just a few to sell.
M: Ah, I like....
F: ...they only paint...
M: ...to sell, yes.
F: Are they young?
M: Youngsters, yes, perhaps in their thirties.
F: In their thirties.
M: Mm. They are married, have wives and children.
F: That is to say [pauses] – they don’t surpass you?
M: Ah, that’s something else, because the notion of surpassing...
F: [overlapping] In all this, young people should always...
M: ...surpass their elders.
M: Often they don’t want to. Why? They want to sell and that’s it. Look, for instance, at the (younger) Chenge brother. He stopped (growing as an artist) because he is obsessed with selling.
M: He paints, and he sells. Should I use red (in this painting)? Will Europeans like that? Are the tourists going to like that? That’s all (that matters). He sells to make a lot of money. But when it comes to reflecting upon matters...
F: In other words, he is not a true artist. What is it an artist...
M: [overlapping] ...there are many who...
F: ...works for?
M: An artist (works) in order to improve – how shall I say? – to teach.
F: To teach?
M: Always exploring ways, other ways.
14. F: hii nguvu yake ya artiste: na ya...?...kuuzisha tableaux ya: yake ao?
M: mm mm/
F: ni juu: hii: hii nguvu ya: ya kweli ya artiste: ni juu ya: namna yake ya kuwaza ao? anasikia mu roho ao?
M: ndiyo/ ni namna ya kuwaza/
F: namna ya kuwaza?
M: ya kuwaza/ unayua kama unaangaria baartistes kabisa/ beko wanateswa/ juu ya: anawaza: anawaza: anafanya vitu: anasema haina: haina vile hapana/ anawaza ingine: iko paka vile: iko ana: tafutatafuta/ bengine: ana: anakufwa tu:
M: paka mu kutafuta tu ya: haipate/
F: bon: sasa: namna gani mutaendelea humu mu Zaire? mi sione: sione vijana/
M: mm/ vijana sawa ku Kinshasa: beko/ ao ao kwanza/
F: ...?... Saint-Luc eh? bana: banacopier Saint-Luc/
F: banafanya hivi ya vizuri tu: ya kuuzisha na wa...
M: ... ya kuuzisha na wazungu/ ile ya: mufano ya kuendeleako ni paka juu ya ku: i: ilienea mbele kukataza/ bale babiyana ba kuweka maroho ya kuuzisha/ haba bale benyewe baartistes ku: kankamana kuendelea: ao kuendelea yasipo kuwaka mbele huyu ya nani: asema tuuzishe vile/ mm/
F: [pause] sijue kama itaendelea namna gani/ [pause]
M: sawa mu [chuckles]: mu akili yako uaona asema hawaendelee? hmm/ [chuckles]
F: ni kusema mina: minajua: sasa minaisha kujua wee: na Pilipili: na bengine:
F: ah: alafu [claps]: mu: mu mainchi yote: ah?
F: beko baartistes: beko na bazee: beko bazee beko muzuri: ku: ku: sawa: mu France eh?
M: mm/ na...?...
F: muzee kabisa sasa/
F: alafu bengine banafanya: namna yabo: banaendelea banaendelea/
M: mm/ banae...
F: sasa: bengine na: [starts again] minawaza: hii: hii peinture: alikuwa paka hii wakati ya wazungu: sasa wazungu wanatoka:
M: mina: eh peinture juu ya: maneno peinture ni yee ya: ni kitu moya inaanguka/ wakati ya Indépendance/ sasa: bantu: habayazobelea/ balikuwa ba: bamaskini
M: bantu balikuwa maskini/ mufano sawa ya kuuza bintu hivi ya: ya kusema: maneno: bamingi baartistes wanaendelea kwiko muntu humu ataweza kumukamata: ile vitu iko anatumika iko anaweka anaweka: iko anamupa: Makuta/ sasa hii Makuta ataweza anapika anakulya: iko na: endelea mu kazi yake/ sasa huku kwetu hakuwa kuya bantu ya vile hapana/ bo huku: banaweka: kichwa mingi mu: politique/ sema ah: kama minafanya hivi: gouvernement atanipenda:
M: batanipa franga: batanipa fasi ya mi minaanza kupata Makuta:
M: njo mingi ile bana: zobelea tu bamingi sasa/
F: bamingi sasa/
M: kama ile kizungu inaisha: ile mifano inaisha humu:
pengine bantu banaendeala/ na hata baartistes bamingi beko wanaacha/ kama
unafanya hivi unasikia hata ba: musiciens/
M: ah haina vile hapana/
M: sasa yote vile alikuwa anawa: kuwaza: binaisha/
M: anabakia paka mu ile: njia ile/ mm/ njo bamingi/
F: hapana? ndiyo
M: vile twiko: kwa mufano twiko na Bambu kule ku nani: Bambu alikuwa élève wa...
F: ...Bambu nini?
M: Bambu: alikuwa conseiller wa ministre ya zamani/
M: a: anaacha: kutumika kazi yake ya kupenta: sasa ana...?...
F: ...ni kazi ya peintre?
M: yee alikuwa peintre:
M: sasa iko: anapenda kuikala mu direction: mm [chuckles] kudiriger.
F: ah hii ni directeur?
M: directeur yee/
F: aah/ anaacha ...?...
M: aliacha: tu: sasa inakuwa paka ya: ya kudiriger/
M: si anatafuta Makuta?
F: yea/ si vile?
14. F: Is an artist’s strength measured by (his success) in selling his paintings?
F: (Or) is his true strength (to be found) in the way he thinks? In his innermost feelings?
M: It’s in they way he thinks.
F: In the way he thinks?
M: (In the way) he thinks. You know, if you take a close look at artists (you’ll see that) they suffer. This is because an artist thinks and thinks again when he paints, (only to realize) that’s not it. So he thinks of something else, it is a constant search.
In come cases, he just dies.
M: Without having found what he was searching for.
Now, how will make progress here in
M: Mm. In
F: (If you look at the graduates) of Saint-Luc, they reproduce (what they learned at) Saint-Luc.
F: They paint beautiful painting to sell them to...
M: ...to sell them to Europeans. When it comes to making progress – to move forward those youngsters would first have to resist their desire to sell. Those kinds of artists are obsessed with moving forward without ever stopping to reflect on what it is they do. It’s all about selling. Mm.
F: [pause] I don’t know how this is going to move forward. [pause]
M: So [chuckles] in your mind they make no progress? Mm. [chuckles]
F: What I am saying is, I got to know you, Pilipili and some others.
F: But [claps]. In every country, right?
F: There are
artists who may be old but are good. In
M: Mm. ...?...
F: He is now very old.
F: But there are others who may stick to their style yet they make progress all the time.
M: Mm. They do.
F: Then, still others [starts again] I think the kind of painting [we have been talking about] had its time when the Europeans ruled. Now they are leaving (taking it with them).
F: I don’t know whether this is the case. What do you think?
painting did decline at the time of
M: People were poor. When it comes to buying (art) – many an artist survives because there is someone who adopts him and keeps collecting his work, giving him money. With that money he’ll be able to eat and continue to work. Now, in our country here, such people have not come forward. Here, persons like that, mostly have politics on their minds. Ah, they think, if I do this (or that) the government will like me.
M: They’ll give me money, they’ll set me up so that I can start making money.
M: Many are used to (this kind of thinking) nowadays.
M: Once this European way of life, when we no longer have this situation here, perhaps, perhaps people will move forward. Even many artists just give up.
You can hear this also from musicians. When you listen to their songs, they all are involved in politics.
F: Right now?
F: I see.
M: This is not as it ought to be.
M: When you sing the thing to do is use your intelligence, sing about what you know (and understand). There are many who only sing about topics for which a certain person give them a lot of money. It’s the same with painters. You’ll see that the painter may do other things but, then, he knows, I should do something else in order to get paid.
M: Then this is the end of all the ideas he had.
M: He continues in this direction. Mm. Many (do that).
F: Is there no one? Go on.
instance, we have this Bambu there in (
F: Bambu, what (is his other name)?
M: Bambu was became the counselor to a minister of a past government.
F: I see.
M: He gave up his work as a painter, now he ...?...
F: ...was it working as a painter?
M: He was a painter, or perhaps a sculptor, at Saint-Luc.
M: What he liked was to sit around in a director’s office. Mm. [chuckles]. Directing...
F: Ah, so he is a director.
M: He is a director.
F: I see. He no longer ...?...
M: He just gave it up and now all he does is being a director.
M: Going after the money, right?
F: Yes, that’s it.
15. F: alafu mina: niliisha kus: kuona kintu ingine: hii mara ya kwanza nilikuwa humu: ilikuwa mu: soixante-six soixante-sept/
F: na: nili: nilipita mu manyumba mingi: hata mule mu Kolwezi eh?
F: ...?...manyumba ya: nilikuwa na bantu: bantu:
F: ba kazi eh?
F: habakuwa bakubwa: paka ...?....
M: ...watoto eeh/
F: nilipita mu manyumba yabo siku yote: manyumba ilikuwa bule/
M: mm/ maneno:
F: [overlapping] matableaux paka....
F: paka bengine Sacre Coeur:
M: ....hata yee...
F: ....bikira Maria: ah/
M: hata vile/
F: na sasa: minapita humu: na minaona mapeintures: matableaux: mingi/
F: ya original: ha? kusema hata chasse: hata...
M: ndiyo/ sasa pale vile weko...
F: [overlapping] ni kusema banaanza/
M: banaanza/ ndiyo/
M: [overlapping] iko na wee niko sikie/ kwiko wengine anakwenda na rafiki yake...
F: [overlapping and interrupting] ...wee uliona hii tableaux? ku manyumba/ sawa sawa: mu cité humu?
F: wee bado kuona?
M: minaona tu moya moya/ maneno bamingi banapenda sawa ile: sawa: foto ya Président: sawa foto ya: kuweka vitu sawa/
F: ndiyo ni vile: alafu minaona sasa...
M: ...lakini sasa:...
F: ...minaona tableaux ya: ya: ya: ya kweli....
M: ...ya muzuri ku manyumba?
F: hana muzuri/ hana muzuri: iko paka simple: iko paka:
F: hata paysages/ alafu ni original/
M: lakini iko muzuri eeh/
M: banaanza paka vile: mara ingine...
F: wee unaona? wee uliona hii?
M: hata ...?...naona:
F: ...kama una: unaingia hata mule mu KDL:
F: mu: mu Gécamines: ao mu...
M: ...ndiyo/ nitaona/
F: ...macités ya nani/
M: banasikia hata: juu kwiko bengine batoto yabo beko wanakwenda: kufunda: wanakuya: wanakamata ah: tuweke: anaweka paka vile mu nyumba/ mm/
F: ni batoto banafanyaka hii?
M: ...ni batoto/
F: ... ya hii tableaux?
M: kwiko wengine maneno walikuwa balikuwa: zamani walikuwa watoto: sawa macinquante mule walikuwa watoto: sasa wanakuwa wakubwa/
M: na banaisha kuonaona/
15. F: On the other hand, there is something I observed during my first stay here which was from sixty-six to sixty-seven.
F: I visited
the homes of many people, especially there in
M: I see.
F: ...?...the homes of people (I worked with).
F: They were workers, right?
M: I see.
F: Just ordinary people, no big shots...?...
M: ... youngsters, you mean.
F: I visited their houses all the time and they were bare.
M: Mm. Because...
F: [overlapping] The only pictures (I saw)...
M: ...on the walls.
F: Some had a picture of the Sacred Heart.
M: That would be one...
F: ...had one of the Virgin Mary.
F: Whereas when I go around here, I see a lot of paintings.
M: I see.
F: Original (paintings), you understand? Such as hunting (scenes) or...
M: Yes. there are some (people) around...
F: [overlapping] ... who started this.
M: They did, yes.
F: They started to...?...
M: [overlapping]...?... There are some who go to their friends...
F: [overlapping and interrupting] ...have you seen such painting here, for instance, in houses in the townships?
F: You haven’t?
M: Only here and there. Because what many people like to put is something like a picture of the president, or some other kind of picture.
F: Yes, but what I observe now....
M: Still, nowadays....
F: ...are real paintings...
M: ...beautiful paintings in the homes (of people)?
F: Not really beautiful, they are just simple (paintings).
F: Such as landscapes. Still, they are original (paintings).
M: They are good, yes.
M: This is coming up, sometimes....
F: (But) have you actually seen that kind of painting?
M: Perhaps I saw some.
F:...when you visit (homes), for instance, in the settlement of the KDL (railway company).
F: (In settlements) of the Gécamines, or in...
M: ...yes. I’ll see them.
F: ...in other townships.
M: This happens when some people whose children who get around, go to school, and come back (with a painting) they picked up telling them, ah, let’s put it (on the wall). So they put it up in their home. Mm.
F: It’s the youngsters who do this?
M: It’s the
M: Some of them were young in the fifties and have grown up now.
M: They have been seeing this all the time.
F: I see.
16. ah: nilikuwa na: minataka kukuuliza: niliona mu hii manyumba: fasi mingi tu:
F: niliona tableau moya ya: ya nani: banaita nani? [pauses]
M: ya cuivre?
F: ah hapana/ cuivre vile vile: non non? eh: ya ...
M: lakini bantu bamingi banapenda cuivre/ kuweka ku: ku bambasi/
F: bazungu ao?
M: na bazungu tu: na bantu tu: bantu hawa wa kiloko kiloko wanapenda ile/
M: des cuivres/ banaonana mu nsoko: anakwenda mu nsoko anakutana: trente Makuta: cinquante Makuta: un Zaire: mm: iko: maneno iko...
F: [interrupting] ...wee unapenda hii cuivres?
M: mi hapana kupenda hapana/
F: sababu ya nini?
M: [chuckles] iko ni kitu wa: iko sawa nani: ya mchezomchezo/
F: ya souvenir/
M: mm/ [chuckles] inafansia waartristes (sic) wale...
M: wanatoka mu Zambia: mu ...?...ya kuuza huku/
F: yeye ilianza hii namna ya ku: kupiga: eh:
M: ah cuivre/
F: hii ilianza wapi? humu?
M: humu ndiyo/ ilianza humu: njo kusema kulikuwa muzungu moya Charl: Charlier/
M: eheh/ ...?...Charlier alikuwa: alikuwa na architecte moya:
F: Charlier ao Carlier?
M: hapana: Charlier/
M: Charlier njo alikuwa directeur: kwa Académie des Beaux Arts ya humu/
M: Moonens aliisha kwenda: wanabakia wadirecteurs wengine: badirecteurs bale bote banakwenda: Charlier anabakia/ maneno moya wa mwisho yo: sikia boga ya mvita ile ya mu soixante/
F: mu soixante/
M: ndiyo/ alikimbia: sasa njo Charlier anabakia directeur/
M: tunaendelea na: na Charlier: kufika paka mu septante: septante mule: septante-et-un:
M: mwenzake moya na: ah: professeur yake anafanya: banafanya ma nani: yabo/ banafanya groupe yabo:
M: ya kusema: weye utakuwa directeur ku: ku Académie moya: utakuwa directeur mu: Kenia: mu Katuba: paka vile/ wanamustashi ...?... wanamutosha ku directeur/
M: sasa mu kutafutatafuta mayele banas: banaona Charlier hakuwa na kosa hapana/ kosa ilikwa na professeur ule alimutoshesha/
M: njo wanasema: Charlier anakwenda ku
M: sasa ndiyo: iko ku
M: anakuwa professeur ule kule/
F: ni kusema yee Charlier alianza hii:
M: yee njo alianza ba: ku...
M: ...matableaux ya cuivre/
F: hata: mu Kansenia?
M: njo kule alifundia Charlier/ ku Kansensia/
F: [overlapping] yee ya mu Kansenia?
M: ku Kansenia/
F: ya zamani: ya Frère:
M: ku mi: ku ministère ya nani ya: ku monastère ya...
F: ...monastère ya Benedictins/
M: ya Benedictins/
F: alikuwa Frère moya: bali: balikuwa na...
M: ...njo ule...
M: mingi ah: njo kule: yee ule Frère: minasahau jina yake/ yee alikuwa na banafunzi mingi: njo kule Charlier alifundiza/ anafundiza na moya iko: Kakompa: iko ku Ki: ku Likasi/ sasa eko professeur ya ba...?...mu blok: mu nani: mu Kasapa: [corrects himself] ah mu:
F: [overlapping] mu buloku?
M: mu Uluo: ya:
F: [overlapping] ya: ya Likasi?
M: ya: Likasi/ mm/
F: eeh: ...?... yake ni sculpture ya?
M: eeh/ eeh/ balikuwa mu masomo moya na Charlier/
F: na yee alikuwa na Kansenia vilevile?
M: na yee alikuwa: mf: Frère ya ku Kansenia/
F: ile: jina yake ni nani?
F: iko mwalimu mu buloko?
M: mu bloko ndiyo/ wa kufundiza wantu wa bloko paka juu ya kuchonga bankisi ile:
F: maneno si: hii: mu soixante-six...
F: mi nilinu: nilinunua...
F: tableau ya: ya: ya...
M: ...ya ...?...
F: ... miti/
M: ah: ni yake/
F: [overlapping] ...?...
M: ni yeye ni Kakompa/
F: ilitoka mu: mu bloku?
M: mm/ ni Kakompa/
F: anaikalaka paka eeh?
M: anaikalaka paka mu Likasi/
M: nilikuwa na nani: na adresse yake: shi...
F: ... ah sijue kama tunapita kule: tutaweza kuuliza/
M: kuuliza tu ndiyo/ utapata/
F: na yee ali: alifunza kazi yake?
M: na yee alifunda kazi ya kubattre ya macuivres ku nani: ku Kansenia/
F: ku Kansenia/
M: na Charlier alikuwa ku Kansenia/ banayuana muzuri
M: kiisha sawa vile anakuya humu nani: kutumika na: na architecte moya: Strebelle/ alikwa kule alifanya...
M: architecte [Claude] Strebelle/ anafanya: Théàtre de la Ville humu/
M: mm/ sasa Strebelle alikwenda: kiisha banamuengager nani: Charlier ku Académie anakuwa professeur wa Académie/ kiisha professeur anakuwa directeur/ yee alionyesha mutoto moya Kalumba Gabriel/
F: Kalumba Gabriel/
M: Gabriel/ mm/ yee anabattre muzuri: kitu moya anaingisha: kichwa ya: anaingisha wandugu yake/ haitake kutumika: eh: anatafuta kuwa: sawa mukubwa vile/
M: mm/ sasa: analeta paka dessins wanduku yake wanaanza kupikapikaka/
M: lakini yee moya aliyua kabisa: ku: kufanya manani muzuri/ cuivres muzuri/
F: njo ile anatumika na Chenge?
M: hapana/ ule ni: ule ni: mutoto/ ule alifwata: Kalumba anatoka: ule ana: anafwata/ kiisha: nayee anaanza kutumika na Chenge/
M: ule ni Mwangala/ mm/ Kalumba anatumika iko natumika pa lwake tu nayee: fasi yake/
M: iko: kama unataka kumuona: ku Théàtre de la Ville wanajua/
F: ah iko na affiche yake?
F: bat: batteur de....
M: ...de cuivre ahah: ni kweli/
F: ba...?...yake: yee anaikala anayenga karibu ya: ya wapi: ya?
M: yee anaikala: njo kule kuku ...?...lakini anayenga huku Sapinière huku/
F: ah Sapinière/
M: ku Sapinière: paka mu ?kalele [?quartier] humu/ unatoka na chaussée [Kasenga]/
M: unafafika mu champ: mu Sapinière kule: unaanza kwenda kiloko tu utafika pake/
16. Ah, I want to ask you about something I noticed in many of those homes.
F: I saw one kind of painting of – what do they call it again? [pauses]
M: Made of copper?
F: No, that also, but no – eh, (paintings) of...
M: But many like to put up images made of wrought copper on their walls.
F: (Your are talking) about Europeans, right?
M: Europeans as well as Africans who come to like them little by little.
F: The copper sheets.
M: Copper sheets. They see them in the market. I person goes to the market and there he finds them (for sale) at thirty Makuta, fifty Makuta, one Zaire, mm. They are around because...
F: [interrupting] ...do you like those copper images?
M: I don’t like them, no.
M: [chuckles] They are like baubles.
F: Like souvenirs.
M: Mm. They are made by artists...
F: Who was the first to work with this technique of beating copper?
M: Ah, copper?
F: Where did it start? Here?
M: Here, yes. It started here with a European by name of Charlier.
M: Yes. Charlier worked with an architect...
F: Was it Charlier or Carlier?
M: No, Charlier.
the one who was the director of the
F: I see.
M: After Moonens had left there several other directors, all of them left, only Charlier stayed. Because the last one (before him) was scared of the fighting in sixty.
F: In sixty.
M: Yes. He fled and then Charlier stayed on as director.
M: We went on (working) under Charlier until we got to the seventies, seventy-one it was.
M: When a colleague of his, one of his professors organized a group.
M: You, they said, are going to direct (a branch of) the Academy. You’ll be director in Kenia township, or in Katuba, things like that. They worked against him and fired him from his post as director.
M: When the matter was investigated it was found that the fault was not with Charlier but with that professor who got him fired.
what people said. Charlier left for
F: (This happened) recently?
yes. Now he is in
M: He is a professor there.
F: So, Charlier was the who introduced this...
M: He introduced (this technique) of...
F: ... [in French] beating.
M: of beating...
F: [in Swahili] beating...
M: ... images in copper.
F: Was that in Kansenia?
M: That’s were Charlier taught it, in Kansenia.
F: [overlapping] He (taught) in Kansenia.
M: In Kansenia.
F: That was long ago, there was a certain Brother (who directed the school there).
M: At the ministry, or rather monastery of...
F: ...the monastery of the Benedictines.
M: Of the Benedictines.
F: There was a certain Brother and they had ...
M: He was the one.
F: ...lots (of students).
M: Ah, they had many (students) there. This Brother – I don’t remember his name – had many students. That’s where Charlier taught, among others, a certain Kakompa. He is now a teacher of ...?... in the jail. In Kasapa [corrects himself], in...
F: [overlapping] In a jail?
M: In Buluo...
F: [overlapping] at Likasi?
M: At Likasi, mm.
F: Really? (And they teach) sculpture?
M: Yes. Yes. He and Charlier used to teach at the same school?
F: So (Kakompa) was also at Kansenia?
M: He was a Brother at Kansenia.
F: What is his name again?
F: And he is a teacher in a prison.
M: In a prison, yes, teaching inmates to carve those statues.
F: (I am asking) because in sixty-six.
F: I bought (in Likasi)....
F: A relief...
M: ...of ...?...
F: ... a wood (carving).
M: Ah, that was his.
F: [overlapping] ...?...
M: That’s him, Kakompa.
F: It came from the prison?
M: Mm. That’s Kakompa/
F: He still lives there, right?
M: He still lives in Likasi.
M: I used to have his address, I don’t...
F: ..., ah, maybe when we come through their again we can ask (for it).
M: Ask for it, yes. You’ll get it.
F: And (where) did he learn his work?
M: He learned to beat copper in Kansenia.
F: In Kansenia.
M: Charlier was also in Kansenia and they knew each other quite well.
M: So, then (Charlier) came to this place to work with an architect by the name of [Claude] Strebelle. There he did...
F: ...an architect?
M: Strebelle, the one who built the Municipal Theater here.
F: I see.
M: Mm. Then Strebelle left and Charlie was hired at the Academy. He became a professor at the Academy and then its director. He taught a youngster, Kalumba Gabriel.
F: Kalumba Gabriel.
M: Gabriel. Mm. He was good at beating (copper). There was one thing though, he involved his relatives. His ambition was not to be a worker, he wanted to be the boss.
M: Mm. So he just gave drawings to his relatives who then did the beating.
M: However, he was quite competent and did beautiful pieces of beaten copper.
F: Who was this (again)?
F: Was he the one who worked with Chenge?
M: No, that is still a youngster. When Kalumba left (the Academy) he (first) followed him there and then began working with Chenge.
M: (His name) is Mwangala. Kalumba worked in his own place.
F: I see.
M: He is around. If you want to see him, at the Municipal Theatre they know about him.
F: Ah, does he have a poster (advertising him)?
F: As batteur de ...
M: ...de cuivre, yes, that’s true.
F: ...?... he lives in house he built, close to – where is it again?
M: He lives around here ...?...but the house he built is here is on (Avenue) Sapinière.
F: Ah, Sapinière.
M: On Sapinière in this neighborhood. Coming from the Chaussée (de Kasenga).
M: You get to an open space on Sapinière, you continue a little and get to his place.
F: I see.
17. F: na: nani? kintu ingine/ ah juu ya: nilisahabu kintu moya ya: ya yu s: juu ya sujet/ sujet ile ah?
M: mm/ mm/
F: hii sujet inatoka wapi? na unachagula namna gani? maneno min: minaona hii manyama ya: sasa wee: wee uko muntu ya: ya: ville eh?
M: ...mu ville mm/
F: mu ville ah? uko na: hauna: haunaona...
M: [chuckles] ...haonake: unasema haonake hii...
F: [overlapping] hii: hii ya: manyama ya
M: mm/ ah niliona manyama ya
M: bile: kwa mufano zamani/ nilitoka mu mugini na: na seize ans/ maseize ans: mu maquinze madix nilikuwa naona byote/
F: ni kusema: u: unatosha:
F: ulitosha hii masouvenirs hivi/
M: aah ndiyo/ mm/ lakini: na: nayatosha ile: mi sipende mara mingi hii banafanya mu ville eh?
M: napenda bale bamingi ile banafanya mu mikini/ na kama unukwenda ku mukini: na humu: kama unaona banafanana na humu/ bale balikuwa mu kizungu/ wanakwenda mu/ lakini bale habayakwenda mu kizungu: beko mufano ya sawa vile mi niko nafanya/
F: sasa: tunabakia paka na hii sujet:
M: na hii sujet/ ma: kiisha: tutageuzaka ku: maneno yote itakuwa paka mufano moya huku sawa mu mugini: mugini sawa huku/
M: ...?...wakati ile tuta: tutageuza/
F: mm/ na nawaza
M: ndiyo/ iko na arisi/ kwa mufano sawa ile/ [points to a painting]
F: sawa yee/ sawa yee/
M: sawa hii/ sawa hii sujet/ unaona? ni bantu/ mu mukini/ humu mu ville bantu ha: habana vile hapana/ ile inaonyesha: ni bamasikini/ ni bantu habana na nani: na motokari ya kusema baweke bintu yabo mu: mu motokari: motokari ibebe: ba: bennes/ banabeba bo benyewe/ sasa:
F: banabeba hii bo benyewe/
M: ah/ sasa balihama mukini yabo/ banahama ile fasi: balikuwa banaikala: banatafuta wa kuikala mu fasi ingine/ ...?...
M: na wanabeba na mbuji yabo:
M: wanabeba mbuji: wanabeba bitu yabo: pake vile polepole wanakwenda kupeleka: wanarudia wanakwenda kupeleka na vile bi: watamaliza: bintu yabo/
M: mm/ mm/
F: ni sema:
F: ...ni kusema: kila tableau iko na: na arisi yake?
M: [overlapping] na arisi yake ndiyo/ sasa ile: ile chasse ile ya: à la file/ ile ya muntu huyu yulu ya muti: nyama iko na: anapita chini/
M: mm/ ku migini: bantu beko wanafanya/ bile humu mu ville: haba: habayue iko bamingi/
M: mm/ sasa ku mugini banayua/ ku mugini banayua: fasi ile inapita wanyama/
M: wanakulya: wanafanya nini: sasa anafika ku muti anapanda/
M: anafunga miti yulu: anapanda/ sasa ile nyama pa kuwa kupita chini:
M: yee: anaua/
F: hata kuweka: hata kutega matego:
M: ao kutega nani: ma:
M: mankamba: jimu anachimbula nzimu/ paka vile/ lakini iko: iko kyepesi pa kuona bantu: bantu wanaangaria wanasema aah ni:
F: njo vile baba/
F: na hii arisi inatoka: inato: wee uko: una nayo kwanza? unawaza kwanza?
F: na kiisha una: una...?...?
M: [overlapping] aah unaweka pa papier ndiyo/ kiisha nawaza: na sema: sawa vile muntu anakwendaka mu nani: mu: sawa vile anawaza ile yee: a: anaona muti: kiisha na: nyama vile anapitaka: mina: na: nadessiner/
17. F: There was something else. Ah, I forgot (to ask you), about the subject (or topic of a painting), right?
M: Mm. Mm.
F: Where does that subject come from? How do you choose it? I am asking because I see those animals (you paint). Now, you an urban person, right?
F: You live...
M: ...in town, yes.
F: In town, right? You don’t meet...
M: [chuckles] ... [you tell yourself] he doesn’t often see those...
F: [overlapping] ...those wild animals, right?
M: Mm. Ah, I have seen wild animals in the past. Often I work from the memories I have of what I saw in the past.
F: I see.
M: For instance, things (I saw) in the old days. I left the village at the age of sixteen. By the time I was fifteen or even ten years old I had seen everything.
F: In other words, you bring up...
F: ...you brought up those memories.
M: Well, yes. Mm. However, if I call up (memories) this is because I really don’t like what people do in town, you understand?
M: I like those many who are like (people) in the villages. When you go to a village and come back you realize that people left for the world of the white man are all alike. What I have in mind when I paint are those who haven’t left for the world of the white man.
F: I see.
F: So, let’s stay (with the question) of the topic.
M: The topic. In the end we are going to change because it will be all alike, here the same as in the village, in the village the same as here.
M: We are going to change then.
F: Mm. And I think that a painting of yours comes with a story, doesn’t it?
M: Yes. It has a story. Take this one, for example [points to a painting].
F: One like that, (a good example).
M: Regarding the subject of this painting. do you see it? It is people in a village. Here in town you don’t have people like that. It shows that (villagers) are poor. They have neither cars nor trucks to put their things in and transport them. They themselves carry (their loads).
F: They themselves carry them.
M: Ah, they moved from their village, from the place they used to live, and are looking for another one.
M: And they take their goat(s) with them.
F: I see.
M: The take their goats and carry their belongings, back and forth until they have moved their things.
M: Mm. Mm.
F: In other words.
F: ...in other words, every painting has its story?
M: [overlapping] It comes with its story, yes.
Then, take this one (showing) a hunt where a man is up in a tree and the animal
passing on the ground.
M: Mm. That’s what people in the village do. Here in town there are many who don’t know this.
F: Mm. Whereas in a village they know. In a village they know where animals cross.
M: They are feeding or whatever. So (the hunter) comes to a tree and climbs it.
M: He decides on a position in the tree and then climbs it. When the animal crosses below...
M: ...he kills it.
F: I see.
F: Or they set traps.
M: Or they set...
M: (Or) put out snares. One may also dig holes, things like that. This looks easy when one observes people. They take a look, ah, they say, this is....
F: That’s how it is, baba.
F: And where does a story come from?
Do you have it to start with or do you first think it up?
F: And then you ...?...
M: [overlapping] Yes, then you put it down on paper. You imagine how a man goes (hunting). What is in his mind when he sees a tree and then animals crossing. I make a drawing (of that).
18. F: bon: siku: kama unapenda: kama siku ingine nitapenda kurudia/
M: mm/ ndiyo/
F: ni: kusema: kuru: kurudia hii wakati unatumika/
F: mm/ na nitaangaria paka:
M: sawa vile mi nitaanza/ mitakuweka toîle bule/ hivi: kiisha minaanza: arisi moya: unaona/
M: njo vile/
F: ah siku ingine: minapita humu: mina: nita: nitakuuliza: na wee uta: utanielezea juu ya: siku gani/
M: ah ndiyo/
M: ... sawa mu kazi tano/ mu kazi tano: ni ku yua yote muzima/ niko paka huku/
F: mm/ mu kazi tano:
M: mu kazi tano/
F: bon: nitapita kumbe: nitapita mu kazi tano/
M: mu kazi tano/
F: ya: hata ya ...?...
M: ...ile hata leo...
M: ah sawa uko nakuya iko muzuri/
M: mm/ mu kazi tano: masiku yote: mu kazi mbili: minakwenda na mangaribi/
M: mu kazi moya: leo hii: paka ma: paka busubui hivi mitakwenda: mangaribi niko huku/ mu kazi tatu mangaribi niko huku/ mu kazi tano siku muzima niko huku/
M: mu posho mangaribi niko huku na Dimanche/
18. F: Fine. If it is alright with you I should like to come back some other day.
M: Mm. Yes.
F: That is, I’ll come back at a time when you are working.
F: Mm. I’ll just watch (you working).
M: That way, I begin with putting an blank canvas before you. Then I start with a story and you see (how it goes).
M: Like that.
F: Ah, and when I come back some other day I’ll have questions for you. You should tell me when this is convenient.
M: Ah, yes.
M: ... on Friday. for instance. On Wednesday, any time during the day, I’m always here.
F: Mm. On Friday.
M: On Friday.
F: Alright, I’m going to come by on Friday.
M: On Friday.
M: ... even today...
M: Ah, whenever you come is fine.
M: Mm. On Friday. Every day – on Tuesday, I leave in the afternoon.
F: I see.
M: On Monday, like today, I am way in the morning, in the afternoon I am here, On Wednesday afternoon I am here. On Friday I am here the whole day.
M: On Saturday and Sunday I am here.
19. F: ah: juu ya hii tableaux minaona mu: mu manyumba ya bantu/
F: fasi yote/ hii banai: banataya: Mamba Muntu/
F: uliisha kuona yee?
M: ts ile iko:
F: [overlapping] ile mufano ni gani?
M: ile mufano ile: iko: iko mufano ya [pause] iko bya bulebule vile/
F: bya bulebule?
M: lakini: mamba muntu: ni kweli: ni arisi moya iko ku mikini eh?
M: sasa kama dawa moya iko ku mugini/ migini ya: mayi/
sasa: kwiko bantu wanafanya madawa: kama ni bya kweli kama ni nini: [pauses]
M: lakini bantu wanafanya tu madawa...
F: [overlapping] ni kusema mamba muntu ilikuwa sawa vidye:
F: ya: sawa muzimu?
M: sawa dawa ya bantu/
F: ya zamani?
M: ya: eh: zamani haiku: haikukuwako ni ya miaka ya sasa tu/ karibu na sasa/
F: ilitoka wapi?
M: ilitoka ku bantu: kusema: kwiko muntu moya anakuwa na roho mubaya ya kuua bantu/ anaweza kwenda sawa bushiku/ anaua tu muntu: anasema: ni: iko sawa dawa ya nshimba/
F: dawa ya simba?
M: nsimba ya muntu: wanao: wanasema ni muntu/ muntu: muntu tu muzima kata hivi muntu iko anaua...
F: [overlapping] aaaah/ hii bantu ya simba/
M: mm ya simba/
F: ya: ya:
F: mule mu: mu Kisangani/
F: ya chui/ ao bantu ya chui...
M: [overlapping] ya chui/ ya chui/ mm/ na...
F: ... na griffes yabo:
M: yabo eh/ anavwala tu byuma huku: [demonstrates]
M: ana: na kichwa hivi:
F: balikuwa zamani mu: mu ngambo ye: yenu: balikuwa?
M: balikuwamo ndiyo/ balikuwamo/
F: bali: bali: bali: muita sawa namna gani?
M: simba/ simba ya muntu/
F: simba ya muntu?
M: kama una: asema banayua asema ile mun: mu ile fasi mwiko muntu ile wa: wa ile manani:
M: banaacha kwenda mu pori/
F: sasa hii mamba ya: mamba ya...
M: ... na mamba vile vile ku mayi/
M: bata: ile fasi ina nawaka bantu mingi/ ah kwiko muntu moya iko na roho mubaya: na: ua bantu/
M: anakwenda/ anaweza anaua muntu/ anaonyesha kintu moya sawa hivi anafunga tu sawa kichwa/ ana: anakwenda pa mayi hivi anakionyesha wanasema ooh: kwiko: kwiko mamba muntu/
M: mhmh/ [chuckles]
M: lakini ni muntu alikuwa iko naua bantu/
F: ndiyo/ alafu hii mu: si: sisikie vizuri juu ya hii mufano yake: maneno ni sawa: madame ya muzungu eh?
F: ...?... anaikalaka sawa [demonstrates]...
M: ...eeh sawa/
F: na: na nywele yake:
F: ya ...?...
M: [overlapping] mm/ ah vile beko wana...?... mu vitabu/
F: na maziba wa kabisa:
M: na maziba/
F: na: na montre yake:
M: eheh: angaria/
M: [chuckles] njo kusema vile beko wana...?... mu: mavitabu humu/
F: baliona mu bitabu?
M: mu vitabu ile ni ya kuona mu vitabu/
F: ya wapi: mi si bado kuona yee? yee: nani alianza hii: hii tableaux? maneno: mi niliona: niliona fasi yote/
M: fasi yote eh/
F: ilitoka wapi?
M: [chuckles] ilitoka paka humu: mu bantu humu/ ...?...
F: ...?... mu Lubumbashi?
M: mi: minaonaka na mavitabu mingi ikoamo/
M: utaona muzungu moya: madame moya banafanya huku sasa....
F: ah ndiyo ...?...zamani: hii namna ya montre:
M: [overlapping] na montre/ ah ni bantu banaongeza/
F: na nyoka:
F: nyoka iko?
M: ndiyo/ ni bo benyewe banawa: ongezako/
F: haujui hii: muntu ilianza ile? ni sawa commerce eh?
M: ah ni commerce/ ndiyo/ ni commerce/ haiya: haiyakawa
hapana/ ni paka masiku humu: beko wanatosha: wanakwenda ku
M: anafanya yeye: ni moya...
F: [overlapping] ...ni moya tu anafanyaka ao: mingi?
M: aah: ni mingi/
F: mingi banafanya/
M: bamingi/ hata bengine pasipo kuyua/
F: na: na: naaa...
M: ni wamingi tu/
F: ndiyo/ na bantu bana: banasema nini? njo: njo sawa lawa?
M: ndiyo lawa mm/ bantu banaona vile/ aah: mamba muntu: eh/ wanauza maneno habajue: habajue: art ni nini/ habajue/
M: anauza tu paka vile anaona: mamba muntu ah/ paka vile/ bantu banauzia tu juu ya kuweka mu nyumba...
F: [overlapping]...?...dawa ya: juu ya nini? ana: ana:
M: ile: vile wanafanyaka madawa ya mamba muntu/ iko sawa hivi anauza nkisi hivi/
M: anaona ah hii iko hivi: ile iko dawa ya hivi: paka vile anakiuza / hata hana na dawa anauza tu/
M: kwiko bengine ana: fanya madawa yake ile anayua/
19. F: Ah, (let’s get back to) those paintings I saw in people’s homes.
F: Everywhere. The ones called Mamba Muntu.
F: Have you seen them?
M: Ts, those are....
F: [overlapping] What are they about?
M: They are about, they are about [pause] about nothing really.
F: About nothing?
M: However, it is true, about mamba muntu there is a story in the villages, you understand?
F: I see.
M: In that case (we talk about) a certain matter of magic in a village, (especially) in villages near water. There are people who work a (kind of) magic – it may be true or whatever. [pauses]. People going near the water get caught and die. That was mamba muntu, they say, who took him away.
F: I see.
M: But it is people who work the magic...
F: [overlapping] ...In other words, mamba muntu was like [in Luba] a spirit...
M: A story.
F: ...[in Swahili] a spirit?
M: Like a magic charm (worked by) people.
F: Is it something old?
M: In the old days it did not exist, it came up in recent year, not long ago.
F: Where did it come from?
M: It came from the people. Lets say, there is a certain evil person out to kill people. He may go around at night, kill someone, and say it was (mamba muntu) – it’s like lion magic.
F: Lion magic?
M: A lion who (really) is a person. They say it is a living person who cuts down a another person and kills (him).
F: [overlapping] Aaah, (now I understand). (You are talking about) those lion people.
M: Mm, Lion (people).
F: (We know them) from....
F: (Called) Anyoto.
F: The leopard men...
M: [overlapping] ...leopard (men), mm. With...
F: ...their claws.
M: Their (claws), yes. (A leopard man) would put on iron (claws) here [demonstrates]...
M: (And put a leopard skin) over his head like this.
F: In the past, were they (active) also in you part (of the country)?
M: They where around, yes. They were around.
F: What were they called.
M Lions. Human lions.
F: Human lions?
M: When people knew about a place where one of them was...
M: ...they would no longer go into the bush.
F: Now, about this mamba (muntu)...
M: ... mamba (muntu) is (something like that but) in the water.
M: At a place where many people go to wash, ah, there is there is bound to be one who is evil and kills people.
M: He goes there and can kill a person. He shows something he carries on his head. So he goes into the water and when he shows (himself) people say, ooh, there is a mamba muntu.
M: Mhmmh. [chuckles]
M: But it was is a person who killed people.
F: Yes. Still, there is something I don’t really understand. Why does (mamba muntu) look like a European lady?
F: ...?... she always (is shown) in this posture. [demonstrates]
M: Yes, like that.
F: With the hairdo...
F: Of a ...?...
M: [overlapping] Mm. Ah, that is how she appears in books.
F: And big breasts.
M: And breasts.
F: And the watch (she wears).
M: Yes, look (at her).
M: [chuckles] This is how they ...?... in books (you find) here.
F: So people saw this in books?
M: In books, it is something you see in books.
F: Where? I never saw her (in a book). Who started (to paint) these pictures? I have seen them all over the place.
M: All over the place, yes.
F: Where did this come from?
M: [chuckles] It came from the people here...?...
M: I saw (representations of mamba muntu) in lots of books here.
F: I see.
M: You are going to see a particular European, a certain lady they are painting here...
F: Ah, yes...?...About the purpose of the watch...
M: [overlapping] And the watch. Ah, people (just) add that.
F: And the snake.
F: Isn’t there a snake?
M: Yes. It’s the painters themselves who put that in.
F: So you don’t know who started this? It’s like a business, right?
M: Ah, it’s a
business, yes. It’s business. It hasn’t been around for long. They turn them
out and go to
M: One of them paints her...
F: [overlapping] ...is there just one (painter) who does that or are there many?
M: Aah, there are many.
F: Many paint (her).
M: Many. Even some who don’t know (how to paint).
F: And ....
M: There are just lots of them.
F: Yes. And what do people say (about mamba muntu)? That she is a kind of magic charm?
M: Yes, a magic charm, mm. That’s how people see it. Aah, mamba muntu, (they say), yes. They buy (those painting) because they are ignorant. They don’t know what art is, they are ignorant.
M: Then a person may marvel at mamba muntu, that’s all. People keep buying (the pictures) just to put them up in their homes...
F: [overlapping] ...?...but (if it is) a magic charm, what it is for?
M: If I buy one I put it up, that’s all there is to it. One knows this is a mamba muntu charm.
M: So they keep painting mamba muntu charms. It’s like when one buys a statue.
M: When a person sees it as a charm he just buys it.
M: There are (always) those who make the charms they know about.
20. F: bon: muzuri/
M: hatu: ile ni bantu tu mingi batoto wa kitoto wale beko wanafanyaka/
M: juu ya kupata Makuta/ maneno wana: sawa vile humu: kama unaona kitu ile wa: wanauza: bote wanaanguka kuf: kufanya ile kitu ile kuuzisha/
F: na hii wakati: banS: baSenegalais eh? bana: balifanya hii: commerce/
M: baSenegalais walikuwa wanaauzisha meno ya ntembo: mangozi ya chui:
M: mangozi ya mamba/ jamaa: ooh na ...?... baliuzisha bitu mingi/
M: hii mankisi hii:
F: aah: bana: habana: peinture? eh:
M: ku peinture hapana/ peinture hata hapa: leo mi bado kuona asema Senegalais anakuya asema niuze peinture humu hapana/
M: hapana/ bo habauzake hivi/ paka ma: statues: ma [pauses]: hata mara mingi na macuivres kiloko/
M: kama inapita bei habauzake hapana/
F: na mastu: statues ya zamani/
M: ya zamani/ ile oh: ile njo balikuwa wanaleta bantu tu hivi anamupa hata trois milles Zaire asema wende ukatafute/
M: anakwenda tu kuuza mu pori: anakuwa kumuletea/ hmm/
F: Alright, fine.
F: I don’t know, (is there anything else)?
M: Many of those who paint (mamba muntu pictures) are just childish youngsters.
M: Because they want to make money. Because around here, when you observe that something is selling, everyone will turn to it and paint the thing that sells.
F: Is that what they do?
F: And what about the time when Senegalese were in this business.
M: Senegalese used to sell elephant tusks and leopard skins.
F: I see.
M: Snake skins, diamonds, ohh ...?... they sold a lot of things.
M: Also those statues.
F: I see, but not paintings.
M: No, they were not in the business of trading paintings. To this day, I never saw a Senegalese here coming (to me) to buy a painting.
F: Not yet?
M: No. That’s not what they are buying, only statues mostly, and a few beaten copper sheets.
F: I see.
M: And even those they don’t buy if the price is too high.
F: (Mainly) old statues.
(statues). Oh, (to get those) they might give local people as much as three
M: A person would then go and buy them in the bush and bring them back for him. Mm.
 The French terms dessin, dessiner Mwenze uses throughout this conversation pose problems of translation. In a narrow sense they refer to “a drawing, to draw” but in other contexts they can also mean “a picture or painting, or to paint.” This usage may have biographic and historical reasons in that Mwenze (as well as Congolese in general) were prompted by colonial school teachers to do drawings before they were introduced to painting.
 The colonial administrative terms Mwenze uses were chefferie and territoire, both part of a district.
We use the local term Spilinga (he pronounces it Sipiringa),
after Bischop John M.Springer, founder of the Methodist mission in
 Throughout our conversation Mwenze used kufanya, “[o]ne of the commonest verbs in Swahili, always implying some result, purpose, or object beyond the mere act” (Oxford Standard Swahili Dictionary). When the context is clear I translate it as “to paint,” “to work,” or “to do (a painting).”
 Everything “worked for” the Union Minière in those days. It is possible that Mwenze meant Prentinx worked at branch of Cophaco (Compagnie Pharmaceutique du Congo) in one of the company’s miners’ settlement.
 Father Pierre Baeyens, a Salesian missionary, arrived at Kipushi in 1947. I was unable to trace Gaston Prentinx.(could also be “Prenticks”).
 I said nani, who? instead of nini, what?
 At the time I heard Mwenze saying train and, like other speakers in my experience, he repeated my misconception instead of correcting me. See also below, par. 5.
 Mwenze says petit points. The term evokes a technique of needle work (petit point)..
Mwenze meant Ubangi-Shari, the French colony that became the
 The reference is not clear but the context indicates that the “journalist” is Desfossés.
 For a brief historical note on those two dailies see: http://www.congomiroir.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=118&Itemid=176
The reference not clear; perhaps he means the relative with whom he came to
 See above par. 3, note 8. Mwenze pronounces it train again.
 This is how I interpret the statement, assuming that Mwenze found a wife but that it took some time before he could start a household.
 The preceding exchange seems repetitive and redundant now: at the time I must have had problems following Mwenze.
 The Librairie Saint-Paul, run by the Filles de Saint-Paul nuns.
 Mwenze pronounces the name “Ardeff.” Maurice Alhadeff maintained a workshop similar to that of Desfossés.
 Mwenze prefixes the name with ma- -- something like “the Yolo people” – and then corrects me when I take Mayolo to be the name of the village.
 See paragraph 3, note 9 above.
 Meaning landscapes and typical, African scenes, painted in a kind of academic style.
 For some reason I thought he was talking about his namesake.
 This is my best guess at the meaning of this statement where Mwenze shifts from newspaper archive to his own.
Louis Sartenaer, son-in-law of Jean Sépulchre who was the founder and publisher of L'Essor du Congo, see http://www.lpca.socsci.uva.nl/aps/vol4/vocabulaireshabaswahili.html (note 85).
 A short passage was lost here when the recording was digitalized in two parts.
Portraits of Chenge Baruti and Mwenze Kibwanga: http://ec.europa.eu/development/icenter/repository/179_ACP_EU_70_fr.pdf
 Switching from singular to plural, from Mwembia to others like him.
 The term is nguvu which can mean the strength of a person but also the difficulty of a task. I introduce it with the first connotation but Mwenze speaks about the latter.
 I interrupted my question because I must have sensed that Mwenze wanted to continue with the topic.
 Perhaps Mbambu Makuka, see Verbeek 2010:51.
 I was talking about my first research project on the Jamaa movement, most of whom were worker in the mines, ordinary people, not bakubwa. Mwenze understood bakubwa in opposition to batoto, adults vs. children.
 Though the transcript seems clear I am unable to translate what Mwenze says.
 Mwenze says wanamustashi, perhaps meaning wanamushtaki, they accused him (before a court).
 See http://www.elisabethville-lubumbashi.be/english/atheatr.htm
 Mwenze speaks of a method he calls chasse à la file which I could not find in French dictionaries though German has Ansitzjagd: instead of stalking the animal the hunter waits for it to come close to his hiding place. A literal translation of the French phrase could be “hunting while waiting” like in file, queue.
 An awkward sentence in the original; pronominal markers of person and singular/plural are all mixed up and I never encountered the suffix –no (here in banakufano, they die.
 The polysemic term Mwenze uses in this exchange is dawa, magic charm, medicine (traditional or modern), any substance used in magic or sorcery.
 The leopard people about whom we talk in the following also came up in conversation with Tshibumba:
http://www.lpca.socsci.uva.nl/aps/tshibumba1b.html For further references see Fabian 1996:300-6.
 I translate nkisi as statue to avoid the usual translation as fetish, which I don’t think is on Mwenze’s mind here and elsewhere in this conversation.
 Meaning “West Africans;” also called baHaussa, reputed to traffic in traditional art (see below).
 The remainder of our conversation (about twelve minutes, 28.00-40:36, omitted here) was about a Luba carving of an elephant.
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Publication date: 22 September 2011