A conversation with Mwenze
Kibwanga, recorded December 3, 1974 at his home in
1. F: ...kumbe vile: ulizo yangu: ilikuwa mu bitabu banaandika: mara ingine: hii école yake ya: ya Desfossés ilianza tu: sawa ile siku: aliona: ah: boy yake/ Bela:
F: alikuwa kupenta/
F: na ile ilimuletea nani: ile mawazo ya:
F: kwanza école yake/
M: sasa mbele ya kuandika iko anatafuta: kintu ya kuweka pa pazi: pengine moya hivi/ mu: sawa dessin/
M: njo vile aliona: kiyana moya: Kyoswa: iko anafanya maclichés ku mbao/
F: kiyana moya?
F: Kyoswa: njo jina yake?
M: Kyoswa/ maneno mbele alikuwa:
F: Kilima Oscar/
M: mm/ sasa anakata nani: anaandika Kyoswa/
M: ule alikuwa anatumika kwa journal moya Echo ya humu/ Kilima Oscar/
M: Echo ...?...
F: sawa nani?
M: ... du Katanga/
F: sawa illustrateur ao?
M: njo vile yee alikuwa nafanya/ ndiyo/
M: kiisha Desfossés ali: alimubeba: anaanza kufanya vile iko anafanya: na: njo kuita waPilipili: maneno Pilipili alikuwa wapenti ya bâtiments/
M: sasa banaanza kukamata ile maclichés ile: alikuwa nafanya Kyoswa: beko banapiga ku papier:
F: ilikuwa mbao: mbao?
M: mbao/ ndiyo/ mbao/ mbao moya hivi sawa hivi kacarte postale/
M: sasa: anafanyapo dessin kiisha na ...
M: anachonga/ kiisha kuchonga: banapakala penti humu: banaanza kupiga [demonstrates] pa papier/
F: na bo benyewe bali: balichonga?
M: lakini: Oscar njo alikuwa nachonga: naye: nayee vile/ kiisha bo banaanza kufanya: beko banapiga pa mapapiers: wanaongezako couleur na pinceau/
M: paka vile/ sawa aliona: ilimupendeza: inaleta na idée yee moya ya kufanya: na kutafuta bengine wa: kwa kufanya kazi ya vile/ na wale walionyesha mu ville: baliona iko muzuri: barafiki yake: kiisha njo inakankamana/
1. ...so, my question is: Occasionally, (it was said) in publications that the school of Desfossés started just like that, on a day when he observed his house boy, Bela.
F: (Bela) was painting.
F: And that gave him the idea to...
F: ...set up his school.
M: Ah, perhaps it was like that (when the idea) emerged but it wasn’t how he made it happen. That is to say, he was one of those persons who write, who like to write.
M: Now, before he wrote he was looking for something to put on the page, something like a sketch.
M: So he observed a young man, Kyoswa, who was doing wood prints.
F: A young man?
F: Kyoswa, that was his name?
M: Kyoswa. Before, he was (called) Kilima Oscar.
F: Kilima Oscar.
M: Mm. Then he abbreviated (his name) and wrote Kyoswa.
M: This man was working at a local newspaper, Echo.
M: Echo ...?...
F: As what?
F: As an illustrator, or what?
M: That’s what he was doing, yes.
M: Then Desfossés took him on and (Kyoswa) began to do what he did. Then he called on people like Pilipili who used to be a house painter.
M: Then they took the plates Kyoswa made and printed them on paper.
F: Were they wood (cuts). Wood?
M: Wood, yes. Wood. Like wood cuts, the size of a postcard.
M: He made a drawing on (the plate) and...
F: ... carved.
M: He carved it and after that they put ink on it and began [demonstrates] to print it on paper.
F: And who were the ones who did the carving?
M: Oscar did the carving and he [Desfossés], too. Then they printed them on paper and they added color with a brush.
M: That’s how it went. He liked what he saw and it gave him the idea to look for others to do this kind of work. Then they showed it around in town and people, his friends, saw that this was beautiful. In the end it caught on.
2. F: ile wakati: [interrupting himself, to IS] Ilona you have: you have another?
IS: no: I wanted him to come back to the question as: as we were discussing earlier/ eh: about our discussion yesterday for example/
F: aah/ bon/ jana ...
IS: ...he made some reference here, just here, just now/
F: jana tulikuwa kusumbulia na
rafiki yangu: yetu moya: sasa kama: eko: eko muntu wa hapa: wa
F: sasa iko ...?...: alikuwa
doyen ku université kule/ nayee alisema:
F: na se: tena as: asema: niliona matableaux yabo ku nyumba ya: ya baZairois/ ule wakati/ itaweza kuwa kule? muli: muliuzisha kwa: kwa ...?...
M: ...?.../ anasema mu ma cinquante?
F: ah sawa macinquante: cinquante: cinquante s ...
M: ...maneno macinquante...
F: ... cinq/ entre cinquante: cinquante cinq/
M: cinquante cinq itawezekana juu: kukuwa Zairois bengine walikuwa anauza: lakini/ ile wakati si hatukuwa na nguvu ya kusema tuuzishe sheye hapana/ ni paka wee munaniona na moya: ananiyua anasema: ukuye: nibebee matableaux: njo nilimufansia nakwenda kumupelekea/
F: sawa tu mpembeni?
M: sawa tu mpembeni/ ndiyo/
F: mm/ na: na rafiki: mais namuulizisha hii:
F: ...unamuulizisha na bei gani? sawa kwa: kwa Congolais muliuzisha bei gani?
M: ... hata: unajua yee: moya mwenyewe sawa kwa mufano: ba ...?.../ tableau ya: ya soixante cinquante: ilikuwa na ...
M: dimension/ ilikuwa pa nini: sept cent Francs/
F: sept cent Francs/
M: na mille Francs/ mm/
F: hata kwa bazungu?
M: hata wabazungu/ ao mille cinq cent: paka vile: inafwatana mu mufano ya muntu ndiyo/
F: mais: ile tunataka kujua:
M: ah bataweza kulipa: lakini mi mara: mingi sikuwa nauzisha na waZairois hapana/
F: banani baliuzisha? uli: una ...
M: sasa vile alisema yee alienda kutaya manjina/ asema niliona tableaux ya fulani ya fulani/
M: njo kulikuwa kwa Mission moya: bali: balifanya/ kama tunatumika hivi: moya sawa anakuwa kubeba: anakwenda kupeleka: Madame moya alikuwa nauzisha ile matableaux/
M: na pengine bale baZairois balikuwa na: kwenda wanauza/ mm/
2. F: At that time [interrupting himself, to IS] – Ilona, you have another (question)?
IS: No, I wanted him to come back to the question, as we were discussing earlier. Eh, about our discussion yesterday, for example.
F: Ah, alright. Yesterday...
IS: ... he made some reference here, just here, just now.
F: Yesterday we were talking
with a friend of mine, of ours. Now, he is – he is a person from
F: Now he ...?... He used to be
dean at the university there and he said, when he came here (to
F: And he also said, I saw their paintings in the homes of Zaireans. At that time. Is that possible, that (far back)? Did you sell to (Africans then)?
M: ...?... Did he say in the fifties?
F: Well, like in the fifties, in fifty...
M: ...because in the fifties...
F: ...five. Between fifty, fifty-five.
M: In fifty-five, that’s possible because some Zaireans were buying (paintings). However, at that time we were not allowed (lit. empowered) to sell. Only if I met someone who knew me he might tell me to come and bring along paintings. In that case, I would do (some) for him and deliver them.
F: Like secretly?
M: Like secretly, yes.
F: Mm. Between friends. But for how much did you sell (a painting)?
M: You would...
F: ... For how much did you sell (paintings) to a Congolese?
M: ...if you knew him personally, for instance ...?... a painting of sixty, seventy, would cost...
F: (You are talking about) size?
M: Size. It went for how much – seven hundred Francs.
F: Seven hundred Francs.
M: Even thousand Francs, mm.
F: (The same as selling) to Europeans?
M: The same as to Europeans. Or one thousand five hundred, it depended on the person, yes.
F: But what we want to know is whether at the time when Zaireans began to buy paintings they paid the same price as Europeans.
M: Well, they might but I seldom sold to Zaireans.
F: Who were the ones who sold (paintings)? You...
M: Just the ones (this friend of yours) mentioned when he named them, telling (you) I saw the paintings of one or the other.
M: This was done at some
M: And perhaps those Zaireans
(we talked about) used to go (to this
3. F: mais ile wakati: balianza kuuza matableaux ya namna ingine: ya: matableaux sawa ya: ya mamba: mamba muntu na hii ma: mapaysages hivi?
M: lakini mara mingi yee ya mamba muntu/ hata shee: tulikuwa naona mara mingi/ ao Pilipili alikuwa nabafanya mamba muntu moya: moya/ lakini ...
M: ndiyo: alikuwa nafanya/
M: yee alikuwa na moya Kabala alifanyaka/ mamba muntu iko na: na mamushale yulu/ eh/
F: mamba muntu na mushale....
M: [overlapping] anakuwa huku nyama:
M: huku muntu/
M: lakini shee: ku bamamba muntu tunakuwa kujua paka mu masoixante humu: ya mbele: kiisha ya Indépendance/
M: shee tulikuwa tunaita yee mama wata/
F: mami wata?
M: mama wata/
F: na hata mwee: Pilipili: mwee na bengine: mulifanya?
M: mi sikufanyayo hapana/
F: Pilipili alifanya?
M: Pilipili nawaza alifanyaka nayee/
F: na Kabala alifanya moya kwa Sartenaer/
M: surtout Kabala njo nilionaka alifanyaka/
F: mm/ mais: hapa mu ville: bantu balianza kuuza tableaux/ sawa ...
M: ... maneno kwiko: kwiko kintu ingine juu ya: ya franga/
M: sawa zamani matableaux ile ilikuwa nauzwa mille Francs/ ah kwiko bantu: bengine balikuwa napokea: quatre mille Francs ...
F: par mois/
M: cinq mille Francs: iko nayee na batoto kumi/
M: pa kwenda kuuza tableau ya mille Francs: ilikuwa tu paka: anasifu tu: lakini pa kuuza ...
3. F: But, at that time, did people begin to buy paintings of a different sort, like paintings of Mamba Muntu and those landscapes?
M: Above all paintings of Mamba Muntu. Even we saw them frequently. For instance, Pilipili would do a Mamba Muntu for people now and then. However...
F: You did?
M: Yes, he used to do them. If you go to Sartenaer’s.
M: He had one, done by Kabala. A Mamba Muntu with arrows above. Yes.
F: Mamba Muntu with arrows...
M: She was part animal...
M: Part human being.
F: I see.
F: However, we got to know about Mamba Muntus in the sixties,
M: We used to call her Mama Wata.
F: Mami Wata?
M: (No,) Mama Wata.
F: And did you, Pilipili, and others do (paintings of her)?
M: I didn’t do any, no.
F: Did Pilipili?
M: I think Pilipili was among those who did.
F: And Kabala did one for Sartenaer.
M: It was above all Kabala whom I saw doing (Mamba Muntu) paintings.
F: Mm. At any rate, here in town people began to buy paintings. Like...
M: ...there is another thing (I’d like to mention) about money.
M: In the old days these paintings were being sold at a thousand Francs. Ah, there were some people who made four thousand Francs...
F: Per month.
M: (Or) five thousand Francs. (Such a person) may have had ten children (to feed).
F: I see.
M: When it came to buying a painting for a thousand Francs – (all he would do was) praise it but buying it....
4. F: kumbe matableaux ya bei chini: habakuuzisha: habakuuzishaka hii wakati? sawa sasa: bale ba: ba: Nkulu wa Nkulu: soixante Makuta ...
M: balikuwa nauzisha/
F: balikuwa kuuzisha?
M: bale ba: ba: baartistes ba ville balikuwako/
M: kuuzisha: eh: ku cent Francs: ku ku: trente: eh: cinquante Francs ...
F: cinquante Francs?
M: eeh/ hata vingt cinq Francs anakuwa ...
F: hii ilianza mwaka gani?
M: ile ilianza zamani sana: ku: zamani kabisa/
F: c'est vrai?
M: mm/ ile ya kuuzisha: bale ba kuuzisha kilokokiloko: balianza zamani/
F: na baliuzisha ya namna gani?
M: paysages hii ya: nyumba ngambo: tumanyumba ao mutoni: bantu mu mamitumbwe/
M: ile wantu walikuwa na:
F: mais sawa bintu ingine hapana: sawa mamba muntu ao: ao: ao mapolitiques: ao: tuseme tu ...
M: tena mapolitiques bali: niliona mapolitiques balikuwa nafanya/
M: bantu: banabeba: na administrateur moya: ao kubeba ...
F: na tipoy?
M: ao banabeba: na tipoy/ ao beko banapiga muntu moya fimbo: balikuwa banafanya/
F: kumbe ilianza mbele ya: ya cinquante?
M: ya: mbele ya cinquante ndiyo/
F: mais ...
M: maneno mbele ya cinquante
nilikuwa naona bamingi: na tableaux iko mingi/ iko natoka: [pauses] bengine
F: paka vile/
F: na mu ...
M: sawa Tumba Joseph/ ali ...
F: Tumba Joseph/
M: alianza zamani: wanauzisha/ iko anakwenda hata ku: ku Rhodesie: ku Afrique du Sud/ iko anakwenda tu: iko anauzisha/ paka vile/
F: sawa: sawa bale bengine bana ...
M: sawa bale bengine ndiyo/
M: beko naomba bitu yake/
F: sasa anaikala tu: na?
M: sasa ...
4. F: So, cheap paintings were not being sold at that time? For instance, the likes of Nkulu wa Nkulu (who ask) sixty Makuta (for a painting)...
M: There were those who sold them (at that kind of price).
F: There were?
M: You had those artists in town.
F: You did?
M: Selling (paintings) for hundred Francs, thirty, fifty Francs.
F: Fifty Francs?
M: Yes, even for twenty-five Francs...
F: What was the year when this began?
M: That began long ago, in – way back.
F: Is that true?
M: Mm. This selling (of paintings). (Painters) began selling a little now and then long ago.
F: And what kind (of paintings) did they sell?
M: Landscapes with a house on one side, huts, or a river with people on it in dug-out boats (on the other).
F: I see.
M: That was what people were....
F: But nothing else, Mamba Muntu, for instance or political subjects, or, let’s say...
M: Also political subjects, I saw them doing political subjects.
F: They did?
M: African people carrying some official, or...
F: In a tipoy (a sedan chair)?
M: Carrying (an official) in a tipoy, or an African being beaten with a whip – they did that.
F: So this came up before (nineteen) fifty?
M: Before fifty, yes.
M: The thing is, before fifty I
used to see many (who painted) and a lot of paintings. It came from [pauses],
some (of the painters) came to this place from
M: For instance, for thirty Francs, fifty Francs, (something) like that.
F: Like that.
F: And in...
M: Take Tumba Joseph, he...
F: Tumba Joseph.
M: He started selling way back,
F: Like those other who...
M: Like those others, yes. (Tumba) was very well known.
F: I see.
M: His stuff was in demand.
F: Nowadays, is he still around?
5. F: ...kumbe ile ile: mais:
ile wakati: sasa: kama hapa sasa
M: bambazi iko wazi/
F: hapana sasa: be: bantu bamingi beko na tableaux/
M: na matableaux/
F: mm? hata kama ni: tableaux mubaya: kama ni ...
M: hapana: ni tableaux/
F: ah? ni tableaux/
F: ile: minaona ilipashwa tu kwanza sasa/ hata ku cinquante: eh: soixante cinq/
M: ile ya kuuza vitu vile/
F: si njo zamani balikuwa tu na ...
M: hapana vile ba kuuza vile balianza mu masoixante/
M: masoixante kama Indépendance pa kuya/
F: oui oui/
M: ah balikuwa bamingi ba...?... bageni: ba hivi/
F: oui oui/
M: kwenda ku: ku manyumba waangaria: kiisha paka vile: bengine balikuwa baministres: bengine balikuwa basecrétaires: bengine: sasa vyote vile vilikuwa paka nawa: anawaelezea barafiki yao/
M: [overlapping] ...?...
5. F: ... so that is what it was like then but nowadays, when we visit homes, well, we see...
M: ...empty walls.
F: No, now lot’s of people own paintings ...
M: ... paintings.
F: Right? Even if it is bad paintings, if it...
M: It doesn’t matter, it’s paintings.
F: You see. It’s paintings. Countless people (own them).
F: What I am observing is something that must have come up recently, in the fifties, or rather in the sixties.
M: This kind of buying (a lot of) paintings (lit. things).
F: Isn’t it true that in the old days people just had...
M: No, (you are right) people started buying (as they do now) in the sixties.
F: In the sixties.
M: In the sixties, with the
M: A lot of people arrived then who were from other parts (lit. strangers), that sort of people.
M: Going around, looking at houses. Then some became (government) ministers, bureaucrats (lit. secretaries), and so on. What happened was that they told their friends.
M: [overlapping] ...?...
6. F: maneno minaona: zamani: bantu balikuwa na: imprimés ya: ya Coeur: Sacre Coeur de Jesus:
F: Vierge Marie:
F: tena: eh ...
M: ...mi hata zamani: hata mi nilikuwa nafanya: sawa mufano mu mabibambasi ya nyumba/ kwiko migini kule/ ilikuwa tu fasi yote: utapita mugini: beko anaandika ku kibambazi ao muntu ...?... anakunywa: ao wantu wanacheza/
F: oui/ wee mulifanya?
M: hata mi nilikuwa na tu: naandika na mangambo/
F: kule kwenu?
M: kwetu eeh/
F: mm/ mais ile haionekane tena/
M: ile tu na manyumba inyee iliisha kuambuka/
F: oui oui/ mais hapa: ku manyumba ya sasa: habafanye/
M: habafanye hivi hapana/ na masiku mi sipitaka humu mu mamigini: shiyue kwiko bengine banafanya/
F: na hapa: hapa ku mamigini hatu: hatukuwa: kukatana hata mara moya/
M: mm/ banaacha/ zamani ilikuwa tu plus/
F: paka ka: mu kanyumba moya: karibu na: na karibu na nani: kama ni mu njia vile/ ilikuwa na simba moya: na muntu/
M: aah: njo ile ya zamani...
F: ...pa kwenda: pa kwenda Likasi/
M: mm/ zamani tulikuwa tunafanya bintu ya vile sana/
6. F: The way I see it, in the past people used to have prints of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (on their walls).
F: (Or of the) Virgin Mary.
F: And also...
M: ...even in the old days I used to paint, for instance, on the walls of houses. There are villages back home (lit. there) -- this was all over the place, wherever you would come through a village -- people were painting (lit. writing on) walls...?... a person drinking or people dancing.
F: Yes. You did that?
M: Even I used to do that here and there.
F: There, in your home country?
M: Back home, yes.
F: Mm. But this is not preserved (lit. no longer visible).
M: These (paintings) on houses have come off.
F: Yes. But it is not done on modern houses here.
M: No, people don’t do (painting) like that. I haven’t come through villages around here for a while, I don’t know, maybe there are still some who do it.
F: And in villages around here we never across this.
M: Mm. People gave it up but in the old days it was wide-spread.
F: Except on one little house next to a road there was (a picture) of a lion and a person.
M: Ah, that’s something from the past...
F: ... it was on the road to Likasi.
M: Mm. In the old days we used to do a lot of things like that.
7. IS: more questions?
IS: I have several questions here/ I want to clarify ...?... how did the sale of paintings at Desfossés took place: take place/ did they sell ...?... signed? ah: did they know who....
F: ... we talked at length about this/
IS: you have?
IS: okay so you have gone into: I am curious eh: to verify another thing/ whether in fact the Zaireans of that time: the Congolese of that time: how much did they know about their work/ and whether they ever had any Congolese buyer/
F: we talked about this right now/
IS: just now/ okay/ eeh:
F: tena ule: ule rafiki yetu:
jana: asema: alikuwa mu: na rafiki yake mu classe: mu promotion yake: Mpoy:
F: Mpoy Joseph? Mpoy ...
M: ...non: Mpoy:
F: Mpoy Pierre?
M: mm/ iko mu bulaya na sasa/ Pierre/
F: asema na sasa iko millionnaire/
M: minamuyua sasa: ule mwana ya yangu: mwekunda hivi/
M: nalikuwa yuana na Mpoy/ ndiyo/
F: asema aliuzisha ku: hata ku bulaya: ku Amerique: alikuwa na ...
M: iko anafanya politique: Mpoy/
M: ataweza kusema oh: mi niko
na franga mingi: maneno sasa hivi mu Suisse/ nalikwenda kusikia habari yake/
bote humu banayua
M: millionnaire/ sasa minakwenda kusikia: haina kweli hapana/
F: haitumike tena?
M: asema iko na bateau moya:
alikuwa mu nani: iko millionnaire: iko hivi: na kama
M: eh: wantu wanayua ah: iko millionnaire/
M: lakini: haina millionnaire hapana/
F: na anaikala wapi sasa?
M: iko mu France/
F: ana: anatumika?
M: sijue kama iko anatumika/
F: ao anafanya tu commerce?
M: ... mara ingine: iko mu: iko
anafanya tu commerce/ mara ingine iko mu
IS: does he buy and resell the work of other artists?
F: est-ce que: ah oui: nayee: anauza: anauza matableaux ya baartistes ingine ya: juu ya kuuzisha?
M: hapana: anafanyaka hata vile hapana/
F: ni kijana tena?
M: [overlapping] ah kijana: ni mutoto/
F: oui/ trente: trente ans?
M: ni mutoto/ iko paka sawa yee: minaisha kujua minawaza ni: ni rafiki yake/
F: ule: mi nili ...
M: ah ule wee uko nasema/
F: oui oui/ doyen/
M: ni rafiki yake/
F: balikuwa tu mu classe moya: mu semi: kama ni mu petit seminaire/
M: aaah: mmmm/ minayua: macho kiloko sawa/
F: eko na:
M: na ....
M: ah: ni mutoto wa nani/
F: baba yake ni ...
M: Gustave ...?...
F: oui oui/
M: eh/ mi hapana ona mi: mi niko nasema mwa ingine/
IS: did he know Valentin?
F: oui oui/
IS: as a child/
M: hii ya Mpoy shiwezi kusema: maneno iko: iko nguvu/
M: na bantu wanasikilia mambo ingine/
7. More questions?
IS: I have several questions here. I want to clarify ...?...how did the sale of paintings at Desfossés’ took place, take place. Did they sell...?...(paintings) signed. Ah, did they know who....
F: ... we talked at length about this.
IS: You have?
IS: Okay, so you have gone into (that). I am curious, eh, to verify another thing, whether in fact the Zaireans of that time, the Congolese of that time – how much did they know about their work? And whether they ever had any Congolese buyer.
F: We talked about this right now.
IS: Just now. Okay, eh...
F: Another thing – this friend of ours told us yesterday that he had a class mate, a certain Mpoy, something like Mpoy.
M: I see.
F: (Was it) Mpoy Joseph? Mpoy...
M: ... no, Mpoy Pierre.
F: Mpoy Pierre?
M: Mm. His is now in Europe,
F: He said he is now a millionaire.
M: Nonsense (lit. a lie).
M: I know him now, he is the child of a friend of mine, a light-skinned (lit. red) person.
F: You are acquainted with him?
M: Mpoy and I used to know each other, yes.
F: It was said that he sold
(his paintings) even in Europe, in
M: He is into politics, Mpoy is.
M: He would say, oh, I have got
a lot of money. Right now he is in
M: A Millionaire. Then I heard that this is not true.
F: He no longer works (as a painter)?
M: (People say) he owns a boat,
that he is a millionaire, and when he came to
F: I see.
M: Well, people take him for a millionaire.
M: But he is no millionaire.
F: And where does he live nowadays?
M: He is in
F: Is he working?
M: I don’t know whether he is working.
F: Or is he just in business?
M: Perhaps he is just in
business. Sometimes he is in
IS: Does he buy and resell the work of other artists?
F: [to M] Ah yes, does he buy paintings by other artist in order to sell them?
M: No, he does nothing like that.
F: Is he still a young man?
M: [overlapping] Yes, a young man, a youngster (lit. child)
F: Yes. About thirty?
M: He is a youngster, the same age as the one (who told you about him). I know (him) and I think he is a friend of his.
F: The one I....
M: Yes, the one you talked about.
F: Yes, the dean.
M: He is his friend.
F: They were classmates, perhaps in petit seminaire (missionary preparatory school).
M: There you are, mm. I know (him), he has these small eyes.
F: He wears...
M: ...he wears...
F: ... glasses.
M: Yes. Whose child is he (again)?
F: His father is ...
M: Gustave ...?...
M: Well, he is not the one I have in mind (lit. see), I am talking about someone else.
IS: Did he know Valentin (Mudimbe)?
IS: As a child?
M: As regards Mpoy I can’t talk (about him) because it is complicated.
M: An what people keep hearing is something else.
8. F: ndiyo/ madame anataka kurudia ku ile maulizo/ ile wakati: ile wakati: hata ku Desfossés: na kiisha ku Académie/ bon/ tulisema baZairois balianza kuuza: tableaux yenu/
M: balianza: kwa mi balianza kuuza: lakini balia: balianza kupenda/
M: kupenda/ kupenda na kuuza iko namna ingine/
F: oui oui/
M: anapenda kuuza lakini ni Makuta hakuna/
F: aah/ donc bamingi...
F: ... habakuwa na Makuta/
M: habakuwa na franga hapana/
F: na banani: banani balikuwa: balikuwa: balikuwa tu mwalimu?.
M: paka waBelges benyewe/ mwalimu hawakuwa na franga: ba bengine waclercs: hawakuwa na franga/
M: bataweza kumupa titre: anatumika kazi mingi: yee ni kumupa franga hapana/
F: kumbe njo...
IS: ...but even ...
F: njo maana yake?
M: njo ile: bantu bali: balikuwa: habakuwa wanatafuta/ kiisha tena wakati ile: hawakuwa wanatafuta muntu mweusi tu kuuza: kuuza kintu ile nafai kwa muzungu/
F: na hapa sasa/ hapa sasa/
sawa tulisema kwa mufano: shee tulikutana:
F: ...moya na kipande/
F: ulikuwa na maclients Zairois?
M: ah sasa iko ...
M: beko banakuya moya moya ndiyo/
F: moya moya?
IS: qui sont les ...
F: ni banani?
IS: qui sont les Zairois qui achètent maintenant?
M: [overlapping] beusi? bale ba: hapana Zairois yote hapana/ bale ba: kwa mufano alikuwaka ministre zamani/ kwa mufano alikuwako ao wa: nani: directeur wa mu: manani: moya: ...
M: mafirme moya/ njo bale tu beko banauza sasa/
IS: mais pas les individus?
F: ni kusema banauza: ni: ni juu ya: ya bo banapenda: ao juu ya: ya société yabo?
M: minawaza bengine beko
wanauzia: njo kwa mufano:
M: iko mufano moya hivi:
M: bamingi bakingali mu ile: mu ile mifano/
M: sawa ...
F: ...kumbe batamuuzia eh ...
M: ...kwa mufano kama mi niko na rafiki yangu: anakuya kusema: oh: acha/
M: anakwenda: anauza ao tableau moya ya kumupa rafiki yake: atakwenda na: safari kwao/
M: ao: kuuzia juu banakuwaka kumusema: oh: maneno ba nyumba hivi: hamuna kintu/ paka vile/
F: sasa ku ile mwaka: miaka mbili/
F: unaona: uliuzisha environ: ngapi kwa baZairois? hapana ile ya Présidence/
M: hapana ya Présidence/
M: [overlapping] ...?... mi hapana kubalula yee hapana/
F: ah: paka:
M: ah iko: [hesitates] inakuwa na mingi/ kwa mufano nani: Mutumba: president wa nani?
F: na ba: ya présidence?
M: j'ai vu deux personnes qui viennent... [visitors arrive, recording interrupted]
8. F: Yes. Madame (IS) wants to go back to the questions she had about that time, the times at Desfossés’ and then at the Academy. Alright. We said that Zaireans began to buy your paintings.
M: They did, they began to buy paintings from me, but (to be precise) they began to like them.
F: To like them.
M: To like them. Liking them and buying them is not the same.
F: Yes, of course.
M: A person may like to buy but it’s the money that is lacking.
F: I see, so many...
F: ... did not have the money.
M: They did not have the money.
F: An who were the ones (who appreciated your work), just some teachers?
M: Only Belgians. Teachers didn’t have money, neither did others, such as office workers.
M: Such a person might be given a title and work a lot but he would not be paid (much).
F: So then...
IS: ...but even...
F: So that’s how it was?
M: That’s it. People didn’t have ambitions. At that time a black person would not seek to buy the kind of thing that a European had to have.
F: And right now – as we talked about, for instance, when we met first, which was about two years ago, a year...
F: ...a year and a half.
F: Did you have Zairean customers?
M: Yes, now there are....
F: Who come (to your place)?
M: They come, now and then (lit. one by one), yes.
F: Now and then?
IS: Who are the...
F: Who are they?
IS: Who are the Zaireans who are buying (your paintings) nowadays?
M: [overlapping]. Blacks? Not all Zaireans. For instance, one of them was a former minister, another one was a director at...
M: ...some firm or other. They are the ones who buy nowadays.
IS: But not individuals?
F: ... in other words, (the question is), do they buy (paintings) because they like them or do they do it for their company?
M: I think a reason why certain persons buy may be a friend they have. For example, that is what I understood about the young man you named, this friend of yours at the university.
M: That would be an example – if he has a friend he may say, oh (that’s an idea), and go looking for something to please his friend.
F: I see.
M: This is what many do.
F: ...so they buy (a painting) for (a friend)...
M: ... for example, I may have a friend who comes and says, oh, wait a moment...
M: And then he may buy a painting to give it to his friend who is about to go on a trip to his home country.
M: Or he may buy one because people pestered him saying, in this house there is nothing. Something like that.
F: Now, during these two years.
F: If you look (back) about how many (paintings) did you sell to Zairians, the ones that went to the President’s office not included?
M: Not counting the President’s office.
M: [overlapping] ...?... I didn’t count them.
F: Well, just (approximately).
M: Well, there is – [hesitates] there were many. For example, there was Mutumba, director of, what is it again?
M: Really? [in French] I don’t know if that is...
F: And what about people from the President’s office.
M: [in French] I saw two persons who came...
[visitors arrive, recording interrupted]
9. F: kumbe nili: niluliza
M: vingt? [pause]
F: baZairois: donc baprivés?
M: baprivés ndiyo/
F: baliuza juu: paka balipenda ao: kwa kupatia nani: cadeaux ...
M: hapana bale sawa wanauzaka kwangu: ni kuweka ma: fasi yabo/
F: ku manyumba yabo?
M: kwiko bengine: ya kwenda kupeleka macadeaux/
M: sawa bourgemestre wa nani: zamani: alikuwa bourgemestre: sasa ni commissaire de zone ya: Likasi/
F: Tumba? non:
M: mwengine alikuwa tunaita
F: mm/ yee aliuza?
M: aliuzaka: juu ya: kupelekea nani: Mademoiselle moya: alikuwa Mademoiselle yabo/
M: alikuwa anakwenda: anakupa matabish/
F: mm/ mais hauwezi kusema kama ilikuwa ngapi/
M: siwezi kusema maneno: iko sawa: ba: wantu mweupe: sijue ni ba: bangapi banaisha kuuza/ moya anakuya anauza anakwenda/
F: mm/ na wee kwako haufanye comptabilité ya: ya tableaux uliuzisha?
M: ndiyo minafanyaka/
M: kwa mufano minauzisha hii mara: minayua ni ngapi/ minauzisha: ile...
M: minapashwa kufanya/
IS: does he think that the: the Zairois who buy now: they buy because they really like it: or they buy because ...?...
M: iko sawa: namna ya nani: ya matableaux/ kwiko bengine habapendi: pengine: ile mi niko nafanya/
M: banapenda mwa ingine/
M: banaweka paka vile/ hata
mweupe ni vile/ ataweza kuwa humu: anaangariaangaria: yee hapana kusikia: mu
sense: oh iko muzuri
F: ...na anakwenda/
M: [chuckles] anafika ku ingine: ah: minapenda hivi: nilikwenda kwa Mwenze: niliona ya ilinipendeza: anauza/
M: ile iko tu/
F: na bengine banafika tena: banafika mbele banaangaria tena...
M: banakwenda: panapita hata mwaka/
M: kiisha anakuya: anauza: oh: minatafuta kuwa nayee nilikuyaka ile wakati: sikuwe na Makuta: sasa minatafuta kuwa naye/
M: bamingi nauza eko vile/
F: bazungu na ba ...
M: ...bazungu na baZairois/
9. F: Getting back to my question – about how many were there? Twenty?
M: Twenty? [pause]
F: Congolese, meaning private (customers)?
M: Private (customers), yes.
F: Who bought (paintings) just because they liked them or to give them away as presents...
M: No, (most of) those who bought paintings from me (did this) to put them up in their places.
F: In their homes?
M: Some would give them away as presents.
M: Like the mayor of Likasi – it used to be bourgemestre (mayor), now it is commissaire de zone.
F: Tumba? No.
M: Another one. We called him Kabanga or something like that, yes.
F: Mm. He bought?
M: He bought (a painting) to give it to a certain young lady who had been with them.
M: She was leaving and he gave her a bonus (lit. a tip).
F: Mm. But you cannot say how many there were.
M: I can’t tell how many because I don’t know how many white customers ended up buying. A person would come (to my place), buy (a painting), and leave.
F: Mm. And for yourself you don’t keep accounts of the paintings you sold?
M: No, I do.
F: You do?
M: For example, at a given time I know how many I sold. It’s something....
M: ... I have to do.
IS: [in English] Does he think that the Zaireans who buy now, they buy because they really like it, or they buy because...
M: They way its, there are some who may not like some paintings I do.
M: Others they like.
M: That’s how they decide. It’s the same with a White person. He may be here, he looks and looks but cannot decide. Oh, (he may say), this one is really beautiful, and then he leaves it and [chuckles] goes away ...
F: ...and goes away.
M: [chuckles] He goes to another (painter) – ah, I like this kind, when I went to Mwenze’s I saw one that pleased me – and he buys it.
M: That’s about it.
F: And are there some who come and first take a look...
F: ...and then they come back?
M: They leave, a year may go by.
M: Finally, he comes and buys. Oh, I wanted to have it when I came but I did not have the money. Now I want to have it.
M: That’s how many do the buying.
F: Europeans as well as...
M: ...Europeans as well as Zaireans.
10. IS: is it: is it true that at the time when he was at the Desfossés school in the fifties: eh: that their name was really known among: that schoolchildren were taken to their galeries and ...?...
F: [overlapping] ile wakati mulikuwa: mulikuwa: mulianza na: ile wakati mulianza na expositions:
F: ni kweli
M: maneno tulikuwa na: mu kazi tatu: tulikuwa ba: katolik/ beko na congé ku mangaribi/ mu kazi inne baSipringa: eh?
M: baProtestants beko na congé mu kazi inne/
M: ku mangaribi/ hii wakati kama ni mu kazi tatu wakatolik wanakuya kufunda mangaribi/ kudessiner/
M: mi nilikuwa na watoto inne: na bababa
yabo eko wanakuwa kupeleka: mi minawafundiza/
F: hata ku wakati ya Desfossés?
M: wa Desfossés ndiyo/ wanakuwa kwa Desfossés/ maneno mi: sawa kwa mufano: Pilipili: yee hapana yua ku: kufanya kintu hivi: kuangaria: iko anadessiner/
M: yee: hawakuyua hapana/
M: sasa mi niliiwaka ile: na Desfossés ana: anasema na wote: wale wanatafuta kufunda sawa classique: ...
M: njo mi nilikuwa nawafundiza vile/ kila m: baba wa mototo moya: ataweza: vingt-cinq Francs: ku mwezi/
F: ku: ku mwezi...
M: ...sawa nani...
F: [overlapping] ... kulipa juu ya kufunda?
M: ndiyo: ya kufunda ndiyo/
M: njo maneno wanakuwa wanipatia yangu ...?.../
F: na bengine ya bale batoto: balikomea: balikuwa peintres?
M: banakomea/ banafunda masomo ingine/
F: banafunda masomo...
M: ...bengine ni bapeintres ndiyo/ bengine ni bapeintres/ kwa mufano: mutoto moya Mujinga/ ah: iko peintre: lakini anatumika mu laboratoire/
F: mu laboratoire?
M: laboratoire ya humu mu ngambo/
F: ya Gécamines/
M: hapana/ paka ya l’état/
F: ya l’état hapa?
M: alikuwa: anatumika na Rudi Pillen ku nani: ku: ku UNAZA huku/
M: Muzinga: zamani alikuwa Muzinga...
F: nayee alianza kwa mutoto/
M: nayee alikuwa: banakuwa na
warafiki yake: niko nawafundiza: beko banafanya paka vile/ vile balitoka kwa
Sipiling wanaingia ku Académie/ ule eko ingine anabakia: anaisha humanités
yake anakwenda mu
F: huyu ingine/
M: huyu mwengine Ilunga/
F: Ilunga nani:
F: Ilunga: André?
M: [overlapping] alikuwa Ilunga Donatien/
10. IS: Is it true that at the time when he was at the Desfossés school in the fifties, eh, that their name was really known among – that school children were taken to their galleries and ...?...
F: [overlapping] At the time when you were beginning, when you began with expositions.
F: Is it true that school children came to those places?
M: They liked it a lot.
F: They liked it a lot.
M: They liked it a lot. They always enjoyed it, they came just to look, mm, while others were there to learn.
M: The way it was, we had the Catholic (children) on Wednesdays when they had the afternoon off. Thursdays the Methodists (came), you understand?
M: The Protestants had time off on Thursday.
M: In the afternoon. At that time the Catholics came on Wednesday afternoon to learn drawing.
M: I had four children, their fathers brought them, and I taught them.
F: Even when you were with Desfossés?
M: With Desfossés, yes. They (had their lessons) at Desfossés’. It was me (who taught them) because Pilipili didn’t know how to do something like that, watch (a child) drawing.
M: He did not know (how to teach) them.
M: So I spent time doing this. And Desfossés told all those who wanted to learn the basics...
M: ...that I was the one who would teach them. Every father of a child had to come up with twenty-five Francs per month.
F: Per month...
F: [overlapping] ... to pay for learning?
M: Yes, for learning, yes.
M: Because they would give me my...?....
F: And some of those children grew up to become painters?
M: They grew up and went to some other school.
F: They went to school...
M: [corrects himself] some are painters, yes. Some are painters. For instance one child by the name of Mujinga. Well, he is painter but he works in a laboratory.
F: In a laboratory?
M: A laboratory here in this part (of town).
F: One that belongs to Gécamines.
M: No, to the state.
F: To the state – here?
M: He used to work with (with
the Belgian painter) Rudi Pillen, at the
F: I see.
M: Muzinga. He used to be Muzinga...
F: And he started out as a child.
M: He and his friends, I taught
them and they painted. Then they left the Methodist school and went to the
Academy. There is this other one who stayed on. He finished his secondary
school and went to
F: This other one.
M: This other one, Ilunga.
F: Ilunga who?
F: Ilunga André?
[overlapping] His name was Ilunga Donatien.
11. IS: now I have a question: how: how does he: eh: think of Desfossés/ eh: because he was: eh: he told me that he was more of a writer than an artist/
IS: you see? was he an artist: a painter: or a writer: or how do they: how do they thought of him/ first of all: and secondly...
F and M: [brief exchange, incomprehensible]
IS: no but I'd like to ask him again/ and: and: we'll finish in a couple of minutes/ and eh: secondly whether he: he thought that Desfossés had an idea of what kind of art they should be painting/ as naive art: or simple art: eh/
F: tunarudia tu paka tu: kurudia mu maulizo maneno ile ni mu: ni kintu moya: hatusi: hatusikie bado/ sawa: bon/ Desfosses alianza: sawa vile ulisema: mbele alikuwa: muntu: aliandika mu kitabu/ si vile? ali: aliandika tu?
M: Desfossés alikuwa anaandika/
F: alikuwa kuandika/ sawa vile...
M: [overlapping]...?... kiisha...
F: ...alikutana na ile muntu mwenye kufanya manani: mastampes/
F: bon/ mais: kiisha mulimu: mulimuona namna gani? alikuwa: alikuwa kumionyesha sawa: namna ya kufanya?
M: ah: hapana alianza: alianza kufanya vile/ aliona bantu wana: wanapenda ku: kudessiner/
M: bamingi: yee moya ana: anasema/
M: anaita bale banapenda kufunda/ bakuye kwake/
F: oui/ mais alisema tu: ao ao: hawezi ku: kukuonyesha? alipenta vilevile yee?
M: aah/ alikuwa peintre ya poissons/
F: ya poisson/ kila mara ...
M: kila mara paka poissons/
aliyua na kufanya na mabitu:
11. IS: Now I have a question: How, how does he, eh, think of Desfossés. Eh, because he was, eh, he told me that he (Desfossés) was more of a writer than an artist.
IS: You see? Was he and artist, a painter, or a writer, or how do they, how do they thought [sic] of him? First of all, and secondly....
F and M: [brief exchange, incomprehensible]
IS: No, but I’d like to ask him again. And, and -- we'll finish in a couple of minutes – and, eh, secondly, whether he, he thought that Desfossés had an idea of what kind of art they should be painting, as naive art or simple art, eh.
F: (to M) Let’s go back to some questions, because there is one thing we don’t understand yet. Alright. As you said, in the beginning Desfossés was someone who wrote in books. Right? Was he just a writer?
M: Desfossés was a writer.
F: He was a writer.
M: [overlapping] ...?... and then....
F: ... he met this printmaker
F: Alright. But in the end, how did you see him? Did he show you how to paint?
M: Ah, no. His starting point was this: He observed people who liked to draw.
M: Many of them. He himself (just) talked.
F: He did?
M: He invited those who wanted to learn to come to his place.
F: Yes, but did he only talk or could he not also show you. Did he also paint?
Yes, he was a painter a painter of fish.
F: Of fish, all the time...
M: ...all the time, only fish. He knew how to paint other things, whatever, but he specialized on fish.
12. F: na: na: ts: sawa ku mawazo yako ...
M: ...alikuwa anaonyesha tu bintu mingi/
F: ndiyo/ mais ile ...
M: ...kwa mufano: wale: kwiko wengine wanakuwa nafwata: akuwe: wa kufanya: kufanya publicité/
M: eeh/ alikuwa bengine banakuwa kutafuta: bakuwe bajournalistes: bengine bakuwe ...?...
F: hii publicité ya pancartes ya pa affiches?
M: ya pancar: ya maaffiches ndiyo/ kuko bengine balikuwa anatafuta kuwa baécrivains: kujua mufano ya mapoèmes/
F: balimufwata tena?
M: balimufwata: ndiyo/
M: hapana paka beusi: na bazungu/
M: na beupe balikuwa namufwata/ alikuwa: alikuwa tu bintu: sababu anafanya tu muzuri/
F: sasa ku: kwako: ku mawazo yako: unaona: yee alitosha ile mawazo wa: wapi?
M: yee alitosha paka mu ...
F: ali ...?...
M: ... ni muntu alitembea
M: inafanana na ile yake/
F: ya: yenu?
M: na ile ya Desfossés/
F: kumbe uliona: ali: yee: yee aliona mufano ya:
M: [overlapping] ...?... aliona mambo: ao: aliona: alikuwa tu peke yake/
F: aliku: na bazungu bengine habakukuwa na hii mawazo?
M: ya kuanza masomo humu?
M: hapana/ paka yee alikuwa na mawazo ya kuanza vile/ hakukuwa moya muzungu ali: [listens to thunder] ah mvula iko/
F: kiisha pole pole balimufwata?
M: pole pole balianza kufwata juu ya kuuza vitu ya: vile bantu mweusi beko nafanya:
M: na vile aliyua kusema na kuandika: iko anafanya majournals: na bantu banaanza ku: kufwata ku nyumba yake kuangaria/ kiisha na bantu waliisha kuyua kusoma: beko banakuya tena kumufwata: juu bafunde nabo/ balipenda kuwa badessinateurs/
12. F: And, well, when you think about it...
M: ...he showed (us) many things.
F: Yes, but this...
M: ...for instance, there were those who wanted to get into advertising.
M: Yes. Still others wanted to be journalists or ...?...
F: By advertising you mean billboards and posters?
M: Billboards and posters, yes. Than there were those who aspired to becoming writers, to know about poetry.
F: They also followed him?
M: They followed him, yes.
F: I see.
M: Not only black people, also Europeans.
M: White people followed him, too. He just did these things well.
F: Now, when you think about it, where did he get those ideas?
M: He simply go them from...
F: Did he ...?...?
M: ...he was a person who had
travelled widely. He visited this one school, the Potopot school, when he
M: Which resembled his.
F: Yours (here)?
M: (The school) of Desfossés.
F: So he saw a model for...
M: [overlapping] ...?...he saw things but he was alone.
F: He was – and other Europeans did not have this kind of ideas?
M: To start a school here?
M: No. Only he had the idea for this project. None of the Europeans were – [listens to thunder] ah, the rain is here.
F: In the end, they slowly went along with him?
M: Slowly they did, buying things black people made.
M: And since he knew how to talk and write he made the newspapers and people began to seek out his house to have a look. Then people who had become literate sought him out to learn (form him) because they wanted to be artists (lit. draftsmen).
13. F: si njo ile wakati bali: baliandika: kitabu moya: inaitwa: inaitwa: Philosophie Bantoue/
M: njo ile: mm/
F: mulisumbulia juu ya hii: kitabu?
M: ile ya ...
IS: Tempels: père Tempels/
M: haina moya: maneno kwiko moya mu cinquante huit mule ...
F: mu quarante cinq déja: mais cinquante huit: cinquante huit alikuwa na édition...?.../
M: [overlapping] ... na ile édition ingine/
F: mulikuwa kusumbulia juu ya hii kitabu?
M: juu ya ile kitabu: ile wakati: mi nilikuwa: siyakuwa na: na nguvu ya kufanya kintu ya: ya kabaila/
M: ni bale ba mbele: njo balikuwa nafanya/ kwa mufano kulikuwaka moya: journaliste moya nani: [pauses] Makonga Bonaventure/
M: Makonga: njo balikuwa barafiki pamoya na: bengine bengine: balikuwa iko anakwenda: beko banasema naye: banazungumuza naye: na Desfossés/
M: banakuwa banadiscuter ndiyo/
M: maneno minasikia ile ya Philosophie Bantoue/
F: ile ile: ule: ule mwaka gani?
M: nilikuwa na: naona/
M: lakini benyewe kufanya: balikuwa bengine bale/
F: mais habakusema: ah mwee muko ba: mwee muko peintres Africains: inafaa kufwata sawa mawazo ya Philosophie Bantoue: ao?
M: balikuwa nafanya vile/ balikuwa nasema/
F: balikuwa nas ...
M: balikuwa nasema hapana kufwata vitu ya wageni: inafai kufwata hii ma: ma ...
F: bo ao: ao Desfossés?
M: maDesfossés/ na: na Desfossés pamoya anasema na bo: pengine bo banasema: pengine Desfossés anasema/
M: paka vile/ alafu mara mingi Desfossés alikuwa anasema/
F: Makonga eko wapi sasa/
M: Makonga eko ku Kinshasa/
F: Bulam: ungine alikuwa hapa Bulam: non: Bulamba? Bolam ...
M: ah: Bulambo iko paka ku
13. At that time, wasn’t there a book written, called Bantu Philosophy?
F: Did you know it?
M: That one, mm.
F: Did you discuss that book?
M: The one by...
IS: Tempels, Father Tempels.
M: It wasn’t the only one. Because there was one (that appeared) around fifty-eight.
F: In forty-five already, but in fifty-five it had (another) edition...?...
M: [overlapping] ... another edition.
F: Did you talk about that book?
M: About that book – at that time I was not up to do something that occupied people of importance.
M: Those who were older than I did that. For instance, there was one, a journalist, what was his name again? [pauses] Makonga Bonaventure.
M: Makonga. He and his friends went to talk to and chat with Desfossés.
F: They had discussions.
M: They had discussions, yes.
M: That’s when I heard about this Bantu Philosophy.
F: What year was this?
M: I (just) observed this.
M: But the ones who did it were those others.
F: Still, didn’t they say, ah, you are African painters, you should follow the ideas of Bantu Philosophy?
M: That’s what they did. They talked about it.
F: They said...
M: They were saying not to go after foreign ways (lit. things belonging to strangers). What they should be following were those....
F: (Who said this) they (the Congolese) or Desfossés?
M: Desfossés and his circle.
M: The circle around Desfossés. Desfossés talked to them – they and Desfossés would take turns (in those discussions).
M: That’s how it went. Still, often it was Desfossés who did the talking.
F: Where is Makonga now?
M: Makonga is in
F: Bulam – there was another one who was around (then). Was it Bulamba or Bolam(ba)?
M: Ah, Bulambo, he too is in
14. IS: est-ce que Desfossés aussi a discuté les problèmes d'art: ou montré les livres d'art?
M: les livres oui/ à ce moment il montrait ...
IS: de quel artiste?
M: surtout les artistes les anciens: surtout les livres de maîtres/
M: oui/ il montrait tout/
IS: mais Européens?
M: les Européens/ ...?... de Picasso: de Van Gogh: de: Ngoya: de Leonard de Vince: de Renoir: de ...?..
IS: tous ces livres
M: les livres de: des grands artistes/
IS: mm/ ehm: [pauses] je ...
M: ...seulement c'était difficile/ ilikuwa nguvu pa kusikia: kama: ah: bale pasipo kujua kusoma mbele/
M: ilikuwa na nguvu: hawakuwa napenda hii hapana/ lakini sawa shee tulionaka: ilikuwa: ilikuwa nafurahiza/ kwa kupata mavitabu ingine/
M: kwa kupata nani mateso wa ingine: aliteswaka: ao alifurahaka ...
M: bintu sawa vile/
F: hata: hata maisha yabo ya ...
M: kwa maisha yabo kujua: ile njo ilikuwa ilitupendeza sana/
IS: est-ce qu'il a jamais parlé de: eh: vous encouragé à peindre simplement: et authentiquement comme un Africain? est-ce qu'il a déjà parlé de ça?
F: oui oui/
M: oui oui/ ...?... il a parlé/
IS: mm/ now/ j'avais encore une
question qu'on a déjà discuté mais pas avec un enregistreur/ est-ce qu'il y
avait: dans le temps: ou même maintenant: est-ce que vous sensez qu'il y
avait: une periode de suppression des artistes du
M: oui il y avait beaucoup de ça/ surtout les jeunes eh?
M: à chaque époche il y a les jeunes qui: qui aiment les histoires/
IS: eh c'était pour quelle raison?
[another person arriving/ talking; recording interrupted]
14. IS: Did Desfossés also discuss questions of art or show books about art?
M: [in French] Books, yes. At that time he showed...
IS: About which artist?
M: Above all the old ones, books about the masters.
M: Yes, he showed all (that).
IS: But (only) Europeans?
M: The Europeans. ...?... (books showing the work) of Picasso, van Gogh, Goya, Leonardo da Vinci, Renoir, ...?...
IS: All those books.
M: The books about the great artists.
IS: Mm. Ehm, [pauses] I ...
M: ...however, this was difficult. It was hard to understand for those who did not already know how to read.
M: It was difficult and they didn’t like this.
But for those of us who looked (at the books) it was a pleasure. (And we wanted) to get hold of other books.
M: Reporting on the misery some painter went through, how (the artist) suffered and how he enjoyed (his work).
M: Things like that.
F: And (read) their lives...
M: Getting to know their lives, that was something we liked a lot.
IS: Did (Desfossés) ever talk about – did he encourage you to paint simply and authentically, like an African? Did he already talk about that (in those days)?
F: Yes, yes.
M: Yes, yes ...?... he talked about it.
IS: Mm. Now. I had one more question we already discussed but without the recorder.
At the time, or even now, do
you have a feeling that there was a period when artists from
M: [in French] Yes, there was a lot of that. Especially among the young people, right?
M: At every period there are the young ones who like to make trouble.
IS: Eh, what was the reason?
[another person arriving/ talking; recording interrupted]
15. F: bon: eh: donc eh:
F: eh/ tuliona mu ma: mu kitabu moya/
F: sasa: kiisha balimusahabu/ ni wee uli: ulinionyesha: ulituonyesha fasi yake ...
F: tuliku: tulipita kule/
F: juu ya nini?
M: juu ya: unaona vitu: vinatafuta: [aside:] pardon: na wee moya anaiweka hapa/ unafanya/ si ni: wakati ingine nilisema hapa ya: ile nilitaka Pilipili huku?
M: tufanya exposition permanente: kiisha bataona: batatuma journalistes: banaanza kuya: bataona/
M: sasa Président alionaka ile nani: ile journal: aliita ministre wake asema wee unasema minayua baartistes/ unayua baartistes mu Shaba: beko bana: banalia na sasa/
M: tuma mbio banani: ba: bakwenda ya kuuza vitu yabo/ njo ile wakati tulionaka banakuya: banauza huku: kiisha banakwenda na kwa Chenge wanauza: kiisha wanatuita nayee safari ya kwenda mu: mu bu?cercles/
M: na leo ile wana: wanatujua ni nini? inafai saa yote kulia: kusema kusema/ sawa Mode: iko: iko mutoto mupole/ iko mupole sana/
M: inafai na muntu: iko na: anamusema saa yote: anamufurahiza saa yote:
M: njo anaanza ku: kutumika/ kama kwa vile hapana: kunaisha na: anashu: anashuka tena/
M: sawa minayua: baba yake: hakuyua kintu: inafaa ma?dessins ya kweli/ baba yake aliona: ni bitu ya bule Mode iko anafanya/
F: baba yake: yee ...
M: baba yake ya Mode/
F: ule: ...?... ule: ya Mode?
M: ya Mode/
M: baba yake ya Mode: yee aliwaza: bitu ile Mode yee iko nafanya: wantu iko nafanya: ni bya bule/
M: lakini: hakujua asema ni bya kweli/ sasa paka hapa: kwa mufano: unayuana nayo: uko unamuuza vitu yake: iko anaikwenda na Makuta: baba yake nayee anaona: sasa anayua aseme: eh: kumbe ni kintu ya kweli mutoto yangu iko anafanya/ na bengine wanakuwa kuyua asema ile kazi ya Mode: ni muzuri/ mwenye kujuiza Mode: ni Charlier/ Charlier alikuwa zamani humu directeur kwa Académie des Beaux Arts/
M: saya yote
M: paka yee...
F: ...hapa sasa?
M: hapa sasa/ alikuwa kubeba: abebe matableaux ya nani: ya Mode/ kwenda ku: ku réunion moya alikuwaka: conférence moya ilikuwa ku Nsele/ tulikwendaka shee wote kule/ ile ya critique d'art/
F: [overlapping] ile ya critique d'art? mulikuwa na: na ...?...?
M: kulikuwaka matableaux ya
Mode/ sawa hivi tulikwenda ku
M: ...organisateurs bale banasema: banakamata ile matableaux: [claps] ?wanaweka mpembeni/ banayua paka iko nani: iko nani: nani: wa kuwekea vitu yake: hawa wengine hawa:
M: wanaacha na: na wa classe/
IS: [overlapping] mais Frère Cornet m'avait dit qu’il na jamais connu: Mode/
M: mais il ne connait pas beaucoup des gens: Frère Cornet/ il connait seulement les artistes de l'Académie des Beaux Arts lui/ et puis il connait les: les anciens: les: parce que lui il paye des: des statuettes anciens/
M: ah/ il ya beaucoup art traditionnel: les vieilles statues/
IS: mais ce que je n'ai pas compri: Charlier: qui était l'ancien professeur de Mode...
IS: ...il est encore une grande
position: en position assez haut à
IS: ... jamais essayé de chercher Mode: et lui assister à montrer ses tableaux/
M: vous savez c'est un peu difficile avec les gens/
M: vous êtes etrangère/ mais: pour: pour faire quelque chose c'est difficile/ vous pouvez faire: mais peut-etre un Zairois: il est cher: ...?... veut pas gaspiller l'argent/
M: par example Charlier: il
doit pas quitter
IS: il ya toujours de gens qui viennent ici pour chercher vous et Pilipili/ et: il pouvait faire ça aussi/
M: ça c'est: des choses sont difficiles/
F: [overlapping] ni mambo ya: ya namna ingine/
M: ile iko mambo ya mufano ingine/ [F and M laugh]
IS: eh: to close one of our ...?...
M: ...lakini mi: sasa:
M: jusqu'à présent: Mode est
connu/ très connu: eh/ même à
M: banamujua/ banamujua/ lakini inafaa anatumika: anafanya: anasema: anaita tu journaliste moya/
M: anasema vile iko nabyo/ mi
M: balimufansia/ sasa ni wee
moya/ paka sawa vile muntu anamuzalaka/ iko mutoto wa baba ya: wa baba yake:
kiisha anakuwa mukubwa: anaenda kutupa yee moya/ kama ni mu moto:
F: tena juu kuvwala muzuri/
M: aah/ angaria kwa mufano kuvwala [chuckles]/ minasema saa yote: minasema angaria/ uko unakwenda karibu ya wantu: bageni: bageni bengine habapendake bintu bya: bya pasuka pasuka/ ah [chuckle]: banapenda bintu muzuri: unachagula muzuri: unavwala kakilatu muzuri/
M: asema ndiyo ni kweli ni kweli/
M: kesho yake utamuona: anavwala paka vile nilimuona/
F: shee tulifika ku banque: juu ya kufungula compte yake/
M: eeh/ ah?
F: atakuwa na compte/ sawa muntu wa banque asema: oh: ule muntu anajua kusoma?
M: eh: sikie/ [F and M laugh] eh/
IS: mais je vais le prendre aussi cette semaine: pour acheter son vêtement/
M: ah oui: ça c'est: ça c’est ...
M: c'est bien/
15. Alright, we saw that, as she (IS) suggested, people from Kinshasa suppressed local artists. There is something else she really would like to understand: Why is it that people forgot Mode? They used to write about him, saying that he was very talented, right?
F: We saw this in a book
M: Yes. But now they forgot him. It was you who brought him to our attention and showed us his place...
F: ...which we visited.
F: Why is that?
M: Because – if you see how things go [aside] pardon – you bring this up yourself. Didn’t I talk to you on another occasion about my plan with Pilipili here?
M: That we should set up a permanent exposition. The people would see it, and then they would send journalists who would come and see it.
M: Now, the President saw this newspaper (article) and called his Minister. He told him, you say I know artists. You know that the artists from Shaba are complaining right now.
M: Send some one quickly to go there and buy their stuff. That was when we saw them coming and buying here. Then they went to Chenge’s place and bought and finally they called us and him to travel, visiting various social centers.
M: And what is it that makes them recognize us now? You have to keep complaining, talk, talk. If you take Mode, he is (like) a gentle child, very gentle.
M: He needs a person who keeps talking to him and cheering him up, all the time.
M: Then he starts working. Without it he ends up losing courage again (lit. he goes down).
F: I see.
M: I know that his father had no idea what it takes to produce true drawings. What Mode did was in his view rubbish.
F: His father, he...
M: Mode’s father.
F: This...?... (you mean) Mode’s father?
M: Mode’s father.
M: Mode’s father thought that what Mode did, the people he painted, was worthless.
M: He did not know that it was something valuable (lit. true). Right now, you are getting to know (Mode), buy his things from him, and he walks away with money. Now his father sees that and realizes, hey, what my child does is something of value, after all. And there are others who recognize that Mode’s work is beautiful. (Claude) Charlier was the one who made Mode known. He used to be the director of the Academy of Fine Arts here.
M: Whenever he started something he would call for Mode because in those days people liked his work. Nowadays he has lost it and he needs you support in his affairs. That’s why I also told Frère Cornet to take along Mode’s paintings.
M: Just him....
F:... was this recently?
M: Recently. He came, picked up paintings by Mode, and took them along to a meeting, a Conference that took place at Nsele. We all went there. It was the one about art criticism.
F: [overlapping] The one about art criticism? Were you with...?...?
M: Mode’s paintings were there. Similarly, we went to Lausanne, Mode’s paintings were there. Then some of the artists, the ones who sit on committees...
M: ...those organizers talked (about Mode). They took those paintings and [claps] put them aside. They realized that many asked who he was when his things were put up. So those others...
M: ... left them with (with the work) of students.
IS: [overlapping] But Frère Cornet had told me that he never knew Mode.
M: [in French] But Frère Cornet doesn’t know many people, the artist at the Académie des Beaux Arts are the only ones he knows. Moreover, he knows (things that) are really old because he is buying ancient statuettes.
M: Yes. There is a lot of traditional art around – old statues.
IS: But what I didn’t understand is why Charlier, who was Mode’s former professor...
IS: ...and still holds an important position and is highly placed in Kinshasa...
M: ...in Kinshasa, yes, he is an adviser....
IS: ... never tried to seek out Mode to help him with showing his pictures.
M: You know, it is a little difficult to deal with people.
M: You are a foreigner. But to get something done is difficult. You can but a Zairean may be reluctant to throw a way money.
M: Charlier, for example, with authorization from his superior, he cannot leave Kinshasa to come here.
IS: People come here all the time to find you and Pililipili and he could do that, too.
M: Those are complicated things.
F: [overlapping, back to Swahili] Those are matters of another kind.
M: Those matters are another story [F and M laugh].
IS: To close one of our ...?...
M: But the way I see it, right now.
M: Up to this moment, Mode is known, widely known. Even in Kinshasa.
F: People know him?
M: They do, people know him. But what he needs to do is work, produce paintings, talk. Once he called a certain journalist.
M: He talked about his situation. That was when I explained (things) to him. When (the journalist) comes, I told him, it is no good to tell him everything in the hope that he arranges matters for him. He was very young then.
M: People did things for him. Now he is all by himself. Once he was his father’s child. Then he grew up and he went on to be on his own. Through thick and thin (lit. fire and water), you are on your own and you have to make your own way. Yes, yes, he would say but after a while he would return to his old ways.
F: Also, there is the matter of dressing decently.
M: Ah, look at the way he dresses [chuckles].
I keep telling him all the time, look, you are getting close to visitors, some of whom don’t like (to see you in) rags. Ah, [chuckles] they want (you to wear) nice things, to choose well, and wear some decent shoes.
M: Yes, he would say, it’s true, it’s true.
M: Next day you would see him dressed as before.
F: We went to a bank to open an account for him.
M: I see, really?
F: He’ll have an account. What happened was the bank clerk said, oh, can this person read?
M: There you are. [F and M laugh]. Eh.
IS: But I’ll take him this week to buy clothes for him.
M: Ah, yes. That is...
M: ...that is good.
16. IS: I had one more question/ just to close the whole: eh: Defossés school/ if the artists...
IS: ... ever found at that time or later on since: that they have on the long run been exploited for the work...
F: ...this is a question: Ilona: which we discussed from many angles with him/
IS: yea but...
F: ... we have quite complete answers ...
IS: ...no but I mean explicitly...
F: ...I don't have time/ I can’t: eh: go back into this/
IS: now: I want him to: to evaluate this/
F: aah/ sasa tuko na ...
M: angaria kwa mufano: sawa munafugula compte: iko muzuri/
M: sasa inafai: mara ingine nye hamutakuwa humu/
F: no: inafaa: wee unafaa: umusaidie/ wee unajua mambo ya compte: unas: unajua/ eh?
M: sasa inafaa anatumika tena/ asitumike juu maneno: mulikuwa munasaidia kwa kuuza vitu yake: sasa hamunamo tena: anaacha kutumika: atarudia paka mu mazamani/
F: hapana/ si njo sawa unaanza sasa na nani: na exposition mu Kolwezi: batauza/
F: tena: tuko tunarudia/ ni juu ya ile mawazo nili: wee uko na numéro compte?
IS: c'est que j'ai voulu démander/
M: [overlapping] mm: numéro compte/
IS: votre adresse/
F: maneno: kama tunafika kwenu: kwetu/
F: mara ingine tunapata barafiki asema ooh: shee tunataka tableau moya/ bon: ça va/ tutafanya commande: wee utatuma tableau/
F: nabo bataweza kutuma chèque/
F: mais unapashwa kufa: kuwa na numéro compte/ sinon/
F: ça ne va pas/
IS: est-ce que vous pouvez envoyer les tableaux par avion?
M: oui/ chaque fois je fais...
IS: ...par colis postal?
M: je fais ça/ je...
M: maintenant j'ai deux tableaux pour envoyer en Italie/
M: on m'envoit des dollars/
IS: vous pouvez: vous pouvez l'assister [noise of things being moved] Modest aussi/ si jamais je commande: je demande les tableaux pour l'exposition...
IS: de l’UNESCO/ parce que maintenant je n'ai pas assez d'argent pour acheter et payer pour les tableaux aussi/
IS: mais quand je rentre aux Etats Unis: en ...?..: en Janvier: je vais parler avec cette femme/ si elle veut les tableaux: eh: je peux lui assister à écrire ici à vous: et Pilipili: à Mode:
IS: à n'importe qui:
IS: eh? si vous assisteraies un peu Mode: avec vos ...
F: ...inafaa kumusaidia kiloko/
M: ce n'est pas difficile/
F: maneno yee ...
IS: donnez-nous votre adresse ici/ c'est ...
M: mon adresse ici?
[end of recording]
16. IS: I had one more question. Just to close the whole, eh, Desfossés school. If the artists...
IS: ...ever found at that time or later on since that they have on the long run been exploited for the work....
F: ...this is a question, Ilona, which we have discussed from many angles with him.
IS: Yea, but...
F: ...we have quite complete answers...
IS: ...no, but I mean explicitly...
F: ...I don’t have time, I can’t go back into this.
IS: Now, I want him to evaluate this.
F: Aah. Now we have something....
M: Look, that you opened an account, that is fine.
M: Now you should – because some day you will no longer be here.
F: No, you should be the one to help him. You know about accounts, right?
M: Right now he must get back to work. He shouldn’t be working just because you have helped him to buy what he needs (lit. his things). The moment you are no longer here he stops working and goes back to his old ways.
F: No. You start exhibiting in Kolwezi now, right? People will buy (paintings).
F: Also, we come back. Thinking of that – do you have an account number?
IS: What I wanted to ask for.
M: [overlapping] Mm, (there is) an account number.
IS: (Is) your address.
F: Because, when we get back home.
F: We may meet friends and they may say, oh, we would like to have a painting. Fine, so we order one and you send the painting.
F: And they can send you a check.
F: But you need to have an account number, otherwise...
F: ...(otherwise) it won’t work.
IS: [in French] Can you send the paintings by air?
M: Yes. I do that all the time....
IS: Or as a postal package?
M: That’s what I do, I...
M: Right now I have two painting to be sent to Italy.
M: They send me dollars.
F: Is that so? ...?...
IS: You can also help [noise of things being moved] Modest. If I ever order any it will be paintings for an exhibition...
IS: ...organized by UNESCO. At the moment I don’t have enough money to buy and pay for the paintings.
IS: But when I am back in the US, in January, I’ll talk to the lady (who prepares the exhibition). If she wants the paintings I can help her write to you and Pilipili, to Mode.
IS: Right? If you would help Mode a little with your....
F: ...you should help him a little.
M: That’s not difficult.
F: Because he....
IS: Give us your address here. It is...
M: My address here?
[end of recording]
 In this conversation the communicative situation was exceptional because Ilona Szombati (“IS”) was not only present but participated and intervened actively. While the main medium was Katanga Swahili the exchange also included passages in English and French.
 Mwenze says pazi, which I take to be his pronunciation of French page.
 Meaning: before Mobutu decreed that Zaireans had to assume “authentic” African names.
 The Echo du Katanga, directed by
Albert Decoster. But there may be a problem of chronology since the paper
started publication in 1961 (i.e. after
 Mwenze says inakankamana, which must be a local form related to ECS –shikamana, be firm, set, to stick.
 This must have been V. Y. Mudimbe, at the time Dean of the Faculty of Letters at UNAZA.
 This is a free translation of a sentence where Mwenze shifts from plural to singular pronominal markers.
 Louis Sartenaer, a prominent member of
the expatriate community. See note 85 to the Vocabulary of
 Meaning: Mamba Muntu became popular/ widely known.
 In this passage and elsewhere that text shows the problems with IS taking an active role in a conversation in Swahili she could not follow although (see below) she often guessed what we talked about.
 There is some confusion here I am not
able to clear up. On the Internet I found an entry for a painter named
Pierre-Victor Mpoy and an exhibition of his work in
 IS must have understood Mwenze saying that only companies or administrations were his customers.
 Literally, Mwenze says “many are within this example.”
 Notice that it is now Mwenze, who did not speak English, guesses what IS is asking. See also note 7.
 See paragraph 1.
Only one of the dates was correct
(La philosophie bantoue, Traduit du néerlandais par A. Rubbens, [Préface de E.
Possoz], Elisabethville, Ed. Lovania, 1945). The first widely-read edition had
appeared almost a decade earlier (La philosophie bantoue, Traduit du
néerlandais par A. Rubbens, [Texte revu par l'auteur, Introduction par Alioune
 Makongo Bonaventure was a leading intellectual in Elisabethville/Lubumbashi: a composer, ethnographer, journalist, and author of one of the earliest Congolese novels. I don’t recall why Bulambo Jules was brought up in our conversation and cannot find information on him.
 “His circle” is my attempt to translate maDesfossés where the ma- prefix denotes not a plural but a collectivity.
 From the beginning of the paragraph to this point the exchange between IS and M was in French, at this point he continued in Swahili.
 Joseph Aurélien Cornet (1919-2004) http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0438/is_2_37/ai_n7580157/
 As far as I remember IS wanted to show Mwenze a few carved objects we had bought, but he chose to continue on the topic of how to help Mode.
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