Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Friday, July 20, 2012

Congo Siasa Etiquette

Readers - I have had a very laissez-faire attitude towards comments on this blog, and I would like to keep it that way. Emotions, however, are running high, and some of the recent exchanges here have been pretty nasty. The last thing I would want is for this site to become a forum for insults or ethnic taunts. So please, stick to constructive and substantive feedback.

I have also made my email available so you can alert me to offensive comments: jason [dot] stearns [at] yale [dot] edu. I don't have time to read all of the comments - sometimes there are over a hundred for a post - so please help me elevate the discourse here.

Merci, asante, melesi, murakoze.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

JUSTICE and PEACE in kivus NOW! Why our innocents mothers, sisters, brothers, children, fathers, ... are being raped, displaced and killed every day and the IC is watching even helping or siding with those responsible for this tragedy. We want JUSTICE ... and PEACE!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,
That is the main problem of Congolese.
They do not sort out their problem and they do not want others to sort out their problem.

Tika

Anonymous said...

@Jason
It think BOSCO ntaganda's supporters are just trying to subotage Congo siasa ,most insults are being directed towards the congolese ,towards you or anyone who is advocating for peace or justice for the people of the great lakes.the Congolese people have been following this blog for years and they have always been very modarate and always engaged in more serious debate about the issues that are affecting our people. Just by reading the comment from anonymous July 20 ,2012 2:08 am ,you will see what I am talking about . I think It was good just to egnore them and not to let them control things .thanks and keep the good work .

Anonymous said...

I believe if one doesn't have anything meaningful to share whether a 'true" Congolese or otherwise then they should simply shut up.

Mwafrika !!

Anonymous said...

Very funny

Anonymous said...

Good to have rules of engagement:
There are so many frustrated people trading insults! Calling leaders Hitlers, saying Rwanda is tiny and impoverished as if Congolese had a say in their country being bid. This was decided in Berlin in 1884!

Anonymous said...

The first victime of war is the truth. What has been demonstrated again on this blog by the rude and insulting comments. if you don't agree, give arguments ie facts or thaughts that are an expression of your cartesian side. slander, insinuation and insults are merely an expression of weakness although difficult to combat when not using the same abject manners. it is the eternal democratic, pragmatic moderate way of being versus dictatorial, agressive and menacing way. never forget, no dictator and his clique have a nice retirement, look at assad, hahaha

Rich said...

Off topic but couldn't resist -

One more reason why DRC must remain UNITED as it is. It's MUSIC, here are some links to the music from the great Jean Bosco Mwenda Wabayeke, the African guitar legend who even visited the White House back in 1969, invited by Pat Nixon.

Here is some of his music interpreted by Congolese musicians from the diaspora.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny010MHqmFM&feature=relmfu

Here is the man himself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkJFfn6avSo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=T5Ag7hsinx8#!

Rich

Anonymous said...

@Rich

Merci mingi

Rich said...

Jason -

Here is another saying with bicycle. See minute 0:46. Not too sure how politically correct that is but I'm sure its fine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=5jzdlhmq3xg

Rich

Anonymous said...

@Rich

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybTq9IaMASw&feature=relmfu

Anonymous said...

The Kivus are Rwandaphone. Whoever was born in the east is Rwandaphone. Bashi, Bahunde, etc, etc, all. Whoever says not Rwandaphone is a liar! They try to speak Swahili to hide their ties with Rwanda. I am saying this to prove that Eastern Congolese are kins of Rwandese, so no need to hate each other.
Even Raia Mtomboki is a Rwandan word. Raia is swahili for citizens mtomboki is Kinyarwanda that means angry. Raia mtomboki means angry citizens.

Anonymous said...

What does this saying mean? What is the point of using it on the blog?
Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle.
thanks

Rich said...

Anon JULY 21, 2012 3:46 AM -

I'm sure Jason has his idea why he used the saying here and I'm not trying to answer on his behalf. My understanding is a blog can be kept simple yet it can still bring good discussion but, when you start to add too many fancy things (many adverts, many links or clever designs, coloured fonts etc...) to the blog, you may kill its beauty which is its simplicity. The same can be said to many other things, when you over do it, you will lose its beauty. Imagine too much makeup on someone's face, too much salt in food, too much sugar in tea, too much blings etc ...

Rich

Anonymous said...

@rich: thanks for your reply. I like that!

Anonymous said...

@Ano. JULY 21, 2012 3:46 AM

Sorry, I had to invite myself on this.
Rich is right. African philosophy is embedded in metaphors. Forget about Congolese fauna, flora and the fricken minerals which are second to none on planet earth, Congo is really the HEART of African culture and languages. The too diverse Congo is the one country that summarizes north, south, east and west of the Continent. African music or art is first and foremost, rather in fact, Congolese. From Grand kale, Franco De Mi Amor, to koffi Olomide or to Fally Ipupa, Congolese artists have been the most influential. They are the only ones who routinely fill stadiums in Abidjan , Nairobi or Harare or any other African capital city. And all Africans appreciate it as they know that Congolese stick proudly to the “original and authentic” African culture.

That said, that saying just means that too much of anything is unwise, or that best is the enemy of better, or even that you should distinguish between what is important and what is accessory. As I see it, Jason is so right to have it on the blog as all actors of the Congolese drama should know when to stop the madness, as no humans can never control human history. And that time to stop is now.

See, you hurt Congo you hurt Africa.

muanacongo

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