Lokua Kanza Concert

Today I went to a Congolese concert with my friends in Goma. We were really luck to see Bukavu-born singer song-writer Lokua Kanza. The concert was held outdoors at the youth center. Young kids were standing at the back while older folks were seated in white lawn chairs awaiting the famed artist. Raw Bank, the largest national bank, was hosting the event. The stage was decked out in Raw Bank’s paraphernalia and anniversary celebrations. Before the main act came on, we were serenaded by a young female artist and back-up dancers. There was also a comedian that had the audience roaring in laughter. I could catch some simple words and phrases in Swahili, but I lacked the fluency to understand the nuance of his jokes. I wrote down a few of phrases I heard to take to my Swahili teacher so I could master.

Suddenly, the lights went down and there was cheering and pride welcoming Lokua on stage. As I mentioned in a previous post, Congolese are talented polyglots and Lokua is no stranger to languages. He sang soulful ballads in French, Swahili, Lingala, Portuguese, and English. My favorite song was Mutoto, which means dream. It is a touching song that roughly translates to, “night is falling, with the many troubles of today, go to sleep because tomorrow is a new day.”

Usiku inafika, tot’a mam’inapash’ulale

Duniani maneno, tot’a mam’inapash’ulale

Toto wa mama, usiku inakuja umuzikawejo

Usiku inafika mtot’a mam’inapash’ulale

Duniani maneno tot’a mama inapasha ulale

Hapa dunia ni mambo mengi mtoto’a mama

Mapendo ndo mwisho mungu alituomba

Usiku inafika tot’a mam’inapash’ulale

Duniani maneno toto a mama inapasha ulale

Mtoto wa mama mlale