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Art and Tyranny: Franco’s Role in Mobutu’s Zaire

Author: Geoffrey Winikur


Carver High School of Engineering & Science

Year: 2021

Seminar: Listening to the Music of Contemporary Africa: History, Politics, and Human Origins

Grade Level: 10-12

Keywords: arts education, colonization, culturally responsive teaching, imperialism, Inquiry, interdisciplinary pedagogy, multiple literacies, postcolonial studies, Research, student research

School Subject(s): Social Studies

Students have minimal access to postcolonial history and art. The relative invisibility of these disciplines becomes increasingly problematic given that our schools are becoming increasingly populated by students from nations that are former colonies and are still grappling with the historical implications of imperialism and colonization. This project will engage two historical conditions. The first is the ideological underpinnings of imperialism and colonization and how they manifestly impacted the cultures and individuals who were subject to these forms of state and religious violence. The second will focus on how the history and development of Congolese soukous/rumba evolved in the the context of a postcolonial dictatorship that existed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), then known as Zaire. The history of imperialism and colonization will be presented through various documentary films. The central musical artist will be Franco Luambo Luanza Makiadi, arguably the greatest and most influential Congolese artist and band leader, and also one of the most important African popular musicians. Inquiry into the social and aesthetic significance of soukous will be situated in the larger history of the Congo dating back to the conquest of this region by King Leopold II of Belgium, the subsequent colonial rule of Belgium and the totalitarian rule of Joseph Mobutu Sese Seko.

Download Unit: Winikur-Geoffrey.pdf

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Full Unit Text
Content Objectives

School Context:

My students are 10th and 11th graders at the George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science in Philadelphia. Carver HSES is a National Blue Ribbon School with a culturally and ethnically diverse population, 72% of whom come from low-income households.

Many are either immigrants or children of immigrants.

Content Objectives:

High School students have come of age in an era of incredible change and turmoil. Four years of unprecedented political division, constant access to social media, the emergence of Black Lives Matter, and more than a year of virtual learning due to COVID-19. Additionally, the education establishment in the United States is currently embroiled in what seems like an endless culture war. The primary point of contention this time is Critical Race Theory (CRT), a higher education field of study that endeavors to examine how the legal system intersects with the history of racism and white supremacy in the United States. Schools and school districts across the nation have begun to incorporate elements of CRT into both professional development and curricula. Additionally, publications such as The New York Times 1619 Project, Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, and How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi has sparked considerable backlash among politicians, pundits and members of the conservative educational advocacy groups.

While it is fair to say that some efforts to incorporate CRT into schools and classrooms have been rather clumsy, it is clear that the inflamed reaction, which includes several state legislatures passing laws against teaching CRT, are fundamental features of the White Nationalist agenda designed to preserve white supremacy that gained strength and power the Trump era. The 1619 Project was greeted with considerable backlash and the fact that many teachers incorporated that text into their curricula seemed to be very threatening to conservatives. The climate grew so hysterical that the former president ordered his administration to develop a counter-curriculum, the 1776 Commission.

While recent cultural divides around race appear to have temporarily eclipsed the Trump-led campaign to demonize immigrants, Muslims and inhabitants of what Trump called “shithole countries,” we stay mindful that our students who fit these demographics are aware of this discourse and require our support. I have always believed that students benefit from culturally relevant pedagogy and I hope that this project will lead to a deeper comprehension. Our students deserve a balanced address to the historical impact of imperialism, colonialism and postcolonialism.


My first serious encounter with African popular music occurred in 1998 after my future spouse Cheryl and I returned from a pre-honeymoon trip to Malawi. Cheryl’s father was born in that slender East-African nation and was among the first elite students sent to the United States in order to acquire the education he would need to help his homeland progress. He never returned, though one of his sisters came to the US and lived with the family for a while.

This aunt, Tandy, hosted us on our visit and took us throughout the country and we marveled at the rich and varied landscape. A few weeks later I was in a music store in Chicago that had a listening station. There were two CD’s by artists I had never heard of before: Alpha Yaya Diallo and Sam Mangwana. I listened to songs from each musician and was stunned to discover that I could “hear” the shapes and colors of Malawi in the music. I purchased the CD’s and began a musical journey that continues to this day.

Although I familiarized myself with a wide variety of African music, Mangwana led me to the Congolese music known as soukous and/or rumba. This music was not easy to access and I spent a great deal of time researching venues for buying CD’s. One artist led to another and I soon began listening to Franco, Tabu Ley, Papa Noel, Papa Wemba, Koffi Olomide, Ricardo Lemvo and Pepe Kalle. I then discovered newer artists such as Werrason, Fally Ipupa and Ferre Gola.

While listening to and learning about this music gave me great pleasure, it was also a wonderful complement to my burgeoning interest in the history of the Congo, starting from the period marked by King Leopold II’s reign of terror, continuing through the rise and fall of Patrice Lumumba, and ultimately the tyrannical rule of Joseph Mobutu Sese Seko. What interested me most about the Mobutu era was how such beautiful and influential music flourished in an autocratic society.

Professional Development:

In 2004 I attended a National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Seminar, Writing Africa, which focused on post-colonial African literature and film. We read Adam Hochschild’s comprehensive of the “Belgian Congo,” King Leopold’s Ghost. I had never even heard of King Leopold II, and knew nothing of the Belgian conquest of an entire region in Central Africa.  Reading Hochchild was especially illuminating because Leopold’s strategy for persuading Europe to allow Belgium control of the Congo was similar to the manner in which President George W. Bush garnered support for inviting Iraq and Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11. We also studied Raoul Peck’s Lumumba, and I was inspired by Peck’s narrative prowess as well as this capacity to present the film as a pedagogical text. Consequently, I will create a unit that covers the evolution of “The Congo Free State,” Patrice Lumumba and the independence movement, Mobutu and the several major stars of Congolese soukous.

Teaching Strategies

The September after I attended Writing Africa I transferred to a small magnet school. The student body was predominantly African- and Afro-Caribbean. I was afforded the opportunity to teach an elective. I used this occasion to fashion a curriculum that started with the history of the “Belgian Congo,” continued through Congolese independence, ultimately branching off into projects about the 1994 Rwanda Genocide and a survey of African feminist films. Many students had little access to an African-centered curriculum prior to this time, and there was a high level of engagement and participation.

In order to foment interest in the “Belgian Congo,” I reviewed the world history textbook then used in the School District of Philadelphia. While the textbook included approximately 40 pages of content addressing Adolph Hitler, the Nazi rule in Germany, and Nazi involvement in WW II, there were only four sentences addressing Leopold. When I shared this with students they were shocked and surprised. We managed to channel this energy into purposeful inquiry and the first year of the course was quite successful.

One of the most rewarding aspects of this project was that it turned me into an avid researcher. I was teaching with an inquiry stance and so had to find materials that would guide students. I located translations of colonial narratives that had been composed in various languages designed to persuade the indigenous groups that King Leopold II was a benevolent figure with the purest of motives. I also found a database of archival photographs taken by a Belgian physician, Emile Gorlia ( My energy and enthusiasm allowed me to to guide students to similarly interesting discoveries, particularly when it came to Rwanda and students found provocative Hutu propaganda, as well unsealed US government documents concerning the genocide.

My hope is that students can make similar discoveries about the intersections between colonialism, authoritarianism, and cultural-hybridity as reflected in Congolese soukous.


Imperialism                            Joseph Mobutu Sese Seko                  Soukous

Colonialism                            Franco Luamba Makadai                    Rumba

King Leopold II                      Tabu Ley Rochereau                          Lingala

Belgian Congo                        “Authentice”                                       Matonge

Congo Free State                    Zaire 74                                               Moke the Painter

Henry Morton Stanley                        Sam Mangwana                                  Cheri Samba

ED Morel                                Papa Wemba                                       Cheri Cherin

Patrice Lumumba                   Pepe Kalle

Joseph Kasavubu                    Emoro

Moises Thsombe                     La Vie Este Belle

Classroom Activities

Project # 1: Inquiry into Imperialism and Colonialism Through Film


Directions: We will watch three films that were intentionally created to teach the viewer about imperialism, colonialism and postcolonialism. We will pause throughout the viewing in order to explicate certain details, discuss events and take note of particularly relevant information. We will gather this data on Cornell Notes so that we can apply some of the information to a paper that each of you will write on one of the films. Please note that one of the films, Exterminate All the Brutes, is a four-episode documentary, so if you choose that film you will only write about one of the episodes. Your essay should be a 1,000-word informational report about the film, and address the following questions:

  • What are some of the central themes in the film?
  • What evidence is used to support the themes?
  • How does the medium of film influence what and how we learn?
  • How might someone dispute some of the content?
  • How does what you learned transform your understanding of the world?

After viewing Exterminate All The Brutes, King Leopold’s Ghost and Lumumba, students will have amassed considerable knowledge of imperialism and colonization broadly, as well particular knowledge about “The Congo Free State” and Independence-era Congo.

Day 1 – Students will have accumulated data on their Cornell Notes. Students will gather in groups of four in order organize, discuss and share data. Students will discuss themes of particular interest.

Day 2-4 – Students will draft essays.

Day 5 – Students will participate in peer conferences.

Day 6-8 – Students will revise essays and submit on day 8.

History of Conquest

In order to gain an understanding of the history of conquest in the United States, Europe and Africa, students will study Exterminate All the Brutes by Raoul Peck. While this film only focuses partially on the Congo, it offers incredible insight into the impact of white supremacy on global history. Students should be aware of the ideological underpinnings of white supremacy, imperialism and colonialism in order to understand how Mobutu’s Zaire was shaped by the larger European colonial project.

Each of the film’s four episodes examine various imperial strategies, as well as forms of resistance. Peck uses found images, recreations of encounters between conquer and conquered, and even animation. Additionally, Peck weaves in an autobiographical narrative in which he interrogates his own “complicity”. While it is safe to say that many students will be unnerved by much of Exterminate All the Brutes’ content, the film is a cinematic masterpiece and profoundly illuminating pedagogical text.

In preparation for the film students will be asked to consider the guiding questions:

  • What strategies and techniques does the filmmaker use to disrupt the dominant narrative(s) of certain historical events?
  • What happens when the filmmaker recreates historical incidents?
  • What can we learn from images and narratives that portray historical events?
  • What do we learn about the manner in which past events shape the present?
  • What does it feel like to learn about historical events that you were unaware of?

Episode 1, “The Disturbing Confidence of Ignorance.”

Episode 2, “Who the F*** is Columbus?”

Episode 3, “Killing at a Distance or…How I Thoroughly Enjoyed the Outing.”

Episode 4, “The Bright Colors of Fascism.”

Students will watch each episode in class, pausing to discuss what they already knew, and what they learn. Additionally, we will analyze how images tell a story, especially when these images either reflect abuses of power or resistance to power. Students will complete Cornell Notes that will be used as data for a report on one episode of the documentary.

  1. The “Congo Free State”

In order to analyze the relationship between art and politics during Mobutu’s rule of Zaire, it is essential to have an understanding of that region’s subjugation by King Leopold II of Belgium beginning in 1884. King Leopold II was one of Europe’s most notorious colonizers, essentially gaining control of the region now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and turning it into a massive rubber plantation. According to the historian Adam Hochschild, approximately 10 million Congolese were killed by Leopold’s agents and countless more maimed, most commonly by having their right hand cut off if they failed to collect enough rubber (1998). Leopold built Belgium’s wealth by stealing rubber and ivory from the Congo. Leopold’s atrocities were ultimately exposed by the British journalist, E.D. Morel. Belgium assumed control of the Congo in 1908.

Students will watch a film version of Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost. This film examines the conquest of the Congo and explores how the Belgians enforced a brutal system of rubber gathering.

Guiding Questions:

  • How did King Leopold “acquire” Congolese territory?
  • What is the role of exploration in the context of imperialist exploitation?
  • What was the role of the Force Publique?
  • Why are King Leopold’s atrocities in the Congo not widely taught?
  1. Colonialism/Independence


The foundational text for this unit will be Raoul Peck’s biographical film, Lumumba. This film depicts the events that led to the Congo gaining independence in 1960 and the demise of this movement beginning with Lumumba’s assassination. While music is not heavily featured in this film, it does establish the context for the emergence of Mobutu as an authoritarian leader.

In order to gain an understanding of how colonialism functioned in independence-era Congo, students will consider the following questions:

  • How does this film present the institutionalization of colonization?
  • What strategies did Belgium utilize in order to maintain power in the independence era?
  • What did I learn about Congolese culture?
  • What did I learn about Congolese politics?
  • What did I learn about Belgian citizens living in the Congo?
  • What was truly surprising?
  • What was upsetting?
  • What was challenging?

Resource: Sentence Starters for IRR Essay

These sentence starters were designed along with my Carver HSES colleague, John Taylor-Baranik. They are designed to help students structure their essays. While these sentence starters are not mandatory, students generally find them to be useful.

CLAIMS are the main ideas of your essay. Your main claim is your thesis statement. 

REASONS are your justifications WHY your claim is true.

  • One reason that_____ is ______
  • Another reason that______ is _______
  • For one,___________
  • For another, ___________
  • In addition to___________,
  • Besides ________, ________

EVIDENCE supports your reasons.

  • For example
  • For instance
  • In the instance of _____,
  • Take ______, for example
  • This is shown in

ANALYSIS shows the meaning of your evidence. 

  • This reveals…
  • This illustrates…
  • This shows…
  • This highlights…
  • This demonstrates…
  • This exemplifies…
  • From this, it is clear that (rephrase your evidence) proves/shows/demonstrates/illustrates that (rephrase your main point) because…
  • It is important to notice how (rephrase your evidence) proves/shows/demonstrates/illustrates that (rephrase your main point) because…
  • Taken together, the fact that (rephrase one piece of evidence) and that (rephrase more evidence), clearly demonstrates that (rephrase your main point) because…
  • This (illustration/graph/statistic) is indisputable evidence of (rephrase main point) because…

COUNTERARGUMENT illustrates the opposing viewpoint to your thesis statement. 

  • Some argue that…..
  • Those opposed to ______ argue that
  • Some disagree that__________, arguing that

REFUTATION explains why the counterargument is incorrect.

  • However, this counterargument fails because….
  • However, those opposed to ______ fail to recognize that….
  • Those who disagree with _______ do not acknowledge that…..


  • It is safe to say…


  • Italicize publication names 
  • [Author], in a [name of publication] article, writes…..
  • [Author], writing about [issue] in [name of publication], notes……
  • In an article in the [name of publication], [author] observes….
  • [You tuber name], commenting on [issue], says…
  • In a commentary on [issue], [Youtuber] says….

Assignment #2: Research-based Creative Project: Mobutu and Franco

Rationale: Having studied Exterminate All Of The Brutes, King Leopold’s Ghost, and Lumumba, students should have a comprehensive understanding of how the Congo was shaped by Leopold’s brutality and Belgium’s successful attempts to interfere with the Congo’s desire for independence. The two most dominant forces that after Belgium successfully eliminated Patrice Lumumba and his desire for a united Congo were Joseph Mobutu Sese Seko and Franco Luambo Makiadi, leader of the prolific band, TPOK Jazz. Although the music scene in the Congo prior to Mobutu’s ascension, and Franco was already a major star, their relationship is an interesting lens through which we can examine social and cultural life in Mobutu’s Zaire. Additionally, students can gain an appreciation of how art, culture and entertainment were negotiated in the context of a dictatorship whose leader was engaged in a complex relationship with balancing influence of the West and maintaining traditional culture (Carter Grice, 2011).

Mobutu was notoriously corrupt and authoritarian in his rule. He established a form of government that became known as a “kleptocracy.” The Congo remained an inexhaustible source of valuable natural resources, and Mobutu acquired as much wealth as he possibly could, even though this theft ultimately left the majority of citizens to languish in poverty. This leadership carried over to Mobutu’s relationship with musicians. This was significant because Congolese dance music was the most important and popular form of entertainment in that nation and musicians were revered and reviled. Franco was an early supporter of Mobutu and composed several songs celebrating the leader of Zaire. He also benefited from Mobutu’s business models (Stewart, 2003). There were, however, times when their relationship became combative to the point that Franco was arrested and fined for performing songs with pornographic lyrics (Stewart, 2003).

Carter Grice (2011) clarifies the symbiotic relationship between Mobutu and Franco: “…[if] Mobutu was the apogee of the African military dictator, then Franco Luambo Makiadi was certainly the apogee of an African popular music that strove to generate an authentic, postcolonial identity in its audience, one that accepted colonization as an historical reality to be synthesized rather than an evil to be defined against (p. 9).” In other words, Franco strove to create music that would help the citizens of Zaire embrace their postcolonial reality despite the confines imposed by Mobutu’s rule. Franco needed to stay in Mobutu’s good graces, yet also had a deep affinity for the citizens who constituted his fan base.

Bob White (2008) offers a much harsher critique of Franco, implying and quotes a Congolese man who claims that “[Franco]…was just like Mobutu, he became important through a series of eliminations (p. 241). This insight supports the central thesis of White’s ethnography, Rumba Rules: The Politics of Dance Music in Mobutu’s Zaire, which is that the development of popular music in Zaire was inextricably linked to Mobutu’s formation of the political system in that nation (2008).

Research-based Creative Assignment

Directions: Your job is to compose a research-based creative project based on the relationship between the ruler of Zaire. Joseph Mobutu Sese Seko, and that nation’s most significant musician and band leader, Franco Luambo Makiadi.

We will spend one week researching the two figures, as well as other politicians in their orbit. For example, you may research Western leaders who facilitated Mobutu’s hold on power. Additionally, you can research musicians that played in Franco’s band, TPOK Jazz, many of whom became famous after leaving the band. During this time, I will conduct several mini-lessons demonstrating how to interpret and understand the history and politics of the era, as well as placing Franco in context.

After completing the research process, you will have one week to compose your project.

The following week you will present to Carver HSES students from other classes.


Joseph Sese Seko Mobutu began his career as a soldier in the Congolese army under the Lumumba/Kasavubu government, although he was secretly collaborating with the Belgian government during the time of independence.  He eventually gained control of the military and Lumumba was deposed. Mobutu assumed total control of the Congo in 1965 and forged strong alliances with the West.

Tzhinzam (2019) suggests that Mobutu understood that any great international power must develop and maintain a strong identity through the arts. One way that Mobutu endeavored to establish the Congo as artistic presence on the international stage, Mobutu instituted a legally binding policy of “authentice” which dictated that everything from fashion to names be Africanized (Stewart, 2000).


Mobutu Sese Seko Biography – Showed Strength During Mutiny, Tensions Rose, First Rise to Power, Made Use of Diverse Background Biographical summary of Mobutu’s life and career.

Mobutu Sese Seko, Zairian Ruler, Is Dead in Exile in Morocco at 66 (Published 1997) Obituary of Mobutu published in The New York Times.

How Mobutu Conquered Congo | The Complex History of the Leopard of Zaire YouTube video of Mobutu’s leadership and his relationship with American and European leaders.

Franco and TPOK Jazz

Franco Luambo Makiadi was arguably the most influential bandleader and musician from the Congo. Franco’s bands featured many of Congo’s greatest vocalists and musicians, while producing thousands of songs. Additionally, Franco became a major cultural icon under Mobutu’s “authentice” program Hidden Meanings in Congo Music Podcast exploring how Franco offered subversive social commentary without explicitly identifying his targets; Looking Back on Franco Retrospective on Franco’s life and musical career. Franco’s Final Concert A report on Franco’s final concert before he died of HIV/AIDS in 1989. Celebrating Grand Master Franco A podcast on Franco’s life and musical career.

NPR: Franco: Africa’s First Modern Pop Superstar

Tele Zaire 1975: Télé Zaïre 1975 – Franco & le T.P. O.K. Jazz

The mixed legacy of DRC musician Franco

14 thoughts on “Franco Luambo and Mobutu Sese Seko a strange relationship”

Project Menu:

  • Research-based 1st person narrative in the “voice” of any “actor (male/female)” in a historical episode. 1000 words.
  • Research-based PowerPoint narrating the historical/social/political context of an issue or a participant in that issue. 15 slides;
  • Research-based podcast narrating the historical/social/political context of an issue or a participant in that issue. 5 minutes.
  • Research-based graphic novel narrating the historical/social/political context of an issue or a participant in that issue. 20 pages.
  • Research-based travelogue narrating the historical/social/political context of an issue or a participant in that issue. 1000 words.

Please bring headphones so that you can listen to videos and podcasts.

Assignment # 3: Playlists

Inspired by Dr. Carol Ann Muller, the third phase of this project will be a playlist. The playlist project was central to Dr. Muller’s TIP class, and demonstrated a profound degree of respect for the fact that students – in this case SDP teachers – can educate as well as the instructor. Students will be able to choose from three playlist options. The first choice will concern the famous boxing match, The Rumble in the Jungle that took place in Kinshasa 1974. This playlist will also incorporate the accompanying music festival, “Zaire 74” The second option will address Congolese soukous musicians. Students may take a deep dive into one artist, or establish connections among multiple artists. The third option will focus on visual artists from the Kinshasa School.

Playlist Directions and Activities

The Playlist should be at least 15 slides. No more than 20 slides.

  • A PowerPoint slide that has a title does not count as one of the 15 slides.
  • Each slide should include an image and written text.
  • Slides should include relevant biographical detail of relevant figures.
  • There should be several slides that include music clips when referring to musicians.
  • Sources must be cited.
  • The presentation should be rehearsed ahead of time.
  • The final presentations will be presented to different classes.
  • Be prepared to take questions at the end of your presentation.

Lesson calendar with Due Dates: Playlist Assignment

Time Frame:

  • Playlist final draft – TBD
  • Peer review/presentation rehearsals will take place on – TBD
  • Presentations- TBD

Day 1

Students will divide research areas and begin to look for relevant information. Each slide will include pictures and factual data, and perhaps musical clips from YouTube or other sources.

Days 2-6

Students will compose slides, place them in appropriate order and enhance design.

Days 7-9 

Presentations. Audience will complete reflections on post-its. Each group will have a piece of chart paper where post-its will be placed:

  • What stands out? What do I want to know more about?

Day 10

Whole class discussion:

  • What did we learn?
  • What does it mean that we may not have been aware of some of this aspect of Zairian art and culture?
  • How does this new knowledge transform our understanding of postcolonial artistic expression and culture?
 Playlist #1: Rumble in the Jungle

Rationale: The Rumble in the Jungle refers to the famous boxing match between George Foreman and Muhammed Ali in 1974. The fight took place in Kinshasa and allowed Zaire to be the center of the world for a few months. George Foreman was injured during training and Ali used this time to embrace the Congolese people and rally the entire nation around him. Foreman, on the other hand, was viewed as an agent of Western imperialism. The Rumble in the Jungle may be one of the most documented boxing matches in the history of the sport. It is the subject of a full-length documentary, When We Were Kings, directed by Leon Gast (1996).

In addition to the fight, there was also a major music festival known as “Zaire 74.” This concert featured such global luminaries as James Brown, Mariam Makeba, Celia Cruz, as well as Zairean superstars like Franco and Tabu Ley. This festival is documented in Soul Power, a film directed by Jeff Levy-Hinte (2008).

Using the films, resources provided below, or those found in original research, students can make a playlist about “Zaire 74” and the boxing match itself.


Zaire 74: Zaire 74 Zaire 74: The African Artists


Playlist #2: Soukous

Musical Artists:

Le Grand Kalle – Le Grand Kalle’s band, African Jazz, would go on to create music closely associated with Independence, including Table Ronde and Independence Cha Cha.

Table Ronde

Grand Kalle – Independence Cha Cha.mp4

Tabu Ley Rochereau – Tabu Ley was Franco’s main rival and was known for his magnificent voice.



Wendo Kolsoy – Legendary guitarist and singer.

Wendo Kolsoy – Marie Louise

Papa Noel – Legendary guitarist.

Bon Samaritain

Bel Ami

Simaro Lutumba – Franco’s band director, composer.

Simaro Massiya Lutumba – Maya

Verre Casse

Sam Mangwana – Legendary singer.


Sam Mangwana – Suzanna

Pepe Kalle – Leader of Empire Bakuba.



M’Bilia Bel – Legendary vocalist.

Mbilia Bel – Beyanga (Clip officiel)

Mbilia Bel – Contre ma volonté (Clip officiel)

Tshala Muana – Vocalist.

Karibou Yangu

Tshala Muana – Malu

Nyboma – Legendary vocalist.

Doublé doublé

Nyboma –  Maya (Clip officiel)

Koffi Olomide – Prominent bandleader.

Koffi Olomide Loi  ( Ndombolo )

Koffi Olomide – Tshou Tshou Tshou [Clip – Officiel]

Bozi Boziana – Famous singer.


Bozi Boziana  ” Reine de Sabah ”  ( video ) Musique Congolaise

Zaiko Langa Langa – Prominent band.

Dede sur mesure


Papa Wemba -Vocalist, actor.

Congo Papa Wemba Kaokoko Korobo

Papa Wemba – Yolele

Reddy Amisi – Prominent singer.

Reddy Amisi – Prudence

Reddy Amisi – Libala

Felix Wazekwa – Prominent singer.

Felix Wazekwa – La Chicotte des Léopards [ Clip Officiel ]

Félix Wazekwa Sponsor (10 Clips) 2000

Wenge Musica – Prominent band.

Wenge Musica BCBG – Pentagone

Wenge Musica Maison Mere – Solola Bien

Werrason – Contemporary singer.

Werrason – Opération Dragon

Techno Malewa Mecanique – Werrason

Fally Ipup – Contemporary singer.

Fally Ipupa – Allo Téléphone (Clip officiel)

Fally Ipupa – Eloko Oyo (Clip officiel)

Ferre Gola – Contemporary singer.

Ferre Gola   100 Kilos

Ferre Gola – BOSS (clip officiel)

Additional Resource: Female Congolese Musical Artists: A list of 100 Congolese Women artists in the music industry 


Playlist # 3: Visual Art in Kinshasa

Rationale: A group of visual artists began gathering in Kinshasa during the 1970’s (Speed, 2017). The leader, Cheri Samba, along with peers Moke, Cheri Cherin and Bodo, among others, portrayed social and political life in Zaire. These paintings typically blend realism and surrealism and usually feature bright color schemes. This playlist assignment might appeal to students with an interest in the arts and politics.

Art The Zaire School of Popular Painting: An Art of Independence

Moké and Congolese Popular Painting | Magazine

Chéri Sama – Painting Daily Life in Kinshasa — Google Arts & Culture

Moke – “Painter reporter” of city life — Google Arts & Culture

Cheri Cherin – 2 Artworks, Bio & Shows on Artsy

Bodo — Google Arts & Culture


“A List of 100 Congolese Women Artists in the Music Industry.” BISONABISO, Accessed 15 June 2021.

“Afropop Worldwide | Celebrating Grand Master Franco.” Afropop Worldwide, Accessed 15 June 2021.

“Afropop Worldwide | Franco’s Final Concert.” Afropop Worldwide, Accessed 15 June 2021.

“Afropop Worldwide | Hidden Meanings in Congo Music.” Afropop Worldwide, Accessed 15 June 2021.

“Afropop Worldwide | Looking Back on Franco.” Afropop Worldwide, Accessed 15 June 2021.

“Afropop Worldwide | Zaire 74: The African Artists.” Afropop Worldwide, Accessed 15 June 2021.

Bel Ami., Accessed 15 June 2021.

“Bodo.” Google Arts & Culture, Accessed 16 June 2021.

Bon Samaritain., Accessed 15 June 2021.

Bozi Boziana ” Reine de Sabah ” ( Video ) Musique Congolaise., Accessed 15 June 2021.

Cheri Cherin – 2 Artworks, Bio & Shows on Artsy. Accessed 16 June 2021.

“Chéri Samba – Painting Daily Life in Kinshasa.” Google Arts & Culture,éri-samba-painting-daily-life-in-kinshasa/MgLiMRDtaLUtJg. Accessed 16 June 2021.

Congo Papa Wemba Kaokoko Korobo., Accessed 15 June 2021.

“Democratic Republic of Congo Pigozzi Collection – The Jean Pigozzi Collection of African Art 2021.” CAACART – The Jean Pigozzi Collection of African Art, Accessed 16 June 2021.

Doublé Doublé., Accessed 15 June 2021.

Emile Gorlia Photographs – Contents · SOVA. Accessed 15 June 2021.

“Exterminate All the Brutes.” HBO, Accessed 16 June 2021.

Fally Ipupa – Allo Téléphone (Clip Officiel)., Accessed 15 June 2021.

Fally Ipupa – Eloko Oyo (Clip Officiel)., Accessed 15 June 2021.

Fatimata., Accessed 15 June 2021.

Felix Wazekwa – La Chicotte Des Léopards [ Clip Officiel ]., Accessed 15 June 2021.

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AP College Board IRR Report Rubric:

Read Write Think Narrative Rubric:

PBPowerpoint Rubric:

Pennsylvania ELA Standards

1.2 Reading Informational Text Students read, understand, and respond to informational text—with an emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and making connections among ideas and between texts with focus on textual evidence.

CC.1.2.11–12.C Analyze the interaction and development of a complex set of ideas, sequence of events, or specific individuals over the course of the text.

CC.1.2.11–12.D Evaluate how an author’s point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

CC.1.2.11–12.E Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.

CC.1.211–12.F Evaluate how words and phrases shape meaning and tone in texts.

CC.1.2.11–12.G Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

1.4 Writing Students write for different purposes and audiences. Students write clear and focused text to convey a well-defined perspective and appropriate content.

CC.1.4.11–12.A Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately.

CC.1.4.11–12.B Write with a sharp, distinct focus identifying topic, task, and audience.

CC.1.4.11–12.D Organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a whole; use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text; provide a concluding statement or section that supports the information presented; include formatting when useful to aiding comprehension.

CC.1.4.11–12.M Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events.

CC.1.4.11–12.N Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation and its significance, establishing one or multiple points of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters.

CC.1.4.11–12.O Use narrative techniques such as dialogue, description, reflection, multiple plotlines, and pacing to develop experiences, events, and/or characters; use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, settings, and/or characters

CC.1.4.11–12.R Demonstrate a grade-appropriate command of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

CC.1.2.11–12.A Determine and analyze the relationship between two or more central ideas of a text, including the development and interaction of the central ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.

CC.1.2.11–12.B Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences and conclusions based on and related to an author’s implicit and explicit assumptions and beliefs.

CC.1.2.11–12.I Analyze foundational U.S. and world documents of historical, political, and literary significance for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features

CC.1.2.11–12.J Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college- and career-readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

Social Studies Standards

Standard – CC.8.5.9-10.E Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.

Standard – CC.8.6.9-10.A

Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.

  • Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  • Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying data and evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both claim(s) and counterclaims in a discipline-appropriate form and in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from or supports the argument presented.