Shortly before the escalation of violence in North Kivu, RNW was in Goma, talking with one of the many young, talented and socially engaged rappers who have called this city home. Meet Fabrice Masimango.
By Gaïus Kowene, Goma
Fal G, as the 24 year old is more commonly known, sayss his music is not intended to make people shake their booty but to make them think. He has just finished recording a new track in Kiswahili called Ndio muda waku sema huu’, which means ‘This is the time to talk’. Focused on broken political promises, the track is as incendiary as a match in a gasoline tank.
“Have things changed after the elections?” the rapper asks rhetorically. “No! Here in Kivu, there is still war and cries of sorrow everywhere. There has been no running water for three days, forget electricity.”
Fal G might look to some people like a thug but in fact he is an angry young man, frustrated by the hardships that inspire his music.
“All these wars, all these deaths I see every day, they make me want to tell people that what they are doing is wrong,” he says. “Before the elections, we were promised free education, but our children are expelled every day for not paying the school fees.”
The language of guns
Fal G has been threatened a number of times because of his critical, often outspoken, ways. But singing is not something he has considered giving up. “Maybe through me – or, if they eliminate me – through someone else like me, Congo will change one day.”
Although he lives in what is officially described as a democratic country, the young rapper decries the absence of free expression. Among his frustrations is the fact that some local media have given in to political pressure.
“Here, people speak the language of guns. Radio stations cannot play some of my songs, for fear of being silenced. And this is not democracy,” he says.
Never give up
The only way for the young artist to convey his message to the public has been by performing at shows and other events to which he is invited.
When RNW spoke with him, Fal G said he wouldn’t stop there. He vowed to persevere until the justice system becomes fair and until the Congolese people have a better quality of life. That is, until the Democratic Republic of Congo lives up to its name and becomes truly democratic.
Listen to 'Africa', a track by Fal G featuring Wanny S-King