Makonda (Official Video)

Montparnasse Musique

‘Makonda’ is taken from Montparnasse Musique’s debut self-titled EP, and features Kinshasa band Konono No1. It will be released on limited edition neon orange vinyl on 14th January 2022.

Filmed on the streets of Kinshasa by award-winning documentary filmmaker Renaud Barret (Systeme K, Benda Bilili!), the music video offers a glimpse of the Congolese capital city’s unique street art movement — a fitting visual accompaniment to the sound of Montparnasse Musique, which connects the acoustic grit of traditional Africa with the pulse of modern Johannesburg through collaborations with Congotronics innovators such as Konono No1 and Kasai Allstars.

Featured in the video are members of the Bakoko collective, a group of fashion designers who combine their unique art with body performance. In their weekly ghetto catwalks, the performers pay homage to the Congo’s famous La Sape movement, representing it in a brand-new way.

The costumes are inspired by the ancient Kingdom of Kongo — the Bakoko collective’s interpretation of an era for which there is very little documented evidence. The garments are exclusively made of bamboo and Mayaka seeds (a plant particularly associated with the area of Lake Mai Ndombe, in the western part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The name ‘Bakoko’ means ‘spirit of the ancestors’, and the collective’s primary creators Arnold Mbo and Pipiyu see their creations as a political statement, and part of a process of de-alienation. They urge Congolese youth to reconnect with ancient spiritual values instead of diving into heavy consumerism and imported spirituality of the ever-growing Evangelical churches. Their work is also dedicated to great historical figures of the Congolese rebellion against colonisation such as Maman Kimpa Vita and Simon Kimbangu.

Lyrically ‘Makonda’ conveys the message that ‘man is all alone in the face of life and death’. It features the first new music from acclaimed Kinshasa-based band Konono No1 since 2016, with frontman Menga Waku.

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