Published on February 21st, 2020 | by Guest Editor0
“Milimo”, a Tale of Fraternity in the Heart of Africa
Emmanuel Lauwers, better known as Mundele Boy, has just taken his first official step into the music business with the release of his debut single called “Milimo.” A student in International Relations, the release comes on the heels of Lauwers’ completion of a five-month internship in the Congo with a local cooperative
Made in collaboration with Jean Daniel and Rasta Jah, the song epitomizes the concept of unity, fraternity and reunification as demonstrated in the chorus, “Mindele na bayindo, tosangisa ba milimo.” In Lingala it means “Black and white people, we mix our spirits.” The story of the three artists’ meeting and that message is depicted in the video through the representations of three individuals from different environments that team up despite initial conflict.
The music artists met through a serendipitous series of events on June 15, 2019. Traveling separately, the trio was attending the Kinshasa’s Jazz Kif Festival. Lauwers and Daniel first crossed paths at the end of the concert. It was precipitated by a hazardous meeting with a friend they had in common.
Emmanuel Lauwers and Jean Daniel had an epic night and eventually found their way backstage. Jean Daniel invited Emmanuel Lauwers to join him to visit a band they had seen performing on stage earlier in the evening. As the band was jamming, the duo decided to follow along and that was when they met Rasta Jah who had also gone backstage. After a couple of hours, the die was cast and the future decided – the three would have to do a song together
That opportunity came through a mutual friend, Randy Yav, who was working in a Kinshasa-based cinema company. They asked that he develop a script that portrayed their vision in the music video for “Milimo.” The video opens with three fictional characters: Jean Daniel as The Ghetto Corleone; Emmanuel Lauwers as The Truant; and Rasta Jah as The Marabu
In the “Milimo” video, Jean Daniel and Emmanuel Lauwers have a relationship fraught with conflict. Rasta Jah emerges to eventually lead the story into a positive outcome through a mix of reality and fiction to help them overcome their differences to become the friends they actually are.
The story is particularly timely as in Kinshasa and many other parts of the world divisions are created and maintained through the propagation of misconceptions that divide people simply due to their skin color. The stark imagery of the video serves to heighten the sense of divisionism.
Rasta Jah has a rich eight-year career in the Congolese music world. His musical experience began in the rap genre and he’s now perfecting his art with raga and dancehall. He’s the leader of the group Bana Mbila Zik that plays extensively at concerts throughout Kinshasa.
Jean Daniel is a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo. His videos are visual representations of small parts of Kinshasa that demonstrate common realities. The musician believes that colonial thinking and misinformation is a disadvantage to those trying to rise within the industry. He’s also passionate about sustainable fashion as an art.
Mundele Boy Now aims to develop his music’s own unique flow by mixing French and English in unorthodox ways to improve their rhythm and musicality. His release of “Milimo” is available on all major streaming platforms. Through the collaboration of three disparate artists, the song and video offers a unique way of showing the world the talented city of Kinshasa in an authentic way.Tweet