Congo Trip : Kabuika’s Blog

Location: Saintry-Sur-Seine, France
(a banlieue of Paris).

I got here by bus from London on Wednesday, April 6th. The journey took more than 8 hours, but it was a beautiful road trip complete with the awesome cliffs of Dover at the edge of England.

On the Ferry

On the Ferry

Cliffs of Dover

Cliffs of Dover

In a banlieue of Paris, I am now interviewing and filming my uncle Laurent. He is the patriarch of the family and knows our entire genealogy tree as well as our traditional Luba customs.

Uncle Laurent

Uncle Laurent

I am getting educated about my own family: “What?! My great-grand father was a chief?” I have family members from Canada all the way down to Australia. Some of the people have died; others have emerged out of thin air… It seems that I have more siblings than I was aware of.

I learned that we, the Luba people, are one of the largest societies in the Congo. The reason is simple: men can marry several wives. The number of women a man has shows how wealthy he is. It is quite common to find wealthy Luba men to have even 45 children. Now I understand my aunt Rose, who tried to play matchmaker for me and proposed that I marry a certain Congolese man: “he only has 2 children,” she said.

This trip is already full of surprises… and I haven’t even landed in Congo yet.