Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tshala Muana

Tshala Muana is one of my favorite Congolese singer/musicians. I can't quote the titles of any of her songs, or sing any lyrics, but I know her voice when I hear it. My housemates used to have a tape that got stuck in one of the cars, so each time we had that car for the week, I listened to Tshala Muana on a loop for seven days.

Interestingly enough, she is more than a musician.

She is also a nominated Member of Parliament in DR Congo.

I am not sure what this means, but according to the article she has been recognized for advancing the cause of women in Africa, and she is working in a campaign to unite artists prior to elections. I also do not know what the latter means.

If anyone knows more about Tshala's non-musical role, I invite you to share.


TheMalau said...

She is really cool, even thoughshe does not always have the baggage to be an efficient politician (especially education-wise). But she was very close to the 1st President Kabila, who made her head of a women's group that had the ambition of representing all Congolese women. and she had the President's financial backing to make it work. The association was housed on Boulevard du 30 Juin, now facing the Kabila Foundation (At the corner of Batetela (which is the Grand Hotel Kinshasa street) and the Boulevard).

kim said...

Yeah, she also was a muse of Papa Kabila. And now, obviously, she rallies the artists in favor of the "petit" in election period.

Doesn't sound too good to me, especially that Congo's artists are sell outs to any cause. Even Western Union pays them to get promotion in songs of Werrason, Koffi, Madilu, amongs others.

Well, I forgive TM simply because she's terrific. Especially her teenager dancers shaking the booties. Oulala. We all went to see those at least once. lol.

TheMalau said...

EH, Kim. Keba na fioti-fioti!!! Sinon nous allons t'appeler pediatre! ;)

I also have a problem with the "Mabanga", those little ad statements that the songs in Congo are flooded with. But I guess businesses adapt their marketing tactics to their target markets, right?...

I have a problem with it because it is messing up the quality of the songs, because now the people being "dropped" in the songs are now woven in the actual lyrics of the songs, making the songs have little sense!

Congogirl said...

So are you saying that there is product placement in the songs? I never listened closely enough to notice! Also her songs are in Luba, so I guess in her case, I would never know any better.

TheMalau said...

Yes they do, and they do people's namedropping too!!! And a lot of it!! And Tshala does like all the others too. It's called "Mabanga" (rocks), and it is officially banned by the censorship board...

Lorraine M. Thompson said...

I enjoy Tshala Muana's voice as well as her performances (energetic and colorful)

The name dropping in the songs may also differ from one live performance to the next. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard Le Petit Elephant sing out my name during a live performance in Mbuji Mayi! Come to find out a bunch of friends collected some money and asked him to do it for my birthday. Unfortunately none of them thought to bring a tape recorder with them!

In my opinion Modeste Mutinga of HAM has gone too far with his censorship policies. This is especially puzzling when one remembers that M. Mutinga, publisher of the Le Potentiel said his paper has "an agenda" of fostering democracy and economic development. He sees the press as "the voice of the voiceless" and as the source of uncensored speech!

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