What a great goal to work for together. The Amani (Peace) Festival this past weekend was so much fun. So many different tribes, cultures, and organizations came together to promote peace. We are all doing different things to make a difference, but we are all working together towards the same goal. Peace. Peace for whatever interest group we devote our efforts. Some for rape victims, some for kids, some for men, some for the environment, some for animals… But to see change in Congo and the surrounding countries.
Un Jour Nouveau (Africa New Day) had a tent set up to 1. Sell products made by our daughters of Congo (Virtuous women) program ladies. 2. To spread the word about the Sons of Congo program. 4. To advertise for the Leadership Academy and Congo Unites programs and finally to maintain a presence in a community where we are already committed to building up and changing for good.
Chad and Happy selling and bringing in people.
Me, Maman Annette and Maman Kumeza... they make a lot of
the things for sale. Annette also makes
my clothes here. They are amazing.
Our resident celebrity, Black Man, is a local rapper known all over Eastern Congo. He’s quite a stellar guy. He has some pretty profound lyrics, none of which degrade women or use perverse language. He sings for peace, change, and freedom of his fellow countrymen. Probably my favorite song here, he and another UJN guy sing (well, one sings, one raps) about the change that will come for the better of the people… The name of the song is Ce fera mal (It’s gonna hurt)… meaning, change will come and “it’s gonna hurt” the people who have lived for the oppression of Congo; for the separation of people based on tribe… for the separation of people based on faith. It’s a pretty moving song. It’s in the process of being produced so I can’t share the song, but I LOVE it. Soon.
Us with Black Man... Maman Wivine put up her fist a
second too late for the picture.
Here is Black Man doing part of his performance. Thousands of people came in the rain to hear him perform. In the afternoon he performed again with even more people. His rapping sounds so harsh, but in reality, he may be the most soft spoken and thoughtful person I’ve met here. His testimony is mind-blowing. The life he’s lived and where God has brought him… he had a choice. Be angry about life circumstances and use that for hate or choose life and use his past to help others through what he overcame. So many young boys and men here come from this circumstance and choose the former. He is an example of perseverance, power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7).
Yes, our t-shirts are promoting Black Man for the festival. We also had another UJN girl sing in the festival. I keep calling her Joy and her name is Patricia. I know her name is Patricia… but I just can’t help but call her Joy. She radiates with it. Her voice is very unique and she is very much in demand here for performances. Her father was Camille and Esther’s personal driver. He was murdered a few years back by a home invasion. It’s still a mystery as to what happened and why and no justice has come for the family from the murder. She also has chosen life…. chosen Joy.
This is Happy. Sometimes I look at her and I think I’m watching myself. She’s a little crazy in all the best ways ;) She and I have a special bond that includes a lot of inside jokes, facial expressions and hand motions. We share an affinity for Justin Bieber’s song “baby, baby” and we also seem to do the same dance moves at the same time when ever music starts. She is feisty and I love her so much.
Happy and me... it was raining but we didn't care.
The team had a great time watching the performances together, hanging out, making jokes, EATING everything, and even setting up. By the time we all got home, our abs all hurt from laughing.
We should learn to have fun.
Me and Vicky with the local Comedian... looks aren't everything.
A random girl who wanted her picture with me. I made Vicky join,
but she thought it was weird and was laughing to hard to look at the camera.
Such a great group of people, all passionate about and committed the vision of Un Jour Nouveau.