Using Hip Hop To Fight Violence In Congo
No one cares what you think.
If you’re a street child in Kinshasa, the best you can hope for is that people ignore you. It’s preferable to the regular violence and abuse. That’s exactly why street children need to get their voices heard by the people whose responsibility it is to protect them.
A microphone can amplify those voices. And through the power of hip hop and they can be heard across a whole country.
We’ve been working with Congolese hip hop artist Didjak Munya to help children and young people have their say.
The story starts in Kinshasa with those street children – and some ‘8 Mile’ style rap battles that gave them the chance to express themselves and to talk about what life is like on the streets.
In the studio
We took some of the talented young rappers into the studio with Didjak to write and record a couple of new tracks. ‘Un jour’ is about the life of the street kids and their hope that ‘One day’ their lives will change. ‘Code de Loi’ is about the Child Protection law that had recently been passed in Congo. The song is played on the biggest radio station in Kinshasa.
In the City of Hope
Next we went with Didjak to our ‘City of Hope’ project on the outskirts of Kinshasa. There he worked with some of the girls to write two more new songs. One raising awareness of HIV/AIDS, and the other about sexual violence. We also made videos of these and the songs were shown on local TV as well as the radio.
Didjak flew across the country to Goma to work with some of the girls in our Maison Marguerite home. They recorded two songs and Didjak helped judge a competition we ran among the schools in Goma.
Back in Kinshasa
We’re working with Didjak at our new project in Kinshasa. He’s helping to educate the local street boys about the wrongs of sexual violence. Our research shows that they are the biggest perpetrators of rape and sexual violence against the street girls we’re working with.