Nubiart Diary - Bundu Dia Kongo & Ligali

By Kubara Zamani, Nubiart Producer / presenter | Sun 30 July 2006


Nubiart - Wed 5pm / Fri 10pm, Sound Radio 1503AM. Tel: 08700 414 606. Also on the web at: E-mail: or

NB: Nubiart Diary can also be read weekly at and on the Afrikan Quest website.

Editorial Pt 1
“Spirituality is like a mountain, you have to follow that way and go slowly, slowly, until you are at the top and when you are at the top you win, spiritually.” - Nabi Lukombo

On midweek Nubiart we interviewed Nabi Lukombo, the Bundu Dia Kongo representative in the UK. Bundu Dia Kongo is a political and religious movement of the Bena Kongo who have been in central and southern Afrika since 7th Century AD. It was re-established in 1986 by Ne Muanda Nsemi.

Kongo = God. Bundu dia kongo = together of god. Muana Kongo = son of god. Bena Kongo = from God. Nabi = spiritual teacher. There is no ‘c’ in KiKongo so Congo with a ‘c’ only relates to the country while Kongo with a ‘k’ relates to all Afrikans. “The Congo of today is only in the book but it’s not in our minds.”

Bundu Dia Kongo had previously been called Nzila Kongo which means the way that their ancestors followed. The Bena Kongo originated, like all Afrikans, from Ethiopia, traveled up to Egypt and spread out across central, west and southern Afrika. KiKongo has links to the languages of Ti-Chewa in Zambia, Shona in Zimbabwe, Zulu in South Afrika, Herero in Namibia, Gabon, Angola and Congo-Brazzaville.

Mbanza Kongo in Angola was the last capital city built by the Bena Kongo. Three mountains in the area: Nkumbaungudi = centre of udi, represents religion, ancestor is Nsaku; Lemba = strength, represents science, ancestor is Mpanzu; and Nkayila = to share, relates to politics and royalty, ancestor is Nzinga.

“Politics, religion and science are the three stones from which you can cook everything you want”. Everybody falls into one of the three clans – Nsaku, Mpanzu or Nzinga. Thus the often quoted phrase that ‘we are all Kings and Queens’ is untrue as only one-third of people at any time come from that clan.

We moved on to discuss the importance of Simon Kimbangu (1887-1954), a 20th century Bena Kongo prophet: “Everywhere you go you see there is a messenger, there is a sender, there is a message and there is a place.” He started his mission as a saviour of the Afrikans in 1921 when Congo was under Belgian colonial rule. He had wanted to be a pastor in the Christian Protestant Church but the church leaders kept telling him he was not ready to be ordained. He moved from his hometown of Nkamba and traveled around working eventually ending up in Kinshasa. He wasn’t paid for seven months and so became a street trader. On his journey back to his village he was stopped by a soldier who took his smoked fish that he had brought for his children. Simon Kimbangu told him that he would eat fish until the day he died which would come after he had witnessed Kimbangu’s death. After this the soldier’s every meal turned to fish no matter what his wife cooked.

Kimbangu began teaching and healing in Nkamba winning people from the other churches, hospitals and businesses. He drew such a crowd for his miracles that he came to the attention of the Protestant and Catholics churches and the Salvation Army. They approached the authorities and got Kimbangu arrested because of the threat he posed by claiming to be the saviour of the Black People and demanding their freedom as their King. He was sentenced to death which was commuted to life imprisonment. When compared by the authorities to Jesus he replied that Jesus had come for the white people while he had come for the Afrikans.

He stayed in a cell 80cms by 180cms for thirty years on a diet of one spoon of rice and two spoons of beans. His wife and children were supported by his followers from who believed in him. The authorities tried to kill him by gun, knife, acid baths and drowning him with a big stone. When they tried to hang him they put the rope around his neck and moved the chair but the officer who commanded he be hanged ended up hanging while Kimbangu had switched places and was sitting in his chair

He predicted his own death on the Monday before the Friday afternoon that it happened. When he died they did an autopsy and there were no intestines – heart, liver, and kidneys. In 1969 his body was moved to Nkamba where it is in a mausoleum that is a free shrine for people to visit.

While in prison Kimbangu sent for Simon Mpadi, the first Afrikan officer in the Salvation Army, to leave the Salvation Army and promote his beliefs. In 1934 Mpadi set up the Church of Black People in Africa and the World which didn’t praise Jesus or read the bible but only praised Kimbangu and the ancestors.
In 1939 Diangienda, Simon Kimbangu’s son, set up the Church of Kimbangu which the Nabi attended when he was young. This church also only praised Kimbangu and the ancestors. Due to harassment Diangienda left Kinshasa and went to the forest. While Diangienda was in Europe the church changed its name to Church of Jesus Christ by His Messenger Simon Kimbangu. Nabi thought this was a big mistake as Jesus is a Messenger so how can he send another messenger? The church then started reading the Bible and putting crosses in the church making it just another form of Christianity. The churches in Britain accused of child abuse and ndoki-related beatings are not Bena Kongo churches but protestant and catholic churches attended by Congolese. Their policies lead to lots of orphans. Nabi said that to get a higher profile for Afrikan spirituality in the UK. “We need to go back to the roots.” We need a united pan-Afrikan church “Before you see everything there is a spirituality.”

Politically, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Bena Kongo were represented by the Alliance of Bakongo (ABAKO). ABAKO has now split into over 25 factions. Bundu Dia Kongo is a political party and its spiritual leader is standing for the governor of Bukongo region.

The people in Bukongo want a federated state due to the size of the country – its 80 times the size of its former colonial ruler, Belgium, and bigger than the whole of western Europe. Bukongo region, itself, is bigger than Belgium, Holland or Germany. There are riches everywhere in DRC. The Nabi pointed out that wealth is not just the diamonds or gold in Katanga but also the forests, rivers, lakes, etc which are spread across the country and would make any region viable.

The Nabi thinks more respect should be paid to Joseph Kasavubu of ABAKO, the first President of Democratic Republic of Congo while Patrice Lumumba from the MNC was Prime Minister. ABAKO was the first political party. MNC was originally the Movement National Catholic led by a Monsignor. They changed their name to Movement National Congolais under Lumumba. The Nabi said more should also be done to promote the name of Simon Kimbangu as he was the first freedom fighter of the 20th century.

The Nabi promised to come back again to explain why all DRC Presidents have been called either Joseph or Desire; First President - Joseph Kasavubu; Second President - Joseph Desire Mobutu; Third President – Laurent Desire Kabila; Fourth President - Joseph Kabila (Name changed from Hippolyte).

Bundu Dia Kongo is strong in Kinshasa and in the Bukongo region but all Congolese governments have opposed Bundu Dia Kongo - “all governments in Afrika they don’t want Afrikan Bundu Dia Kongo we are teaching love to everybody – love, wisdom and power.”

The Nabi will be coming in again to address the many outstanding issues we never had time to discuss. He can be contacted on tel: 07947 175 192 and on the e-mail:

Editorial Pt 2
On Friday’s Nubiart we started by paying tribute to the Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley (Miss Lou), who passed away on July 26, aged 86 years old, at the Scarborough Grace Hospital in Toronto, Canada, after collapsing at home earlier in the morning. She was born in Kingston on Sep 7, 1919. Miss Lou was Jamaica's premier folklorist, poet, entertainer and comedienne who made Jamaica's patois an accepted language through her poems. Famous for her radio shows which included 'Laugh with Louise', 'Miss Lou's Views' and 'The Lou and Ranny Show', she was also celebrated for her television show 'Ring Ding,' which was popular among Jamaican children all across the island.

Miss Lou received many accolades and awards during her lifetime, including the Order of Jamaica in 1974; the Order of Merit in 2001; the Norman Manley Award for Excellence (in the Arts); the Institute of Jamaica's Musgrave Silver and Gold Medals for distinguished eminence in the field of Arts and Culture, and in 1983 the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of the West Indies. She was due to receive the 2006 Jamaica Independence Award Hall of Fame from the West Indian-American Association of New Jersey in a ceremony at the Jamaican Consulate on the evening she passed. She resided in Canada for more than a decade. She was predeceased by her late husband impresario Eric "Chalktalk" Coverley and leaves behind a son, Fabian, and many ‘adopted’ children.

“One thing we do have is truth and righteousness on our side and if that’s good enough for most of our people then it’s good enough for us.” – Toyin, Ligali

We then interviewed Toyin and Emma from Ligali starting with a reportback on their Afrikan Remembrance Day held the previous weekend. They were very happy with the turnout. They will be showing ‘Blood Ah Goh Run’ again and touring their documentary, ‘The Maafa’. The discussions on ‘Single Parent Families’, ‘Adoption & Fostering’, ‘Are Afrikans Beautiful?’, and the ‘Maafa 2007’ were well received addressing some of the recurring themes in the Afrikan community. They highlighted the need to counter negative media portrayals of Afrikans and Ligali will be moving into more media production and increasing their networking. Toyin felt that there was a need to combat all the institutions – BBC, government and British museums, etc. Hearts to Africa gave an excellent presentation on their trips to Gambia to network and distribute goods.

Other media stories include: Bob Geldof - His gigs in Italy were cancelled as only 45 people turned up and the promoter said ticket sales for the next night weren’t any better. Sir Bob plans to do a free concert in Italy in Sep. The recent ‘Roll Back Malaria’ doc on BBC2 shows the lie to his statement that Afrikans can’t sell records or attract crowds.

‘The Boys who Killed Steven Lawrence’ - Emma felt that there was nothing new in the programme but it was just the BBC hyping up their anti-racist credentials. Kubara pointed out that the links between Kent, Essex and the Met Police forces and Kenneth Noye, a career criminal, are at the core of police corruption and the failure to convict the suspects. The inability to hold the police to account for their institutional racism, corruption and deaths in custody was highlighted by Emma, “Institutionalised racism is corruption.” Ligali are planning to put a previous Duwayne Brooks interview on their site. In the Evening Standard on 27/7/6 journalist and broadcaster Amina Taylor said it was time to get over the murder of Steven Lawrence as young people, she claims to have spoken to, don’t know of people being killed for their skin colour. Toyin felt she was being used as part of the ‘coconut-class’ and ‘rent-a-mouth for hire’. “The idea of saying draw a line beneath this is like saying forget about justice.”

Rimi Sen – From Ligali website: ‘In an interview with Nithin Sethi published by the Indian film publication Glamsham, Bollywood actress Rimi Sen spoke about her current film "Golmaal" (Hanky Panky) and stated: “I play a sweet and beautiful girl in the film...Rohit Shetty is amazing as a director. He can make even a black African look pretty”.’ Toyin and Emma felt that this anti-Afrikanism reflected the ongoing accepted caste and racial stratification systems among Asians.

Wilberforce Institute of Slavery and Emancipation - Participation by Ghanaian President John Kufour in the launch in Hull was criticised. Ligali were concerned about statements coming from those connected to the Institute rewriting history to centre it on only a few places and reduce the length of time that slavery, colonialism and imperialism have been decimating Afrika. Hull came top of regions with the biggest increase in racist attacks in the UK.

Copies of the Afrikan Remembrance Day info pack are still available from:
Ligali can be contacted at:

Full copies of the shows and track playlists are available from Afrikan Quest at the address below.

NUBIART 1: Every Wed at 5-7pm. Focus on arts, education, business, sport and health.
~ AUG 2: Universal Afrikan Ancestral Alliance on the forthcoming ‘A Celebration of Wholeness’
NUBIART 2: Every Fri at 10-11pm. Focus on political developments and the media.

~ Godfrey Arumoh, Publisher and Co-Ordinator, Niger Delta Republic Movement

~ Tony Pryce, author of ‘The Art of Mental Muscle: Using Life’s Challenges to Develop Internal Strength and Other Qualities’ [Grounded Vision]

~ ‘Come Take My Hand’ - Gregory Isaacs [Mun Mun International – Out now]. New top-drawer release from the most prolific living reggae artist.

~ ‘Roots All Sorts’ – MDV [TMPQ – Out now]. New album from Hackney reggae stalwarts.

We will try to recommend books that we have read and that are available in shops or libraries. However, given the nature and current state of Afrikan publishing there may be books on this list that are worth the extra effort to track down.

~ ‘The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey (Or, Africa for the Africans)’ – Compiled by Amy Jacques Garvey [The Majority Press ISBN: 0-912469-24-2] Bestseller of the writings of the great man himself compiled by his wife.

~ ‘Message To The People: The Course of African Philosophy’ – Marcus Garvey [The Majority Press ISBN: 0-912469-19-6] This book looks at preparing future leaders and the dynamics of organisation.

~ ‘The Pan-African Connection: From Slavery to Garvey and Beyond’ – Tony Martin [The Majority Press ISBN: 0-912469-11-0] The worldwide influence of Marcus Garvey and the UNIA.

~ ‘Heroes of Our Time: Rwandan Courage & Survival’. Genocide survivors’ stories presented by The Survivors Fund. ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is - Cultural Meetings: Portraits of Life in Africa and life of Africans in Europe’ photos by Jacob Crawfurd. ‘Face_WSLOT – Women See Lot of Things’ art installation on the effects of war and its aftermath on three female ex-combatants from Sierra Leone.

Exhibitions showing until 23 Sep at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG. Adm: Free. Tel: 020 7898 4026 / 4259 (fax) Web:

~ Mosiah Month Celebrations – 1-31 Aug 6246 (“2006”). The Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement has designated the eighth month of the year ‘Mosiah’, in honour of the life and legacy of the Most Eminent Prophet and King, His Excellency Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Mosiah is characterised by a range of family events throughout the month aimed at assessing the rich legacy of the Garvey Movement and extracting the lessons in our current quest for Afrikan self-determination.

‘Opening Ceremony: Prayer and Thanksgiving’ on Fri 4 Aug at 7.30-10.30pm at Trinity Methodist Church, 274 High Rd Leyton, London, E10 (Adm. Free, donations welcome)

‘Life and Legacy of Mosiah’ on Tue 8 Aug at 7.30-10.30pm on Mama Afrika Kulcha Shap, 282 High Road Leyton, London, E10 (Adm. Free)

‘Mosiah Children’s Day’ - Ring games, stories, quizzes, art, crafts & sweet’ mouth food on Thu 10 Aug at 11am-5 pm at Harriet Tubman House, 136-142 Lower Clapton Rd, London, E5. Adm: £5 per child (Discounts for groups)

More events are planned. Exclusive Afrikan (Black) Family occasions. Recommended: Wear Red, Black and / or Green. For info contact: Mama Afrika Kulcha Shap, 282 High Rd Leyton, E10. Soul Force Promotions: E-Mail - Tel / Fax: 020 8539 2154 / 07957 376 328.

~ Marcus Garvey Organising Committee Events
Thurs 3 Aug: Afryea Adofo (Pan African Youth Organisation) - 'The Legacy of Garvey From a Youth Perspective'; Dekenu, (Nex Generation magazine) - 'Learning from Garvey's Approach to Business'.

Thurs 10 Aug: Lez Henry (Nu-beyond) - 'Garvey and Education'; Herukuti (Galaxy) - 'The Role of Religious Denominations in the UNIA'; and Malak (African World Federation) - 'The Legacy of Garvey From a Youth Perspective'.

All events at 6-9pm in Room L119, South Bank University, Elephant and Castle, London Road, SE1.
More events are planned. For further info call: 07940 005 907.

Contact Details

For Nubiart info contact Kubara Zamani Za Kale, Afrikan Quest, PO Box 35165, London, SE5 8WU Tel: 07811 494 969. E-mail: Web:

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