Bana Congo – The Power of Music

20.10.2018, Kinshasa, DRC – TMB is sponsoring the premiere of an exciting documentary movie “Bana Congo – le Pouvoir de la Musique” (Bana Congo – the Power of Music), followed by a concert, on Saturday 20 October, at the Espace Texaf Bilembo in Kinshasa.

Bana Congo means “Children of the Congo” in Lingala. Bana Congo is a music-based educational project in Nioki, a city in the province of Mai Ndombe, which was born from the initiative of Tania Trindade, aerospace engineer by profession, trained in music in Lisbon.

The project is free and open to the entire population. In its early stage, in 2012, the project was aimed at children cured of severe malnutrition, orphans for the most part. The children of Bana Congo are malnourished, or orphaned, or deaf-mute, or simply without means to face health and schooling difficulties.

Music has important beneficial effects on the cognitive, emotional, psychological and social development of these children and has a significant positive influence on their academic performance, and in all aspects of their lives.

In December 2012, the Bana Congo project had about ten children. In 2015, word of Bana Congo spread and the children who wanted to join the group were so numerous that a free music school was created, outside the ‘Hôpital Général de Référence de Nioki’, open to all children. Children from the nutrition project have a priority access to the school. Integration of orphaned children or those from the most disadvantaged social classes is also a priority.

The music school currently has about sixty young people. The school takes charge of studies of the most disadvantaged pupils: school fees, school materials and uniforms.

Teaching of the Bana Congo Project Music School is based on instrumental courses (piano and guitar), musical training (solfeggio) and ensemble class (choir).

The guitars used by the students at the music school are made locally by the guitar teacher.

The Bana Congo Project goes beyond a simple musical apprenticeship. It generates a real sense of unity, an inner fire, and a total dedication in a project; the project trains young musicians who first transformed themselves before transforming their environment.