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DRC's Fulu Musiki band's 'garbage' music

Democratic Republic Of Congo

A dump in the streets of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo is a pretty strange place to find inspiration, you might say.

But for this Congolese musician and founder of the Fulu Muziki group, this site is the ideal place.

“I see this bottle and I can see that it will provide a good sound, it’ll give me a good Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do. So this will make a good instrument for our music”, Piscko Crane said.

I also want to bring attention to the problem of waste management in this city.

The particularity of Fulu Muziki, which translates as “music from the garbage” in local Lingala, is that rather than buying instruments, members of the group create their own objects from waste.

“I came here because I am looking for what I can use to make musical instruments, but I also want to bring attention to the problem of waste management in this city. Kinshasa has become very dirty, that is why I am taking some of the waste to create musical instruments. It’s interesting to take something I can recycle and turn it into musical instruments, as well as create our costumes. Some may throw away things and I look for ways to re-use what has been thrown away, because waste is not good for our health.”, he added.

The lack of appropriate waste management and recycling facilities has seen the capital a city littered with plastic bags and other waste, which often block sewer systems.

With their music, the band members hope to raise public awareness about the need for recycling.

“My wish is to see this music genre recognized worldwide and also raise awareness on the importance of waste management, especially in Africa. We want to find a good representative who can help us spread this message through our music and also train young people to practice recycling”, he said.

Fulu Muziki may not have the solution to the DRC’s vast waste problems, but with a positive message and hypnotic music, they at least manage to raise awareness among the growing number of their loyal fans.


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