Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live

News

news

Good riddance to sour history: Congolese on toppling of Leopold II statue

Controversy

<p>Toppled in Belgium, still standing in the Kinshasa, the capital of the DR Congo. Residents reacted to the fall of the statue of King Leopold II, a symbol of colonial atrocities. The man who led the first European efforts to exploit the Congo River basin,</p> <p>There are mixed reactions generally in the streets of Kinshasa over events in Europe where anti-racism protests that spread from the United States continues to impact colonial history across the ocean.</p> <p>For Pitchou Kangudie, a businessman; the time has come for the toppling of slavery monuments however late: “I think they got to it too late. </p> <p>“This monument should have been vandalized a long time ago because he made the Congolese suffer a lot: our ancestors enslaved, arms cut off. He did a lot of harm in Congo, this monument really deserves to be vandalized.”</p> <p>But for José Batekele, director of the collection of the National Museum of Mont-Ngaliema, there is more to the person of the controversial colonialist: “Leopold II, for us, is a part of our history, a memory, a reference for our children. </p> <p>“So history, whether it is bad or good, remains history, because there are schools here, we teach our children the history of the Congo, pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history.”</p> <p>Moïse Tangamo, a banker thinks currents events are a good reawakening in the context of history: “Regarding Leopold II, people will say that this is the past, but it is a past that was traumatic for the indigenous Congolese people who lived through it. </p> <p>“And I think that the real story must be told in schools and universities so that everyone knows what really happened during slavery and colonization in Africa in general.”</p> <p>Statues of Leopold II, the second king of the Belgians, were recently vandalized in Brussels, including the statue located not far from the densely populated Matonge district of Congolese origin.</p> <p>The king, who ruled Belgium from 1865 to December 1909, remained famous for the conquest of the Congo.</p>

Leopold II, for us, is a part of our history, a memory, a reference for our children. So history, whether it is bad or good, remains history, because there are schools here, we teach our children the history of the Congo, pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history.