‘Life In The Congo’ is the first single off Congolese recording artist Hugo Kafumbi’s album “Free Congo”. Adopted from the Congo at 15 with hope for a future outside his war ravaged country only to be abandoned on the streets of Europe with nothing but a Canadian citizenship card, Hugo hustled his way to Vancouver’s downtown East Side and dedicated himself to sharing the story of his people and his own struggle as an African seeking recognition in a North America often hostile to the aspirations of a young African man seeking a voice.
‘Life in the Congo’ tells the story of a young man whose perspective is suppressed because of the entrenched prejudices of his adopted society. Forced into a life on the streets, the memory of a true and understanding friend reminds him to stay true to roots when adversity and injustice threaten to engulf his freedom and identity. It is a message of hope, perseverance, and the adherence to one’s own truth, no matter what the circumstances.
War and turmoil have decimated what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the arrival of Europeans and its exploitation under colonial rule. Since the mid-1990s an estimated 6 million Congolese have died in wars to control the country’s vast resource wealth, especially its minerals which are found in cell phones, computers, and appliances. Hugo’s music focuses on the triumph over extreme obstacles.