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Alec Lomami's Guide to Kinshasa

Alec Lomami offers advice on the best places to stop by in Kinshasa.


Our new City Guide series features some of our favorite artists dropping light on the best places to pop by if you happen to make your way to their stomping grounds. For the inaugural edition we asked Alec Lomami to spill his favorite spots in Kinshasa. After all, the DRC beatmaker/rapper first entered our radar with the success of "Kinshasa" and its "CHLLNGR Remix," his futuristic ode to the city of his raising.

Best Record Store:

Alec Lomami: Edition Chez Ndye is probably the best spot. You can find lots of old tapes, CDs, and vinyl. You could also head to National Radio to get copies of some of the rare old Congolese hits.

Best Concert Venue:

AL: Studio Mama Angebi. It's a mythical venue where all the Congolese greats like Tabu Ley, Papa Wemba, Franco Luambo Makiadi, Mbilia Bell, Emeneya and Zaiko Langa Langa played.

Best Club/Night Spot:

AL: Fiesta Club. They have one of the most diverse playlists in the city. You will dance to Congolese hits, Kuduru, South African House music, Coupe Decale, Azonto, Naija pop, Hip-Hop. But I would also say head out to Bandal, Bon-Marché, and Matonge for a genuine taste of ambience “Kinoise." It's the centre of Kinshasa night life.

Best Restaurant:

AL: Hmmm that depends. Most Congolese eat at “ngandas," little hole-in-the-wall street joints. But for a nice affordable eatery, Chez Mama Colonel is the spot. They have been voted 'Best Chicken in Kinshasa' several times. For the fancier folks who want to do the fine-dining thing, try Cafe Cons (it ain't cheap though).

Best Date Spot:

AL: I would try to get away from the business of the city and head to Mbudi Nature Reserve. You can set up a picnic, relax by the Congo River, check out the outdoor museum's sculptures from artists of L'académie des Beaux-arts. There's also some pretty good entertainment – rumba bands and traditional dancing—and a few restaurants, snack bars, walking trails, and sporting activities.

Best Drink To Have While In Town:

AL: For the taste, I would go with Tembo beer. But you should probably try Primus, one of the most popular beers, if not for the taste, then for the promises to have you dance like this.

For more from Alec Lomami check out his AFRICA IN YOUR EARBUDS mix featuring cuts from fellow Kinshasa artists.

Spotlight
Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A Year After #EndSARS, Nigerian Youth Maintain That Nothing Has Changed

Despite the disbandment of the SARS units, young Nigerians are still being treated as criminals. We talk to several of them about their experiences since the #EndSARS protests.

On September 12th, Tobe, a 22-year-old student at the University of Nigeria's Enugu Campus was on his way to Shoprite to hang out with his friends when the tricycle he had boarded was stopped by policemen. At first, Tobe thought they were about to check the driver's documents, but he was wrong. "An officer told me to come down, he started searching me like I was a criminal and told me to pull down my trousers, I was so scared that my mind was racing in different ways, I wasn't wearing anything flashy nor did I have an iPhone or dreads — things they would use to describe me as a yahoo boy," he says.

They couldn't find anything on him and when he tried to defend himself, claiming he had rights, one of the police officers slapped him. "I fell to the ground sobbing but they dragged me by the waist and took me to their van where they collected everything including my phone and the 8,000 Naira I was with."

Luckily for Tobe, they let him go free after 2 hours. "They set me free because they caught another pack of boys who were in a Venza car, but they didn't give me my money completely, they gave me 2,000 Naira for my transport," he says.

It's no news that thousands of Nigerian youth have witnessed incidents like Tobe's — many more worse than his. It's this helpless and seemingly unsolvable situation which prompted the #EndSARS protests. Sparked after a viral video of a man who was shot just because he was driving an SUV and was mistaken as a yahoo boy, the #EndSARS protests saw millions of young Nigerians across several states of the country come out of their homes and march against a system has killed unfathomable numbers of people for invalid or plain stupid reasons. The protests started on October 6th, 2020 and came to a seize after a tragedy struck on October 20th of the same year.

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