Africa Armel Chulu  

“The Congolese community in South Africa” by Armel Chulu

The Congolese community in South Africa

Home, Home sweet home. Far away from home, all that there is to look and hope for is another four corners with warm love; while exploring the beauties of Africa. South Africa is one of them.

Like most non-SA citizens, Congolese that are in South Africa happen to have the same reaction of any child at a new school. They tend to look for their people and sit next to them or even choose to be alone, until they are familiar with the environment.

Do not be surprised if you see them going for a South African friend before their ‘own’. Congolese happen to be very focused on their goals, and are considered to be hard working people.

Within the Congolese community, there has always been a picture of three generations. The first one is of the seniors that first came to South Africa 30 to 40 years ago. The second one is that of those that were born here from the first group; then comes the fresh ones that came here for their studies 10 years ago and other new arrivals.

These generations have a couple of things in common. They are faithful to their food, they are very social and always strive for excellence in all they do.

Four ways to recognize Congolese from afar: the first feature would be music. Yes, they love their own music and they easily embrace other music. Secondly, the food. Should you stay in the same area or complex with them you will know about their awesome cooking. Just follow the lovely smell. The third one would be how they dress. Congolese may not all come from the same areas in Congo but something for sure, fashion is in the blood. As they say “save the best for the end”.

The Congolese community in South Africa have very private lives but once you get to know them, you will learn they are very smart and very social when you get close to them.

Written by Armel Chulu