It is 5:30pm, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. The room at Uphoar Restaurant is packed. Immigrants and People of Lancaster met again around the table to share a meal and tell and listen to the stories, real stories, stories of life.
The event starts with a Congolese buffet. The menu was composed among others of Madesu [ Red beans stew with tomatoes], lituma [ Plantain balls], Saka Madesu [Greens and beans] …
After greeting and welcoming the audience, Mustafa O. Nuur, Bridge’s founder passed the microphone to the moderator, Andy Kalala. Mr. Kalala who is President of Congolese Community of Central Pennsylvania and Owner of Afrimpact Magazine briefly painted the picture of the current situation with war in eastern Congo and dictatorship system as major reasons for the emigration of people from Congo to other countries.
The story of the night was full of pain. Tema Mufuta Mabutu talked about this long and painful path from his home in DR.Congo. He was thirteen years old when he witnessed his parents killing by the rebel soldiers who were trying to force him into army. His parents’ resistance costed them their lives. Then started the long journey that made him cross Zambia to the Refugee Camp in Zimbabwe and, later to Lancaster, PA. ‘’Today, I live safely among you with my wife, my three children and, my little brother and sister.’’ Another brother is still living in the refugee Camp, in Zimbabwe.
Shadrack Bunkete smoothed the event with his guitar. He interpreted ‘’Happiness’’, a song by Lokwa Kanza, great Congolese musician living in Paris and he played one gospel song written by himself in English.
The event ended around 8:00pm with dessert, coffee and conversation. Bridge did it again!