‘Masterclass Monique Mbeka Phoba: women in Congolese rumba’

26 May'22
- 14:00

The Congolese rumba was added to the list of intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO in December 2021. This is an important event for the two Congos as well as for the Congolese diasporas and particularly the Congolese community in Belgium. This masterclass, led by Monique Mbeka Phoba, will highlight the place of women in this music. Although many male names come to mind spontaneously in connection with rumba, such as Kabasele, Franco, Tabu Ley, Papa Wemba, Koffi Olomide and Fally Ipupa, women are highlighted less often. However, there have been not only adored female singers, such as Lucie Eyenga, Abeti, Mpongo Love and Mbilia Bel, but also powerful women who, in the shadows, have launched the careers of many male icons of Congolese music.

Singers Sylvie Nawasadio, Mama Wiva and Queen Makoma agreed to cover iconic songs on Bozar’s stage, to illustrate the richness of the female rumba repertoire. 

Filmmaker, journalist and writer Monique Mbeka Phoba is the author of a dozen documentaries. She initiated a masterclass on colonisation in Belgian cinema.

Philip Kanza
Cedrick Buya Musa
Pinto Costa
Music director
Philip Kanza
Queen Makoma
Mama Wiva
Sylvie Nawasadio
Monique Mbeka Phoba

Practical information


Hall M

Rue Ravenstein 23 1000 BRUSSELS


  • French

Sound level

Level 2 ≤ 95 db

This debate falls within the framework of the different activities carried out by the EU project Smashing worl(d)s, implemented by Kulturen in Bewegung, The Other Space Foundation and Bozar – Centre for Fine Arts Brussels in partnership with AfricaMuseum, Afro Rainbow Austria, Queer Base, Silent University, Students of the Post-conceptual Art Practices Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Smashing worl(d)s is co-funded by the European Commission.


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