kimpa vita

Difference between Congo, Bakongo and Kongo...

[This is obviously directed at those who write in English when talking about the two Congos and the Bakongo.]

Congo: 

  • The term Congo can refer to the Congo river and also Congo rain forest
  • The term also refers to two different countries:

1) The Republic of the Congo (aka ROC, Congo-Brazzaville) previously known as French Congo and The People’s Republic of the Congo  

2) The Democratic Republic of the Congo (aka Congo-Kinshasa DR Congo, DRC, RDC, Zaïre - yes some people still call it Zaïre even Congolese people) previously known as Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville), Republic of Zaire 

[These two countries are not the same, we were never one. Just because we share a pre colonial history, a few ethnic groups and cultures doesn’t mean we’re the same. We also share those things with Angola, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia etc as well, so saying we’re the same just because of those things doesn’t make sense. My ethnic groups has more in common with people from Tanzania and Zambia than ROC, because we share a lot of cultural similarities and history with ethnic groups from those two countries]

Congolese

  • People who are Congolese are those either from the Democratic Republic of Congo or Republic of Congo.  

[As I said, some people from the Democratic Republic of Congo still refer to the country as Zaïre and themselves as Zarian or Zaïroise/Zaïrois. I still get called Zaïroise by other Congolese people and other Africans because I was born before the country changed its name to DRC]

Kongo:

  • The term refers to the pre colonial kingdom (Kongo Kingdom) in what is now northern Angola, Cabinda (which is a province of Angola but located between DRC and ROC), southern  Republic of the Congo, western  Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Kongo also refers to the Kongo aka Bakongo and Kongolese. This is not a tribe (learn the difference between tribe and ethnic group) Bakongo are an ethnic group and there are tribes who are part of the Bakongo for example the Vili, Yombe or Lumbo etc 
  • Kongo can also refer to the language of the Bakongo aka Kikongo and also Kituba
  • It can also refer to the two modern day countries, depends in which language you write in 

Few facts:

  • Kongo/Bakongo means fighters (or warriors)
  • The Kongo Kingdom was the first pre colonial Christian (specifically Catholic) Kingdom in Central Africa. Not the whole of African, because the was other pre colonial Christian African Kingdoms
  • A new movement of Catholicism was created within the kingdom by prophetess Beatriz Kimpa Vita called Antonianism. Even after she was martyred and the new sect was suppressed, Antonianism is still practiced by people today particularly the Bakongo
  • Traditional Kongo (Bakongo) religion still existed in the Kingdom and its still practiced today.Kongo religion along with Kongo Catholicism has influenced Haitian Voudou, Quimbanda (an Afro-Brazilian religion) and other religions of the African diaspora
  • Many Bakongo were taken to Cuba, Haiti, the US, Brazil and others

resource: 1,2,3,4

(I might have missed a few points tell me if I did)

On July 2, 1706, Kimpa Vita was captured near her hometown and burned at stake with her baby (in some accounts) in Evululu as a heretic in 1706 by forces loyal to Nusamu a Mvemba, one of the kings of the Kongo Kingdom. She was tried under Kongo law as a witch and a heretic, with the consent and counsel of the Capuchin friars Bernardo da Gallo and Lorenzo da Lucca.

What is her story?

Kimpa Vita was born in 1684 in the Kongo kingdom during the time of trade and partnership with Portugal. Note that after 1492, Kongo even had embassies in Portugal.

Kimpa Vita, later baptized Beatriz, was a Congolese prophet and leader who created her own Christian movement, Antonianism, which taught that Jesus and other early Christian figures were from the Kongo Empire. Her teaching grew out of the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church in Kongo, and caused her to upbraid the Portuguese Catholic priests living in the Kongo Kingdom for not believing as she did.

What is commendable about Kimpa Vita is that she was able to mobilize a large number of Kongo to reclaim their faith and make it what they’d like it to be… All of this while she was a teenager. She died when she was 21.

Justin “Justkas” Kasereka