The Streets of Kinshasa

By Magloire Tshimankinda Yumba

At a certain stage of my life, in my first year at university, I was interested in dating women. I decided to make research on how to date properly, how to approach women, how to seduce women, etc. I discovered a blogger called Kamal. This man was publishing good and very interesting content.

While reading his blog, I was encouraged to go out and practice his theories in the streets of Kinshasa. Mboka elengi (a city of full enjoyment) is a phrase that we use to describe Kinshasa, the capital city of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is a city where parties, music, beer, football, and churches vibrate. People are involved in music, political debates, buzz, polemics, etc. However, we also have a bunch of educated people who stay away from grommets and all the distractions. But dance is something that we all have in common across the different social classes in Kinshasa.

Matonge is one of Kinshasa’s vibrant areas. It doesn’t sleep. Most of the streets are full of bars, lounges, restaurants, traffic, and music is everywhere. In Matonge the majority of the people are middle class and almost all the streets are paved. It was on a Saturday at 6:00 pm in Matonge that I saw a beautiful giant and splendid girl. She was so attractive I couldn’t resist approaching her, but I was a little bit afraid. I took a few seconds to prepare words in order to approach her, then I went straight to her and said, “Hi, you know, I was passing by and I saw you coming this way. I was like wow what a beautiful lady let me talk to her and here I am talking to you with a smile on my face.”

She fixed her eyes into mine and with a firm tone she told me, “you are full of self-confidence and very courageous.”

I felt that this came from the depths of her heart. I said, “thank you for your compliment,” and added, “you are well dressed. I hope you are going on a date.”

She laughed loudly and told me, “you’re funny. What is your name?”

I said, “I’m called Chris. What can I call you?”

She said “Bianca,” adding, “and no, I am not going on a date.”

“Nice to meet you Bianca.”

“And nice to meet you too, Chris.”

I used my charm to instill a confident environment between us, so she could laugh and touch me lightly. That was my “target,” as Kamal calls it. I was happy to see her reacting as she did. In his blog Kamal advised that, Une femme qui rit, elle est à moité dans ton lit—if you make her laugh she is half away on your bed. For me it was an advantage. When we were about to say goodbye Bianca suggested exchanging our contacts. She gave me her number and I did the same. Before parting we had a very tight hug. She was smelling good. I was happy to meet Bianca, all the way to my place I was thinking of her.

I didn’t call her that day. I waited for two days. It was in the evening when I called her. She told me that she has been waiting impatiently for my call. We had a good conversation on the phone. The following days we began chatting on WhatsApp. Things were going well between us, so I invited her for a date on Saturday. I remembered on that day there was a football game of Barcelona vs Real Madrid. I invited her to watch the game with me. Unfortunately she didn’t arrive at the agreed time. I called her to ask, “why are you late? We agreed to meet at 5 pm.”

She told me to wait, “I am coming.” I waited. When it was 7 pm and she was still not there I called her to postpone the date. She said that she was caught in some business. She apologized and I told her that I wanted to go to Kitambo.

Kitambo is an area close to Matonge. It’s less noisy than Matonge. In Kitambo there are some luxury lounges and pretty girls. I told her that if you still want us to meet you will find me there. I took a cheap taxi to Kitambo to meet my brother, Focus, and his friends, Djo and Abou, for a night out. I was not someone used to going out to nightclubs, parties, etc. I don’t even drink alcohol. At around 9 pm, Bianca called and told me that she was on a motorcycle coming to Kitambo, “but I don’t have money to pay for the transport.” She wanted me to go to the main road to fetch her and pay for the transportation. I went out and after I collected her I called Focus and his friends to join us.

My older brother, Focus, is someone very lovely, studious and smart. He is a quiet person. He turned twentyfour that year, his last year in university. His friend, Djo, is clever and talkative, and he can be annoying sometimes. He was twenty five. And their friend Abou was twenty one, my age. He was a joker who always made people laugh, even in serious situations. Abou was kind of addicted to nightclubs and parties.

They all met at the high school they attended together, and I met them through my brother. We decided to take Bianca to a nightclub called Carré Club in the Bon Marché area. Bon Marché is similar to Matonge in terms of its vivacity. There are always vibes, but the only difference is that most of the people who frequent Bon Marché are people from the high class. Bon Marchés’ streets are thick with the smoky grilled smells of kamundelé (skewered meats), beautiful girls, and high-end music.

We enjoyed music and dancing, and they liked drinking. The vibe was very good to the point that we forgot about the time. I got a call from our big brother, who asked me, “yo Chris, do you know what time it is?” I had a look at my watch it was 2 am. He asked, “Where are you at this hour? I’m not your sentinel. I want to see you both home. I give you guys thirty minutes.” I told him alright we are coming home soon.

Bianca was dancing on the stage. I went close to her, the music was so loud, and I shouted, “Bianca it’s 2 am, and it is time to go. Let me escort you to your place.”

She said, “let’s go outside, I can’t hear you properly.”

I followed her down the corridor, and once outside she looked at me and told me, “Chris I can’t go back home at this hour. I simply can’t.” I exclaimed what the hell! and she repeated “I can’t go back home at this time.”

At that moment my big brother called again. This time he was shouting “yo, Chris, don’t play with me! I have to sleep, I am not your sentinel. Where are you?” I told him that we are on our way coming home and he ended the call.

I pulled Bianca close to me and told her, “darling it was my brother on the phone and he wants me back home right now!”

She asked, “do you mean to leave me alone here? Because I can’t go home at this time.”

I replied, “no, I don’t want to leave you here. Please let me escort you to your place.”

She shouted at me then “how many times should I tell you that I can’t go back home at this time?”

At the same moment my brother, Focus, approached us to tell me, “Chris, we have to go, our older brother at home is going crazy. I don’t want him to call again,”

I told him, “bro, Bianca says she can’t go back home at this time.”

He asked me, “So what are we going to do?” I didn’t have an answer to his question. He insisted, “Chris if she can’t go back, what are we going to do?”

Bianca overhard and she responded to my brother, saying “you go home. Chris will remain with me.”

My Brother said, “never I can’t leave here without Chris.” He looked at me. “Chris, fix it as fast as you can. We have to go.” I rejoined his friends and left Bianca alone for a short moment to discuss things. Abou, the youngest of them, told me that he had money and could pay for an accommodation for Bianca, but he was only willing if Bianca accepts to sleep with him. It was a very bad suggestion.

“I asked him, “how come you are asking such a thing, bro?”

He said, “I’m just being honest with you.”

Another suggestion came from Djo, who offered to stay with Bianca at the club until 5 am. That was the hour when she could go home. This was the most rational solution, so I went back to Bianca and took her in my arms very smoothly. I told her, “darling, you know that I don’t have any choice. They are waiting for me at home, so please understand me. I want to leave you here with Djo. He will take care of you. Djo will take you home at five am, and I will join you again at six. She started sniffing and then crying. I felt so bad seeing her cry.

She kept saying why, why, why… without end, while crying, until my brother approached again and asked her, “why are you crying? No one responded to him. At that moment our big brother called again and put pressure on me to leave without her.

That idea couldn’t pass with me, I told him “no brother I can’t do that. If she is here it’s because I’m the one who called her, so why do you want me to run away?”

Abou responded by saying, “Chris, a normal girl would never have spent a night out like this, be wise. She is not a respectable girl.” His speech was somehow revolutionary, and I asked a lot of questions to myself, such as can a normal girl be with a boy like me going out at this hour? etc.

I told Bianca, “you are staying with Djo, and I’m going home. Be wise. When you feel tired, he can take you somewhere to rest, and I will join you at 6 am.” I was surprised by her reaction: she accepted staying with Djo. We called a taxi to drive me and my brother home. It was a bit more expensive than the first taxi because we requested an express ride.

A few hours later, at six in the morning, I called Bianca, but her phone was off. I tried Djo and he answered, telling me that they had left the night club and he took Bianca to another place where she wanted to rest. I said, “alright I’ll come join you.”

I found Djo and he took me to the lodge where he’d left Bianca. When we arrived the lodge manager said, “she has gone, but she left us her ID and said that she will take it back when she returns to pay us.” I felt pain to hear that. I gave the manager the money she owed, and he gave me her ID. I called her to come to collect her ID. When we met she told me, “I have to tell you something Chris: I love your charm. I would like to be spending my days with you, but I am married and I have three kids. Can you manage to love me in this condition?” I was shocked and speechless.

After Bianca told me that she was married, I went to dig for information about her. I found out that she was divorced and that she has three kids.


Photo credit: Deborah Kasanda

25 April, 2023