DRC GOV plans to reformat citizens and journos urge crackdown on soft porn in fashion and videosSaturday, June 16, 2012 - 14:23, by Alex Engwete
Lambert Mende Omalanga is a busy man.
Mende has in charge the Media (in that capacity he's the government
spokesman), Relations with Parliament, and the Initiation to the New
Citizenship--or citizenry, if you will.
No one knew what this ministry of Initiation to the New Citizenship
was all about, until this past Thursday morning, when Mende unveiled
its "road map."
The setting was the drab dark green monochrome background of Studio-B
of the state-owned radio and TV channel RTNC (Radio-Télévision
Nationale Congolaise), with, in attendance, journos, students, and
pro-government representatives of civil society.
The road map of that fancy-sounding is very ambitious indeed:
"formatting the new citizen."
The ministry thus aims at "inculcating in each citizen capacities to
become role models for moral values and artisans of national peace and
concord; at convincing Congolese of the greatness of the nation and at
turning them into patriots ready to defend it; at mobilizing
everyone's energy against violence, injustices, impunity and
violations of rights and liberties."
Oh, that's not all.
The ministry also aim to "promote solidarity between different
segments of the nation, to bring the youths to seek perfection through
a rigorous personal organization and to have them strive for ethical
values of hard work, and [last but not least] to promote
How is Mende going to achieve and implement all these lofty ideals? Simple...
There will be academic civic training modules, civic education in
primary and high schools, public service ads on radio and TV,
billboards, banners, leaflets, civic (video)games, mass campaigns,
seminars, civic contests, and prizes for excellence in civic
This is definitely a government that has tons of monies to throw away.
You'd have expected that in the Q & A session, journos would confront
Mende on this financial profligacy and properly deconstruct the
madness called government-sponsored initiation to the new citizenship.
Far from it...
The Q & A turned into a Congo Taliban 101 course.
Journos unplugged--and unleashed against new women's fashion and
Journos urged Mende, as one of the priorities of the Ministry of the
Initiation to the New Citizenship, to crack down on soft porn in
women's fashion and on music viodeos.
Practically, journos told Mende, this crackdown would mean having cops
patrol the streets and nab women wearing tight low-rise jeans, tight
and cleavage-revealing blouses, tank tops, tight fit training pants,
In other words, Mende should set up a Congolese version of the Taliban
The prudish journos also expressed their dismay at the soft porn in
music videos being shown on TV--what with indecent belly dances and
hip swivels, and, once again, tight low-rise pants showing women
nakedness against all biblical precepts!
Without mentioning by name soukouss star Koffi Olomide, journos
accused certain musicians turned pornographers of being shielded by
the powers that be for their notorious sycophancy.
Mende responded to these Taliban queries by pointing out that
unleashing cops upon "unbecoming" women would mean more bribes paid to
The solution would be to educate cops against corruption and to root
out outrageous fashion through education.
Mende denied that the government is shielding some pornographers. But
he promised to have a word with members of the National Censorship
Commission, which is also in his purview, to rein in on pornography in
Well, Congo is the only country in the world where journos would call
for more censorship and urge morality police action targeting new
Are these Taliban journos even aware that under Mobutu suits and ties
were banned and that women caught wearing pants were arrested and in
many cases raped by the youth wing of the party state?
In the evangelical-besieged Congo, a respectable woman must wear the
pagne, the sarong that is the local version of the Taliban burqa.
PHOTO: A Congolese dancer of soukouss star Werrason performs at the
Sfinks music festival in Belgium
Alex Engwete is the nom-de-plume of a Congolese-American freelance writer, consultant and blogger based Kinshasa, DRC, and Washington, DC. (Read on!)