Role model
March 25, 2017 11:02 AM   Subscribe

I really appreciate seeing normal life in places which you have a picture of as being unbearably poor. And I love the fact that Congolese French is easier to understand than Metropolitan French.
posted by ambrosen at 1:17 PM on March 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is great. Don't skip the video to just read the transcript. What a brave, strong lady, and her husband is all right.
posted by BrashTech at 1:47 PM on March 25, 2017

I love listening to the Lingala with the odd French thrown in. Africa-type tone languages are so beautiful; it's such a pity that the first African language most non-Africans learn happens to be the only one within its sub-family that does not have phonemic tones.
posted by minus273 at 5:14 PM on March 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

minus273, I didn't know there were tonal languages in Africa, and now I'm lost in a little maze of Wikipedia pages, all different. Thanks!

And the whole story is lovely. Thanks also, infini!
posted by kandinski at 7:17 PM on March 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

This woman is amazing!
posted by WalkerWestridge at 8:27 PM on March 25, 2017

Wow what a badass.

Was she speaking French? I can't tell (and I theoretically speak French...)
posted by quaking fajita at 8:53 PM on March 25, 2017

I just got back from a couple of weeks in Delhi, and I hope to be going up to the edges of the DRC later this year.

African women rock. They're far more badass, more resilient, more WTF you call me resilient for surviving rape and conflicts just because I learnt to endure and survive than the women in Asia.

I speak as an Asian woman, with the experience of design ethnography immersion in rural Philippines, and India, as well as rural East and South Africa.

At least in my lifetime, Asia has been in an emergent state socioeconomically, and things have never gotten as consistently adverse as they tend to be in parts of rural Africa.

But if you sit with the women going about their businesses (someone's gotta feed the kids) you'd never guess to think what stories of survival and grit they hid behind their pragmatic outlook and matter of fact smiles.

Find them on twitter
posted by infini at 12:28 AM on March 26, 2017

> Was she speaking French?

She was mostly speaking Lingala, which is a Bantu language and pretty wonderful (verbs can be present, present perfect, recurrent present, undefined recent past, undefined distant past, future, or subjunctive). But there were bits of French in there ("gender equality" is la parité).

Great video; thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 8:30 AM on March 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

African women rock.

Oh yes indeed. Our church, Anglican in central London, seems to have attracted a large number of Africans, and the women definitely rock. There are several, great friends, who I would not care to get on the wrong side of, and many who, like this lady, are strong in the face of great adversity.
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 6:36 PM on March 26, 2017

Maguy’s flamboyant style takes root in the “SAPE” movement, which means “attire” in French slang, and is the acronym for "Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People."

Wow. I must have heard the phrase "bien sapé" a million times over the years I lived in Burkina Faso (not necessarily applied to myself very often, to be clear), but I never really questioned where the word might have come from.
posted by solotoro at 6:42 PM on March 26, 2017

I did my eyes a favor and image searched sapeuse.

Oh yes.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:42 AM on March 27, 2017

This is great!

Most taxis in Kinshasa are more like public transit. They do set routes, like a bus. You stand along a main route and indicate where you want to go through hand signals -- for example, tracing a small circle with your hand facing down means you want to go towards Place Victoire (but you can get off anywhere en route). And then you pile in the sedan and hopefully you end up where you want to go. It is harder when you don't speak Lingala (ask me how I know). I never saw women drivers while I was there, but it's exciting to hear about it!

Also, semi-related: Kinshasa has literal robots for traffic lights. (I say literal because some places call regular stoplights robots.)
posted by quadrilaterals at 6:58 AM on March 27, 2017

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