“Chez Ntemba Internationale”

As the old saying goes, “aho biryohera, niho bakuriraho iby’imbwa” (where the food tastes sweet is where they slice off that for the dogs). Surely, as we were beginning to take in the real “Kinshasa Mobimba” (big Kinshasa), that is when the alarm bells began chiming for us to begin packing our bags for home.

As the old saying goes, “aho biryohera, niho bakuriraho iby’imbwa” (where the food tastes sweet is where they slice off that for the dogs).

 Surely, as we were beginning to take in the real “Kinshasa Mobimba” (big Kinshasa), that is when the alarm bells began chiming for us to begin packing our bags for home.

There are lots of things and places for one to see.
Not wanting to lose out on the night life (before our last dollars ran out), we decided that, if Mwana Mbeto did not take us to a real club, then it would be like having a birthday cake without the icing on it! 

What is better than visiting “Chez Ntemba Internationale”? Just like clubbing in Kigali, the revellers begin getting ready to move towards midnight.  

We kept ourselves busy till 11:00pm; swallowing as many Skols was no problem since we were not in Kigali and was in no position to drive.

As I hear, in Rwanda, it is six months behind bars if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol!  What could we drive in Kinshasa, we did not have any vehicle, leave alone a bicycle!  

We literary staggered into the “Mobutuan” (Mobutu era) vehicle that doubled as a Taxi Voiture and a family car for its owner.

I’m told that, here in Kinshasa, it is not surprising to find someone having two jobs; he is a “respected” government official by day and a Taxi driver by evening or night; all this is the policy of “kobeta libanga” (crashing stones), a term used for doing this and that for some
extra coins.

On the outside, “Chez Ntemba Internationale” is just like any other Kinshasa location. There is nothing much to suggest what it is or what it holds in store for its visitors.

As said earlier on, in Kinshasa, if you are carrying the “Obama Notes” (US$), you will have a field day because, unlike in South Africa, where there is a lot of bureaucracy on who should be able to tender foreign currencies at the Forex Bureau counters for exchange, here, you do not need to change your money, just spend as if you are in “Obama Land”, you will be able to get back your change in either the Congolais Francs or the US$.  

At the entrance, we were made to part with a cool US$6 in the name of entrance fee.  Lo, the place is really cute inside.  The walls are all lined with mirrors and all sorts of coloured lights.

Compared to our own Cadillac, Cadillac is a real “warehouse” just improvised for a Discothèque!  
Sincerely, I hate the wall carpets in Cadillac, they trap dust and make my nose itch, not at Chez Ntemba; here, they have a really smooth tiled floor, some of us who know a few sliding or is it gliding jigs (thanks to the late MJ), this place would give us a field night! One thing for sure, Chez Ntemba is one of the few modern things to invade Kinshasa.  

The people inside are dressed so modestly, men don  real suits as if they are going to meet HE Joseph himself!  On the other hand, there are lots of girls dressed in very skimpy attire, as if they were short of clothing material to make them long enough!

Never mind, seems, these attires are what keep the revellers coming!  

The girls keep dropping this or that and bending to pick ’em up; please don’t imagine what you could be seeing, yes, it’s all there for the seeing and not imagining!  The music was real good, they played the Rumbas ranging from Franco Luambo Makiadi’s Mario, Tabuley, Sam Mangwana, Madilu and a host of other Congolaise music.  

Skols began flowing again and again; it was as if we were at the shores of the mighty Congo River!  Ironically, the US$6 you pay at the entrance is redeemed into a “free” drink!  In other words, the entrance is free on condition that, you can afford yourself a drink!

mfashumwana@fastmail.fm

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