"The Congolese Symphony Orchestra"
In a country utterly destroyed by war, pillage and corruption the mere existence of an orchestra seems unimaginable. But, founded in 1994 a handful of church musicians began practicing with a few violins, taught themselves how to play cello, added a church choir and gave their first concert ten months later.
Today, the "Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste" (OSK) consists of about 80 instrumentalists and a choral of about 60 members. None of them receive any money. Most have paid for their instruments (second hand from China) out of their own pockets, others rely on Albert Matubanza, one of the founding members, who is not only a gifted musician, but has also taught himself how to build string instruments using wood from the local market and cable wire to replace broken strings. Scores of Handel's "Messiah," Verdi's "Nabucco" or Mozart's "Requiem" are often copied by hand.
A guard in the Kimbanguist Church Kinshasa