n French Studies in Southern Africa - The philosophy of the "colonial debt" in contemporary Congolese (Zairean) literature : example or counter-example for Congolese youth?

Volume 2002, Issue 31
  • ISSN : 0259-0247



Young Congolese emigrants have made their own the philosophy of the "colonial debt" which is former President Mobutu's belief that there is a colonial debt owed by the former colonial power to the post-colonial state. This has resulted in the Zairean-Belgian Litigation. A number of Congolese novels have taken up this discourse, the best example being Maguy Kabamba's (The Colonial Debt) published in 1995. One aim of this article is to assess whether such fictitious discourse is to be taken as a survival strategy for its actors or more as a justification of social and economic behaviors. Secondly, what is the ambition and role of the Congolese writers in using this discourse as a recurrent literary theme? Does their fascination for it reveal a desire to create a model, or rather a way to denounce and deconstruct a discourse they find detrimental and deceptive?

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