On the Rumba River
Travelling up and down the majestic river Congo on a disheveled boat, the young orphan Antoine Kolosoy composed his first songs on a beat up old guitar. As he gained renown, “Wendo,” as he was now known, was persecuted by the church and his music banned by the Belgian colonial authorities, who feared his joyful rhythms would stir unrest. Wendo became a professional boxer for a time, but he never put down his guitar for long, and when his first album was released in 1948 he became the first superstar of Congolese Rumba.
Featuring stunning images and unforgettable music and interviews, “On the Rumba River” is a musical tribute to the Congolese people, who despite desperate poverty, a history of oppression and an ongoing civil war that has killed nearly 4 million people, continue to be sustained by music.