Lye-M-Yoka-Democratic-Republic-of-CongoBorn in Kinshasa, Lye M. Yoka has a PhD in Literature from the University of Paris 3. Adviser to the Department of Education and the Department of Culture from 1979 to 1989, Lye Yoka is today co-ordinator of the Copyrights Society of DRC, consultant for the UNESCO Office and lectures in Performance Arts Semiotics at the National Arts Institute and the Catholic Faculty of Kinshasa. He has published various plays, short stories and pamphlets and, in particular, Lettres d'un Kinois à son oncle du village (1995) (Letters of a Kinshasa Citizen to His Uncle at The Village Back Home), and Kinshasa, signes de vie (2000) (Kinshasa, Signs of Life) published with L'Harmattan. Lye Yoka is currently working on his next book entitledCarnet de guerre d'un Kinois (War Diary of a Kinshasa Citizen).

 

He has been the artistic manager of the National Theatre of Congo/Zaire, and has written a number of articles on cultural issues. He won the Radio France International Prize in 1976 for a radio documentary , Le Fossoyeur (The Gravedigger),and in 1991 for Le Gourou (The Guru), published in 1992 under the title Chant du cygne (Swan Song) in the Monde Diplomatique .

 

Currently a consultant for the Ministry of Arts and Culture of the DRC, he is also a teacher at the National Institute of Arts.

 

In his book Lettres d'un kinois à son oncle du village Yoka gives a terrible depiction of the city of Kinshasa, where “workers don't work, students don't study, ministers don't administer, scholars don't school, presidents don't preside”, a city that is prey to “demoncracy” and to the games of money and power. With the style of a great writer, the sharp eye of a sociologist, the caustic spirit of a humorist, Lye Yoka tells of the distress and the anger of a people whose hopes have been betrayed.

 

Publications:

Lettres d'un Kinois à son oncle du village (Letters of a Kinshasa Citizen to His Uncle at The Village Back Home), L'Hartmann, 1995

Kinshasa, signes de vie (Kinshasa, Signs of Life),L'Harmattan, 2000