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ISSN: 1570-0178

Volume 10, Issue 5 (8 October 2008)

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Language and Labor
Conversations about work, language, and life

transcribed, translated, and commented by

Johannes Fabian

University of Amsterdam


Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology
University of Amsterdam
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185
1012 DK Amsterdam
The Netherlands



Text One

Text Two

Text Three

Text Four


Text Five



Text Four

Text Four, recorded March 27, 1973 with Kazembe Tumbuluka Bernard, a wood carver, inside and outside the Chenge work shop in Lubumbashi.


Swahili text and English translation

1. S: ...we unamaliza?
O: minamaliza hapa maneno minatafuta kuweka tu détail ya mwisho kiloko tu/ njo kusema sawa macho: si caméléon? minaweka macho ile yake: ya kantundu: sawa kichwa yake inatokaka/ et puis c'est fini/
S: uliisha kuona...
O: ndiyo/
S: mara mingi uliisha kuona caméléon?
O: ndiyo: naisha kumuona/ naisha kumuobserver/ kichwa yake sawa anaanza kutourner: anaangaria mbele ku mukongo: yee yulu yee chini...
S: [chuckles]
O: naisha kumuona/
1. S:...are you finished?
O: I am finished here, I just want to put in some little final detail. For instance the eye – this is a chameleon, right? – I put in a little hole, so that its head comes out and then it is finished.1
S: Have you seen (one)...
O: Yes.
S: Have you seen a chameleon many times?
O: Yes, I have seen it. I have observed it. Its protruding eye (lit. head) begins to turn, first it looks back, this one (looks) up, that one (looks) down.
S: [chuckles]
O: I have seen it.
2. S: na hii itakuwa tableau ya: ya nani?
O: hii itakuwa ni panneau ya bar/
S: panneau ya bar?
O: panneau ya bar: eeh/
S: dessin/
O: dessin? dessin?
S: dessin yake ya...
O: histoire yake hii/ unayua histoire yake hii?
S: non/
O: nani: hadisi yake/ ya kusema huyu bwana: eh: si iko adisi moya...
S: [noise] ongoye kiloko/ ni makelele/
O: si humu adisi moya munasema: basi mu Français munasema: bo banayua Français: ni une histoire de courir: eh? njo kusema chura...
S: chura?
O: kifwilim/ eh?
S: kifwilim?
O: kifwilim: mais: mais: huyu caméléon/ [chuckles]
S: oui oui kifwilim/ chura ni hii: hii: [to myself] frog/
O: oui chura: crapaud/ basi grenouille unaona mu mayi/
S: oui/
O: balikwenda kwenda ku fiancer: eh? alors banafika ku fasi moya kuko mutoni/ unaona chura iko chaque fois pressée/
S: mm/
O: chuk: chuk: chuk/ mais caméléon yee anakwendaka polepole/ anafika karibu na mayi anatafuta fasi kuko muti: anapanda polepole: anatraverser/ mais chura: maana yake kuluka anaangua mu mayi: banamubeba mu mayi/
S: eeh/
O: mais caméléon anafika: anaoffrir nani: don: nani: mali ya bukwe: na hivi unaona anamupa mukuki/
S: mukuki? aah/
O: mukuki: basi njo: sawa vile ku mapatano basi shee bantu baZaïrois: kama unatafuta kuoa bibi unapashwa kumupa mbele mapatano:
S: mm/
O: comme ça: kama anakamata ile mapatano: comme ça iko d'accord kumuoa/ alors unamupa: bibi anakuya: anapokelewa: anaitikia: puis banaanza kufêter/ unaona beko banapiga ngoma: bibi yake anaanza kupiga sasa chakulya/ eko kwake/
S: ahah/
O: si unamuona mule mayi...?...[noise]: unasikia sasa?
S: c'est ca/ kumbe hii inabakia sawa/
O: eeh/
S: crapaud...
O: anakwenda na mayi: anapita...
S: anakwenda bule/ [chuckles] ni paka hii moya na hii arisi?
O: huku na ingine: mais ...
S: ah tutaingia...?... [set down panel, turn to his work]
O: eeh/
2. S: And what will this relief be part of?
O: It will be a panel of a bar.
S: A panel of a bar?
O: A panel of a bar, yes.
S: A design.
O: A design? (What do mean,) a design?
S: The design of a...
O: (You mean) the story it tells. Do you know this story?
S: No.
O: What do you call it? Its fable. What it says it that this gentleman, well, is this not a fable...
S: [noise] Wait a moment, it is (too) noisy (here).2
O: Isn’t this here a fable that you tell in French, it is known in French, the story of a race, right?3 It says that a chura...
S: Chura?
O: ... and a kifwilim,4 right?
S: Kifwilim?
O: Kifwilim, but it’s this chameleon. [chuckles]
S: Yes, yes (now I remember), a chameleon. And this is a chura [to myself in English], frog.
O: Yes, chura means toad, or rather frog, the one you see in the water.
S: Yes.
O: They were going to look out for a wife, right? So the they came to a place where there was a stream. The frog, you see, is always in a hurry.
S: Mm.
O: Hop, hop, hop. But the chameleon moves slowly. It gets close to the water, looks for a place where is (the branch of) a tree, it climbs it slowly, and crosses (the stream). But the frog, who does nothing but jump, falls into the water and gets carried away by the current.
S: I see.
O: Whereas the chameleon arrives and offers the bridewealth. What you see (here) is that he presents a spear.
S: A spear? I see.
O: A spear – well, we people in Zaïre do this to mark an alliance. When you want to take a wife you first have to present (the sign of) agreement.
S: Mm.
O: That way, when the (sign of) agreement is accepted it means that you can marry her. So you hand (the spear) over, the bride comes, she is accepted and gives her consent, and then they begin with the festivities. As you see, they beat the drums, the wives prepares food, he (the husband) is home.
S: I see.
O: There in the water, don’t you see (the frog)...[noise] Now you understand?
S: That’s it.5 So this is where it stays...
O: Yes.
S: The toad...
O:...drifts in the water and passes...
S: It goes off empty-handed, [chuckles]. Is this the only (panel depicting) a fable?
O: There is another one but...
S: We’ll get into this...?.... [set down panel, turn back to his work]
O: Alright.
3. S: na: sasa hii made: sasa unaweka madétails?
O: sasa minaweka madétails/ si unaona mafers: nilikuwa napasser na burin/ napika burin/
S: sawa vile tuna: tuna: tunaona humu? njo ni: sawa hii/ njo: vile unaanza/
O: vile naanza dessin/ njo kusema:
S: dessin/
O: dessin ni composition ya patron: eh?
S: mm/
O: ya patron: anaweka: anacomposer ku papier/ minakuya naweka pa mbao nadécalquer/ unaona: na papier carbon: eh?
S: oui/
O: unaona vile eko noir/
S: mm/
O: maneno inaonekana muzuri/ naisha kudécalquer ku mbao: napita na burin kaloko/ napiga maneno: malignes honnêtes/ sinon sawa kudéfoncer: kuchimbula naye mashini huyu défonceuse: ligne sawa nani: mistari itapotea/ eh?
S: mm/
O: comme ça burin iko plus sûr: utaona muzuri/ kama inaisha banapasser sawa na défonceuse: banarudisha huku/ kama anarudisha huku minaanza kuchimbula...
S: yo yee/
O: aah: minaanza kuchimbula mbele mu mpembeni humu: mule mashini hakuna moyen ya kupita muzuri: eh?
S: mm/
O: si unaona iko maparties ingine: mashini hakufika/ bon: minaanza kuchimbula mu kuacha: mubakie net sasa hapa/ kama inaisha minafanya ébauche/
S: ébauche?
O: ah bon: naébaucher muntu...
S: [to another worker who is leaving] bye bye wee/
O: ...abakie mu forme muzuri: eh: ule mutu mwenyewe anabakia tu muzuri/ kama minaisha kufanya hivi: sawa hii humu: tunaébaucher: et puis nanettoyer fond/
S: unanettoyer fond?
O: basi fond hii/
S: na nini: na nini: na?
O: na gouge/ gouge plate/ ule munene ule: ile gouge munene hivi/
S: uko na...[noise] non [...?... responding to another worker] oui oui oui/
O: na kupita hii kiloko iko humu/
S: c’est ça/
O: ah/
S: gouge/
O: gouge/
S: c’est ça/
O: ...?... nayee kufa: mm: c'est à dire naanza mbele kunettoyer mu mpembeni: na kama minaisha mule: naanza kunettoyer sasa hivi: ku matundu kiloko mule na tumagouges tuloko tuna moyen ya kupita mule/
S: mm/
O: kama minaisha mule: minaisha inakuwa propre: unaanza kutumika sawa personnages: eh? bantu/ sasa hivi inabakia hivi/ nanettoyer bantu: si unaona inabakia hivi/ kama ile inasiha directement: naanza kuweka détail/ si unaona sawa hii détail/ sawa muntu iko na mistari sawa hii yake/
S: oui oui/
O: njo kusema hii: iko complètement fini basi: ah?
S: hii...?.../
O: sitatoucher tena: eeh/ kama minaisha hapa: napeleka kule...
S: hautatoucher tena?
O: sitatoucher tena/ bamenuisiers banaanza kunettoyer muzuri na papier: kutentiayo/ kupakala basi vile manani...
S: c'est ça/ [pick up another panel] na hii: mu hii unaweka sasa kazi ya mwisho: ya madétails: c'est ça?
O: aah: njo vile/ niko naweka détail ya mwisho/ kama minaisha pa kuweka détail: naweka nayo pale mpembeni ku hii groupe: eh: nakamata na ule wa mwisho/ yee moya anabakia/
S: c'est ça/ [recording interrupted]

S: And now you put in detail?
O: Now I put in detail. You see the tools, don’t you. I went over it with the burin (hollow chisel, now I use the burin.
S: As we can see it here? This is how you begin.
O: This is how I begin with the design. That is to say...
S: The design.
O: The design was composed by the boss, right?
S: Mm.
O: It’s the boss’s he draws it on paper, then I come, put it on the board (to be carved), and copy it. You see, (it do this) with carbon paper, right?
S: Yes.
O: You see that it is black.
S: Mm.
O: So that (the copy) comes out well. After copying (the design) onto the board I go along (the outlines) with a small chisel. I use a mallet to get straight (lit. honest) lines. Otherwise, if I were to use a machine like this wood router the lines would disappear, right?
S: Mm.
O: In this way, the chisel is more reliable as you will easily see. When that is finished they work the piece over with the wood router and bring it back here. When it is back here I begin to carve...
S: That’s it.
O: Right, so I begin to carve, first here in the corner. With the machine over there you cannot really get to it, right?
S: Mm.
O: As you see, there are other parts the machine does not get to. Fine. So I begin to carve out around the parts that will be left and stay clean here. When that is finished I do the ébauche.
S: (What do you mean by) ébauche?
O: Ah, alright. I do the rough outlines of a human being...
S: [to another worker who is leaving, in English] Bye bye.
O: ... so that the shape, this person, stands out well. When I am finished with that, with carving around (it) I clean the bottom (ground).
S: You clean the bottom?
O: (How do you call it?) This bottom here.6
S: With what?
O: With a gouge, a flat gouge, this big gouge.
S: Do you have a...?...[noise] No. [...?... responding to another worker, then addressing Kazembe again] Yes, yes, yes.
O: And then go over it with this small (gouge) here.
S: That’s it.
O: Yes.
S: (It’s called) a gouge.
O: A gouge.
S: That’s it.
O: ...?... With it – well, first I begin with cleaning up the corners and when I am finished with that I start cleaning the small holes, using small gouges so that I can get into those places.
S: Mm.
O: When I am finished there and (everything) is clean then you start to work on the figures, right? The people, (the figures that) stand out. I clean the figures that stand out, as you see. Once that is done I begin right away with putting detail. You see this detail, don’t you? Such as the lines on this human figure.
S: Yes, yes.
O: In other words, (not) it is all finished, right?
S: This ...?...
O: Yes, I am not going to touch it again. When I am finished here I take it over there...
S: You are not going to touch it again?
O: I will not touch it again. The carpenters7 begin to clean it thoroughly with (sand) paper and then they put varnish on it. You could say they apply these – what do you call them...
S: That’s it. [pick up another panel] And on this one you now do the finishing work, putting in detail. Is that it?
O: Right, that’s what it is. I put in the final detail. When I am done with putting in detail on that side, on this group of figure and then I take up that last (panel), the one that remains.
S: That’s it. [recording interrupted]

4. S: ...njo mu kintu ya kazi...
O: mafibres ya muti inaangaria: unaona minatafuta kuipeleka mu sense ingine/
S: mambao?
O: unaangaria hapa: eh? si unaona tena angaria huku/ alors minapelekea mu sense ingine: comme ça haitaarracher/ napashwa sawa nitourner: ni: nianze huku: niende hivi: njo itakuwa muzuri/
S: ah bon/
O: mais: na huku unaona/ sawa sawa minaisha kuzobelea mbao: niko naona muzuri zaidi: eh?
S: mm/
O: naenda kuangaria naona sawa hii mafibres inapita hivi/ si unaona: inakwenda muzuri sasa/ unaona? sibanduzi: [noise from another part of the shop]
S:...?... anafanya makelele mingi...
O: [chuckles] sibanduzi tena sana: eh?
S: mm/
O: unaona? sibanduzi tena sana...
S: c'est ça/ [recording interrupted, we move to another place]]
4. S: ...this is something in the piece you are working on...
O: The sense in which the grain of the wood goes (lit. looks). You see that I try to bring (the tools) in the other direction.
S: (On) the boards?
O: Look here, right? Don’t you see that grain goes in this direction? So I work against it and that way nothing will break off. I must turn, as it were, so that I start here and go on like this, then it will come out fine.
S: Ah, alright.
O: But here you can see how used I am to the wood, I see exactly (how the grain runs), right?
S: Mm.
O: I go and look and I see that the fibers run like this. You see, don’t you, that (my carving) goes well now. You see? I don’t rip anything off [noise from another part of the shop]
S: ...?... some one makes a lot of noise....
O: [chuckles] It does not happen often anymore that I break off a piece.8
S: That’s it. [recording interrupted, we move to another place]
5. S: ah: kumbe tulisumbulia kiloko kule ku...
O: établi yangu/
S: ku établi yako/ njo établi? hii meza ya...
O: meza ya kazi/ sawa vile Léon alikuambia/ [chuckles]
S: sasa na: natafuta tena vile vile kuenregistrer na wee: hii namna munaanza kazi humu mu: mu chapu/ eh? sawa vile wee unataka kufanya kintu/ meuble/
O: oui/
S: mm?
O: ndiyo/
S: unaanza namna gani? hata na mbao: kiisha...
O: nikuelezee façon vile bamenuisiers banaanza: banaleta kule pa kufanya: ah?
S: c'est ça/
O: bon/ ça va/
5. S: Well, so we talked a little over there at... work bench.
S: At you work bench. That is called a work bench, this table?
O: The work table, as Léon told you. [chuckles]9
S: Now I want to record with you how you begin the work here in the shop, right? Let’s say you want to make an object, a piece of furniture.
O: Yes.
S: Mm?
O: Yes.
S: How do you get started? With a piece of lumber, of course, and then...
O: So I should explain to you the way the carpenters begin, how they fetch (a piece of lumber) to work on. Is that it?
S: That’s it.
O: Fine, let’s do it.
6. S: ni kusema: tuanze humu/ twiko karibu na fasi ya mbao/
O: mm/
S: donc: ku mwanzo mwanzo: kabisa: banafanya nini?
O: bo...
S: bamenuisiers/
O: bamenuisiers banakuya banamesurer sawa/ ah/ banalomba: par exemple kintu moya sawa meza/ banakuya: banakamata longeur: basi: mamesures ya mambao: eh? plan ya ile: ya kintu: banamesurer mbao: banakana banakata/
S: mm/
O: ku scie a ruban: ah?
S: mm/
O: banaisha kukata banaraboter: banacoller/ banaisha kucoller: banafanya byote basi...
S: coller?
O: aah banacoller: kuunga mbao: eh? kuunga na colle/
S: mm/
O: bon/ banaisha kumesurer vile: banaisha kuunga: bana: banapitirisha ku mashini iko na ...?... kutosha ile macolles: dépasser mu mbao/ eh?
S: mm/
O: banaisha kutosha ile macolles inadépasser mu mbao: bana nettoyer muzuri/ kama ni meza ya kuweka dessin géometrique: banaleta kule/ banaleta sasa kule kwetu: eh? par example hii tablette banaleta kule kwetu/
S: mm/
O: tunaanza kudessiner dessin: eh? basi unalomba mbele unamuuliza patron/ nitaweka dessin namna gani: pale yulu? anakuambia asema utaweka dessin namuna hii/ bon: unaanza kuweka dessin: kiisha kuweka dessin unaanza kutailler/ kutailler c'est-a-dire kutumika yulu/ kuweka dessin ibakie muzuri/
S: njo una: unaita kutailler?
O: kutailler basi: ku: banaita kuchanja basi: ku... [chuckle, hesitates]
S: oui/ c'est ça/ sawa vile mwee: wee humu munasemaka/
O: humu tunaweza: basi: kutailler/
S: ni kusema kuweka: dessin...
O: kuweka dessin: unaisha kuweka dessin: eh?/
S: oui/
O: na crayon/ kiisha kuweka na crayon: unapika na burin/
S: mm/
O: kiisha kupika na burin: sasa unatailler dessin/ kuiacha ibakie muzuri basi/
S: mm/
O: ao propre: ibakie: iwe fini basi dessin/
S: mm/
O: njo unatailler/ kiisha kutailler unarudisha ku bamenuisiers: bamenuisiers bananettoyer kama na mi ...?...kuisha: banamonter mule banafanya: bana: balifansia meza ile mamesures: et puis banaongolea client/
S: mm/
O: kama client anakuya: anapenda: kama ni: sawasawa mameubles ya nani: ya mabois sawa lusanga: kanapenda ile mapenti ya noir: ya brun: ya nini: banapakala et puis inakwenda/
S: njo yote?
O: njo yote/
6. S: Let’s start here. We are standing close to the place where the lumber (is stored).
O: Mm.
S: So this is really where (production) begins. What do they do?
O: They...
S: The carpenters.
O: The carpenters come here and take measurements. Take some piece that was ordered, like a table. They come and take the length, well, the measurements of the boards, right? According to the sketch of the piece they measure the lumber, they see if it fits10, and (then) they cut it.
S: Mm.
O: On the band saw, right?
S: Mm.
O: When they are finished cutting (the boards) they plane them and glue them together. When the gluing is done they make all the pieces, well....
S: Gluing?
O: Yes, they glue, that is, they put the boards together, right? Putting them together with glue.
S: Mm.11
O: Fine, so they have measured and joined the boards. Then they pass them on a machine that removes the glue that sticks out from the panel, right?
S: Mm.
O: After removing the glue that sticks out from the panel they clean it thoroughly. If it is (for) table with a geometrical design on it they carry it over there to our place, right. For instance, this small table, they bring it to our place.
S: Mm.
O: We then apply the design, right? The way it goes, you first ask the boss: How am I to put a design there (on the panel)? He tells you: This is how you put the design. Fine, you put the design on and begin to cut. To cut means that you work on top (of the panel) so that the design stay on it properly.
S: That’s what you call “to cut?”
O: To cut – how shall I say? – to make incisions, well to... [chuckles, hesitates]
S: Yes, that’s it. That’s what you say here.
O: Here we just call it to cut.
S: That is to say, mark the design (on the panel).
O: When the design is marked , right?
S: Yes.
O: With a pencil, when you have marked it with a pencil then you work it in with a chisel.
S: Mm.
O: Using the chisel you carve the design so that it comes out properly.
S: Mm..
O: Or clean, so that the design is complete.
S: Mm.
O: That (is meant by) to cut. When the cutting is finished you return the piece to the carpenters. The carpenters clean it up and then they assemble it there according to the specifications (that were given) and one waits for the customer.
S: Mm.
O: When the customer comes and likes it and, in the case of furniture from a wood like lusanga it may need some dark varnish, brown or whatever, they put it on and then it leaves (the shop).
S: That’s all?
O: That’s all.
7. S: alafu inaanza namna gani? ni cli: ni client: ni client mu mwanzo...
O: client njo anakuwa kupasser commande/
S: mm/
O: kama anaisha kupasser commande yake: analomba kintu anataka/ sawasawa par example: client nayee analombaka kibasa/ anaisha kulomba kibasa: bataarranger na patron: eh?
S: mm/
O: patron anaisha kufanya na nani: anasema bon d'accord: kiti yako batafanya hivi/ anakuya mbele kubaelezea bamenuisiers/ bamensusiers njo banafanya mbele kile kibasa/ banaisha: ukifanya: banakimonter complètement tu: kibasa kinatoka kyote kizima: eh?
S: mm/
O: banaisha kufanya/ bon: patron anaona asema: bon/ ça va: njo hivi ule client alitaka/ muzuri njo vile ule client alikuya kuuliza: njo hii modèle ulipenda/ asema bon: minaipenda hivi/ anaisha kusema bon d'accord: njo analeta kule kwetu:
S: mm/
O: dessin: na projet ya dessin/
S: mm/
O: sasa bon: mutaweka dessin: par example bapersonnages/ mabasrelief: ou bien kitu kimoya vile/ analeta kule: tunaweka ile mabasrelief: inaisha: tunatailler/ kiisha kumaliza kule kwetu kazi yetu ya kutailler basi kusculpter: tunarudisha tena ku bamenuisiers/
S: mm/
O: sasa bo batajioccuper na nettoyage: iko nettoyer mule mu maparties inabakia sawa colle: nini: kusafisha muzuri na mapapiers: kupakala: kupenta muzuri: client moya banaenda kumuliver kile kitu/
S: c’est ça/ [we move to another part of the shop]
7. S: But how does it start? Is it the customer who first...
O: It is the customer who places the order.
S: Mm.
O: He places his order and asks for the piece he wants. For instance, a customer may ask for a stool.12 After that he will come to an agreement with the boss, right?
S: Mm.
O: After coming to terms (with the customer) the boss will tell him: Your chair will be made like this. Then he goes to give instructions to the carpenters first. The carpenters make (the pieces for) this stool. When they are finished, they assemble everything and the stool comes out in one piece, right?
S: Mm.
O: When they are done the boss looks at it: Fine, it’s how the customer wanted it. It’s nice, what the customer asked for, it is the type he liked. Fine, I like it like this. Once (the boss) has given his approval he brings it to our place.
S: Mm.
O: (With) the design, a plan for the design.
S: Mm.
O: Now you apply the design, some human figure, for instance, a relief, or something like that. So he brings it to our place, we put on (the design) for a relief and when that is done we carve it. When we are finished with our work of cutting, or carving, we return (the piece) to the carpenters.
S: Mm.
O: Then they get busy with the cleaning, which means cleaning up the parts where some glue sticks out, using sand paper, varnishing it nicely and this piece will be delivered to the customer (who ordered it).
S: That’s it. [we move to another part of the shop]
8. S: na humu nga: twiko na: ku ngambo ya: ya...
O: menuiserie/
S: ya menuiserie/ na beko na mashini mingi/ humu/ si vile?
O: ahah/
S: sasa: huyu: kwa mufano: ni namna gani?
O: huyu: scie à ruban/
S: scie à ruban?
O: mm/
S: ni...
O: kukata ile mambao munene ile: basi/ mambao sawasawa hii iko na épaisseur munene/
S: mm/
O: c'est impossible ya kukata ku mukono iko kazi mingi/ ou bien kukata na tumashini tule tuloko tunaenda ukatika: eh/ comme ça ni munene: banafika na: lubao hata ya épaisseur iko pamoya na sept: dix...
S: pa lubao?
O: lubao/ mbao basi/
S: mm/
O: lumoya ni lubao/ njo banakata huku/ comme ça kazi inakwenda mbio: eh/ kuliko ya kukata ku mikono/ mais kama ni kakazi kaloko: njo banaenda kukata na hutu tumashini tule tuloko tuloko/
S: mm/
O: scie sauteuse: scie circulaire: kale kaloko...
S: na ingine? sawa huyu?
O: ah: ule ni dégauchisseuse: wa ku: kunyorosha mbao/ sawasawa hii ali: aliungapo/
S: mm/
O: alikwenda mbele an raboter: ibakie même épaisseur: mu raboteuse mule/
S: mm/
O: ibakie épaisseur moya/ kama anaisha kufanya ibakie épaisseur moya: njo anakuya anaraboter mu épaisseur: eh? épaisseur na lubao huku [shows a piece]...
S: oui/
O: njo anaraboter huku/ iko anaraboter anakuwa anapima/ comme ça iwe nani: eh?
S: mm/
O: iwe namna moya basi: iko asiwe: tundu: ibakie joint/
S: joint/ c’est ça/
O: aah/ iko anapima/ kama inakuwa bien: njo anakuya: anamarquer na craye: sijue unaona kule:na mpemba:
S: mm/
O: anamarquer anaandika numéro: comme ça anayua hii ni mambao: itafanya kitu: nitaunga hivi: itoke mu nani: largeur ya kitu hivi na hivi/ et puis njo anacoller sasa: anaweka colle: anacoller: kule ku nani: kule ku nani: ananyorosha ngambo: ananyorosha ngambo: comme ça: anapatiaka mbao ya largeur mukubwa sana/
S: c’est ça/
O: maneno ya kupata sawa mbao ya largeur ile haipatikane tena: tote ni tuloko tuloko: si unaona pale/
S: mm/ kumbe njo kazi yake ya ya...
O: kazi yake ni kunyolosha mu épaisseur/
S: na nani: ya...
O: dégauchisseuse/
S: dégauchisseuse c’est ça/
8. S: And here we are in the section of ...
O: Carpentry.
S: Of carpentry. The have many machines here, right?
O: Indeed.
S: This one, for instance, what kind is this?
O: This is a band saw.
S: A band saw?
O: Mm.
S: It is for...
O: ...cutting those large boards, the ones that are thick.
S: Mm.
O: It is impossible to saw them by hand or even with those small machines around us, it would be a lot of work. That’s why (they use) the big one so they can cut a plank even if is seven or ten (centimeters) thick.
S: A plank?
O: A plank, lumber.
S: Mm.
O: One piece of lumber is a plank.13 That’s what they saw here. (With the big saw) the work goes fast compared to sawing by hand. But when work is to be done on a small piece they go to these small machines for sawing it.
S: Mm.
O: (Then) there is the jigsaw, the circular saw, that small one...
S: And another, like this one...
O: Ah, that is a rough-plane, used to mill a board, like this one ...?...14
S: Mm.
O: First (the carpenter) used the plane to get an even thickness, over there on the machine-plane.
S: Mm.
O: To get an even thickness. When an even thickness is to be attained he works on it with a plane, right? A thickness like of this plank. [shows a piece]
S: Yes.
O: This is where he does the planing. He uses the plane and measures (the piece) so that is becomes, how shall I say it?
S: Mm.
O: So that it fits without leaving a gap. It should fit together.
S: Fit together, that’s it
O: Yes, he measures it and when it is as it should be he marks it with chalk. I don’t know whether you can see it there, (a mark made) with chalk.
S: Mm.
O: He marks it and puts a number on it. This is how he knows later what is to be made of these boards, how he will join them depending on the width of the piece. After that he does the gluing, and then he works with the plane on the sides. This is how he gets a very wide plank.
S: That’s it.
O: (He does this) to get the width that he would not get if he were to use only those narrow boards you see there.
S: Mm. So (his machine is used) to...
O: It is used to plane (a piece) to (required) thickness.
S: With the what?
O: The rough-plane.
S: The rough-plane, that’s it.
9. kiisha...
O: kiisha kama anaisha hivi:
S: mm/
O: inakauka: kiisha atakuya: anaangaria kama inakauka: inakamata muzuri: anapima: inakamata muzuri: sasa anapashwa kwanza kutosha colle hii: ilipita hii/ si unaona:
S: oui oui/
O: colle ilidépasser/
S: kumbe hii: hii kintu tuna: tunaangaria sasa: ni mambao bal: baliisha kucoller/
O: kucoller/
S: sasa bana: banatia nini: ya: huyu?
O: ah: presse/
S: presse/
O: pa kuwa kucoller/ anapashwa kucoller mambao yote: eh? asidépasser/ maneno sawa utafunga: eh? unapresser na hii mapresses hii/ kuko sawa mbao ingine inafanya sawa inavimba eh? anapashwa ..?... presse/
S: mbao inafanya nini?
O: inafanya sawa inavimba/
S: inavimba/ kuvimba ni...
O: kuvimba c'est-a-dire: par example comment est-ce qu'on dit? unakulya mingi:
S: oui oui/
O: tumbo inavimba: eh?
S: vimba/
O: colle/ huyu inavimba/ bon/ sasa hapa unafunga: kama ni kufunga paka chini: mbao inafanya sawa na nani: comme ça unaweka nani:
S: presse/
O: nani: presse moya yulu: njo anafunga eh?
S: mm/
O: anafunga comme ça: hata inavimba haiweze kuidépa: haiweze kuvimbia huku: eh? inatafuta kwenda chini kule kuko ingine/
S: c’est ça/
O: njo anapresser sasa/
S: mm/
O: anapresser: comme ca: mbao iko pressé kabisa kabisa/ kama anaisha hapa: inakauka kesho/ njo banaanza kutosha colle/
S: inakamata saa ...?...?
O: oh: siku moya ça va/
S: siku moya?
O: ça va/ surtout kama kuko kivukuto/
S: mm/
O: inakauka mbio/ mais sasa: sawa baridi: ma: maJuin: mule Juillet: Aout: mbao inakaukaka pole pole maneno ya baridi/ mais sasa hii saa ya kivukuto mbao inakauka mbio/
S: ah bon/
O: mm/
S: ah bon/ na:
O: inakauka mbio/
9. S: Then...
O: When he is finished with this...
S: Mm.
O: (The piece) dries. Then he is going to look whether it is dry and keeps together and now he has to remove that glue that sticks out. As you see...
S: Yes, yes.
O: There was some glue sticking out.
S: So what we are looking at is the boards that were glued together.
O: That were glued.
S: Now they use this?
O: Yes, the press.
S: The press.
O: If a piece is to hold together (the carpenter) must glue all the boards, right? So that nothing sticks out. That is why you put it into those presses. There is some wood that sort of expands, right? So he must put it in the press.
S: The wood is doing what?
O: It does something like expanding.
S: Expanding. Expand means...
O: To expand means, for example – what does on say? – you eat a lot.
S: Yes, yes.
O: Your belly swells, right?
S: Swell.15
O: (It’s) the glue. This expands. Alright, so here you fasten it. If only the bottom is fastened the will, what to you call it? That’s why you put it in...
S: ... the press.
O: You tighten the top part of the press, right?
S: Mm.
O: He tightens it like this and then (the piece) cannot expand, right? It will press against the bottom part.
S: That’s it.
O: So then he works the press.
S: Mm.
O: He works the press and that way the wood is definitely kept together. When he is finished here it will be dry by tomorrow. Then the glue (that sticks out) is removed.
S: This takes how many hours?
O: Oh, a day and then it is alright.
S: One day?
O: That is enough, especially when we have hot weather.
S: Mm.
O: Then it dries fast. But in cold season, in June, July, August, the wood dries slowly because of the cold. But right now in the hot season the wood dries fast.
S: Ah, alright.
O: Mm.
S: Alright, then.
O: It dries fast.
10. S: bon/ basi: minaona hii mashini ingine sawa vile hii: kule ku ngambo kule/
O: sawa ile: njo ni toupie/
S: toupie/
O: ya kufanya rainures/
S: aah/
O: marainures: par example...
S: kufanya rainures/
O: rainure ya mu mbao/ iko na macouteaux yake/
S: mm/
O: siyue inaenea kuonyesha/ kuko mamilango ingine ya mameubles banakuwa bana anya: banaita namna gani: banafanya: banacadrer: eh?
S: mm/
O: kuwekayo sawa mu cadre/ alors banakwenda kufansia mule ku karainure yake: tundu: maneno ya kuingisha mu panneau: eh?
S: mm/
O: mapanneaux: sawa ile mapanneaux beko banafanya: na nakuelezea kule/
S: c'est ça/
O: bon: le mamontants yake: sawasawa karainures/ comme ça ile mapanneaux inakuya inaingia mule ndani: hivi isicheze/
S: c’est ça/
O: ni vile banafanyaka na hii/ et puis toupie banaenda kufanya madessin ingine: sawa unaona: mamoulures ingine ku mameubles...
S: ni kusema bana: banaweka mbao ndani: si: kama isicheze/
O: isicheze/ basi rainure isicheze/ lubao ndani/
S: ndiyo/
O: unaona bintu mingi tunafanya biko démontable: inapashwa kuwa: bya mingi sana inafaa rainures/ hata mapanneaux hii ya mabars ya tshikalakala hii: mameubles mingi/ tunapashwa kuwa rainures: comme ça panneau iingie ndani ile mapentes tunafanya/
O: njo banafansia kule ku toupie/
10. S: Alright. I see those other machines, like the one over there.
O: Like that one, that is a vertical cutter.
S: A vertical cutter.
O: To make grooves.
S: I see.
O: Grooves, for example...
S: To make grooves.
O: Grooves in the wood. It has its (special) blades.
S: Mm.
O: I don’t know whether I showed you enough. There are also doors for pieces of furniture that are framed, as they call it, right?
S: Mm.
O: (You) put them in a frame. So they will cut a groove, a groove into which (pieces) are inserted so that they form a panel, right?
S: Mm.
O: (You know what I mean by) panels. Like the panels they make, as I explained to you over there.
S: That’s it.
O: Alright the montants (of a panel) have these small grooves. The way it works is that the panels go into (the grooves) such that they fit (exactly) without play.
S: That’s it.
O: That is how it is done (with the vertical cutter). It also serves to make certain designs, certain molds you see on some of the furniture...
S: In other words, the board is put into (the groove) so that it fits without play.
O: It should have no play, the board should sit tight in the groove.
S: Yes.
O: You see many of the pieces we make are such that they can be taken apart. Most of them must have grooves, such as the bar panel made of tshikalakala wood, many pieces of furniture. We need the grooves so that the panel fits into the boards we make (to frame the panel).
S: This is what they do there on the vertical cutter.
11. S: na huyu mashini huyu?
O: ah ule ni mortaiseuse eh? ya kumortaiser nayo: nani: mamontants basi bitu ya kucoller: kufanya tenons na mortaises/ siyue unayua tena mortaise?
S: ndiyo/ minajua/
O: sawa ile: basi: ile macadres...?...banacadrer: na nani: inapashwa kuwa na tenon na mortaise/
S: mm/
O: pa kuweka ile: nani: panneau ndani: inapashwa ingie mule ndani na tenon na mortaise: njo banacoller: banaweka machevilles banakata: comme ça iko mule ndani/
S: mm/
O: njo ya kumortaiser nayo hii/
11. S: And this machine?
O: Ah, that one is a mortiser, right? To make mortises with for whatever, montants and things that are to be glued. (In other words) to make tenons and mortises.16 I don’t know, do you know what a mortise is?
S: Yes, I do.
O: Take those frames they make. They must have tenons and mortises.
S: Mm.
O: To put in the panels. Tenons and mortises are needed to fit them together. Then they are glued and the pegs are placed, cut to size so that they fit.
S: Mm.
O: This is (the machine that is used) to make mortises.
12. S: bon: na humu tunaona: meuble moya: karibu ya kuisha sasa/
O: mm/
S: mm? sasa: utanielezea juu ya maparties yake:
O: juu ya maparties...
S: sawa bana: mm?
O: maparties: njo kusema: parties ingine basi: ah? unaona partie: majeure partie: basi partie: kipande kikubwa:
S: mm/
O: tunatumika ni kule ku basculpteurs: eh? kuweka madessins: milango: bintu yote hivi: inaisha/ mais bamenuisiers banafanya ni montage yake basi/
S: ah bon/
O: montage yake na bintu ingine/ siyue na: kusafisha: kupakala: ni bamenuisiers/
S: kupakala?
O: kupakala: si ile rangi yake: penti/ tunaita: humu tunazobelea kuita penti/
S: penti/
O: ni bamenuisiers njo bali: balipakala/
12. S: Alright. And here we see a piece of furniture that is almost finished.
O: Mm.
S: Mm? Now, could you explain to me the parts it is made of?
O: About the parts...
S: For instance, they (make)...Mm?
O: The parts. It’s about different parts, right? You see there a major part, well, a big piece.17
S: Mm.
O: Where we work on it is in the carvers’ section, right? Put designs on doors, all these things, and that’s it. Whereas what the carpenters do is assemble the piece.
S: Ah, alright.
O: Assembling it and do the other things, cleaning, varnishing – it’s the carpenters (who do it).
S: Varnishing?
O: Varnishing means to put on its color, paint. Here we are used to call it penti.
S: Penti.
O: It’s the carpenters who put it on.18
13. S: mm/ njo vile/ na sawa vile minaona mu atélier beko na: na: muko na ngambo mbili/
O: tuko na ngambo mbili/
S: ni kusema: ngambo ya menuisiers...
O: kuko ngambo ya bamenuisiers: na ngambo ya basculpteurs/
S: eeh/
O: mm/
S: sasa...
O: makazi mara mingi: humu inaanzaka ni ngambo ya bamenuisiers/
S: mm/
O: kazi njo kule inaanza/ shee kule tunajioccuper tu na: basi na: kuweka madessins: kufanya sculpture/
S: oui/
O: njo tunajioccuper/
S: mm/
O: maneno mameubles yote humu: inapashwa kuwa montés par les menuisiers eh?
S: mm/
O: bamenuisiers njo banapashwa mameubles yote/ siye ni sculpture tu/ maana yake sawasawa banayoletea partie moya sawa: Bernard: Kazembe kamata cote moya: wende weka dessin: minaenda kuweka/
S: mm/
O: nini: kamata mulango moya wende kuweka dessin: minaenda kuweka/ kamata mukulu utaweka dessin: minaenda kuweka/
S: mm/
O: mais kazi yote: iko bakafa: banafanya: paka bamenuisiers/
13. S: Mm, so they do. The way I see it, you have two sides in the workshop.
O: We have two sides.
S: The side of the carpenters...
O: There is the side of the carpenters and the side of the carvers.
S: Right.
O: Mm.
S: Now...
O: Often the work begins in here on the side of the carpenters.
S: Mm.
O: That is where the work begins. We over there are busy with putting on the designs and making the carvings.
S: Yes.
O: That’s what we are busy with.
S: Mm.
O: (We need them) because all the furniture here must be assembled by the carpenters, right?
S: Every piece of furniture must be assembled by the carpenters. We only do the carving. What the carpenters do is the bring a part (and tell me), Bernard, Kazembe, take one side and put a design on it, and then I do it.
S: Mm.
O: Take a door, they may say, and put a design on it and I’ll do it. Take a leg, put a design on it and I’ll do that.
S: Mm.
O: But every job involves (lit. is is done by) the carpenters.
14. S: mm/ sasa: bon: nazani mu chapu: mm: hata inabakia juu: kiloko juu ya maoutils: mais: niliisha kusumbulia na Léon/
O: mm/
S: twende: twende inje kiloko:
O: mm/
S: tusumbulie na bantu: na bintu bingine kiloko... [interrupt recording, go outside]
hii kintu minataka kuuliza tena: [warning him] attention musumari...
O: oh: c'est pourquoi minaikala hivi/ [chuckles]
S: oui mais ata: utaharibisha hii pantalon yako:
O: ooh/ [dismissive]
S: ya élégance sawa/
O: ooh ya ya: hapana/
S: ni kusema kumbe kazi inaachana/ sasa wee basculpteurs: munaona menuisiers namna gani: na menuisiers banamiona wee namna gani?
O: shee tunaona bamenuisiers/ eh? tunaona ni baaides: na bo banaona shee tuko baides wabo/ lakini yetu humu eh? kabisa kabisa: iko ni sculpture/
S: mm/
O: eh?
S: mu hii chapu/
O: hii: basi mu chapu hii yetu: kazi ni ya sculpture/ tuko na bamenuisiers: juu ya kufanya mameubles/ eh/ na njo vile basi: beko sawa basaidizi betu: beko banatusaidia/
S: mm/
O: njo vile tuko na bao basi/
S: haina: hamuna tena: mara ingine hamuna na bugomvi ya...?
O: ah hapana/ si bote tunaona tuko pamoya/
S: ... sawa basculpteurs beko na majivuno...
O: ah: non/ hakuna majivuno hapana/
S: non?
O: tunatumika nabo namna moya/ mais matata haikosake eh? matata haikosake/ kunakuwa saa ingine: bangine bamenuisiers banaenda kuwaza asema: basculpteurs beko favorisés:
S: mm/
O: na si saa ingine tunawaza non: bamenuisiers beko favorisés: paka vile/ mais quand même tuko tunasikilizana si bote pamoya tu/
S: mm/
O: bien sana/ matata haikosake/ hata mu nyumba: kiloko kiloko ikoamo/
S: mm/
O: eh/ mais kazi kubwa humu ni sculpture/ njo kazi kubwa/ bale bamenuisiers beko: njo kutusaidia: si: bengine hatukufunda menuiserie:
S: mm/
O: banakuwa kutusaidia kutengeneza mameubles/
14. Mm. Fine. I think, as far as the shop is concerned, there is still a little left to talk about tools but I already did this with Léon.
O: Mm.
S: Let’s go outside for a while.
O: Mm.
S: Let’s talk a little about people and matters...[interrupt recording, go outside] One thing I still want to talk about – watch the nail...19
O: Oh, that’s why I sit down (carefully) like this. [chuckles]
S: Yes, but you will rip your pants.
O: Oh, that’s nothing.
S: And an elegant (pair of pants), too.
O: Oh, never mind.
S: So, what I am saying is that there are different kinds of work. Now, how do the carvers see the carpenters, and how do the carpenters see you?
O: How do we see the carpenters, right? We look at them as helpers, and they see us as their helpers.
S: However, the most important thing is carving, right?
S: Mm.
O: Right?
S: In this shop.
O: In this shop of ours the (important) work is carving. We have the carpenters to produce furniture. That means, well, that they are a like our helpers, they help us.
S: Mm.
O: That’s why we have them.
S: Don’t you sometimes have disagreements ...?
O: Ah, no. We all see (things) the same way.
S: For instance, the carvers may pride themselves...
O: Ah, no. There is no arrogance, no way.
S: No?
O: We work with them on equal terms. But (that does not mean that) there is no trouble, right? There can be trouble. Sometimes it happens that the carpenters think the (carvers) are favorised.
S: Mm.
O: (That they get) special treatment. There is always some trouble. Even in a household, a little trouble is always there.
S: Mm.
O: Yes. But the important work here is the carving. That’s the important work. The carpenters help us. Some of us have not learned carpentry.
S: Mm.
O: They are there to help us produce furniture.
15. S: na sculpture inaachana namna gani na kazi ingine? enfin: bantu banafanya kazi ya mingi mingi tu/ sawa vile mu Gécamines banafanya kazi ya: ya industrie: aah: bengine banafanya kazi ya: ya: ya nini? ya: ya cordonnier: ya: ya makazi yote/ sasa wee mu: mu mawazo yako unawaza namna gani? unaona hii métier yako namna gani?
O: métier: sculpture minaiona: eh? iko kazi un peu difficile: haina sawa vile kazi: na sawasawa bacordonniers: banani eh? maneno sculpture unapashwa kuweka na akili mu kichwa/
S: mm/
O: par example banakupatia panneau moya bapersonnages: eh? bantu/ kusculpter pale scène moya/ banamuke beko banacheza: mutu eko anawaka/ et puis: akili yako: unaweka pale ni yulu asema bon: kama minafanya muntu iko anacheza: anapashwa kuwa na position namna gani: anapashwa kuwa basi: anasimama namna gani/ ni wee unatumika mu kichwa yako: unatafuta sense ya kupata comme ça: dessin itoke muzuri zaidi/
S: mm/
O: mais cordonnier hii maana yake: basi kazi siyue: saa ingine: naona sawa haina na nguvu sawa vile sculpture na makazi ingine na ingine/
S: na juu ya kazi: mara ingine juu ya kazi ya nani: ya mu société:
O: mm/
S: inapita hii kazi? sawa:
O: mais mu société: au point de vue: sawa: je dis unaniposer question ni mu atélier hii yetu ou bien?
S: non non non:
O: juu ya kazi tu: eh? kazi: sculpture?
S: non non/ kasi basi/ enfin: sawa vile unaona: mwee munafanya kazi humu mu atélier/bantu bengine banatumika kule: ah: inaachana namna gani? ni: beko na:
O: eh: sasa:
S: ba: ba: mara ingine beko na maatéliers ya bantu mingi mingi tu/
O: d'accord bale beko mingi/ au point de vue sawasawa huku kwetu: tunaona sawa bale bengine banatumika ma: chapu ingine:
S: mm/
O: beko na plus na liberté: inapita huku kwetu/
S: liberté inapita humu?
O: aah/ bo beko na liberté: shee hatuna na liberté sana: maneno...
S: wee hamu: hamuna na liberté?
O: ts: parfois saa ingine uko obligé dimanche unatumika huku/
S: mm/
O: samedi: siku ya repos: maweekend mule: benzako anajireposer na wee uko huku: unatumika/
S: sababu gani unafanya?
O: unapashwa kutumika vile saa ingine bo na commande ya bintu ya bantu kwenda...
S: oui mais sababu gani unafanya?
O: unafanya saa ingine unatumika heures supplementaires njo upate franga/ franga iko kiloko/
S: mm/
O: c'est ça/
S: ni kusema mara ingine uli: ulipenda: kazi ingine?
O: haina sawa kupenda kazi ingine/ kila mutu iko na besoin ya repos/
S: mm/
O: mais quand même: uko saa ingine uko obligé: hata patron anakuambia mon cher: kesho unapashwa kutumika/ dimanche yote: ni par example hii dimanche: wee utumike kitu inakwenda lundi/
S: mm/
O: na bangine: sawasawa makazi ingine: habaki obligé kutumika samedi na dimanche: batatoka tu/ mais si tuko saa ingine dimanche utakuya humu na tutaisha tunatumika/ tuko obligés si bote/ sababu ni kazi inakwenda lundi/
S: oui: sawa: njo: si njo désavantage: mais avantage ya humu?
O: avantage ya humu...
S: ya kupita kule/
O: njo kusema avantage ya humu: tunafurahi: maneno kama unaisha kuyua kazi ya humu eh? ukipata moyen: ukipata fond yako: unapata maoutillages yako: bintu yako: bintu sawa madéfonceuses: unatumika humu mwenyewe: unaenea kugagner franga mingi sana eh? njo avantage ya humu basi/ tunayua kazi inaenda: patron vile anatuonyesha kazi/ au point de vue tunaisha kucomparer sawa: tunaisha kuona basculpteurs bangine eh? basculpteurs je dis ba mameubles: hapana haba bamankisi: nini eh?
S: mm/
O: wa mameubles sawa humu eh? vraiment patron eko anatuonyesha kazi iko bien/
S: mm/
O: anatufundisha kazi très bien/ hata ukitoka tu hapa unaenda kutumika fasi ingine: c'est vrais: batakuapprécier sana/ unaisha kuona basculpteurs bamingimingi: beko banafanya macités tu mabitu tuabo tunini mais: façon patron anatuonyesha kazi c'est très bien/
S: eh oui/
O: unaenda kutumika fasi ingine: kama tuko na moyen eh? wa kupata fond yako unauza maoutillages yako: utagagner tu bien bien/ kabisa/
15. S: And what makes carving different from other work? What I mean is, people to all kinds of work. In the Gécamines (mining company) they to industrial work. Others do the work of, say, a shoemaker, all those kinds of work. Now, how do you think about this? How do you see your profession?
O: (My) profession, how I see carving, right? It is a somewhat difficult kind of work unlike the one shoemakers or whoever do, right? Because as a carver you must be intelligent.
S: Mm.
O: For example, they give you a panel with figures to work on, right? Human (figures). (You are asked) to carve a scene (on that panel): Women are dancing, one person is standing still. So then (you need) your brains to put this on (that panel). If I do a person who is dancing, you tell yourself, what kind of posture must he have, how must he stand up. You yourself work it out in your head, you figure it out so that the design comes out perfectly.
S: Mm.
O: Whereas a shoemaker, I don’t really know how he works. In my view, his work is not as difficult as carving and lots of other kinds of work.
S: What about work, for instance, the kind that one does for a company?
O: For a company? In what sense? What I am saying is are you asking me about our shop or else?
S: No, no, no.
O: About the work of carving, right?
S: No, no. Just any kind of work. You are working here in this shop, others work elsewhere. How does it differ? They have...
O: Well, now.
S: There are shops where there are lot of people (working).
O: Agreed, there are many compared to our place. The way we see it, the many people who work in other shops...
S: Mm.
O: ...they have more freedom, more than here in our place.
S: There is more freedom than here?
O: Yes, they have freedom, we don’t because...
S: You don’t have freedom?
O: Well, in this place, sometimes you may have to work on a Sunday.
S: Mm.
O: Or on a Saturday, a day of rest, during weekends. Your friends take a rest and you are here, working.,
S: Why do you do that?
O: Sometimes you must work because there is an order people have placed that must go out...
S: Yes, but why do you do that?
O: Sometimes you work extra hours in order to make money. The pay is low.
S: Mm.
O: That’s what is.
S: Does this mean that sometime you would like to do other work?
O: It’s not about doing other work but a person needs rest.
S: Mm.
O: Nevertheless, sometimes you are obliged (to work). The boss may tell you: My dear man, tomorrow you have to work. The whole Sunday – for instance this Sunday you work on a piece so that it can go out on Monday.
S: Mm.
O: If others who do other kind of work were made to work on a Sunday they would just leave. But with us it happens that you come here on a Sunday and we work so that we can finish (a piece). All of us are obliged (to do that) because there is work that goes out on Monday.
S: Yes. That’s the disadvantage but what is the advantage in this place?
O: The advantage here...
S: Compared to elsewhere.
O: The advantage here is that we enjoy it because once you know the work here, right? If you have what it takes, your basic skills, your equipment, things like the rough planes, you work on you own here and you get to earn very good money, right? That is the advantage of this place. We know how the work goes, the boss shows it to us. We have seen other carvers and made comparisons, right? I am talking of carvers that work on furniture, not those who make statues20, or what not, right?
S: Mm.
O: (So I am talking about carvers) who work on furniture, right. The boss really shows us the work.
S: Mm.
O: He gives us excellent training. Even if you should leave here and go to work elsewhere you will be much appreciated. You have seen lots of carvers who make their
little things in the townships, (compared to them,) the training we get from our boss is excellent.
S: Yes.
O: You go to work elsewhere – if you manage to get some capital you buy your equipment and you are going to earn very good money.
16. S: sasa wee ulianza humu mu soixante: soixante...
O: quatre/
S: quatre: c'est ca/
O: au mois de mars/
S: oui/ na: kutoka hii wakati: mpaka sasa: uliona sawa vile kazi yako ilichanger? sawa patron anachanger: alichanger namna yake ya kutumika: ao ilibakia paka: namna moya?
O: no: minaona tu: kazi yake: eh? basi au point de vue kazi/ je ne dis pas salaire/ non eh?
S: non non/ non non/
O: kazi: unaona tu eh? tuko na avancement/ hata hapa sasa: unaona saa ingine patron ananipa dessin yake ya zamani: naangaria: iko tu changé/ maneno unaona saa ya sasa anakuwa na amélioration mu kazi/ hata nikiona...
S: amélioration namna gani?
O: basi/ njo kusema: anaisha kuchanger eh? niko nakwenda: naongozeka basi kutumika: mutu anaenea kutumika mbele basi: nikiona wa zamani eh? par example ile meuble anafanyaka zamani mu soixante: je dis basi mu soixante cinq: soixante six/ naiona sasa: kama anaangaria anaanza kuona sasa muko makosa ingine/
S: mm/
O: mu tu mukono ya: huyu mukono alifanyaka mubaya/ huyu hivi/
S: mm/
O: njo pale minaona: kumbe niko naavancer ku kazi/
S: mm/ wee mara ingine munafanya madessins yako?
O: dessin yangu? de temps en temps oui nafanyaka: nakuwa naessayer/ mais sina wakati/
S: mm/
O: sina wakati/ nalikuwa napimaka saa moya kwanza kutumika kiloko/ mi mwenyewe tubintu yangu nauzisha mais: patron alionaka: alinifokea/ maneno hapa tuko tunatumika: tuko tunatumika ni style ya patron/
S: style ya patron/
O: ni style ya patron/ et puis alinifokea asema non: dis: unaona sasa unaanza kuuzisha na style yangu/ ...?... alikataza kutumika/ nilianza kutumika kiloko: nilifanya tu madessins twangu: kiloko: nauzisha: napata franga kiloko/ mais alinifokeaka/ ile saa tunangaliki mu zone Kamalondo/ si unayua njo mule anaanza kutumikiaka/ alinifokea nikastopper/ et puis: eko rafiki yake ya mukubwa yangu: alikomea pamoya: balikuwa mu masomo mu "Bustout"/
S: kumbe patron ni rafiki ya mukubwa yako?
O: aah: banayuana très bien/
S: ahah/
O: hata na mi aliniona sawa niko katoto/
S: aah/
O: aah/ alifoka...?...tena madifficultés non:
S: mm/
O: ni kazi anaanza comme ça sidonner macomplications pour rien/
S: mm/
O: ...?...continuer travail paka kwake/
16. S: Now, you started here in sixty, sixty...
O: Four.
S: Four, that’s it.
O: In March.
S: Yes. And between that time and the present did you see that your work has changed?
For instance, the boss may have changed in the way he works, or has it remained the same?
O: Oh, what I see is – we are talking about his work, or about work in general, not about wages, right?
S: No, no. No, no.
O: Looking at the work only, we have made progress. You see, when it happens that the boss gives me one of his old designs, I look at it (and can see that) he has changed. Nowadays you see that there has been improvement in his work. Even if you were to see...
S: Improvement, in what sense?
O: Well, what I am saying is that he has changed, right? I make progress, I improve my work. A person develops as I can see when I look at what he did before, long ago, right? For example, take the furniture he used to make in the past, in the sixties, around sixty-five, sixty-six, I see that, when he looks at it now, he finds certain faults.
S: Mm.
O: (Like) on the arm of (a figure), this arm he did badly. Or (look) how that one turned out.
S: Mm.
O: That is where I see that I get better with my work.
S: Mm. Do you sometimes make your own designs?
O: My own designs? Now and then, yes, I make them, I keep trying. But I don’t have time.
S: Mm.
O: I don’t have time. Once21 I tried it and worked a bit (with the idea) that I would sell the little things I did on my own. But the boss saw this and told me off because when we work in this place we work in his style.
S: The boss’s style.
O: It is the boss’s style. So then he told me off saying: No, look here, now you begin to sell (things) in my style. ...?.... he told me not to work (on my own). I had begun to work a little, making small pieces from my own designs. I sold them and made a little money. But he told me off. At that time we (had the shop) in Kamalondo township. You know that this is where he started out. He told me off and I stopped. After all, he is friends with my elder brother. They grew up together and went to school together at “Bustout.”22
S: So the boss is a friend of you older brother’s?
O: Yes, they know each other quite well.
S: I see.
O: He saw me when I was a little child.
S: Yes.
O: Yes. So he told me off...?... I did not want to make things more difficult.
S: Mm.
O: If he begins like that I am not going to make things complicated for nothing
S: Mm.
O: ...?... so I just went on working at his place.
17. S: tulifanya fiche yako?
O: fiche?
S: sawa vile nilifanya na: na bengine/ sasa nilisahabu/
O: ah: si:
S: non non/ non non/ bado/
O: si bado kufanya: bado/
S: oui/ ah kumbe nitauliza hii maulizo/
O: eeh/
S: tuliisha kusumbulia mais:
O: eeh/
S: alafu: juu ya fasi: pa fasi ya kuandika: eh?
O: eeh/
S: sasa: hii maulizo: ya mwanzo: ah bon/ uli: ulizaliwa mwaka gani?
O: nilizaliwa mu quarante trois mu le vingt huit décembre/
S: quarante trois?
O: mm/
S: wapi?
O: eh: Kalemie/
S: Kalemie/ ...?...
O: paka vile nilikuambia asema baba alimaliza kazi yake ya:
S: ya...
O: mu Force Publique mu: ku Kalemie/
S: ah: ni kumbe mukubwa yako alikomea pamoya na...
O: na Kanuto/ banayuana sana: balikuwa banaenda mu masomo/
S: ah bon/
O: eeh/
S: na kiisha kutoka kule: eeh: ulifwata/ sasa uko na bibi na batoto...
O: niko na batoto bawili/
S: ...?... oui oui/ na: ah: ulifwata masomo: ya mu mwanzo: ulifwata masomo gani? ya?
O: mbele nalianza école primaire comme d'habitude humu mwetu eh?
S: oui oui/
O: école primaire: minamaliza six ans primaire ile: naingia mu: nani: nalitafuta kwenda ku: nalitafuta continuer école moyenne mais: nani: mukubwa yangu mwenvewe: rafiki yake ya patron: alisema non: haukuwa sawa ku masomo ya ucommis ya u: ya mabureaux: haunafanya/ minaenda kutafuta kazi moya/
S: mm/
O: na puis nalitafuta kuwa mécanicien: nikaona niko na mukubwa yangu siyue nalikuelezea ya bantu ya ku Difco: mécanicien: asema bon: comme ça nitakamata menuiserie/ nikafanya deux ans ya menuisier/ artisanale paka ku Kalemie/
S: paka ku Kalemie?
O: paka ku Kalemie/
S: ya école gani?
O: école...
S: école artisanale?
O: artisanale oui:
S: oui oui/
O: ni ya bafrères: bafrères wa ...?...: Frère Dostaker quelque: Dostaker nazani ya hivi: bamissionaires baBelges/
S: baBelges/ mm/
O: nikamaliza pale: njo nikakuya huku/ na nikaessayer kufwata masomo ingine: ça ne va pas/
S: na kule ku masomo ulifanya nini? sculpture ao menuiserie? paka menuisierie?
S: paka menuiserie/
O: paka menuiserie: eh/ nilimaliza: niko na certificat yangu ya deux ans artisanale/ tuna: haina professionnelle: iko artisanale/
S: oui oui/
17. Did we do your file?
O: File?
S: Like the ones I did with the others.23 I forgot (whether I have yours).
O: Ah, I don’t... S: No, no. No, no. Not yet.
O: We haven’t done it yet.
S: So then I am just going to ask those questions.
O: Alright.
S: We have talked but (let’s go through the questions) now.
O: Yes.
S: Fine, now to the first question. What year were you born?
O: I was born in forty-three, on December 28.
S: Forty-three?
O: Mm.
S: Where?
O: Well, in Kalemie.
S: Kalemie. ...?...
O: It was just as I told you. Father finished his work with...
S: With...
O: In the Force Publique in Kalemie.
S: Ah, that’s why your older brother grew up together with...
O: ...with Kanuto.24 They know each other very well, they went to school together.
S: Ah, fine.
O: Yes.
S: And when you left there you followed...25 Now you have a wife and children.
O: I have two children.
S: ...?... Yes, yes. And, let’s see, you went to school. What was the school you attended first?
O: First I began with elementary school as is customary in our country, right?
S: Yes, yes.
O: Elementary school. I finished six years elementary and then I tried continue and get into middle school but it was my older brother, the one who friends with the boss, who said no, you are not going to a school for clerical work in some offices, no way. So I went to look for some work.
S: Mm.
O: I wanted to be a mechanic. But than I realized that an elder brother of mine – I don’t know whether I told you this –was employed as a mechanic at Difco.26
So I told myself, alright, I’ll take up carpentry. Then I did two years to become a carpenter, at a trade school, still in Kalemie.
S: Still in Kalemie?
O: Still in Kalemie.
S: What kind of school (was that)?
O: A school....
S: A trade school?
O: It was run by School Brothers, the Brothers of ...?... There was a Brother Dostaker, I think it was Dostaker. (They were) Belgian missionaries
S: Belgians, mm.
O: I finished there and then I came here. I tried to go to another school but that did not work out.
S: And what did you do at that school there? Carving or carpentry? Only carpentry?
O: Only carpentry, yes. I finished and have my certificate of two years trade school.
It was not a professional school, just a trade school.
S: Yes, yes.
18. O: nikakuya huku: nikafika huku: nikatafuta kufwata masomo ingine nikaessayer: nakutumika: mais ça ne va pas/ ça n'a pas tenu/ nani: minasikia bale sawa beko banadonner macours ya sculpture ku Académie des Beaux Arts/
S: mm/
O: na bonne chance: yee patron njo alikuwa kule ile saa: iko mwalimu/ nikaenda kujiandisha nikafika mu deuxième trimestre: premier trimestre nalikuwa naisha kupasser/ na bakaniaccepter na mukubwa akafanya nguvu: niingie mu masomo/ puis nalikuwa très bien ku dessin: nikaanza kuendelea maneno ile saa kulikuwa paka mamodellages: tunafanya sculpture kiloko mu maplâtres: ile munaisha kuona mule: siyue unayua ile maplâtres?
S: oui oui/ oui oui/
O: tunafanyafanya paka vile/
S: mm/
O: nafika mu mwisho ya mwaka: c'est fini: nikaidemander kwenda ku vacances: ku Kalemie/ ni ile saa tulikwenda na avions ile sawa mavieux/ hakukuwa facile/ surtout ...?...kufika kule: saa ya kurentrer: huku baONU balifanya fuyo: hakukuwa moyen ya kuatterrir tena hapa/ tunakuwa obligés: tunarudia tena paka ku Kalemie/ tunafanya wee: paka mu décembre soixante trois njo nikapata moyen ya kuya sasa huku/
S: mm/
O: nikapata moyen: nikakuya: bon nafika huku bananiambia asema non: unapashwa ku nani: kurecommencer tena mu première année/ minasema non: c'est pas du tout: nitarecommencer première année? njo ule saa nalikuelezaka yee bo banawaka mu deuxième année: mu troisième année: non: benzangu banakuwa presque kumaliza: mi njo nirecommencer mu première année? et puis sculpture nalifanya: c'est vrai nalikuwa nayua zaidi/ mais sikuwa fameux mu ma: manani: mabranches ingine: mais sculpture nalikuwa nayua/ bon nikamudemander patron: patron asema non: vile unapenda vile tutatumika pamoya/ utaanza même temps: unatumika même temps niko nakufundisha/
S: ah bon/
O: ah: njo anaanza kunifundisha/
18. O: Once I was here (in Lubumbashi) I wanted to enroll in another school, I tried hard but it did not work out. It did not last. I heard that courses in carving were given at the Academy of Fine Arts.
S: Mm.
O: And luck would have it that the boss27 was a teacher there at that time. When I went to register (it turned out) I arrived during the second semester, the first one I had missed. So they admitted me, the boss did a lot to get me into school. I was quite good in design and I began to make progress. At that time it was just modeling, we did a few plaster figurines (like the ones) you see there. You know those plaster pieces, don’t you?
S: Yes, yes. Yes, yes.
O: That’s what we did all the time.
S: Mm.
O: When I got to the end of the year and the course work was over I asked permission to go to Kalemie on vacation. At that time we travelled on those old planes, it was not easy. Especially ...?... when it was time to get back here the UN troops had started trouble and in was impossible to land. We were forced to return to Kalemie. We waited for a long time, only in December sixty three I was able to come back here.
S: Mm.
O: So I found a way, came back here, and was told that I had to start again with the first year. I told myself, no, no way. I should start the first year again? So then I informed myself among the second- and third-year students. No, my (former) fellow students were almost finished and I you should start over in the first year? Furthermore, to tell the truth, I was very good in carving I did not do famously in the other subjects. I but carving I knew. Fine, I consulted the boss and he said no, (you are not going to do this). If you’d like to we are going to work together. You are going to start working and at the same time I’ll teach you.
S: I see.
O: Yes. That was when he began to teach me.
19. S: na ulibakia humu pa: kutoka ile fa...
O: ah sikuisha: siyatoka: siyatumika fasi ingine/ niko paka humu/
S: na mu: mu avenir una: unaona namna gani? utaendelea vilevile?
O: avenir? ah: iko madifficultés madifficultés kiloko/ unaona si bantu beusi: unazala mutoto: hakuna kintu unaweka: eh? eeh? et puis: na saa mutoto anakomea apate franga: et puis mutoto ule beko banamuserrer na paka ile kiloko uko unapata unaanza kudonner ku badada: ku banini/ sasa siyue tuko na batoto wetu bawili habana na babwana beko hivi: chaque fois nitamutuma mukanda/ mais: quand même: niko naiproposer: si Mungu ananisaidia: ah: naessayer kuweka likuta moya moya: niformer: nipate: nipate pata kachapu kaloko: kwa kupata hata quinze makuta par jour: [chuckles]
S: mm/
O: niavancer/
S: mm/
O: njo vile napenda/ mais naliisha kusumbulia na bakubwa yangu: kwa Kolwezi: baliniambia asema...
S: ah: njo mukubwa yako kule ku...
O: ah: ku Banque ya Kolwezi iko anatumikiaka/
S: oui c'est ça/ mm/
O: sasa: kama tunakuona ça va: tutakusaidiaka/
S: mm/
O: mais kintu kinaniembêter: maneno ...?... kaloko ya patron/
S: mm/
O: siwezi kufanya vile bintu: kama ni wa: si unaona nakuwa concurrent wa patron/
S: oui/
O: tuko tunakuwa na madifficultés/ tena minatafuta demarches pole pole: nipate hata nyumba moya kulouer mu cité: nitafanya kaétabli kaloko: naanza kutumika pole pole/ sawa natoka quatre heures: nakwenda kule natumika kiloko/
S: c’est ça/
O: comme ça pole pole...
S: sawa vile bengine banataka...
O: aah: bengine vile: eeh/ njo vile nalikuwa kuproposer/
S: mm/
O: mais aussi longtemps niko huku: siwezi kufanya kintu ingine ya bumbafu/ [laughs]
19. S: And you stayed here. About leaving this place....
O: Ah, so far I never left, a have not worked anywhere else, only here.
S: And in the future, how do you see things? Are you going to get ahead?
O: The future? Ah, there are difficulties, a few difficulties. You see, we black people, once you have a child you can’t put anything on the side, right? You understand? And then, when the child has grown up to earn money, there are demands on him and from the little you earn you are going to give to your sisters and (God knows) who. I don’t know, we have those two children who don’t have husbands, that’s how they are. Every time I write him a letter.28 Nevertheless, if God helps me, I have a plan. I’ll try to save a little here and there29 so that that I could get a little shop and earn at least fifteen Makuta a day. [chuckles]
S: Mm.
O: So that I could get ahead.
S: Mm.
O: That’s how I would like it. But I talked (about that) with the family of my older brother in Kolwezi. They told me that...
S: Ah, your older brother there in...
O: Yes, yes the one who works at the Bank in Kolwezi.
S: Yes, right. Mm.30
O: (They said) if we see that this works out we are going to help you.
S: Mm.
O: But there is something that bothers me, it has to do ...?... a little with my boss.
S: Mm.
O: I cannot really do this. You see, it would amount to my becoming the boss’s competitor.
S: Yes.
O: We would have problems. Still I am going pursue this slowly, see that I find a house for rent in a township, Then I’ll set up a little work bench and slowly begin to work. For instance, when I get off (here) at four o’clock I go there and work a little.
S: That’s it.
O: That way, little by little...
S: Like the others would like it...
O: Yes, the way the others (would like it). That is what I proposed.
S: Mm.
O: But as long as I am here, I cannot afford to do something stupid. [laughs]
20. S: c'est ça/ [laughs] c'est ça/ kumbe: ni hii ki: alafu ya: ya kwanza: unaona sawa hii kintu ya nguvu ya: ya zaidi: cha: cha kwanza hii...
O: kwanza kazi ya kazi...
S: ni: ni: ni:
O: kintu cha kwanza ya kazi...
S: ni makuta ao ni?
O: ni franga/ maneno: unapashwa kuwa na maoutillages/ et puis unapashwa kuuza mbao/
S: mm/
O: mm? sasa basculpteurs: bangine tunaona tunaona baamateurs haba ba mu cité/ sasa bo angaria: mambao banafanyaka naye: maneno twiko tunapenta ile macouleurs ya noire: mais au fond tuko tunakamata ile mambao inafaa qui coute cher utaona vile/ mbao unauza: kintu deux jours: bilulu binaanza kulya mbao/ ça c'est ne pas fameux: wee unafukuza client/ maneno unaanza kazi serieusement: unauzisha muntu kintu: anaikala naye yake mu nyumba: c'est vrai: unaona: ule naye ataenda kuelezea ungine: ungine anaona vile asema voilà ule type anafanya bitu muzuri/ nayee ataleta: comme ça unakuwa na ba: baclients ya mingi/ mais ukifanya bintu ya bumbafu maneno ya kupata franga: c'est zéro/
S: c'est zéro/
O: et puis: franga ya kupata maoutillages: sawasawa kucommander mu Bulaya: kufanya nini: hakuna maoutillages humu/ muko ya menuiserie/ mais ile ya menuiserie ile: hauwezi kutumika nayo muzuri: paka sculpture: njo iko muzuri/
S: hauna na namna ya: ya kuuza outils ya sculpture humu?
O: avant nalikuwaka na namna: mais: unaona paka nikaangaliki sawa kaambiance: nikaangaliki: siyakuwa na akili ya mutu mukubwa/ [laughs]
S: [laughs]
O: kulikuwa bwana moya alikuwa anauzisha maoutillages mais: minasahabu: nitauzaka plus tard/ yee basi alikuwa ku Académie: eh? alikuwa surveillant/ eko anapata moyen/ ya kupata maoutillages/ naliendaka sawa nitaanza kuleta maoutillages/ mais sasa hapa balimufukusha naye ku masomo maneno va kuuza yake ya maoutils/ eko mu Zambia: siyue/ mais quand même niko nafanya démarches pole pole/
S: pole pole/
O: kutakuwa batu bangine: ataanza kuniuzisha moya mbili tatu: avec le temps: nazani nitapata ingine/
S: mm/
O: mingi zaidi/
20. That’s it. [laughs] That’s how it is. What, as you see it, is the most difficult thing about starting (you own business).
O: To begin working...
S: It is ...
O: The first thing about work...
S: money, or else?
O: It’s money because you have to have your equipment. And then you must buy lumber. S: Mm.
O: Mm? There are carvers, some of those amateurs we see in the township – look at the wood they use. True, we put on dark varnish but basically we take the proper wood, which is expensive as you will see. With the lumber you (usually) buy bugs begin to chew up the wood after a day or two. That’s no good, you chase away the customer. When you begin working seriously you sell a person something that will last in his home. You see, what happens then is that this (customer) will tell another person, saying there is this guy who makes high-quality things. He, in turn, will bring (some one else) and like that you are going to have many customers. But if you produce stupid stuff just to make money, that is worthless
S: It’s worthless.
O: And then, (you need) money to get equipment that must be ordered in Europe or whatever is necessary (to get it because) it is not available locally. There is equipment for doing carpentry. But with the carpentry tools you cannot work properly. (What you need is) equipment for carving, that is fine.
S: You cannot buy tools for carving here?
O: Before,31 I could have (bought them) but, you see, I was still a little after the good life, I did not have the foresight of a grown-up. [laughs]
S: [laughs]
O: There was a European who sold equipment but I just forgot about it, (telling myself) I am going to buy that later. He was a supervisor at the Academy, you understand. He could get equipment. (Eventually) I was going to get my equipment together but by then they had fired him from the school for selling tools. I don’t know, he is now in Zambia. Still, I am slowly making preparations.
S: Slowly
O: There will be others who are going to sell me one, two, three (tools) and, with time, I think I’ll get others.
S: Mm.
O: A whole lot.
21. S: sasa kutoka hii...kumbe ulitumika kazi yako: ni kusema sawa dix ans/ mm? miaka:
O: eeh/
S: miaka kumi/
O: aah/
S: mm?
O: aah/
S: miaka kumi/ kama unaona sawa: bantu bengine: uliona namna gani bani: bali: baliendelea? kazi: sawa: hii wakati ulianza: ilikuwa kazi: kazi ya matata: mm? kazi ya indépendance: yote yote: eh? sasa: kutoka hii wakati: unaona kama bantu bana: banach: nani: banachanger? sawa banasema mu...
O: sawa banaendelea: eh? banaprogresser/
S: attitude: shee tunasema attitude eh?
O: eeh/
S: attitude yabo/ ni kusema namna: namna: hii namna banaangaria kazi/
O: kuangaria kazi hii yetu ou bien yabo?
S: non non: yenu/
O: yetu juu: bantu basi banaangaria kazi:
S: mm/
O: ou bien: ku: kufurahiwa kazi yetu?
S: mm/
O: ah beko banaangaria: basi banaona sawasawa kuko na progression eh? kuko bangine benye: sawasawa bengine mwenye tulikuwa nabo: eh? tuko nabo pamoya mais: quand meme bengine beko banaessayer kutumika bo benyewe: ça ne va pas/ mais si tuna progression/ si nalikuambia mbele: façon patron anatuonyesha kazi: anatuonyesha très bien/ chaque fois kuwa progression/ humu mwetu unatumika/
S: mm/
O: na kitu moya...
S: na: sawa mu: niliona kazi ingine: beko na makelele mingi ao na discipline kabisa: ah? habawezi kusema/ mm?
O: mu kazi?
S: mm/ sawa unaona namna gani?
O: juu ya humu? ah: humu quand même tunasemaka: eh? siyue hapa wee unakuya sasa: njo unaona sawa iko makelele/ avant kulikuwa makelele sana/ mais sasa kunakuwa changement/
S: ...?...
O: kuko saa ingine utasikia makelele kiloko eh? mais bantu banakuwa kutumika plus sérieusement: eh?
S: sawa: maneno: maneno mi nikoamo?
O: maneno wee ulikuwa hapa sasa eh? njo unaona sawa muko makelele kiloko/ mais zamani pale tuko tunaanza kazi eh? kulikuwa makelele kupita hapa sasa/ kulikuwa fuyo sana/ hata mi nalikuwaka: nalikuwa nalisemaka sana sana/
S: zamani: zamani gani?
O: mais: ma: masoixante quatre patron anaanza kazi: soixante cinq: soixante six: soixante sept:
S: mm/
O: puis jusqu'à soixante neuf nazania kulikuwa makelele sana mu atélier/
S: sasa pa: patron ali: patron alika: alikatala ao?
O: non/ eh? muntu mwenyewe anajisentir sawasawa minaanza kuwa muntu mukubwa/
S: mm/
O: si vile nalikuambia asema bamingi banakuwa bamarriés eh? banaanza kujisentir/ sasa par example mi/ bibi yangu iko paka karibu na batoto: eh? kama nafanya mablagues: ku chekacheka ovyo: bibi yangu anasikia tu: pour finir ataniona sawa bumbafu eh/ napashwa kuingia à deux / maneno unacheka kiloko: unasumbulia kiloko: ça va/ [laughs]
S: ni kusema humu: mwenu: kama muntu anakomea inafaa kama atakuwa na adhabu na heshima/
O: eh: inanikosea de temps en temps kuwa na heshima mais: entre nous tunaenea kublaguer bitu...
S: oui oui/ oui/
O: en dehors de ça: hakuna ya kufanyafanya vile wabumbafu/
S: sasa una: mi niliisha: niliisha kusikia kiloko alafu mi sina na wakati mingi mingi ya kupita saa yote:
O: mm/
S: sawa kama munasema munasema: munasema nini?
O: kusema?
S: kusumbu: kusumbulia/
O: ah tunaenda kusumbulia sawa bya par example humu mwetu kunakuwa bubishi: ha? discussion/
S: eeh/
O: sawa footbol/ sawa vile Englebert St. Eloi tunafika humu: ah: mon cher: balikuwina: hivi na hivi: ah dis: hivi hivi: munadiscuter/ et puis...
S: footbol?
O: ah footbol: ou bien sawa vile tulikwenda kukamata ver:
S: mm/
O: sawa: eh uliongoya na fauteuil: ah: ulifanya nini: munablaguer vile et puis c'est fini: unacontinuer kutumika/
S: mm/
O: paka vile/ njo mablagues inabakia/ mais bile bya sawasawa zamani tunakuwa tunapendaka saa ingine tunatafuta kukombana: kufanya nini: mais: biliisha kuisha/
21. S: So by now you have been doing your work, let’s say, for ten years. Mm?
O: Yes.
S: Ten years.
O: Right.
S: Mm.
O: Right.
S: Ten years.32 Looking at other people, did you observe that they made progress? At the time when you started the work situation was troubled, right? There was the business of Independence, all that, right? Now, in your view, have people changed since then? With regard to what they call...
O: That they moved forward, made progress, right?
S: ...[in French] attitude, we call it attitude, right?
O: Yes.
S: As far as their attitude is concerned, that is to say, the way they look at work.
O: Looking at work – (you mean) ours or theirs?
S: Mm.
O: Or (do you want to know whether) we enjoy our work?
S: Mm.
O: Do they see that that progress was made, right? Some of them are still with us but others tried to work on their own and that did not work out. But we made progress. Didn’t I tell you earlier about the way the boss shows us how to work and that he does this very well? There is always progress. Here in our place you (really) work.
S: Mm.
O: And there is one thing...
S: I have seen other work situation were people make a lot of noise or else where there is real discipline, right? They are not allowed to talk, mm?
O: At work?
S: Mm. How do you see this?
O: (You mean) in this place? Well, here we usually talk, right? I don’t know. You are new here and you may find that there is (always) a racket. There used to be a lot of this but now it changed.
S: ...?...
O: Sometimes you may feel that it is a bit noisy, right? But people are more serious about their work, right?
S: Perhaps this is because I am here?
O: Because now you are here you find that it is rather quiet here, right? But in the old days, when we began working there always was a racket, more than now. There was a lot of argument. Even I used to talk a lot.
S: In the old day, when was that?
O: Well, in sixty-four the boss began his work, in sixty-five, sixty-six, sixty-seven...
S: Mm.
O: Until sixty-nine, I think, things were quite noisy in the shop.
S: (But) then the boss put an end to it?
O: No. A person would feel this himself. I, for instance, began to act like a grown-up.
S: Mm.
O: As I told you, many are married now, right? They become (more) self-conscious. Take me as an example. My wife and the children live nearby, right? If I keep making jokes, laughing all the time about nothing, my wife will hear about that and in the end she will think I am a fool. I must behave with the two of us in mind.33 Laughing a little, chatting a little, that’s alright. [laughs]
S: In other word, here, in your country, a man will be grown-up when he conducts himself correctly34 and politely.
O: Yes, from time to time I lack politeness. Still, among ourselves we may joke about things...
S: Yes, yes, Yes,
O: Apart from that, we don’t keep on acting like fools.
S: By now I heard a little (of all that) but I don’t have much time to always to come by at all hours.
O: Mm.
S: So when you are off chatting, what do you talk about?
O: (You mean what we) say?
S: (What you) talk about.
O: Well, we go on chatting. For instance, we may have a disagreement here, right? A discussion.
O: Like about soccer. For example, we get here (on a day) when Englebert (played) St. Eloi.35 (You may say), well, my friend, they beat you, what do you say? You discuss things like that. And then...
S: Soccer?
O: Yes, soccer. Or we (talk about) how we went out drinking...
S: Mm.
O: ...and what did you do? Just sat in your easy-chair. You joke around like that and then it is back to work.
S: Mm.
O: That’s how it is, the joking goes on but what we liked to do in the old days when we sometimes looked for fights, what not, those things are over.
22. S: oui/ mara ingine wee unafundisha watoto?
O: ku: kublaguer?
S: non non: paka ku ba: ku kazi/ kufanya kazi/
O: batoto? bakingaliki/ wa kwanza iko na deux ans/
S: non non non: humu/ hii batoto banaanza: hii babijana/
O: ah bale banakuya?
S: oui/
O: oui kuiko bangine/
S: na mwee: na mwee: na bale bengine balifanya wakati mingi: wee muna...
O: sasa si: sasa si benyewe tulianza zamani: eh?
O: kunakuya nouveau moya: eh: wa sasa/ anakuya: patron anakuambia: dis Bernard: utamuonyesha huyu bwana kufanya hivi na hivi/ d'accord naanza kumonyesha/
S: mm/
O: hatuwezi: hatukatalake hata hata/
S: onyesha namna gani: onyesha ya kufanya ao...
O: unaenda kumuonyesha/ par example sawa banakuya huku tunapashwaka mbele unamuambia asema bon: wende kule ku bamemusiers bakupreparer lubao moya: eh? utaenda kufanyapo dessin/ mbele tunaanza tu tumadessins twa mu mbao sawasawa tu kuchimbula:
S: mm/
O: eh? tumadessins tu: sasa tumadessins géometriques/ kufanya sawa karonde: anaichimbula ikawa propre hivi: maneno ku mabout iwe ku masense ya mbao: eh?
S: mm/
O: ku mafibres ya mbao/
S: mm/
O: kama anaisha ile: njo anaanza tu sawa madessins géometriques/ paka vile unaona/ unamuonyesha pole pole: unamuonyesha kuchongola ciseau: unamuonyesha/ maneno bamingi humu ni patron mwenyewe anabaformer eh? basi: tunasema ni jina yake/ atélier yake/ unamuonyesha kuchongola maciseaux pake vile pole pole: maburins/ aliisha kuweza ile manani: madessins géometriques: anaanza kufanya-fanya: mu mwisho anaanza kupima tu bantu/
patron mwenyewe maneno ya composition ya dessin ya bantu ni patron yee moya anafanyaka/
S: mm/
O: patron atadessiner kamuntu: iko anamuonyesha asema bon: chimbula mbele mu mpembeni: kupata fond/
S: c’est ça/
O: bas relief itoke/ acha mule mu mpembeni unaisha bon: anza kufanya mukulu: mukulu utatelemusha: angaria mikono iko ngambo huku: unapashwa kuiweka humu: kunje hivi/ paka ile pole pole/
S: c’est ça/
O: avec le temps: ku mwisho ya mwaka: anakuwa anayua kufanya/
S: mais kama: ile wakati unafundisha: kwa mufano:
O: mm/
S: unafundisha kijana: aah: ni paka kuonyesha hii namna atafanya ao kusemasema tu?
O: unapashwa...
S: unakuelezea?
O: unamuelezea: eh?
S: mm/
O: unamuelezea: mais unamuonyesha na kiloko/
S: mm/
O: na ya: sinon ukamuacha ya mwenzi: ataharibisha: eh/ unamuonyesha sawa angaria hapa: unapika: sawa hivi: unakamata ciseau hivi/ unatailler hivi/ et puis unamuacha nayee mwenye: comme ça: unamuona vile progression yake itakuya eh? unamuangaria: sema eh: unapiga hivi/ kama unatafuta kuonyesha asema non: hapana kufanya hivi/ upikie mu sense ya hivi: njo atafanya/ vile uko unamuonyesha kiloko/
S: mm/
O: mais d'habitude unamuonyesha vile kiloko: unaisha: unakwenda na wee kutumika maneno na uko mu kazi/ anatumika kiloko: kama ni fasi asikie na yee anakwenda kuita sawa: ah hapa mi sisikie: asema non: hapa ufanye hivi: anafanya/ paka vile munacontinuer/
S: cést ça/
O: et puis kama ni muntu iko na don ile eh? ya kazi ya sculpture mu eh: unamusaidia na anayua: atayua mambo/ mais kama ni mutu ça ne va pas: patron anamuambia bon: ça ne va pas monsieur: hausikie bintu/
22. S: Yes. Do you sometimes teach children.
O: To kid around?
S: No, no. At work, (how) to do the work.
O: Children? They are still small, the first one is two.
S: No, no. No, no, here in this place, those children who are at the beginning, those youngsters.36
O: Ah, the ones that come (looking for work).
S: Yes.
O: Yes, there are some (I teach).
S: And you and the others who are old-timers, do you....
O: (You mean) us, the ones who started long ago, right?
S: Yes.
O: There is one who is new. When he comes the boss tells you, say, Bernard, you’ll show this gentleman how to do this and that. Sure (I say and) begin to show him.
S: Mm.
O: We could never say no to that.
S: Showing in what way? Showing by doing, or...
O: You’re just going to show him. Take the ones who came here (looking for work). First you have to tell him to go the carpenters (and ask them) to prepare a panel, right? Then you are going to put the design on it. We begin with little patterns on a board, to be cut (into the wood).
S: Mm.
O: Right? Little patterns, and then geometrical designs, how to make a small round pattern, (showing him how) he cuts it so the it comes out clean, aiming (the tool) with the grain of the wood, right?
S: Mm.
O: Along the fibers of the wood.
S: When he has finished that he begins with geometric designs. You observe and slowly show him how to carve with a chisel. Many of those who work here were trained by the boss, right? What we say is the name is his, it is his shop.37 So you show (the apprentice) how to carve with chisels, slowly moving on to (working with) burins. Once he has mastered (carving) geometric patterns he keeps doing that and then he begins to try human figures. The boss himself is the one who composes a design with human figures.
S: Mm.
O: The boss may draw a small human figure and tells (the apprentice) fine, now you first carve along the outlines so that you get the ground...
S: That’s it.
O: ...on which the relief appears. When you are finished with the outlines you begin to do the foot, go down to the foot. Then you look where the arm comes, you have to put it here so that it bends like this, (doing) this slowly (step by step).
S: That’s it.
O: After a while, by the end of the year, (the apprentice) gets to the point where he knows how to do this.
S: But when you teach, for instance...
O: Mm.
S: ...when you teach a youngster, do you just show how he should do it or do you do a lot of talking?
O: You have to....
S: (What I mean is) do you give explanations?
O: You explain (things) to him, right?
S: Mm.
O: You explain things to him but you also give him little demonstrations.
S: Mm.
O: Otherwise, if you leave him to himself he will spoil (the work). Yes, you show him. For instance, (you may say) look here this is how you go, this is how you hold the chisel, this is how you cut. And then you leave him to himself and see what kind of progress he makes, right. You observe him, telling him this is how you handle (the tool). Sometimes you may want to tell him no, don’t do it like that, go in that direction, and he’ll do it. That is how you show him a little (by little).
S: Mm.
O: But usually, after you have shown him a little you leave it and get busy with your own work. He works for a while and when he comes to a point where he doesn’t know how to go on he will call (you), ah, here I don’t understand this. You tell him no, this is what you should do here, and he does it. That is how you go on.
S: That’s it.
O: If he is someone who has this gift for carving, well, you help him and he will know how it is done. If he doesn’t, the boss will tell him, alright, my man, this is not working out, you’re not getting it.
23. S: oui oui/ na: tulisahabu kiloko juu ya: ya mu fichier yako...
O: ya ma...?
S: ya hii fichier/
O: nini?
S: hii carte fiche/
O: ah fiche/...?...
S: oui/ hii lugha: hii lugha ya mwanzo/...
O: lugha nalianza kusema?
S: oui oui/ ya: kwanza: kwanza utoto/
O: kwanza utoto: nakuwa nasema mangala eh? njo kusema basi hata ba: mukubwa bote haba balisema mangala/ et puis: mu mugini yetu tulikwenda kuikala basi: sawa papa anamaliza mu kazi yake ya militaire: alipashwa kutoka kukala mu cité/ baba anasema bon: hivi minamalizia hapa: mitaikala hapa? sitatumika kazi ya bazungu: nini: akaanza kulima mashamba yake/ alikuwaka cultivateur/
S: baba yako?
O: ah: alikuwa analima: njo anaenea tu komesha si bote/
S: mm/
O: alikuwa cultivateur/ et puis mu mugini yetu tulikala batoto banasema Kiswahili/ mais: tulipashwa kuyua Kiswahili: na nalitoa niko kaloko/ si unayua mu quarante trois/ et puis après guerre ya quarante quarante cinq sijue unayua njo papa anamaliza pale militaire: anakuwa civil/
S: mm/
O: et puis tunatoka: niko kaloko/ na bale bantu ya mugini yetu: tulisumbulia Kiswahili/ mangala tunakuwa kusikia maneno saa ingine mu nyumba mama atakuambia: baba anakuambia mangala/
S: na yee: mama na baba bali: balikuwa na: na kabila ingine?
O: ah banaachana/
S: banaachana/
O: mama ni muNyari: muntu wa Kisangani/
S: muNyari/
O: Irumu/ ile unasikia kiLomotwa/
S: Irumu/
O: mais baba yangu ni Kazembe/ unayua kama ni...?...
S: Kazembe Luapula?
O: ah: kama ni mutu wa Luapula mais...
S: ya Zambie?
O: siyue: siyue/ mi siyafikaka humu unayua/ [laughs]
S: jina yake alikuwa nini?
O: Kazembe/
S: non non: non: eh: lugha yake/...?...
O: alikuwa sawa muBemba/
S: muBemba/
O: aah/
S: tshiBemba/
O: aah/
S: ni kusema hii fasi yake ya Raymond/
O: ah: basi/ Raymond anaisha kuniambia asema baba yako ni ndugu yetu/
S: mm/
O: mais: na mama yetu muntu wa mbali wa Kisangani: beko sawasawa ni badescendants ya baSudanais siyue/ [chuckles]
S: oui oui/
O: eh? muNyari ba Irumu bale/ beko paka près karibu na Uganda: na Sudan: eh?
S: ya: ile fa: ile inchi ya: ya baMbote/
O: aah [laughs] bon: njo kule/ na kiisha anaisha: njo tulikomea: basi: tuna: tunazobelea Kiswahili/
S: oui oui: swahili tu?
O: eeh/
S: kiisha uliingish: uliingia masomo/
O: ah: nalipashwa kufwata masomo: si bote/ papa yetu...
S:... mu lugha gani?
O: par example sawa hapa yetu...[overlapping] mu masomo tulikuwa tunasema Français kiloko: na ile sawa wakati ya zamani/ Français ilianza: munaanza conjugaison: unukuwa mu troisième année/
S: mm/
O: njo unaanza je tu il a: mu troisième année?
S: mm/
O: mais...
S: alafu sasa unasemaka Français?
O: kiloko/ kiloko eh? naisha comprendre très bien/ [laughs]
S: oui: na unasemaka/
O: nasema oui/ eh? yee: Français ya humu mwetu:
S: oui/
O: nasema ya kuenea/
S: oui/ na ingine...
O: et puis mangala nasema très bien/ par example sawa natembea bushiku bamilitaires bananiarrêter: nasemaka très bien/ na étranger anatoka muntu wa Kinshasa kama anakuya nasumbulia: nasema bien/ mais: niko na madoutes: maneno sina na habitude tena/...?...
S: ...kumbe hii lugha yako ya: ya: ya kweli ni: Swahili?
O: Swahili/ njo lugha yangu ya kweli kabisa/
S: hau: haukufunza lugha ingine ya: ya humu ya...
O: oh: minashindwa kabisa/
S: mm/
O: napima tshiBemba nashindwa basi/ nalikala humu kwa siku mingi/ depuis cinquante: cinquante huit/ eh? niko humu: kiBemba nashindwa: kaTshokwe nashindwa: hii malangues yote tunashindwa/ et puis natembeatembea: niko na: nikingaliki pale: nikingaliki siyaone: niko nafika ku Kasai: natembea: mais malangues yote nashindwa/
23. S: Yes, yes. There is a little thing we forgot (to talk about) so I can put it on your file.
O: On what?
S: It’s about this file?
O: What is this?
S: This file card.
O: Ah, the file. ...?...
S: Yes. About the language, your first language.
O: The language I spoke first?
S: Yes, yes. The one you spoke first as a child.
O: As I child I first spoke Lingala, right? All the older persons (in my family) spoke Lingala, right? And then we went to live in the village because when my father got out of the military he had to leave the army settlement. Father said fine, I am through here, am I going to stay in this place? I am not going to work for the Europeans or whatever. So he began to work his fields, he was a farmer.
S: Your father?
O: Yes, he farmed and that is how he raised all of us.
S: Mm.
O: He was a farmer. And then in our village where we lived the children spoke Swahili. So we had to know Swahili, which I didn’t at the time. I was very small, as you know, in forty-three. It was after the war of ‘40-‘45 that my father got out of the military and became a civilian.
S: Mm.
O: Then we left when I was still quite small. With the people in our village we talked in Swahili. We still understood Lingala because sometimes at home Mother or Father would tell you something in Lingala.
S: And did your father and mother belong to different tribes?
O: Yes, they do.
S: They do.
O: Mother is Nyari, from the Kisangani area.
S: Nyari.
O: (From the district of) Irumu where one understands the Lomotwa language.
S: Irumu.
O: Whereas my father is called Kazembe. Do you know that this is ...?...
S: (You mean like) Kazembe on the Luapula (river).
O: Well, perhaps he comes from the Luapula but...
S: From Zambia?
O: I don’t know, I don’t know. I haven’t been to that place, you know. [laughs]
S: What was his name?
O: Kazembe.
S: No, no. No, I meant his language. ...?...
O: He was something like a Bemba.
S: A Bemba.
O: Yes.
S: So Bemba was his language
O: Yes.
S: That means he came from the same region as Raymond.38
O: Yes, that’s it. Raymond once told me, your father is our relative.
S: Mm.
O: But our mother came from far away, up near Kisangani. They are something like descendants of Sudanese people, I don’t know.39 [chuckles]
S: Yes, yes.
O: Right? The Nyari of Irumu live close to Uganda and the Sudan, right?
S: That’s the country of the Mbuti (pygmies).
O: Indeed. [laughs]40 Alright, it’s up there. At any rate, later when we grew up we got used to Swahili.
S: Yes, yes. Only Swahili?
O: Yes.
S: When you went to a school...
O: I had to go to school, all of us did. Out father....
S: ... in what language was that?
O: In the case of our school [overlapping] we were speaking a little French, in those old days. By the time French (lessons) really began with conjugation (and the like) you were in third grade.
S: Mm.
O: That’s when you started, in third grade?
S: Mm.
O: However...
S: But now, do you speak French?
O: A little. Just a little, right? I understand it very well. [laughs]
S: Yes, and you do speak it.
O: I do, yes. The kind of French (we speak) here in our country.
S: Yes.
O: I speak enough (French) to get along.
S: Yes, and other (languages)...
O: Furthermore, I am quite fluent in Lingala. For instance, when I take a walk at night and the soldiers stop me I speak it with great ease. And when a stranger comes, a person from Kinshasa, I can converse with him without a problem. But sometimes I hesitate because I no longer have the practice. ...?...
S: So your real language is Swahili?
O: Swahili. That really is my language.
S: You did not learn another language from the region here...
O: Oh, I failed miserably.
S: Mm.
O: I tried Bemba but I just didn’t manage. I have been living here for a long time, since fifty-nine, right? (But) I did not manage to learn Bemba or Tshokwe, all those languages. I travelled a lot and stayed in places. For instance I went to the Kasai, but I failed to learn any languages.
24. S: bon: ah na sasa: kiloko inabakia tu/
O: mm/
S: ah: nili: nilitaka ku: kumuliza juu: namna gani unaona: Swahili ya humu inaachana ya Swahili ya: kule mwenu?
O: ah: huku lakini: eh: Kiswahili ya huku: ts: haina muzuri sana/
S: mais Swahi...
O: Kiswahili...
S: hii Swahili unasemaka na mi: sasa/
O: mm/
S: njo: Swahili yako ya mwenu ao...?...
O:...?... [overlapping] zamani nalikuwa na Kiswahili muzuri sana eh?
S: mm/
O: Kiswahili ya Kalemie/ maneno kule banasema Kiswahili muzuri sana/ zamani sana: maneno sasa unaona bantu banatembea sana mingi humu mwetu mu Zaire: eh?
S: mm/
O: zamani kulikuwa peuple ilikuwaka: basi: population ilikuwa Kalemie ilikuwa baTabwa:
S: oui/
O: baLuba kiloko: et puis bale benye ba: baHoloholo njo benye wa Kalemie eh?
S: oui/ oui oui/
O: baHoloholo/ njo benye wa Kalemie/ puis na baTabwa unayua banasema Kiswahili bien: njo kile kinakuwa/ mais: hapa sawa nalikuya humu nakawa: et puis na milieu niko nataembea benzangu bale ba Kiswahili eh? mwisho minaanza kufwata paka mule/ mais zamani tunakuwa nasema très bien/
S: unaona sawa hii Swahili unasemaka sasa: ni Swahili ya humu ya Lubumbashi sasa?
O: niko naona: mais: niko na maparties ingine natafuta kusema Kiswahili: mm: bora: eh?
S: oui/ na bantu bengine mara ingine banasema weee: unaona hii: Kazembe ana: anasemaka Swahili...
O: nabo bengine banasema sawa: saa ingine unasumbuliaka muzuri: mais saa ingine unafwata ki kya humu: kya humu mwetu/ mais mukubwa François ule wa Kolwezi yee akingaliki anagarder/ saa ingine iko anasema très bien couramment eh: kile Kiswahili bora/
S: kile Kiswahili/
O: eh: kile Kiswahili bora/
S: mm/
O: mais mi: naisha kuharibisha: naisha kuharibisha/
S: unawaza inaachana namna gani humu? humu ni: ni Swahili gani: ni...
O: ts: mais: humu kuko tu Kiswahili sawasawa kuko Kiswahili ya kiKasai: ya kiBemba: ya kiLamba: humu eh?
S: mm/ na bantu banateswa juu ya hii langue: enfin: habawezi kusema hii mawazo bana: banataka kusema?
O: beko banasema très bien eh? kila muntu anadépendre mu lugha anasemea eh?
S: mm/
O: kila muntu anadépendre mu lugha anasema/ saa ingine atasemea tu kile kyake kile: mais: kama unasikia unasikia: kama hausikie hausikie/ mais quand même: kuko madifficultés ya Kiswahili eh? kuko bangine banaenda kusemesha: muntu anashinda kusikia/
S: uko na mifano ya: ya sawa vile wee unaona Kiswahili typique ya humu?
O: Kiswahili typique ya humu? eh: mais: sawasawa zamani sawa tulikuwa mbele ya indépendance...?...nikangiliki kapetit: kulikuwa deux sortes ya Kiswahili eh? kulikuwa sawasawa baKasai balikuwa na kyabo eh? et puis baLamba na baBemba nabo balikuwa na kyabo/
S: mm/
O: kulikuwa sawa deux parties ya Kiswahili eh?
S: humu?
O: eeh/ basi: baKasai: baKasai balikuwa zamani bamingi humu eh?
S: mm/
O: balikuwa sawa na Kiswahili yabo/ et puis baLamba na baBemba: na baSanga: nao balikuwa sawa na Kiswahili yabo vile/
S: ili: iliachana namna gani? uko na mufano? utaweza ku: kunionyesha mufano?
O: oh: ça: par example ilikuwa mabus kuwa zamani: eh?
S: mm?
O: ile mabus ilikuwaka zamani: ile mabus ilikuwa zamani: eh: si balikuwa banaitaka chachacha: chachacha/
S: mm/
O: et puis baBemba na na baLamba bale banaitaka sawa kyakyakya eh? kyakyakya/
S: ah bon/
O: et puis baKasai bo balikuwa anaita mu yabo maSTK bo balikuwa na Kiswahili yabo chachacha: banaita bien sawasawa: ts: mu Kiswahili kile kya kwabo kya Kasai siyue muzuri/ mais baBemba na baLamba nabo balikamata tu...?...[short phrase probably in Bemba] kyakyakya: hivi na hivi eh?
S: [chuckles]
O: njo vile/ directement unayua asema huyu ni muBemba: huyu ni muLamba: huyu ni...
S: mara ingine banasema sasa kama hii Swahili ya: ya Gécamines inaachana na Swahili ingine/ njo vile?
O: maneno mi siyakuwa na habitude ya kuikala mu Gécamines eh?
S: mm/
O: siyakalaka/ fasi yote tu maGécamines yote: hata ku Kipushi siyakala: hata humu siyakala/
S: beko spécial bale bantu ya Gécamines?
O: non: maneno bantu ya Gécamines bamingi ni bale bantu balikuwa banababeba mu fasi ingine: banabaleta humu/ par example ku Kipushi: bamingi ni baRundi eh? ni baRundi: bantu ya mu Burundi/
S: c'est ça: c'est ça/
O: et puis banakuya na Kiswahili: beko na kyabo: kile: kiko tu sawasawa kinajicontredire/ c'est pourquoi banaanza kusema mu Gécamines muko na Kiswahili yabo/ maneno muko bantu bageni bamingi/
S: oui: oui oui oui/ c'est ça/ maneno mara: mara ingine banasema kama Swahili yabo inaachana ya: ya: ya Swahili...
O: vous avez raison/
S: mm?
O: sawasawa mama yangu alikomea mule: anasemaka Kiswahili ya namuna ingine/
S: mm/
O: eko humu miaka mingi humu mu province Shaba: sa...?...
S: anaikala humu: mama yako?
O: mama iko Kolwezi:
S: Kolwezi?
O: tulikuwa naye paka hapa: nafanya naye pendant un an et quelques: et deux mois nazani/ et puis mu décembre njo nilikuwa nikamupeleka kwa grand: Kolwezi/ iko kule kwa mama/ mama iko muzima: papa njo aliisha kufa/
24. S: Alright, there is just a little left (to ask).
O: Mm.
S: Yes, what I wanted to ask you, how does the Swahili here differ from the Swahili (spoken) in your home country.
O: Well, the local Swahili is not really very good.
S: But Swahi...
O: Kiswahili...41
S: (Take) the Swahili you are now speaking with me.
O: Mm.
S: Is that the Swahili you spoke back home or ...?...
O: ...?... [overlapping] In the old days my Swahili was very good, right?
S: Mm.
O: (It was) the Swahili of Kalemie. Because there they speak an excellent Swahili. That was the case especially in the more remote past. But now you see how people keep moving around here in our country, in Zaire, right?
S: Mm.
O: Long ago the population of (the region around) Kalemie was Tabwa.
S: Yes.
O: A few Luba and the Holoholo who were the owners of the land on which Kalemie was built (lit. who were the owners of Kalemie), right?
S: Yes. Yes, yes.
O: The Holoholo, they own the land in Kalemie. And about the Tabwa, you know that they speak Swahili well. That was the kind (spoken there). But then I came here and stayed. I move in a milieu where my friends speak (local) Swahili, right? So I finished adapting to this place. But in the old days we spoke (Swahili) very well..
S: So the way you see it, the Swahili you speak now is the one spoken here in Lubumbashi?
O: That’s how I see it. But there are situations (lit. parts) when I try to speak refined Swahili, right?
S: Yes. And people may say look at this fellow Kazembe, he (really) speaks Swahili...
O: There are some who say this. (What you do is) sometimes you talk well, at other times you adapt to the local variety. But my older brother François, the one who lives in Kolwezi, he still keeps it up. Sometimes he speaks refined Swahili very well and fluently.
S: That kind of Swahili.
O: Yes, the refined Swahili.
S: Mm.
O: But I already spoiled it. I already spoiled it.
S: What do think makes the local variety different? What kind of Swahili is (spoken) here, is it...
S: How shall I say? The Swahili here is influenced by Tshiluba, by Bemba, by Lamba, right?
S: Mm. And are people handicapped by this language? (What I mean), is it impossible for them really to express their thoughts, what the want to say?
O: They express themselves with great ease (lit. they speak very well). Everyone depends on the language he speaks, right?
S: Mm.
O: Everyone depends on the language he speaks. He may speak his own variety but if you understand you understand, if you don’t understand you don’t understand. Still there are problems with (speaking local Swahili), right? The way some people speak it, one my to be unable to understand (them).
S: Do you have examples for what you think is typical of local Swahili?
O: Typical of local Swahili? Well, long ago, before Independence ...?...when I was still a small child we had two kinds of Swahili, right? There were the people from Kasai who had theirs, right? And the Bemba and Lamba had theirs.
S: Mm.
O: There were two sorts of Swahili, right?
S: Here?
O: Yes. After all, in those days many people from Kasai lived here, right?
S: Mm.
O: They had their Swahili and the Lamba, Bemba, and Sanga also had their Swahili.
S: How were they different? Do you have an example? Could you give me an example?
O: Oh, about that, for instance there used to be those busses in the old days, right?
S: Mm.
O: Those old buses people used to call chachacha, chachacha.
S: Mm.
O: So the Bemba and Lamba would call them kyakyakya, right? Kyakyakya.
S: Ah, alright.
O: And the people from the Kasai called those STK (buses) chachacha in their Swahili. They called them correctly in the Swahili they have at home in the Kasai, I don’t really know. Whereas the Bemba and Lamba just took ...?... [short phrase probably in Bemba] kyakyakya, something like that, right?42
S: [chuckles]
O: That’s how it is. You know immediately this speaker is Bemba, that one is Lamba, another...
S: Nowadays it is sometimes said that the Swahili (spoken by the employees of ) the Gécamines (mining company) is different from other kinds. Is that so?
O: (I wouldn’t know) because I don’t usually stay in Gécamines settlements, right?
S: Mm.
O: Not for any length of time (lit. I don’t stay repeatedly). I don’t hang about in any of those Gécamines places, neither in Kipushi nor here (in Lubumbashi).
S: Is there something special about the people working for Gécamines?
O: Not really. The thing is, that the Gécamines recruited their people elsewhere and then moved them here. For instance in Kipushi, many are Rundi, people from Urundi.
S: That’s it. That’s it.
O: And they come with their kind of Swahili, so there is sort of a conflict between their variety (and the one spoken here). When they speak it in the Gécamines it is their Swahili. You have many foreigners there.
S: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. That’s it. That is why sometimes a Swahili is spoken that differs from...
O: You are right.
S: Mm?
O: Like my mother who grew up there (in Ituri province), she speaks another kind of Swahili.
S: Mm.
O: Now (she has lived for) many years in Shaba province, ...?...
S: So she lives here, your mother?
O: Mother is in Kolwezi.
S: Kolwezi?
O: She was here with us, we spent about a year together, a year and two months, I think it was. Then, in December, I took her to my older brother in Kolwezi. That is where he lives with Mother. Mother is alive, Father died.
25. S: jina yake ya: ya...
O: mama?
S: non non: ya: ya mukubwa yako kule/
O: eh: Kazembe Mubili/ si bote ni jina eh: famille Kazembe/
hata batoto tunazala bote Kazembe/
S: maneno ilikuwa jina yake ya...
O: jina ya baba eeh/
S: mm/
O: njo shi bote tuko baKazembe/
S: njo ina: inafaa: inaachana na tabia: non?
O: eh [laughs] basi tulifwata papa vile alifanya eh: alipenda batoto bote baKazembe/ sasa njo kuko Kazembe: sawasawa mi niko Kazembe: Tumbuluka: na ni jina ya baba/ maneno baba zamani alikuwaka Kazembe Bernard/ na mi alinipanga Kazembe Bernard/
S: mm/
O: bon/ sasa ya autenticité Tumbuluka: njo ile minabeba Tumbuluka/ et puis kuko Kazembe Mubili: njo ule nani: wa Kolwezi: et Kazembe Fundi ni dada eko Kalemie: eh: Kazembe Yalala na dada ingine iko Kalemie: et puis Kazembe: nani: Sengwe: Sengwe nani: mais jina ya bantu ya Kisangani: ya bamama njo balimupanga ile Sengwe/ eh...
S: kupanga jina/
O: Mujinga eh: balipanga na basi jina ya baba yake ya mama/
S: mm/
O: Mujinga maneno alizala na ile kitofu ile...
S: oui oui/ Mujinga/
O: inajunguluka hivi croisé: eh/
S: oui oui/
O: ah: Mujinga/ njo balimupanga: njo ule humu mu Katuba/ mais shee bote ni baKazembe/ hata batoto tunaanza kuzala sasa: paka Kazembe Kazembe Kazembe/
S: Kazembe/
O: sauf bale kama badada banazala...[tape running out]
25. S: What about the name...43
O: Mother’s?
S: No, (the name) of you older brother there (in Kolwezi).
O: Kazembe Mubili. We all have Kazembe as our family name, even our children, they all are called Kazembe.
S: Because this was the name of...
O: It was Father’s name, yes.
S: Mm.
O: Therefore we all are the Kazembes.
S: But that must be different from what is customary, no?
O: Well [laughs]. The point is, we followed Father, he liked all his children to be Kazembes. So it is Kazembe now. I am Kazembe Tumbuluka and that is Father’s name.44 Because, in the old days, Father used to be Kazembe Bernard and he arranged it for me (to be I am called) Kazembe Bernard.
S: Mm.
O: Alright, now, under the regime of authenticity, it is Tumbuluka, this is how I took the name Tumbuluka. And then there is Kazembe Mubili, the one in Kolwezi, and Kazembe Fundi, a sister who lives in Kalemie, and Kazembe Yalala, another sister in Kalemie, and then Kazembe Sengwe, which is a name from Kisangani. It was mother’s people who arrange for him (to be called) Sengwe. Yes...
S: “Arrange”45 a name.
O: (Another one is) Mujinga, that was given because it was the my mother’s father’s name.
S: Mm.
O: Mujinga, because he was born with the umbilical cord (around his neck)...
S: Yes, yes. Mujinga.
O: It was twisted around like this.
S: Yes, yes.
O: Yes, Mujinga, that’s how they called him. He is the one who lives here in Katuba township. But we all are Kazembes, even the children we get now, just Kazembe, Kazembe, Kazembe.
S: Kazembe.
O: Except when our sisters give birth... [tape running out]




1 Kazembe is carving what he calls kichwa, lit. the head, of the eye: the pupil.
2 We are off to a rocky start in this conversation. What I am told is quite clear but difficult to render in translation. For instance, Kazembe makes an important distinction when he switches from the French loan word histoire, a general term for story, to arisi, the local term for stories that are fables, parables, legends, and so forth.
3 The interjection eh?, translated as "right?", is a pervasive feature of Kazembe’s speech (and not of his alone). Like the negative phrase si caméléon? isn’t it a chameleon? (see an example in paragraph 1, many others follow), it is a discursive-rhetorical device whose function seems to be to maintain contact with the interlocutor, hence my equally frequent response "mm." Since the semantic value of the pair eh?/mm is close to nil (nothing is really asked, nothing answered) this poses a problem for translation. While the interjection could simply be left out without affecting the content/meaning of the exchange, not to represent it in this translation would have suppressed a stylistic feature, a kind of antiphonal call-and-response that is typical of story-telling and conversation in local Swahili.
4 In local Swahili this is the current term for chameleon, variants I heard were (ka)lufwilim(u). I am unable to trace its origin (I did not find it in Luba and Bemba dictionaries).
5 Throughout this conversation I use the French phrase c’est ça much like "yes" or "mm" as an interjection rather than emphatic affirmation (see also the preceding note).
6 There are many passages like this where Kazembe both tells and shows me what he does and how he does it. To translate indexical communication is notoriously difficult, certainly if the aim is to keep the translation as literal as possible. In some cases our exchange will require descriptive and explanatory commentary (occasionally given by Kazembe). The reader should supplement the text with images, keeping in mind that the work talked about here is the carving of a relief-panel: figures project from a flat background (Kazembe says muntu, human being, and fond, bottom).
7 The French terms menuisier and menuiserie Kazembe uses throughout this exchange mean carpenter and carpentry but the work referred to is furniture making. The owner, Chenge Kanuto, calls it ébénisterie, cabinet-making, of which carving and carpentry are parts.
8 As explained in note 6, Kazembe shows rather than explains what he does, but the gist of this passage is fairly clear: When carving wood, the tools used to shape the features that will stick out in a relief must be directed against the grain. This becomes trickier the closer the carver gets to the fine detail. If the tool is worked with the grain pieces larger than intended easily break off and this can ruin the entire panel (gluing such pieces back on would have been below the high standards of Chenge’s).
9 Kazembe lets me know that he overheard a similar conversation I had with his colleague Léon Makelele.
10 I take the verb form Kazembe uses, banakana, to be the local pronunciation of banaagana, derived from –agana, agree mutually.
11 The same term, mbao, is used for a single board and for boards put together to make a panel.
12 Kazembe calls it kibasa, a Luba term meaning bench, seat (Van Avermaet and Mbuya 1954:54).
13 "Plank" is my translation of lubao, lit. a big piece of wood. The prefix lu-, often used in local Swahili, comes from Luba where it has an "augmentative" meaning (Van Avermaet and Mbuya 1954:372).
14 I am unable to translate the phrase Kazembe uses here: aliungapo, from the verb –unga, to join, plus the demonstrative suffix –po, there. Literally, it would be "he joined here."
15 This exchange was caused by my failure to catch the meaning of the verb kuvimba right away. The entire passage about the carpenters’ work documents difficulties we had with his explaining and my understanding the explanations
16 In the usual dictionaries I could not find an English gloss for montants that seems to fit the context. Closest comes "posts," the upright parts (legs, corners, sides of panels) of furniture. For mortises and tenons I found an excellent entry in Wikipedia
17 I had "parts" in mind when I asked about parties. Kazembe seems to have taken this as a question for phases of the production.
18 Here, too, we have a slight linguistic problem. We had used the verb kupakala earlier. Now I stop to get the meaning more exactly. According to the Stanard dictionary, kupakala means "to apply, spread, smear on, any substance." Kazembe tells me that it is short for coloring, putting on penti, a local term derived from English (probably via Fanagalo, the work language used before it was replaced by Swahili).
19 As I remember it, we were sitting down outside on a pile of scrap lumber.
20 The term Kazembe uses is bamankisi, here carvers of nkisi (it could also mean "people involved with nkisi). In Luba and many other languages it signifies the sort of figurines or statuettes that used to be called "fetishes" (see Van Avermaet and Mbuya 1954:258-60 about the complex meaning of the word). Here the reference is to independent artists and to producers of "tribal" art.
21 Literally he says saa moya, for one hour, probably it was a slip. I wanted to say siku moya, one day, once.
22 This is what I hear on the recording; I have not been able to find information on that school (in Kalemie).
23 I had started to put basic information about each of the workers (age, place of origin, family situation, schooling, job history, etc.) on file cards and was checking whether Kazembe’s was among them.
24 Chenge Kanuto, his boss and owner of the shop.
25 I started with a question about school but interrupted myself, asking about his family situation.
26 Difco was a large car sales and repair company.
27 "Boss" has been my translation of patron; here Kazembe call him mukubwa, a term of respect for which I cannot find a single gloss in English.
28 It is difficult to make sense of this sentence. The verb form could also be translated as "I write her a letter." Kazembe begins to speak in general terms ("we black people") but then he gets to his own children and the problems he has getting them married. But why the singular addressee of the letter? From the following it is clear that he tells me how difficult family obligations make it to start one’s own business.
29 Lit. a likuta, singular of makuta, the smallest coin. Fifteen Makuta was about the price of a bottle of beer at the time.
30 I interrupted Kazembe because I realized that I had met his older brother in Kolwezi where he was a member of the Jamaa movement.
31 The French term avant, before, was often used without a qualification ("before what"?). In many contexts, especially when talk was about the availability or quality of equipment or the reliability of services, it meant "before Independence." Kazembe parodies this usage.
32 This is one of several exchanges in this conversation (and in many others) that looks rather meaningless in translation because it was performative rather than discursive. We did not "say" anything but kept the dialog in a kind of holding pattern until another question took shape.
33 Lit. Kazembe says "I must enter by twos" in the transcript.
34 That is how I understood the term adhabu when I used it.
35 The traditional rival teams in Lubumbashi, TP Mazembe and Lupopo, popularly know by the names they had in colonial times, Englebert and St. Eloi.
36 There may have been a genuine misunderstanding here, caused by my using watoto, lit. children, in the general sense of "young people" whereas Kazembe thought I meant his small children. More likely he was pulling my leg, giving me a demonstration of kidding around (kublaguer). Polysemy in local Swahili is a ready source for linguistic joking.
37 This sentence seems to interrupt his account of instructing a newcomer. I take it to be an aside; Kazembe remembers his own apprenticeship and tells me that he teaches by passing on what he learned from the master. Ownership of skills and styles was a topic that often came up in conversations with Lubumbashi artists.
38 Raymond Mwape, one of the carpenters, was a Bemba, born in the chiefdom of Kazembe. Kazembe was a legendary Lunda chief who established a "kingdom" east of the Lunda state among Bemba-speaking peoples. In colonial times it became part of Northern Rhodesia/Zambia.
39 Nyari is classified as a Sudanese rather than Bantu language. It is spoken in the Ituri province of the Congo.
40 Kazembe laughs in response to an unspoken insinuation on my part – he was the shortest person in Chenge’s shop.
41 I almost never use the appropriate prefix ki- with Swahili. Kazembe may have wanted to remind me of the correct form.
42 I had heard this piece of linguistic humor before. The underlying assumptions are, first, that "chachacha" is a "correct" onomatopoetic term, imitating the air brakes of the buses; second, the joke plays on the emblematic opposition between ki-/ tshi-, as in Kiluba vs. Tshiluba, the language of Luba-Katanga and Luba-Kasai respectively (Lamba and Sanga also are prefixed with ki-, Bemba can have either ki- or tshi-). Pronouncing the name as kyakyakya instead of chachacha marks a speaker as a little dim-witted; he doesn’t get it right and becomes an object of ridicule. There is a history of ethnic strife between Katangese and Kasaians behind this.
43 I used the possessive pronoun yake, which could be "his" or "hers".
44 This is a little confusing; as the sentence that follows shows Kazembe meant something like "and my Christian name is the same as his."
45 This is a gloss for the verb -panga Kazembe uses for name-giving. I was not familiar with this term and wanted him to clarify its meaning.


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