A blog post by Hannah Kay and Ine van de Voorde

It was 1971 when Ine's grandmother, her husband and her two children moved to Zaire. At this moment in time, Zaire was already for six years ruled by Mobutu who took over by means of a coup d’état. 

The reason for Ine's grandmother’s departure was the availability of a position as a teacher for my grandfather in a school in Lubuye, a small village near Kalemie.  

In this podcast, we will touch upon her experience in Zaire during the Mobutu era.

Reflection on interview

Interviewing Ine's grandmother was challenging. Not knowing what she would tell about her own family history, and above all, in what fashion made Ine quite nervous. For example, how does she look back at her own role as a white Belgian woman in Zaire? How would she describe this? An what vocabulary would she use?

This interview has allowed Ine to learn about where her own interests come from and what has shaped her during my growing up. Furthermore, as a result of the interview she can now understand what has driven her grandmother and grandfather, who passed away before she had the opportunity to meet him, to go live in Zaire. Also, how this experience has shaped their lives and perspectives.

I took up the task of editing, which meant we were able to provide the listener with a more objective view on the interview that Ine carried out with her grandmother. 

We want to thank Ine's grandmother and aunt, who helped her with setting up the online meeting and who shared the pictures with us, for the collaboration and the interesting insights in a part of their lives. 

Ine's grandmother - Kristien Waeyenberge, 2021:

"(..) dat ze dus die huizen als er een minister of gelijk kwam naar de dorpen, dat ze die huizen waar ze passeerden allemaal in brand staken want dat moesten huizen zijn met metalen platen in de plaats van riet, hetgene dat veel slechter is ginder tegen de warmte, om te tonen dat ze vooruit gingen"

"(...) that those houses when a minister or so would come to the villages, they would set fire to the houses when they passed them because the houses had to have metal sheets instead of reed, which was a lot worse against the heat, to show that they were developing"


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