The ancient Kongo Kingdom, one of Africa’s great empires, covered present-day northern Angola, parts of Gabon and Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This region is ancestral homeland for over two hundred ethnic groups and their dance, music, and theater: forms deeply rooted in religion and ritual that are intertwined in everyday life.
Kiazi Malonga has been learning and performing Congolese drumming and dance as the son and child protégé of his late father, the world-renowned master artist Malonga Casquelourd. Kiazi has performed with his father’s Fuia Dia Congo Performing Arts Company since the age of 6. He has a lifetime of experience performing and teaching Congolese drum and dance, and is the current Musical Director of Fua Dia Congo.
As a artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2013, Kiazi shared with his apprentice Latanya Tigner (a former apprentice of Mukudji, or stilt dance, with master Shaka Zulu) the historical significance and technical intricacies of Congalese drumming.