Childhood memories in Congo

Here are some childhood memories from the 90s I still remember that I’m sure many others can relate to and that I hope I’ll never forget.

  • Going for a pizza at Chez Nicola. An Italian restaurant where Rotana currently is. It was near the “Petit pont” roundabout. The restaurant and property was owned by Nicola Bianco, a big Italian man who made all the pizzas himself while sweating profusely. I would walk in and he would immediately start making my margarita pizza. I remember there was an African grey parrot and I would sit by the oven and watch him make the pizzas. I remember Paulin Mombole who now works at the Patisserie Nouvelle in town. He had worked nearly 40 years with Nicola!
  • Learning how to ride a bicycle with my grandfather
  • Playing tennis with the coach Denis and being called “champignon” rather than “champion”. It means mushroom.
  • Stoping in the car at a traffic light and being called by beggars “Mundele madesu”, Lingala for “white bean”
  • Going for piano lesson at a Chinese lady’s home and hating it
  • Getting a red and white Wilson golf bag at Christmas from my dad when I was 6
  • Getting a remote control motorcycle toy from my dad’s trip to Japan and immediately crashing it into a gutter and hating myself for it
  • Sleepovers with friends and sneaking out at night to roam around the neighborhood
  • Getting caught lighting flame throwers with deodorant and a lighter by the cook
  • Getting driven to school by my grandfather and hearing him swear in Kutchhi or English to cars that would overtake us “Chodu!” “Gan mare!” “Driving like there’s no tomorrow!”
  • Going for swims at AERWA, a sports complex with restaurants where the current Ismaili mosque is.
  • Taking Karate lessons with Maitre Denis
  • Sleepovers with friends, fighting like Bruce Lee
  • Playing video games like Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Moto cross, on a Nintendo or a Sega game gear
  • My first communion at the “Nonciature” and the lunch at the Cercle de Kinshasa
  • Giving a flower to my crush after her ballet show
  • Listening to my dad’s Michael Jackson vynil collection and making mixtapes of songs I liked
  • Listening to “Eternal Flame” a white tape in the car on the way to school with my sister
  • Fighting with my sister for the front seat when we got picked up from school
  • So many other things…

Chez Nicola Pizza restaurant in 2004. The master himself.
Me with my dog Romeo



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2 responses to “Childhood memories in Congo”

  1. kaimdilekeno Avatar

    Bravo Emilio un travail de longue haleine …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. K Emilio Noorani Avatar

      Merci! Oui! Pandju Merali c’est ton oncle? Je ne savais pas


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