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In Congo, Even Ebola Can’t Stop Fans From Dancing

Despite the stress of Ebola, Media Joice Kashamba Emmanuela and her sweetheart, Espoir Kitumaini, dance to rumba music at Ibiza, a dance club in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Samantha Reinders for NPR.


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Samantha Reinders for NPR.

Regardless of the tension of Ebola, Media Joice Kashamba Emmanuela and her boyfriend, Espoir Kitumaini, dance to rumba music at Ibiza, a dance club in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Samantha Reinders for NPR.

As you walk into Ibiza, a dance club in the middle of Goma, the bouncer takes your temperature level, and you have to clean your hands with a bleach and water service. Then you walk past a little gazebo and into the strobe lights, and you’re invited by a black-and-white picture of the late, fantastic rumba musician Papa Wemba. The band, its members worn matching silk shirts, is currently establishing.

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Entertainers play rumba music onstage at the Ibiza dance club in Goma.

Samantha Reinders for NPR.


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Samantha Reinders for NPR.

Performers play rumba music onstage at the Ibiza dance club in Goma.

Samantha Reinders for NPR.

And simply like that, all the signs that a fatal epidemic is raving in this region begin to fade. The guitarist hugs his instrument, coaxing arpeggios out of his electrical guitar.

Goma, a sprawling border city of 2 million in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is trying to keep at bay what has actually become the second-largest Ebola break out in history. Since August 2018, the infection has contaminated more than 2,700 individuals. And in July, the World Health Company designated the epidemic in Congo as a public health emergency situation of global concern.

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A hand-washing station outside the Ibiza dance club. To assist keep the Ebola outbreak in check, visitors are needed to wash their hands before getting in.

Samantha Reinders for NPR.


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Samantha Reinders for NPR.

A hand-washing station outside the Ibiza dance club. To help keep the Ebola break out in check, visitors are needed to wash their hands prior to getting in.

Samantha Reinders for NPR.

A TV screen shows an Ebola message outside Ibiza.

Samantha Reinders for NPR.


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Samantha Reinders for NPR.

A TV screen shows an Ebola message outside Ibiza.

Samantha Reinders for NPR.

WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak In Congo An International Health Emergency

Health authorities have actually set up seclusion centers, and nurses and doctors worn protective matches take people’s temperature levels at checkpoints across the city. However as night falls, Congolese rumba fills the air, and individuals dance.

Media Joice Kashamba Emmanuela and her boyfriend, Espoir Kitumaini, get up from their tables and begin to sway. The way the Congolese dance rumba is so intimate. They do it in the spaces between tables, the beat quick however the hips slow.

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Inside the Ibiza club in Goma.

Samantha Reinders for NPR.


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Samantha Reinders for NPR.

Inside the Ibiza club in Goma.

Samantha Reinders for NPR.

” Rumba,” she states, “is great, even through war, through Ebola. Rumba is still there, and Congolese keep living.” Her sweetheart cuts in to state that dancing likewise brings people together and that is essential at a time like this. Emmanuela looks at him with a wry smile.

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Emmanuela and Kitumaini hold each other as the rumba group carries out.

Samantha Reinders for NPR.


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Samantha Reinders for NPR.

Emmanuela and Kitumaini hold each other as the rumba group performs.

Samantha Reinders for NPR.

” It’s not dance that unites us,” she says. “It’s love.” And something she is sure of is that Ebola can’t kill that.

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