Who has the toughest life in Kinshasa? Difficult to say, but the street kids of the city or ‘Shege’ as they are known, are definitely amongst them. During our stay in Kinshasa, I was able to talk to a handful of them. “The streets dehumanizes people,” Denis Mbawe from Reejers, an organisation that helps those living on the street, told me. Moise Mbaya aka Shege Vara spoke of an explosion just waiting to happen: “When street children have children and in turn raise those children on the street, those children know nothing else.”
Having grown up on the streets himself, Moise knows what he’s talking about. Today he is one of the Shege leaders in one of the neighborhoods of Kinshasa. He is part of the Shege’s parallel social structure, but he was lucky enough to receive an education and receive some training through the founder of Reejers. Thanks to him and Shege Chance Eloko Pamba (apparently the original Shege), I was able to film and talk to Sheges on Gambela market and try to gain an understanding of how the leaders manage their communities.