November 28, 2011
The Reveil video was filmed throughout the DRC, including Kinshasa, Bukavu, Kikwit. However, the core of the music video was filmed in Baniele, an illegal squatter settlement on the outskirts of Kinshasa. Baniele was built on land that is in a constant state of erosion and where a single electrical wire and a single well supports the entire neighborhood of thousands.
Home to another very politically engaged hip-hop artist known as MC Scotty Kanku, Baniele was chosen as the backdrop for the video because it is so representative of the Congolese struggle and experience. “Filming the video was an incredible experience,” said Nomadic Wax founder Ben Herson, “I was initially concerned that people would be turned off by the camera and large group of people filming, but the response was quite the opposite. Everyone wanted to talk to us: old women, children, and teenagers. They’re all seen in the video. People saw this as a chance to get their word out.”
“The worst of it all is that instead of pulling us out of the rubble /
you leave us all to suffocate. The number of deaths are too high to count/
much to your amazement /
I've plucked up the courage to say it.”
-Alesh, lyrics from ‘Reveil’
Despite the seriousness of the political situation in the DRC, few people outside of the country have a grasp on the issues faced by the Congolese today. “Congolese, as well as the rest of the world, needs to see what is happening here and why,” says Chirwisa. “I believe that music has the potential to create change and open peoples minds. This is exactly what the goal is with this video.