Papa Mfumu’eto 1er

Jaspe Saphir Mfumu’eto a.k.a Papa Mfumu’eto 1er is a painter and comic artist from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He was born in Matadi in 1963. His family moved to Kinshasa shortly after his birth. After studying painting and interior design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa, he established Mfumu’Eto (meaning our chief in Kikongo) magazine in the 1990s. His comic books, written in Lingala, Tshiluba and French, made on low-quality paper, were self-produced using stencils and photocopying machines and distributed informally in the market place. The comic books quickly gained notoriety for their controversial attacks against the political powers of the 1990s in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He produced the cartoons at a furious pace (over 10 issues a month) and soon over 100,000 were in circulation in the districts of Kinshasa. Like other comics produced in Kinshasa at the time they were heavily influenced by urban culture. Mfumu’Eto also drew inspiration from local traditions, combining African traditional medicine with religion, pulp fiction with politics, and irony with attitude. This culminated into an eclectic display that directly contested dominant colonial systems of knowledge. His most famous series includes the politically propulsive A Nguma Meli Muasi Ya Na Kati Kinshasa, first published in 1990 and which was subsequently banned by the authorities.

In 2000, he launched himself as an artist under the name of Papa Mfumu’Eto 1er, starting to use canvas to convey his take on Kinshasa society once again. His paintings also evoke the life of the Kinshasa society mixing occult and mystical elements.

This album features Mfumu’eto’s works created between 2008 and 2014.

Artist / Papa Mfumu’eto 1er
Origin / Democratic Republic of the Congo
Known for / Painting, Comics
Links / Wikipedia

Featured Works