Congolese music stars died before turning 35

Here are 1 famous musicians from Congo died before 35:

Ota Benga

Ota Benga (April 5, 1883-March 20, 1916 Lynchburg) also known as Otto Bingo was a Congolese personality.

Ota Benga was brought to the United States by the explorer Samuel Phillips Verner and was displayed in a cage alongside monkeys at the Bronx Zoo in New York City in 1906. His treatment at the zoo caused public outrage and led to him being released to the care of black ministers in the city. Benga later worked at a tobacco factory and then lived at a mission school in Virginia, where he committed suicide in 1916. Benga's story is a tragic reminder of the exploitation and dehumanization of people from Africa during the early 20th century.

Ota Benga was born in the Mbuti tribe in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was captured at a young age by slave traders and eventually sold to the American explorer Samuel Phillips Verner. It is said that Verner intended to bring Benga back to the United States to be studied as an example of the "missing link" between humans and apes.

At the Bronx Zoo, Benga was housed in a cage alongside orangutans, forcing him to live in a manner that was both humiliating and dehumanizing. Despite protests from some members of the public and calls to have Benga released, the zoo kept him on display for several weeks.

Following his release from the zoo, Benga struggled to find a place in American society. He worked briefly in a tobacco factory before being taken in by black ministers in the city. Benga eventually moved to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he lived at a mission school for several years.

Benga's suicide in 1916 is an unfortunate testament to the lasting impact of the exploitation and abuse he suffered at the hands of those who brought him to the United States. His story continues to serve as a powerful reminder of the need to treat all people, regardless of race or background, with dignity and respect.

Benga's tragic story has sparked ongoing discussions about the exploitation and mistreatment of African people and how society can work to prevent future injustices. In recent years, there have been efforts to honor Benga's memory and legacy, including the dedication of historical markers at the Bronx Zoo and in his birthplace in the Congo. Some advocates have called for greater recognition and restitution for the harm done to Benga and others like him, highlighting the ongoing importance of addressing and repairing historical injustices. Despite the challenges and tragedies Benga faced throughout his life, his resilience and spirit continue to have a powerful impact today.

Benga's life and story have inspired works of literature and film, including the novel "Ota Benga: The Pygmy in the Zoo" by Phillips Verner Bradford and Harvey Blume, as well as the documentary film "The Pygmy in the Zoo" directed by Niles Heckman. Additionally, his story has been featured in museum exhibits and academic research, with scholars examining the ways in which Benga's treatment at the zoo reflected broader trends in colonialism, racism, and scientific exploitation during the early 20th century.

Despite the sadness and tragedy of Benga's life, his legacy lives on as a symbol of resilience and resistance against oppression. His story has sparked important conversations about the ongoing impacts of colonialism and racism, as well as the continuing struggle for human dignity and rights around the world. As society continues to grapple with issues of inequality and injustice, Benga's memory serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of working towards a more equitable and just world for all.

Despite the tragic circumstances of Benga's life and death, his legacy has inspired important efforts towards education, awareness, and social justice. In recent years, there have been calls to fully acknowledge and address the harm done to Benga and others like him through official apologies and restitution. In 2021, officials in New York City formally acknowledged the mistreatment of Benga and committed to taking steps to ensure that similar abuses are never repeated. Additionally, Benga's story has inspired important work towards promoting cultural understanding and respecting the diversity of human experience. His life and legacy continue to serve as an important reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and justice, and the vital need for individuals and communities to work together towards a more compassionate and equitable world.

He died in suicide.

Read more about Ota Benga on Wikipedia »

Related articles