Songs in Our Language
Songs and music play an important part in the lives of the Congolese people. Christian songwriters have used the Bible for inspiration, writing songs in French, Lingala, or Kikongo. When the Munukutuba New Testament translation project started, a few people felt the need to sing in Munukutuba and translated some French songs, keeping the western melodies.
When Wycliffe member Jim Fultz joined the translation team as a consultant, he encouraged team members to compose their own songs. In fact, he composed three Scripture songs in Munukutuba himself, to show that it could be done! This stimulated others to compose music, and there is now a special Munukutuba songbook, containing 24 songs and growing, all based on Scripture.
Andre, one of the Munukutuba translators, said, 'These songs are a great source of joy to us, and help us to forget our other preoccupations as we tackle the day's translation work. We sometimes pause during the translation sessions to sing one of the songs, especially if it relates to the passage we are studying. When we meet together for prayer with our brothers and sisters who work for the Congolese Bible Society, we also use our Munukutuba Scripture songbook, and we now introduce Munukutuba songs into workshops and training seminars. We would like to make these songbooks available to churches and other Christian groups. We are happy that the Lord gives us the opportunity every day to praise and worship him with Munukutuba songs.'