Exploratory fieldwork in Lubumbashi, DR Congo, June 2022
In late June 2022, I traveled to Lubumbashi, southeastern DR Congo, for an exploratory fieldwork stay of five days to visit colleagues at the Université de Lubumbashi, specifically Prof. Dr. Georges Mulumbwa who has worked extensively on Kindubile, the urban Swahili youth language from Lubumbashi – and to meet speakers, get to know research assistants and connect with other Swahili speakers in the city. Apart from a meeting at the university where future research collaborations with regard to the project were discussed with Georges Mulumbwa, research assistant and translator Wilfried Sakabwang was involved in the project to identify youth language speakers and help with a first collection of data. In the following days, a first set of audio recordings were made that are currently being analyzed. Especially Lubumbashi, a mining city in the Copperbelt near the Zambian border with more than 2 mio. inhabitants, will surely provide exciting new data with regard to microvariation in the Swahili spoken in urban spaces across East Africa! The second (longer) research in Lubumbashi is planned for February/March 2023.