Traditional Kings and leaders in Congo.

Traditional kings, chiefs and leaders are the epitome of tribal and cultural leadership and development in many parts of Africa. This includes Democratic Republic of Congo who still have their royal leaders after abolition of their states during colonial period. The government of DRC however recognises these kings and chiefs in their constitution under the ministry of culture as custodians of culture and traditions. Some teradtional leaders also serve in governemnt. Some were previously kingdoms but today are commonly called chiefdoms (chefferie). Below is a list of various kings and chiefs in the DRC region

Manikongo of Kongo kingdom

Manikongo Dom Antonio III of Kongo kingdom and his wife Queen Dona Isabela de Gama.
He succeded his late father Dom Pedro vii of Kongo after his death in 1955 reigning for only two years until 1957 when he died of an heart attack.
His wife Queen Dona Isabela de Gama therefore became regent from 1957 until 1975. She died in the 1990s. Kingdom of Kongo was a royal state founded in 1390 by the Kongo speaking people. It stretched from western Congo DRC, Congo Brazzaville, south Gabon and north Angola. Its capital was at Mbanza Kongo which is a UNESCO world heritage site today located in northern Angola after the drawing of colonial boundaries used today. Today there are various royal houses who claim the throne

Nyim (King) of Kuba kingdom (Bakuba people)

King (Nyim) Kot a Mbweeky iii of Kuba kingdom, DRC. Born Kwete MbokeHe is the 125th king of this kingdom established in 1625. He was enthroned in 1969 and is the current King.

Mwaant Yaav (Emperor) of Lunda Empire

Mwaant Yaav(emperor) Mushid iii of Lunda Empire of the Lunda people which covered Congo, Angola and Zambia.
He has been monarch since 2005.
Lunda Empire or kingdom was a royal state founded in the 1600s by the Lunda speaking people. They were ruled by a monarch called Mwaant Yaav.

Mwami (King) of Bukumu, Nyirangongo Territory (chefferie de Bukumu)

King (Mwami)  Kahembe IV Isaac Butsitsi of Bukumu kingdom, DRC (chefferie de Bukumu). He is the son of late king Kahembe III who passed on in 1998 when he was aged 2. He ruled under regency of his uncle until 2016 when he took over officially. He has three siblings namely Prince Ismael Butsitsi, Princess Cynthia Butsitsi and princess Sarah Butsitsi.

Mwami of Kaziba, Walungu territory (chefferie de Kaziba)

Mwami/King Dirk Majiri iv Nakaziba Chimanye of Kaziba kingdom in DRC. He is son to late King (Mwami) Chimanye II Kabonwa and late Queen (Mwamikazi) Pascaline Luzolo Chimanye. He rose to the throne at a young age in 2005 after the death of his father late king Chimanye ii Kabonwa. As it is tradition, His paternal aunt has been regent for him while he studied in South Africa. He officially took power from the regency over the weekend 13-14 March 2020. He has sisters

Mwami of Luhwindja, South Kivu province (chefferie de Luhwindja)

Mwami Naluhwindja Tony Chibwire v of Luhwindja, DRC. Born in 1990,he succeded his late father in 2001 being crowned at a young age.He ruled under the regency of his mother the mwamikazi (Queen) Esperance until 2015 when he officially took power. The Queen Mother has served in the congolese Parliament. He recently got married in December 2019.

Mwami of Bashali Kingdom, North Kivu Province (chefferie de Bashali)

Mwami Bashali Mokoto Nyanguba Sylvestre of Bashali Kingdom is one of the oldest reigning kings in the eastern region of DRC. Bashali is located in Masisi Territory, North Kivu Province

Mwami of Garenganze kingdom of BaYeke people

King /Mwami M’siri Mwenda viii Bantu Godefroid Munongo of BaYeke people or Yeke/Garanganze kingdom, DRC. Some BaYeke also live in Tanzania and Zambia.
He has been King since 1997. He is the son of the late Mwami Mwenda vi Godefroid Munongo, who was a politician and one time interim president.
He is president of the national alliance of traditional leaders, chairman of Forum of African kings and has been senator for 12 years. His capital is at Bunkeya.

Mwami of Buhavu or Havu people, Kalehe territory

King /Mwami Kamirogosa III Shosho Ntale Franck of Buhavu Kingdom of the Bahavu people of DRC (kalehe territory) .
He ascended to the throne in April 2004 after the death of his father Mwami Ntale Hamuli

Mwami of Batangi Kingdom, Lubero Territory, North-Kivu province

Mwami Stuka Omwanaweka Of Batangi Kingdom in Lubero Territory, North-Kivu

Mwami of Buzi, Bulenga, South Kivu province

Mwami Sangara Amri Hubert ii of Buzi, Bulenga, south kivu, DRC. He succeded his late father  Mwami Sangara Raymond Bera iii who died in June 2019. While they claim sovereignty, some say they are under the king of Buhavu

Mwami of Ntambuka, Idjwi island, South Kivu province

King or Mwami Ntambuka Balekage Mihigo II Roger of Buhavu or Havu people of Ntambuka, Idjwi island, South Kivu, DRC. (chefferie de NTAMBUKA). He has been monarch since 1998. Buhavu was ruled by basibula clan dynasty from 1500s. It had 3 chiefdoms until 1974 when Ntambuka was made a kingdom. Today it is a traditional monarchy or authority just like many others in Africa. Idjwi island is located in lake Kivu, the second largest lake in Africa and tenth largest lake in the world.

Mwami of Kabare Kingdom, Bushi people, South Kivu province

Mwami (King) Nabushi Désiré Kabare Rugemaninzi II of Bushi (Shi) people / Kabare, South Kivu, DRC. He is the 29th king of the Shi or Bushi people. He is the son of late Mwami Albert Ntayitunda Kabare and Mwamikazi Benedicte Kabare who was born a princess of Ngweshe kingdom. His mother is a sister to King (Mwami) Ndatabaye Ngweshe
He is the vice President of the Pan-African Council of Traditional and Customary Authorities in charge of the Central African region, has served a s a former senatroir and is a provincial deputy. Mwami Desire Kabare has 14 children.

Mwami of Bahunde, Masiisi Territory, North Kivu province (chefferie de Bahunde)

Mwami Kalinda Nicolas of Bahunde in Masiisi Territory, North Kivu, DRC (chefferie de Bahunde) formerly called Bunyungu kingdom.
He is the 5th monarch succeeding his brother Kalinda Ndande Gustave.

Mwami of Wamuzimu, Mwenga, South Kivu province (chefferie de Wamuzimu)

King (Mwami) Longangi IV Nen’Ilungu Kampangalasa of the Kingdom of Wamuzimu, Mwenga, South Kivu, DRC. (chefferie de Wamuzimu). Born in 1988, he was enthroned at the age of 15 after the death of his father. He was officially crowned in 2010.
Wamuzimu is one of the richest and largest in DRC rich in gold reserves particularly in Kamituga.

Mwami of Vira /Bavira people

Mwami/King Lwegeleza IIILenghe Edmond of Vira tribe or Bavira people of DRC. He succeded his late father in 1997 Mwami /King Lenghe III Rugaza who was assassinated during liberation of DRC by president Joseph Kabila. The BaVira are organised into 51 clans

Kings of Bavira are

  1. Lenghe or Lenghe I Ilunga, son of Mbuti Ilunga and first king of the dynasty BeneLenghe (1645-1670), a 25 -year reign
  2. Mubila Munanila or Munana son of Ilunga Lenghe I (1671-1709), 38 -year reign
  3. Kibwe Mabingo (1709-1735), a 26 -year reign
  4. Muluta I Kibwe (1735-1763), a 28 -year reign
  5. Kinyunda Kye Lugongo (1763-1798), 35 years of reign
  6. Mbuti II Lenge (1798-1830), 32 -year reign
  7. Muluta II Muvuluma (1830-1871), 41 -year reign
  8. Nambuza Mukangwa (1871-1897), a 26 -year reign
  9. Muluta III Nakumika (1898-1932), a 34 -year reign
  10. Lenghe II Kabale Mamboto Lwegeleza (1932-1945), a 13 -year reign
  11. Lwegeleza I Kabale Mamboto (1945-1964), 19 -year reign
  12. Lenghe III Kabale Rugaza Rampan Roman Geslin (1965-1996), 31 -year reign
  13. Lwegeleza III Lenghe Edmond (1997–present)

Mwami of Ngweshe, Walungu territory, South Kivu province (chefferie de Ngweshe)

Mwami Ngweshe XV Pierre Ndatabaye Weza III of Ngweshe, walungu territory in Southern Kivu, DRC. Born in 1937/1940 he succeded the late monarch in 1953 reigning until 1966 under the regency of his mother Queen (Mwamikazi) Marie Astrid Naweza, then again 1971 to current. His mother died in 1993. He is one of the few who has had long reigns in the Congo

Mwami of Burhinyi, South Kivu province (chefferie de Burhinyi)

Mwami Muganga Bulala II Richard of Burhinyi, South Kivu, DRC.
He is an uncle to the King or Mwami Dirk Majiri iv Nakaziba Chimanye of Kaziba. He also has served in the congolese Parliament as a representative.

Mwami of Bafuliru or the Fuliiru tribe, South Kivu province

King (Mwami) Ndare iii Simba Kalingishi Adams of Bafuliru or the Fuliiru tribe, South Kivu, DRC . (chefferie de Bafuliru)
He succeded his late father in 2011.
At one time his uncle Mukogabwe Albert simbwho had been regent for his late father since 1989 had contested for the throne.

Mwami of Bwisha, DRC (chefferie de Bwisha)

King (Mwami) Jean Baptiste Ndeze Rekaturebe of Bwisha, DRC. He was enthroned in May 2020 after his nephew Mwami Ndeze iv Francis was dethroned after 4 years on the throne.

Mwami of Babungwe, North group, South Kivu province

Mwami Simbi Charles Sadi iii of Babungwe north group, South Kivu, DRC.  He is married and the father of 4 children.

Mwami of Bashu, Beni territory, North Kivu province

Mwami Abdul Paluku Kalemire III of  Bashu, Beni territory, North Kivu, DRC. (chefferie de bashu)

Mwami of Bamate Kingdom

Mwami of Barundi of the Ruzizi Bene Ntorogwe Plain, South Kivu

Mwami Richard Nijimbere kinyoni iii Ndabagoye iii of the Barundi of the Ruzizi Bene Ntorogwe Plain, South Kivu, DRC.
His wedding was held in may 2019.
Barundi in the congo who emigrated into congo generations ago are part of the Barundi of Burundi.

Mwami of Baswagha, Lubero territory, North-Kivu province

Mwami Nzanzu Bonane of Baswagha

Mwami of Watalinga Kingdom, Beni territory, North Kivu prvince

Mwami Saambili Bamukoka is the monarch of Watalinga Kingdom in Beni territory North Kivu province. He is a member of parliament thus his son Pascal Bhalitusuka Saambili (second pic) is regent.

Mulopwe (emperor) of Luba empire and South Kasai

Luba Kingdom or empire was formed in 1585. IN 1889 due to succession wrangles the dynasty split into Kasongo-Luba and Kabongo Luba. today each royal house has its own royal successor. In early post independence a shortlived state called South Kasai was established existing from 1960-1962 before being dissolved. Some Luba elders installed Albert Kalonji as the Mulopwe.

Late Emperor (Mulopwe) Albert Kalonji i of South Kasai (short-lived state) & Luba empire, DRC. (1929-2015)

Prince Palo Andre Pay, current pretender to the historical Luba empire throne of DRC. He is a descendant of the last Mulopwe or Emperor Albert Kalonji who was also monarch of the shortlived secessionist state of South Kasai.

Mwami of Rubenga, Bahavu people, South Kivu (chefferie de Rubenga)

Mwami (King) Rubenga of Rubenga kingdom of Bahavu people of DRC (chefferie de Rubenga)

Mwami of Basile, South Kivu (chefferie de Basile)

Mwami Kalenga Riziki Lwango II Lucien succeeded his grandfather Kalenga Charles Lwango who passed on in 2011. he is a law graduate, former ministewr of public works under provincial government. He is married to Honourable MP Blandine Moza Kalafula Kalenga.

Kiamvu of Kasongo Lunda, Yaka people

Yeke kingdom or Kasongo Lunda was formed in the seventeenth century near the Angola border by the Yaka of Bayaka people. Their monarch is called Kiamvu/Kyamvu/Kiamfu currently held by Kiamvu Frederic Inkani.

Chief of Kakwa, Ituri Province (chefferie de Kakwa)

Kakwa people are a nilotic ethnic group found near the borders of South Sudan, Uganda and Congo particularly near the White Nile. The ones in Aru territory Congo have their own chiefdom. The holder of the throne currently is David Tsukia Likambo who was enthroned in 2019 after the death of his father.

Mulopwe of Basanga, Kambove Territory, Haut Katanga province (chefferie des Basanga)

Sanga or Basanga are an ethnic group majorly found in Haut Katanga province part of the former Katanga province, DRC Congo. Their monarch is called a Mulopwe which may mean Great chief, King or emperor. The current and 15th holder of the throne since 2020 is Mathieu Pembamoto Kyala. He is a Communication engineer in USA and also serves as deputy for Kambove Territory.

Mwami of Wakabango Kingdom in Shabunda Territory, South Kivu province

Mwami Moligi of Wakabango Kingdom in Shabunda Territory South Kivu. Aged 19, He’s ruling under regency. He is son of late Mwami Raymond Muligi Mabanze of Wakabango, in the territory of Shabunda. He was national deputy at the time of the MPR state party, and administrator of the territory of Kabare. He died at the age of around 70 in 2007

Chief of Mayogo Mabozo, Rungu territory, Haut Uele province

Mayogo people are an ethnic group found in DRC Congo. They are grouped into various chiefdoms. Mayogo Mabozo current Chief Roger Anga Gaga Toitoma IV was enthroned in 2020 to succeed his late father who died in 2019. his late father had named him heir five years earlier.

Chief of Mayogo Magbaie, Rungu Territory, Haut Uele Province

Chief Justin Somana is th cureent monarch of the Mayogo Magbaie chiefdom of Mayogo people. He is also Deputy of Rungu territory. He succeded his late father in 2020.

Chief of Tunda, Maniema province

Chief Tunda Kasongo Lukali Prosper is the current chief of Tunda region. His family was the first to welcome the white missionaries of the methodist church

Photo : UM news/ Facebook

Chief Kaponda N’seka II of Kaponda Chiefdom, Kambove Territory, Haut-Katanga Province

Chief Kaponda N’seka II of Kaponda Chiefdom in Kambove Territory, Haut-Katanga Province

Mfumu Difima Ntinu of Tampa, Congo central province

Mfumu Difima Ntinu currently is called King of Ntampa (Tampa) Kongo. Tampa is a small town loacted in Congo central province. Kongo kingdom has long had without any successor since the passing of regent Queen Dona Isabela de Gama. It is not understood who is the current heir of this throne.

Chief of Bahema Banywagi, Ituri Province (Chefferie de Bahema Banywagi)

Chief Yves Kahwa Panga Mandro is the current monarch of Bahema Banywagi (chefferie de Bahema Banywagi)

Mwami of Bwito Kingdom, Rutshuru Territory

Mwami Bukavu Kikandi Kalekene of Bwito Kingdom in Rutshuru Territory

Mwami of Wanyanga Confederation

Mwami Kiroba of Wanyanga Confederation, The largest in North-Kivu

Mwami of Bakisi Kingdom, South-Kivu province

Mwami Mopipi Mukulumanya of Bakisi Kingdom, the largest in South-Kivu

Mwami of Basimukinji

Mr Malenga Kisasu III is the Mwami of Basimukidji group, Sector of Mutambala, Territory of Fizi, Province of South-Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Bakwa Dishi, Kasai Oriental Province

André-Philippe Futa was an influential finance Minister in the DRC government. He was born into the royal family of Bakwa dishi and succeded at a young age. His father and uncle became regent while he studied abroad. The royal family comes from the Bene Mbayi clan which is part of the 23 clans that make up the Bakwa Dishi tribe. Each clan is headed by a chief. Andre Phillipe Futa died in 2009

Embed from Getty Images

Chief of Hemba people, Nyunzu territory, Tanganyika province

Bienvenu Kalunga Mawazo Ga Nghombe is the customary chief of Nyunzu which is inhabited by Hemba people (BaHemba). In 2000 he succeded his late father Ngombe Kasanga who died in 1999. Due to the nature of his work being a university professor and politician , his brother reigns on his behalf since 2011.

Photo : Haroldadant/Wikipedia,

Mwami of Nindja

Mwami Freddy Nanindja

NB ; The list is not exhaustive, there are many other tribal leaders of different categories (chiefs, kings, councils) for various tribes in DRC

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