Congolese playwright and novelist Pierre Mumbere Mujomba is the author of seven plays and a novel, Ecce Ego, published in France in 2002. His conflict with the Congolese government began in January 2003, after the performance in French of his play, The Last Envelope, in Kinshasha. A ‘commedia-style’ farce with extravagant language, a detailed plot and underhanded allegory, the play reveals excesses of the Mobutu regime in the former Zaire. Shortly after its first performance, Mujomba was threatened and his landlord was kidnapped. With the intervention of PEN International, he was able to leave the Congo and to undertake residency at Villa Aurora, the Foundation for European-American relations in Pacific Palisades, California. Mujomba’s wife and children, also threatened and harassed in Kinshasha, later joined him in Los Angeles.
Although most of Mr. Mujomba’s work is not yet available in English, The Last Envelope was translated and performed in New York in 2002 by the Lark Theater Company. The Last Envelope won Le Grand Prix at the Prix Nemis in Chile in 1988 and the Decouverte RFI Theatre Sud Prize in 1999.