Debout Congolais

“Debout Congolais” (Kongo: Telama besi Kongo) serves as the national anthem of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Originally adopted in 1960 upon gaining independence from Belgium, it was temporarily replaced by “La Zaïroise” in 1971 when the country changed its name to Zaire. However, “Arise, Congolese” was reinstated in 1997 following the reorganization of the Congo. Historian and professor Joseph Lutumba authored the lyrics, while the music was composed by Jesuit father Simon-Pierre Boka di Mpasi Londi, who also created “La Zaïroise.”


Also known as(English: Stand Up, Congolese!)
LyricsJoseph Lutumba, 1960
MusicSimon-Pierre Boka, 1960
Preceded byLa Zaïroise” (1971–1997)


Debout Congolais,
Unis par le sort,
Unis dans l’effort pour l’indépendance,
Dressons nos fronts longtemps courbés
Et pour de bon prenons le plus bel élan, dans la paix,
O peuple ardent, par le labeur, nous bâtirons un pays plus beau qu’avant, dans la paix.

Citoyens, entonnez l’hymne sacré de votre solidarité,
Fièrement, saluez l’emblème d’or de votre souveraineté, Congo.

Don béni, Congo des aïeux Congo,
O pays Congo bien aimé Congo,
Nous peuplerons ton sol et nous assurerons ta grandeur.
Trente juin O doux soleil trente juin du trente juin,
Jour sacré Sois le témoin jour sacré de l’immortel serment de liberté
Que nous léguons à notre postérité pour toujours.

English translation

Arise, Congolese, united by fate,
United in the struggle for independence,
Let us hold up our heads, so long bowed,
And now, for good, let us keep moving boldly ahead, in peace.
Oh, ardent people, by hard work we shall build,
In peace, a country more beautiful than before.

Countrymen, sing the sacred hymn of your solidarity,
Proudly salute the golden emblem of your soverignity, Congo.

Blessed gift Congo of our forefathers Congo,
Oh country Congo that we love Congo,
We shall people your soil and ensure your greatness.
30th June Oh gentle sun 30th June of 30th June,
Sacred day Be witness sacred day of the immortal oath of freedom
That we hand on to our children for ever.

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