On 30th June 1960 Congo becomes independent from Belgium. This marks the end of one of the most violent colonial dominations in history: according to Adam Hochshild, the US writer who revealed to the world the genocide by King Leopold II in his King Leopold's Ghost (1998), the people killed between 1880 and 1920 were about 10 million. After King Leopold's death, the situation improved, but deep wounds remain. Since 1960 Brussels has been one of the favourite destinations of the Congolese diaspora.
Matonge, the multiethnic area whose name comes from the homonymous district in Kinshasa, has become the main pole of attraction not only for the African community but also for a great variety of people. The area, full of restaurants, cafes, boutiques and night clubs, developed in the 1950s and became the meeting place for former Belgian colonialists, high-ranking officials of the Mobutu regime and the Belgian and Congolese security services.
In the 70s and the 80s thousands of Congolese arrived in Matonge: they were mainly young people, but there were also intellectuals, musicians and political refugees. In the last years, the exodus has increased because of the wars that have steeped the Democratic Republic of Congo in blood. Nowadays the lively cultural life of Matonge attracts thousands of tourists and travellers from all over the world.