The Munganji dancer is central to Pende dance ceremonies. The full-body suit is woven from raffia thread.
In 1995 the city saw a serious outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.
Kikwit was to have become the capital of the proposed Kwilu province on 18 February 2009, under the new Congolese Constitution. As of July 2011 this decentralization had not happened.
Singer King Kester Emeneya was born in Kikwit in 1956. In April 2014, a tribute concert held in Kikwit to honor King Kester Emeneya ended in disaster, and least thirteen people in the stadium lost their lives in a stampede following a power failure.