5 famous people you didn’t know are from the Republic of Congo

Serge Jonas Ibaka
Serge Jonas Ibaka

The Republic of the Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, is located on the western coast of Central Africa. Boarded by Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and the Atlantic Ocean, it was formerly part of the French colony.

Established in 1958 and gained independence from France in 1960, the Republic of Congo is the fourth-largest oil producer in the Gulf of Guinea providing the nation with a significant amount of cash reserves for political and economic stability.

With a land area covering about 132, 000 square miles, The Republic of Congo is the 64th largest country in the world. Its economy which is tied to crude oil is amongst the top 150 economies. According to 2017 World Bank estimates, its GDP was the 138th highest in the world.

Congo practices a multi-party-political system and it has been heavily dominated by President Denis Sassou Nguesso who has ruled for 35 of the past 40 years. The Congolese economy is reliant on many natural resources such as petroleum, arable land, and forests.

Filled with culture and diversity, these Congolese are changing the narrative in their own way.

Jadelin Mabiala Gangbo
Jadelin Mabiala Gangbo

Jadelin Mabiala Gangbo

He is a novelist and writer born in Brazzaville in 1976. Jadelin has published several stories that narrate the struggle of a young boy from Bakongo, a village in Congo who was raised in Italy. His books include; Verso la Notte Bakonga (Toward the Bakonga Night), Rometta and Giulieo.

He lived between Imola and Bologna in Italy before recently moving to London.

Serge Jonas Ibaka
Serge Jonas Ibaka

Serge Jonas Ibaka

Born in Congo in 1989, Serge Ibaka grew up in a home of Basketball players. His father played for the Republic of Congo while his mother played for the Democratic Republic of Congo. His journey to stardom began after his move to France at age 17 to join a second division basketball team and then a move to Spain where he taught himself Spanish.

The death of his mother and father caused Ibaka, the third-youngest of 18 children, to take on the sport professionally.

He currently plays for the Toronto Raptors in the NBA and plays for the Spanish national basketball team in international competition.

Emmanuel Boundzéki Dongala
Emmanuel Boundzéki Dongala

Emmanuel Boundzéki Dongala

Emmanuel Dongala is a Congolese chemist and novelist who has authored so many award-winning books. He was Dean of Marien Ngouabi University in Brazzaville until the war broke in 1997. As a chemist, his speciality is stereochemistry, asymmetric synthesis, and environmental toxicology.

His books Johnny Mad Dog & Little Boys Come From The Stars are award-winning novels. His work featured in the Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

French director, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, worked on a 2008 project based on his book, Johnny Mad Dog. The film stars Christopher Minie, Daisy Victoria Vandy, Dagbeh Tweh, Barry Chernoh, Mohammed Sesay and Joseph Duo.

François M’Pelé
François M’Pelé playing for the Congolese national side

François M’Pelé

Francois is a former Congolese professional footballer born in Brazzaville. He plied his trade for the Congolese national football team before moving to Europe to play for French teams AC Ajaccio, Paris Saint-Germain, RC Lens and Stade Rennes.

Featuring for the national team as an attacking forward between 1971 and 1978, he was selected by CAF as one of the best 200 African football players of the last 50 years.

Théophile Obenga
Théophile Obenga

Théophile Obenga

Obenga, born in 1936 in the Republic of Congo is a professor emeritus at the African Studies Center at San Francisco University. He holds a Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Paris, Sorbonne. In 2009, he was publicly promoted by Dennis Sassou Nguesso as presidential candidate for the Republic of Congo due to his activism and pan Africanism.

He contributed as part of the UNESCO program to the writing of the General History of Africa and the Scientific and Cultural History of Humanity.

Advertisements