PHOTO: Georges Malaika Foundation
PHOTO: Georges Malaika Foundation

Name: Mujinga Louise

Age: 7

Hometown: Lubumbashi (second largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Languages spoken: Swahili and Bemba

Hobbies: Playing different types of games with friends

Favorite subjects: Reading and writing

What do you want to be when you grow up? A mother first and also a professor

What would you like the kids in the United States to know about Congolese culture? When people meet, they tenderly embrace and shake hands. At dinner time, we all share a meal from the same plate.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo at a Glance

Capital City: Kinshasa

Government: Republic, with Joseph Kabila as President and Adolphe Muzito as Prime Minister

Location: Central Africa, east of the Republic of the Congo, which is a different country

Geography: The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the second largest country in Africa. The country receives a lot of rainfall and holds two-thirds of the Congo rainforest, the second largest rainforest in the world.

Population: Estimated 72 million

People: There are over 200 African ethnic groups

Religions: Roman Catholic 50%; Protestant 20%; Muslim 10%; Kimbanguist, 10%; Other, including native beliefs 10%

Languages: French is the official language. Major languages are Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili and Tshiluba

History: When the DR Congo gained independence from Belgium in 1960, several groups that wanted to rule the country fought with each other. In 1965, Colonel Joseph Mobutu declared himself president and changed the country’s name to Zaire. Thirty-two years later, a rebel group led by Laurent Kabila overthrew Mobutu and his government and renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Other people wanted to rule the country, which resulted in civil wars. In 2002, a peace act was signed and a transitional government was established with Laurent Kabila’s son, Joseph, as president. He was officially inaugurated in 2006.

LEARN A LITTLE SWAHILI

How are you? Abari

Thank you: Asante

Peace/Freedom: Uhuru

Grandparents: Kambo

Friend: Rafiki

Profile and vocabulary courtesy of Noella Coursaris Musunka & Chloe Manchester from Georges Malaika Foundation

PHOTO: www.cia.goc
IMAGE: www.cia.gov