Last Wednesday I attended a lecture for my African politics class. The Co-founder and the Executive Director of Friends Of The Congo and his partner Ben Kabamba spoke to my class about the extremely devastating political, social, economic issues prevalent in the Congo. The Friends Of The Congo is a global social and political activist group based in Washington D.C. and is use as tool be the voice of the Congolese citizens. FOTC is an international social organization that fiercely combats against the oppression and exploitation imposed by the Rwandan and Congolese government. Additional, the FOTC gives relief to the Congolese people that living in this crisis everyday, such as hospitalization to people that have been brutality beaten and tortured by the Rwandan military, provide shelter to women have abandon their husbands after they have been rapped or their husband was murdered by Rwandan solider, and provide shelter to orphan children that have lost everything through attacks from the Rwandan government. Although I was required to attend this lecture, yet I am very thankful that this opportunity was presented to me because I gained a deeper insight into the prevailing issues facing the citizens of the Congo and I was truly empowered by their presentation. I was so empowered and inspired their presentation I wanted to find a profound way that I could help pave their movement forward.
My co-host and I decided to dedicate this week’s radio show to addressing the crisis in the Congo through an in depth conversation with the representatives of Friends Of The Congo and Youth For a New Society. We want understand that the effective way to give back is to educate others about the issues in the Congo, and we hope this effort with spark others to further build an international social movement for human rights. So, this Wednesday 3/4/15 from 8-9 p.m. on #kssu.com #Spectrum will be speaking to Maurice Carney, who is a native of the Congo and the co-founder and executive director of FOTC. Carney’s partner Ben Kabamba will also be providing insight into the issues in the Congo. Kabamba is a representative and activist for a Congolese social organization called Youth For a New Society and Telema. What inspired me the most from their lecture was that Carney and Kabamba has dedicated the majority of their lives to actively fighting against the crisis in the Congo and being the voiced for the oppressed Congolese people. Kabamba’s most powerful closing statement in his lecture was “I will continue to fight, educate, empower, and be the voice for my people because I refuse to bring my unborn child into a society like this, and death is the price I am willing to pay in the name of claiming my freedom”- Kabamba.
Just to give you guys a very brief contextual over about the issues in the Congo. Currently the Congo is under the occupation of the Rwandan government, however there is evidence that the Congolese government is working as partners with the Rwandan government. The Congo has been categorized as one of the most deadly countries in Africa since the World War 1. According to a few global humanitarian research organizations there is an estimation of 6 million deaths in the Congo since 1996. According to the representatives of the Friends of the Congo the dominant force that is fueling the majority of the violence and corruption in the Congo comes down to politics or in other words power dynamics. The exploitation and violence are used as manipulation tactics to maintain power over the resources and wealth in the Congo.
The Congo is relatively large country that is in the middle of Africa and the Congo is considered the “heart” of Africa. The Congo is one of the richest countries in the world because the Congo is enriched with many resources that are heavily used in our global society such as gold, diamonds, copper, and coltan. In fact, coltan is one of the most sought after mineral in Africa because coltan is used in most of our electronic devices like cell phones and computers. However, centuries of exploitation, violence, marginalization, silencing of the crisis in the Congo has lead to their current demise. The Congo is the poorest countries in Africa because the most valuable resource in the Congo to have domination over is land. Even though, the majority of the violence and exploitation is between Rwanda, Uganda, and the Congo, however the current political, social, and economic issues faced by the Congolese people are deeply rooted in Western colonialism and Western neo-colonialism.
Well, I do not want to give you guys too much information, but food for thought. If you are interested in learning more about this issue and want to get involved please tune into #Spectrum this Wednesday 3/4/15 from 8-9 p.m. on #kssu.com. Remember to keep it juicy and stay funky.