In 2021, several Congolese personalities or those of Congolese origin were appointed or elected to positions of responsibility in the DRC or abroad, while others won awards in various fields. Let’s take a look at these Congolese honored in 2021.
Deborah Kayembe, First Black Person Elected as Rector of the University of Edinburgh
On February 3, 2021, Deborah Kayembe was unanimously elected as the 54th President of the prestigious University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She takes office on March 1, 2021, becoming the first black person and the first black woman to lead the iconic university.
Debora Kayembe is also the first black figure to have her portrait hung on the walls of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, in recognition of her achievements and contributions to Scottish society.
Christian Yoka, Director of AFD’s Africa Department
On July 6, 2021, Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), announced the appointment of Christian Yoka as the new Director of AFD’s Africa Department. A Frenchman of Congolese origin, Christian Yoka has spent his entire career with Agence Française de Développement. Prior to his appointment, he was AFD’s director for East Africa, since August 2018.
Malangu Kabedi, first female governor of the Central Bank of Congo.
Appointed governor of the Central Bank of Congo (BCC) on Monday, July 5, 2021, by DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, Malangu Kabedi Mbuyi is the 13th person to head the BCC and the first woman to hold the position. She was an official at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she worked for 32 years.
Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua, Second Vice President of the International Criminal Court
On Thursday, March 11, 2021, the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC), meeting in plenary session, elected the new president of this institution. On this occasion, the Congolese judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua was elected second vice president of the ICC.
Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua has been a judge at the ICC since March 11, 2015, with a mandate that runs until March 11, 2024. He served as president of the ICC’s Pre-Trial Division from April 10, 2018 to April 10, 2019.
Laura Kupe, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (USA)
In February 2021, Laura Kupe, 33, was appointed Special Assistant to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense (Governance). In September 2021, Laura Kupe was also named to the 2021 list of 27 young people in the Munich Young Leaders program, which is an integral part of the Munich Security Conference (MSC). Each year, the program brings together approximately 25 outstanding young representatives from government institutions, parliaments, think tanks, media, and the private sector from Germany, selected NATO member and partner states, and strategically important states in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, and Africa.
In addition, in 2021, Laura Kupe was also named to “Root” magazine’s prestigious “Root 100” list of the most influential African Americans between the ages of 25 and 45.
Prior to her new position, Laura Kupe served as an advisor to the Committee on Homeland Security in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Eric Kalala Nsantu, Chairman and CEO of Bolloré Transport & Logistics DRC
On August 13, 2021, Eric Kalala Nsantu was appointed president and CEO of Bolloré Transport & Logistics in the DRC. Since 2019, he had been the general manager of Bolloré’s Congolese subsidiary. Eric Kala succeeded François Kaniki, who was chairman of the board of Bolloré Transport & Logistics DRC for more than a decade.
A management engineer from the Institute of Administration and Management at the Catholic University of Louvain, Eric Kalala also holds a Master in International Management from HEC-Paris and the General Management Program from Harvard Business School.
Natacha Maheshe, Product Marketing Lead, Amazon web service
In March 2021, Natacha Maheshe was promoted to Product Marketing Lead – AWS Modern Data Strategy for Amazon Web Service (AWS). In this role, she leads the messaging, positioning, sales promotion and outreach work for the AWS Modern Data Strategy, which includes the Lake House architecture on AWS as well as the Data Mesh on AWS. With a Lake house architecture on AWS, Amazon explains, customers can store their data in a data lake and use a range of specialized data services on the lake that enable them to make decisions quickly and with agility, at a scale and price/performance ratio that defies competition.
Previously, Natacha Maheshe was the head of product marketing for Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) and Amazon Aurora, where she led the strategy and growth product marketing activities for Amazon RDS and Amazon Aurora, the fastest growing service in AWS history.
Natacha Maheshe joined Amazon Group in 2015 and started as a Campaign Data Analyst, before moving into the roles of Marketing Manager, Appstore Developer Marketing and Product Manager, Amazon Devices.
Natacha Maheshe holds an MBA from Seattle University and a BA in Strategic Communications and Entrepreneurship from Seattle University. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Communication from the Catholic University of Congo.
Eric Mboma, Director of External Affairs, Prudential plc Africa
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Congolese banker Eric Mboma has been appointed Director of External Affairs for Prudential plc Africa, effective July 1, 2021. He is also a member of the executive committee of Prudential public limited company (plc)/Africa, a subsidiary of the multinational Prudential plc, a British insurance company with a market capitalization of approximately 4.75 trillion dollars. As Director of External Affairs for Prudential Africa, Eric Mboma is the face of Prudential Plc in Africa and its CEO.
Hannah Subayi, Country Manager and Investment Specialist for Proparco in the DRC
Since February 2021, Hannah Subayi has been Country Manager and Investment Specialist for the Democratic Republic of Congo for Proparco, a subsidiary of the French development agency (AFD). Hannah Subayi is in charge of all types of investments in the DRC: infrastructure (energy and non-energy), private equity, investment funds and early stage investments. In addition, Hanna Subayi is also the Senior Investment Officer for Central Africa.
Professor Ribio Nzeza, Director of the Department of Culture at Senghor University in Alexandria, Egypt
Professor Ribio Nzeza Bunketi Buse was appointed Director of the Culture Department at Senghor University in Alexandria, Egypt, effective October 1, 2021. Professor Ribio Nzeza, 37 years old and of Congolese nationality (DRC), is the youngest director of a department in the history of Senghor University, the first African personality to head the culture department of this university and the first national of Central Africa to head a department of Senghor University in Alexandria.
Martine Musau Muele, President of the City Council of Montreal
Martine Musau Muele has been chosen by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante to become the new president of the city council on November 25, 2021. Martine Musau Muele is the 9th person and the first black woman to hold this position. Martine Musau Muele was elected city councillor on November 7, 2021, in the last election in the borough of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension, where she received nearly 69% of the vote.
Amini Kajunju, Director of Operations of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Centre
Amini Kajunju took office in September 2021 as the Director of Operations for the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development (EJS Center), based in Monrovia, Liberia.
Amini Kajunju was the first African to lead the Africa-America Institute (AAI), the oldest nonprofit organization in the United States dedicated to building human capacity in Africa through education, training, and dialogue.
Professor Claudine Tshimanga, the first woman to be named dean of a faculty at the Catholic University of Congo
In June 2021, Professor Claudine Tshimanga Mbuyi Kaseka was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Development (FED) at the Catholic University of Congo (UCC), the first woman to be appointed to this position and the first woman to be appointed Dean of a faculty at UCC. In 1997, Claudine Tshimanga Mbuyi Kaseka was also the first woman to be appointed as an assistant to the Faculty of Science and Development Techniques (STD), the former name of the FED, which she heads since the start of the 2021-2022 academic year.
Professor Claudine Tshimanga Mbuyi Kaseka is a graduate of the very first class of the FED, entry year 1990-1991 and exit year 1994-1995.
Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, Director of the Africa Program at CSIS (USA)
As of November 29, 2021, Mvemba Phezo Dizolele is a Senior Fellow and the new Director of the Africa Program at the Washington, DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), an American foreign policy think tank, influence and advisory group. Mvemba Phezo Dizolele has been a non-resident senior associate of the Africa Program at CSIS for over three years.
Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, CSIS recalls, has served as an international election observer and delegate in several countries, including Nigeria, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he also served as a reporter with UN peacekeeping forces in Ituri and South Kivu.
Mvemba Phezo Dizolele’s analysis has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Forbes and other publications, and he has been a guest analyst on PBS, NPR, BBC and Al Jazeera. Mvemba Phezo Dizolele is fluent in French, Norwegian, Spanish, Swahili, Kikongo, and Lingala, and is proficient in Danish and Swedish.
Mvemba Phezo Dizolele holds an international Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Economics, Strategy, and International Business, and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) in International Development and Economic Policy from the University of Chicago, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French from Southern Utah University.
Mboka Mwilambwe, Mayor of the City of Bloomington, Illinois, USA
Mboka Mwilambwe was elected Mayor of Bloomington on April 6, 2021. He was first appointed to the City Council in March 2011 to finish the term of a former councilman . He was then elected to the position on April 9, 2013, before being elected mayor on April 6, 2021.
Mboka Mwilambwe was born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo and is the youngest of seven children. In 1977, his family moved to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where his father became an official with UNICEF. In 1983, Mboka Mwilambwe’s family moved to Dakar, Senegal, and in 1988 to Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. It was through these experiences, it is explained, that Mboka Mwilambwe began to appreciate the differences between human beings and to value what these differences can bring.
Married with four children, Mboka Mwilambwe graduated from Illinois State University in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He has also worked at the university since 1997.
Mboka Mwilambwe speaks English, French, Swahili, Lingala and also learned Spanish in high school.
Elvis Adidiema, Director of Sony Music in Francophone Africa
French national and native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Elvis Adidiema, 33, has been named director of Sony Music in French-speaking Africa and took up his post on November 2, 2021, based between Paris, France and Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Elvis Adidiema oversees all business operations in Francophone Africa and is responsible for developing new artist opportunities for Sony Music’s Francophone African market.
Pamela Ilunga, first woman appointed Deputy General Manager of Vodacom Congo
Pamela Ilunga has held the position of deputy general manager of Vodacom Congo since Friday, November 19, 2021. She joined the company in 2015 as director of human resources.
Pamela Ilunga has over 16 years of human resources and leadership experience gained in various sectors in South Africa, Gabon and the DRC. She holds a B.Com in Human Resource Management from the University of Pretoria, South Africa; a Certificate in Business Management from Wits Business School, South Africa and is part of the 2018 “Vodafone Inspire Allumni” cohort in partnership with London Business School. Pamela Ilunga is also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Agency for Investment Promotion (ANAPI) in the DRC.
Julienne Lusenge, winner of the “Aurora Prize for the Awakening of Humanity”
On October 9, 2021 in Venice, Italy, Julienne Lusenge, human rights defender, won the sixth edition of the “Aurora for Awakening Humanity” prize, during the ceremony entitled “Reviving Together”. Endowed with one million US dollars and established on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Aurora Award aims to recognize and support those who risk their own lives, health or freedom to save the lives, health or freedom of others suffering as a result of violent conflict, atrocious crimes or other major human rights violations. The award is named after a survivor, Aurora Mardiganian, who as a child had to witness the deaths of family members. She dedicated her life to raising awareness of the genocide and starred in a 1919 film called “Ravished Armenia.”
Dr. Alain S. Miatudila, Sr. recipient of the National Organization for Student Success Award (USA)
In June 2021, Dr. Alain Senga Miatudila, Sr. received the National Organization for Student Success Award from Central Piedmont Community College, which recognizes an alumnus or alumna (from the Student Academic Development Program) who has achieved national distinction in education and other areas of life. Dr. Alain Senga Miatudila, Sr. is Associate Dean of Engineering at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, USA.
Irene Kilubi, winner of two New Work Awards in Germany
In December 2021, “Joint Generations”, an organization founded by Irene Kilubi won two awards at the New Work Awards in Germany, in the “Future Throws” and “People’s Choice” categories respectively in Hamburg. The New Work Awards recognize people and companies that stand for future-oriented work. The aim of “Joint Generations” is to bring together people of different ages to shape the future together in an intergenerational and sustainable way.
Sister Josée Ngalula, first African woman appointed to Vatican theological commission
On September 29, 2021, Sister Josée Ngalula was appointed by Pope Francis as one of the members of the International Theological Commission, a structure of the Roman Curia (Vatican government). The 61-year-old Congolese nun became the first African member of the commission.
Sister Josée Ngalula is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Andrew, where she made her first vows in 1979 and her final vows on May 21, 1993.
Sister Josée Ngalula holds a doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of Lyon and teaches in several theological institutes in Africa. She is notably a professor at the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University of Congo and at the Al Mowafaqa Ecumenical Institute in Rabat, Morocco.
Gracia Kasoki Katahwa, first black woman mayor in Montreal (Canada)
In November 2021, Gracia Kasoki Katahwa became Mayor of the Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough in Montreal, Canada, after being elected with 212 votes. She thus made history as the first black woman to head a borough in Montreal. As Mayor of the Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, Gracia Kasoki Katahwa is a member of the board of directors of the Société des transports de Montréal (STM) and a member of the public safety commission.
Gracia Kasoki Katahwa trained as a clinical nurse and has been caring for the population of the borough for 10 years. She is also the only black woman member of the Board of Directors of the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec.
George Kibala Bauer, Director, Digital Utilities at GSMA
In December 2021, London-based George Kibala Bauer was promoted to director of digital utilities at GSMA, the global association representing the interests of more than 750 mobile operators and manufacturers from 220 countries around the world. George Bibala Bauer joined GSMA in 2018 and has held successive positions as Knowledge Manager, Mobile for Development Utilities program; Advocacy Manager, GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities program as well as Senior Advocacy and Analysis Manager, GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities program, a position he held prior to being promoted to Director of Digital Utilities.
George Kibala Bauer holds a Master’s degree in International Economic Policy from Sciences Po Paris, France, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from McGill University in Canada.
Monique Motty, regional expert on climate change
Monique Motty was selected on the 2021 Power List of 50 African women leaders in the energy sector, published by Africa Oil Week.
Monique Motty is a regional expert on climate change and green growth for Central Africa at the African Development Bank (AfDB). She provides technical support to member countries in their implementation of the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals and the AfDB’s five key priorities. Prior to this, Monique Motty was a climate technology specialist and capacity building coordinator for West and Central Africa at the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), the operational arm of the technology mechanism of the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In addition, Monique Motty also worked for the secretariat of the National REDD+ Fund (FONAREDD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she provided technical assessment for project proposals on sustainable charcoal supply chain and urban biogas market penetration. Prior to that, she worked at FAO on a bioenergy and food security assessment tool for developing countries. In this context, Monique Motty co-authored and contributed to reports on climate finance for energy transition, biogas and land tenure in bioenergy development.
Monique Motty holds a Master’s degree in energy, environmental technology and economics and is a certified expert in climate and renewable energy finance. She is a member of the Global Women’s Network for Energy Transition and a board member of 2020 for the DR Congo, representing the group of African negotiators to the UNFCCC executive committee for technology.
Christelle Veringa, winner of the Pierre Castel Prize 2021 in DRC
In May 2021, Christelle Veringa won the Pierre Castel Prize 2021 edition in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In her application for this award, she highlighted her project focused on the packaging and marketing of “Mannalola” honey, 100% pure and authentic, available in four varieties (Acacia, Multiﬂoral, Eucalyptus and Podberry), with different packaging options. Christelle Veringa received an endowment equivalent to 15,000 Euros and benefits, for 9 months, from personalized support provided by RDC entreprise développement (local branch of the European Institute for Cooperation and Development – IECD).
Jean-Patrice Keka, winner of the Lifesaver 2021 Prize
The “Lifesaver 2021” prize was awarded in August 2021 to Congolese engineer Jean-Patrice Keka by “People for the ethical treatment of animals” (Peta), the world’s largest animal rights organization, which has more than six and a half million supporters worldwide. Jean-Patrice Keka Ohemba Okese received the award for not sending a guinea pig nicknamed “Galaxinaut” into space as part of his Troposphere 6 space program, developed by his company Développement tous azimuts (DTA) and supported by Switzerland.
Aminata Namasia, youngest minister in the Congolese government
Aminata Namasia has been appointed Vice-Minister of Primary, Secondary and Technical Education (EPST) in the DRC government, made public on Monday 12 April 2021. She is the youngest person in the Congolese government, which has 57 members, 14 of whom are women, representing 27% of women.
Gladys Kazadi, alderwoman in the municipality of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe (Brussels)
Since December 17, Gladys Kazadi, 27 years old, is an alderman in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, one of the 19 municipalities of the city of Brussels, capital of Belgium. She is responsible for families and parenthood, seniors and intergenerational relations, and public health. Of Belgian nationality and originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gladys Kazadi had been elected as a member of the Brussels parliament on May 26, 2019, at the age of 25, for the political party “Humanist Democratic Center” (CDH) in the electoral district of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe.
Manuel Ntumba, Regional Partnership Manager for Africa at the United Nations’ Space Generation Advisory Council
In May 2021, Manuel Ntumba was appointed Regional Partnership Officer for Africa at the United Nations’ Space Generation Advisory Council (UN SGAC), a United Nations program for space applications affiliated with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), which is based in Vienna, Austria.
Born to a Congolese father (Democratic Republic of Congo) and a Togolese mother, Manuel Ntumba, who is a Togolese national living in Togo, is currently the youngest aerospace engineer in Africa. He has patented several inventions and works with scientists around the world.
Bernadette Vivuya, winner of the 2021 Michael Elliott Journalism Award
In December 2021, Congolese journalist Bernadette Vivuya and Nigerian journalist Zainab Bala won the 2021 Michael Elliott Prize for their articles denouncing child labor and neglect. The award is presented by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), in partnership with ONE and the Elliott family. It was established in 2016 in honor of Michael Elliott, an editor and philanthropist whose life, it is explained, is an example of the power of storytelling to bear witness to and improve the human condition. Bernadette Vivuya’s winning article focuses on Congolese children working in niobium, cassiterite and coltan mines that produce raw materials used to make capacitors for electronic devices. Published by Equal Times, the article describes how Congolese children, faced with crushing poverty, are forced to perform back-breaking work, constituting a major obstacle in the global effort to end child labor.
Leattytia Badibanga, winner of the Quebec Businesswoman Award
On November 9, 2021, Leattytia Badibanga, 32 years old, was awarded the “Prix Coup de coeur, Le Journal de Montréal, Le Journal de Québec”, at the “Prix Femmes d’affaires du Québec”. She was one of the 15 winners of this award in 2021.
Leattytia Badibanga is the founder and president of “Pattes vertes”, a new innovative line of food supplements for dogs, made from Moringa and produced in the form of green kibbles and dog paws. The use of Moringa for this dietary supplement is a first in the North American dog food market.
Gloria Fataki, Young Leader 2021, France-Africa Foundation
In June 2021, Franco-Congolese Gloria Fataki was selected as a member of the France-Africa Foundation’s Young Leader Class of 2021.
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and raised in France, Goria Fataki is, since October 2020, General Manager of Trace Congo, the Congolese subsidiary of TRACE TV, the first international channel dedicated to urban music and present in 60 countries. She has worked on the digital transformation of major international industrial groups in France and the United States (Safran, Turbomeca, KPMG and PwC).
Gloria Fataki is also a member of the board of directors of UN Women France and founder of the non-governmental organization Inclusive Society.
Bene Katabua, Specialist in Educational Psychology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
On May 16, 2021, Intercare Health Center, based in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, announced the appointment of Bene Katabua as its new Educational Psychology Specialist. Bene Katabua has been based in Abu Dhabi since 2017. She is a child and educational psychologist specializing in the well-being of children, adolescents and families.
Gauthier Mvumbi, Detroit Handball Club Ambassador
Gauthier Mvumbi became known to the general public during the handball world cup, organized in January 2021, where he played for the national team of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The player who used to play for Dreux Athletic Club Handball, in the fourth division of the French league, impressed the public in his first match with the DRC against Argentina. His extraordinary physique for handball, 1m95 and 137 kilos, have led some to nickname him the “Shaquille O’Neal” of handball. In May 2021, Gauthier Mvumbi announced on his Twitter account that he was recruited by the Detroit Handball Club to help develop handball in the United States.
Noella Coursaris Musunka, winner of the World Literacy Award 2021
In September 2021, the Malaika Foundation, created by Noella Coursaris, was one of the 7 winners of the World Literacy Award given by the World Literacy Foundation. Malaika, won this World Literacy Award for its significant contribution to literacy. Malaika is a non-profit organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that gives young girls better access to education, water and health care.
Véron Mosengo-Omba, Secretary General of the Confederation of African Football (CAF)
In March 2021, Véron Mosengo-Omba was appointed Secretary General of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Prior to this appointment, he was Director of the Member Associations Division of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), where he supported all 211 FIFA member associations in the implementation of FIFA’s Forward Development Program, while overseeing relations with all FIFA member associations and continental confederations.
Veron Mosengo-Omba joined FIFA in 2016 as the regional manager of FIFA’s member associations division for Africa and the Caribbean.
Gaël Kakuta, Winner of the Marc-Vivien Foé Award RFI-France 24
Gaël Kakuta, Congolese attacking midfielder, playing in the French soccer team FC Lens, has been named best African player playing in Ligue 1 in 2021. First Congolese and first player of Lens to win the Marc-Vivien Foé award, Gaël Kakuta was elected by a jury composed of more than one hundred journalists specialized in French and African soccer. In the ranking, Gaël Kakuta beat the Algerian striker Andy Delort from Montpellier and the Zimbabwean striker Tino Kadewere from Olympique Lyonnais.
Herita Ilunga, member of the FIFPRO Africa Committee
In September 2021, former Congolese international footballer Herita Ilunga became a member of the Africa committee of the international federation of professional footballers’ associations (FIFPRO). Five months earlier, Ilunga was elected president of the Union of Congolese Footballers (UFC). Herita Ilunga has played in France for clubs such as Saint-Etienne and Toulouse FC and in England for West-Ham.
Rebecca Malkia Bashi, writer
In March 2021, 10-year-old Congolese writer Rebecca Malkia Bashi published her first novel from Mali. Entitled “Witmorth’s Academy: The Magic Bracelets”, the book tells the story of a girl who had to go to the forest to find her sister. The plot is based on a story where a character has to go and get magic bracelets to help her friends.
Alain Chirwisa “Alesh”, winner of the RFI 2021 discovery prize
The musical artist Alain Chirwisa “Alesh” won, on December 17, 2021, the 40th edition of the RFI Discovery Prize, beating the 9 other finalists. The jury, chaired by the Congolese singer Lokua Kanza, chose Alesh “in particular for the quality and commitment of his lyrics, in French and Lingala”. Thanks to this victory, Alesh received a grant of 10,000 euros, an African tour, a concert in Paris and a media tour.
Organized in partnership with the French Institute, the International Organization of the Francophonie and Ubiznews, the Prix Découvertes RFI highlights new musical talent from the African continent.
Medi Kimbeni Kebantima, winner of three digital awards
Initiator of the KisiApp project, Medi Kimbeni won, in May 2021, the “Strong Ladies Prize” in the science category. On November 13, 2021, she won the first edition of the “Intello Moseka” prize, organized by the Wallonia Brussels delegation in DRC. And on December 27, 2021 Medi Kimbeni was announced as the winner of the STEM Excellence Award 2021, given by the STEM DRC organization, in recognition of an outstanding member with a proven track record in the field of STEM in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Fiston Mwanza Mujila, winner of the “Les Afriques 2021” prize
The writer Fiston Mwanza Mujila is the winner of the literary prize “Les Afriques 2021” for his novel entitled “La danse du vilain”, published by Métailié in 2020. This novel, it is explained, is an exploration of the resourcefulness between trafficking in precious stones and frenetic nightclubs, between Angola in the midst of civil war and a Zaire on the verge of explosion.
Blaise Ndala, Winner of the Kourouma and Ivoire literary prizes
Winner of the Ahmadou Kourouma Prize 2021, awarded at the Geneva Book Fair, for his novel “In the Belly of the Congo”, Congolese writer Blaise Ndala also won, in November 2021 and for the same work, the 13th Prize for African literature of French-speaking 2021 (Ivory Prize), in Abidjan.
Baraka Lurhakwa, third place in the International Comics Prize
In June 2021, Baraka Lurhakwa won third place in the International Cartoon Competition, organized by UN Women, in collaboration with the European Commission and in partnership with Cartooning for Peace, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. More than 1,200 young artists between the ages of 18 and 28 from over 120 countries participated in the contest and submitted their drawings to share their vision of the Equality Generation.
Baraka Lurhakwa’s cartoon, entitled “Equality Generation Imagine It!” denounces early marriage and encourages people to speak out against this harmful practice.
Jérémie Makiese, Winner of The Voice Belgium 2021
On Tuesday, April 13, 2021, Jérémie Makiese won the ninth edition of The Voice Belgium contest, with 53% of the votes and after sixteen weeks of competition. Thanks to this victory, Jérémie Makiese has been awarded a contract with Universal Music.
Jérémie Makiese will also be Belgium’s candidate for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.