#UNITEDNATIONSOFHOUTBAY NO.8. Democratic Republic of Congo

Population: 82M (about 1.5xRSA) | Size: 2.3 million sqKm (nearly 2 x RSA) | Currency: Congolese Franc | Political Leader: Joseph Kabila (People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy) | Capital City: Kinshasa | GDP: $35.2 billion (94/194 but lowest GDP per capita in the world) | Official Languages: French, Lingale, Kituba, Swahili, Tshiluba

Hout Bay Resident Richard Kalemba is from the Democratic Republic of Congo

When and why did you come to South Africa? I came to South Africa in 2006 because of the political wars in my country. Where do you work? I work at Earthworx as a sales manager. But I also spend a lot of time running the Hout Bay Refugee Community which helps counsel refugees with the discrimination or xenophobia they face, and the difficulties with getting their papers from Home Affairs and so on. I set it up two years ago after a man living near me had just arrived from Congo, he was on his way to the library and he was brutally killed. We started to hold meetings with community leaders, where we could sit down and help understand each other’s concerns.

What do you like most about Hout Bay? I mostly like the solidarity of people around Hout Bay.
What’s the best thing about your country? The best thing about my country is to be together with family.
…and the worst? War
What do you think DRC is most famous for? Its huge mineral resources If there’s one thing you could import from DRC to South Africa, what would it be? The diversity of food, particularly fruit – it has a tropical climate, and the size of the pineapples and bananas you would not believe! Also there are many other fruit which do not even have a name in English.
If there’s one thing Congolese could learn from South Africans what would that be? Political structure and democracy.
How do you greet someone in DRC? Bonjour, Mbote or Jambo
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