By Matt Reed | Shadow League reporter
Dikembe Mutombo spent a career rejecting and taunting some of the NBA’s biggest stars at the rim such as Patrick Ewing and Emeka Okafor and Alonzo Mourning, but these days he is more focused on rejecting inequities on the global market front.
The NBA Hall of Famer has seen many injustices firsthand in his native homeland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country is swamped currently with political instability and armed clashes. New COVID-19 Delta variants are spreading through the areas as well, compounding the many levels of problems the area is experiencing.
Also, farmers there have little to no input on the distribution and sale of its valuable coffee beans, sp they are continuously oppressed in almost every way
Clients in the News: As COVID-19 Delta variants spread, remote areas such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo struggle to receive vaccines. @KORE_Wireless has teamed up with @Swoop_aero to airlift vaccines via drones to the DRC. @FOX5Atlanta's story: https://t.co/j9f844bqG1
— Cookerly PR (@CookerlyPR) July 7, 2021
Mutombo — wanting to improve trade practices regarding coffee, in addition to his admiration of coffee — was prompted to launch his company, Mutombo Coffee.
This move was made in hopes of providing economic sustainability to farming communities in Africa, especially women farmers, who must climb many miles above sea level to pick the most valuable beans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“I love to drink coffee and my country produces some of the best coffee, but the world doesn’t know about it. Coffee has historically been an important crop in Congo, but production has plummeted in the past 20 years as violence and civil unrest have racked the country. It almost destroyed the fabric of our society,” says Mutombo. “It destroyed our history and the way we are portrayed.”
Mutombo Coffee, a company led by NBA legend @officialmutombo aims to bring investments and sustainability to farming communities in his native Democratic Republic of the Congo with a focus on women farmers working in the industry pic.twitter.com/TOMo36rHuR
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) April 1, 2021
Mutombo has also partnered with the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) to benefit women coffee producers who are IWCA members in parts of eastern and southern Africa while driving forward Mutombo Coffee’s mission of supporting coffee producers throughout Africa.
Could you imagine living on land that harbors precious resources and minerals and not having any control over how or where its sold and being totally excluded from the profits? No white person can, but many Black people around the world are oppressed and abused in this way. Dikembe is trying to change that.
The former NBA star is also doing his best to shine a positive light on his homeland, something he did often during his playing days when he twice won the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2001 and 2009.