But I was dead wrong. And throughout my stay and work in Congo, I met these very same elite daily. Some of them, we became friends, while others considered me as their bête noir, because of my outspokenness. But one other thing that I also noticed in Congo was that, in spite their apparent modernity, the elite milieu was predominantly male with little or no place for women. Congolese women or a majority of them, have been destroyed by old men with deep pockets and who, almost all, belong to the ruling PCT party. The reasons will be given ahead. Congo is the only country perhaps with the exceptions of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in French-speaking Equatorial Africa and that is majority religiously Christian and animist , wherein women are not ambitious. Their only ambition is marriage and this, only to rich old men, belonging to the system. The other past time of some Congolese girls is to make up and look beautiful, hence cosmetic and sex industries or the leisure sector seems to flourish. But there are no statistics of the sector in the land of corruption. Congolese girls or a majority of them, like most African girls are extremely materialistic and agonizingly lazy, they are also groomed with the only ambition, being to get married to a big shot within the ruling party, even as a third, fourth of fifth wife.
Polygamy is tolerated
It is a country where polygamy is tolerated and accepted by young women, whereas in most of Equatorial Africa and even in majority Muslim African states, women are fighting against polygamy and want to be independent. Those girls and women who do accept it, it is because of two things. The first is greed or quest for status symbol, which is characterized by the ownership of a car or regular trips to Dubai or Paris. The second is poverty and low or poor education. But as already mentioned, in Congo, everything is in reverse order. In politics or civil services or in even in professions such law, journalism and medicine to name just these few, the presence of Congolese women is marginal, whereas in it is a different situation elsewhere on the continent, where women are making progress in all fields. In this chapter, you will read brief biographies of the various people that I have met and sometimes interviewed in my programme: La Grande Interview. These people are currently playing major or minor roles in their respective fields and also influencing how things functions in Congo. It is certain that, there are some important social, economic and political actors who might have featured in this chapter, but I was not able to mention them.
I have not done so because I ignored them. If important names have not featured, it is most often because, they did not fall within my radar or being an imperfect person, I may have forgotten or omitted some of them. But you will discover that, amongst those that I have retained in this chapter, there are very little women present. The reason is simple, Congolese women are perhaps the less ambitious that I have come across in the close to 35 countries in Africa that, I have visited. As mention earlier, Congolese are perhaps the most welcoming people on the continent that I have met, but their women, are perhaps the laziest.