Dikembe Mutombo In South Sudan

Posted October 25th, 2011 at 2:01 pm (UTC-4)
3 comments

Dikembe Mutombo and Sonny in Washington

For a man who’s traveled all over the world, Dikembe Mutombo sounds a bit surprised about his first visit to South Sudan, which borders his homeland in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Speaking by phone from Juba, the capital of Africa’s newest country, Dikembe tells me South Sudan is “his next door neighbor and it’s very strange” that he’s finally made it to the fledgling nation.

With the backing of the U.S. government and the National Basketball Association, Mutombo and another longtime NBA player, Sam Perkins, traveled to Juba as

Sam Perkins

“sports envoys.”

Mutombo and Perkins have been leading basketball clinics for South Sudanese youth, as well as teaching them basic life skills. “I think they learn a lot of lessons, just by seeing our presence here,” says Mutombo. “You have two NBA players who competed in the league for more than 35 seasons combined. We’ve been talking with them about not just basketball, but also education, peace and reconciliation and staying away from deadly diseases like AIDS.”

Mutombo has been described as perhaps the NBA’s greatest ever humanitarian. He’s been an international sports ambassador in the fight against AIDS, polio and malaria in Africa, and in 2007, he opened the 300-bed Biamba Marie Mutombo hospital in his birthplace of Kinshasa, a hospital named after his late mother.

“When you take the elevator to the top,” says Dikembe Mutombo, “please don’t forget to send it down, so that someone else can take it to the top.” Mutombo’s trip this week to South Sudan is proof again he’ll continue to send that elevator down to lift up the less fortunate.

 

 

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

3 responses to “Dikembe Mutombo In South Sudan”

  1. Paul Sisco says:

    SONNY,
    MAKE SURE EVERYONE KNOWS YOU CAN ALSO BE SEEN ON VOA’S IN-FOCUS PROGRAM EVERY MONDAY AND FRIDAY.

  2. Ashenafi Abedje says:

    What a class act, that giant of a man – Dikembe Mutombo – and his giant heart. You know what Sonny??? He is one good reason we should support human cloning!!

  3. I am very happy that Mutombo is giving back and making a big difference in the lives of people.I think with his presence those less privileged kids will see a big sign of hope.Working and talking to this people about the importance of education and peace and the need to avoid AIDS will help our continent for good.And to me this is the greatest humanitarian service anybody can render.May the good Lord bless Mutombo

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

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