Spotlight on Congolese Women: Lisette Mibo; Model, Mother, Human Rights Campaigner
As part of International Women’s Month we are continuing to celebrate the inspirational women of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Today the spotlight is on model Lisette Mibo!
Born in Kinshasa, DRC in 1987, Lisette moved to the UK at the age of 14, and is now successfully pursuing her dream of becoming one of Congo’s next top international supermodels. Lisette is no stranger to hard graft and has worked the runway on many occasions for both established, and up and coming designers. With her career going from strength to strength, Mibo has featured on the cover of numerous magazines in Africa, Europe and here in the UK . Just last year, Mibo, added yet another string to her bow by making appearances at both London Fashion Week and Africa Fashion Week London 2013.
Aside from modelling, since moving to London Lisette has graduated with a BA in Sociology and Criminology, given birth to a baby daughter, and currently holds the title of ambassador for two charities; Save the Congo and Menelik Education, both of which are very close to her heart.
Save the Congo is a charity, which aims to tackle DR Congo’s four main problems: “the 4Is”:Impunity, Insecurity, International trade of conflict minerals and Institutional failure…” . Whilst Menelik Education is dedicated to raising awareness surrounding women, young girls, and vulnerable people in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Lisette is fully committed to her role as ambassador for both charities and is lucky enough to use her platform as a model to educate, empower and inform others. Just last year ,Lisette organised an event in London, Passion for Motherland, which supported empowering projects in the DR Congo. The event brought together creative individuals from different cultures and backgrounds to help raise money and awareness surrounding serious issues occurring in the DR Congo (instability, poor living conditions, lack of good education etc… ).
Lisette is the epitome of hard work and determination. She demonstrates that regardless of where you are from, if you put your mind to something you can succeed.
In the following interview, conducted by Lisapo volunteer Angela Inniss via e-mail, we see why giving back means so much to Mibo, and why she will never forget her Motherland of the DR Congo.
AI: As an African woman, who (or what) would you say has inspired you?
LM: I am inspired by everything in life that helps me to grow as a young woman and I also draw inspiration from young people to older generations, it all depends.
AI:How would you like to inspire others?
LM: My main focus is to continue working hard towards my chosen field and hopefully others can relate and draw inspiration from it and be inspired to work hard as well and chase their dreams fiercely regardless of their circumstances.
AI: What does it mean to you to be a Congolese woman?
LM:It’s a privilege to be born and to belong to the world’s most fertile land, rich in natural resources and filled with endless potential. Congo is a beautiful country and I take pride in being one of the Congolese women representing it worldwide.
AI: And finally, do you have any advice or a message for African girls out there?
LM:My advice to young African girls out there will be first of all to never forget their backgrounds: where they come from and what they stand for. To love and to value themselves regardless, to value education and work hard towards their chosen career path. Furthermore, I would like to share a quote from the “lady of the moment”, Lupita Nyong’o that reads:
No matter where you are from… Your dreams are valid. ~ Lupita Nyong’o
For me, this is a straightforward but powerful quote and many of us, including the young generation of African girls or young girls in general, can relate to or refer back to, in times of low self-esteem.
Article written by Angela Inniss -Lisapo Volunteer.