Girls From The Congo: Lisette Longomo and Emilie Muanandibu’s Hoop Dreams Came To Life In America

Far from home: Lisette Longomo and Emilie Muanandibu moved from Kinshasa to Arizona to play ball. Michael Christopher Brown for Newsweek

After decades of constant warfare, Congo has been ravaged socially and economically. More than half of the country’s population is younger than 17. Many Congolese girls have fallen victim to rape, with the American Journal of Public Health reporting that, at one point, four women were being raped every five minutes in the country. With the average household income hovering around $230 a year, some Congolese girls have turned to prostitution, in a trend called phenomen tshiell, Lingala for the “whore phenomenon.” All of this adds up to a deeply rooted desire to leave the country, by any means necessary.

In search of better lives, Lisette Longomo and Emilie Muanandibu used their basketball talents to escape war-torn Congo.

Click here to read more of their heartfelt story (HT to Sarah M. Kazadi)

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