By Pick Keobandith
Founder and International Director, Inspiring Culture.

A relaxed conversation with Chantal Yelu Mulop, a lady with a generous and sunny personality, chosen by Felix Tshisekedi, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo to be a Special Advisor in March 2019. She is in charge of Youth, Gender and the Fight against Violence against Women.

With a beautiful smile, Chantal Yelu Mulop told us her story and how being a woman means being a warrior for change and equality. She was born on 17th July in Lubumbashi in RDC. She comes from a family of 7 children, – three boys and four girls who are now all grown women and mothers. She is second eldest in this lovely big group of siblings. Her family was amongst the first wave of Congolese immigrants to Belgium following independence.
Chantal gracefully continued to share her fascinating tale, that of a true blood princess. She is a Suku traditional leader, of the Banvula ethnic group, which has assets of 56 villages and no less than 3 million in habitants. They form the largest majority in the population of Masimanimba (the territory they inhabit).
As a little girl her dream was to become a doctor like the father she so admired, so as to continue the family tradition. He was and still is a great source of inspiration for her.He was an obstetrician and an aerospace doctor; this had a great impact on the multicultural education of all of the children. She has in fact spent her whole life to-ing and fro-ing between Africa and Europe and a large part of her education took place in Belgium. For example she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management, specialising in Management at I.S.E.E., Verviers-spa.

She was then seized with a desire to explore the unknown. She flew to Canada, which she considered to be a land of opportunity, and still does. This is where her six children were born and have grown up.
Her Canadian adventure began at Windsor on the American Canadian border, and it was here that she obtained her Bachelor of Nursing with honour, after which she lived indifferent towns around Canada.
In Ottawa, she met Felix Tshisekedi, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, during a work meeting while they were both working on a project in common. After this joint collaboration, the President decided that she had the necessary potential that he was looking for in an ally and thus she became the head of state’s Special Advisor in March 2019.

It is important to mention here some of her main achievements from this date: the launch of the immediate zero tolerance campaign against crimes of sexual and gender-based violence, the holding of the first conference of Heads of State of the African Union on Positive Masculinity in the DRC, the signing of the addendum to the joint agreement between the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the United Nations on sexual violence related to the 2019 conflict, participation in several G100 meetings on gender equality, participation in the G20 meeting and preparation of the DRC President’s official statement on the promotion of women’s rights, gender equality and the fight against impunity.
To end our conversation, just out of curiosity, we asked her what motivates her every day to continue. Without hesitation, this mother of six replied: It is the determination of the young, seeing the potential, creativity and innovation in each one of them. They contain real resourcefulness and a desire to conquer the world — this fires her daily inspiration.
We sincerely thank Chantal Yelu Mulop, the magnificent princess, for having shared with us her force, vitality and infectious joie de vivre.