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NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo Joins Opportunity International Board of Advisors; Opens Doors in Democratic Republic of Congo
Date:12/18/2007

d money or doctors and government leaders contributing their talents to serve the poor, who have been underserved for so long. Dikembe Mutombo is the very definition of a philanthropist and we are honored to have him join Opportunity International."

Mutombo Visits Opportunity Clients in Mozambique

In September, while on a goodwill tour for the NBA, Mutombo visited Mozambique where Opportunity International is already serving the poor. He toured the bank and visited loan and savings clients in marketplaces in the capital city of Maputo.

"I used to work in a market like this as a child for my father's small business. I sold bread and cheese and sausage," Mutombo explained. "My father woke me up every day at 5:30 a.m. and I worked until it was time to go to school at 8 a.m. It was how I earned money for my education. My father was poor."

Mutombo created an immediate stir entering the market, as would any person who is 7'2" and dressed impeccably in a suit and tie ("I always dress this way in public," he explained). Soon hundreds of men, women and children were following him as he stopped to talk with Opportunity International clients selling food and household goods in the market stalls.

Not everyone recognized him as an NBA player. "Is he a giant?" one woman was overheard asking. Her friend immediately responded, "Of course he is, silly!"

"Bom dia, my sister, bom dia, my brother," he greeted the entrepreneurs in what little Portuguese he knows. It is not one of nine languages he speaks.

At one business that sells shoes, the proprietor, a woman named Rosita, tried to find a pair of basketball shoes to fit him. "Rosita, I need size 22!" he exclaimed, holding up his foot. While she did find a large pair of Nikes, which is his basketball shoe sponsor, they were at least six sizes too small.

While spending the day in the marketplace, Mutombo asked many questions of the entrepreneurs served by Opportunity International
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SOURCE Opportunity International
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