I've always had a passion for giving back. It's a family tradition that comes from my devout parents. They were always giving back and serving the community. So when I became fortunate enough and blessed to play the game of basketball, I was also fortunate enough to follow in my parents' footsteps and give back like the way they did.
I was not very strong growing up, and my uncle used to look at me, like, 'This kid is not growing up, he is growing tall but he can be broken like a banana.' The banana in Congo is called 'Dikembe.' So my uncle start calling me, 'Dikembe, Dikembe, look at you Dikembe, you cannot even stand up.' It took a long time for me to walk.
Africa needs more funding to continue to fight all of those diseases. We are losing more than 1.3 million young children under the age of five every year because of malaria. We've already lost 25 million people to the pandemic of HIV-AIDS. More people are dying now from typhoid fever. Diabetes is on the rise.