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Breaking stereotypes: DRC's physically challenged persons on a mission

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Prisca Efomi is a young professional model living with disability in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Born in Kinshasa, she has become an ambassador for a fashion show for people living with disabilities.

The show is called “Toza Fiers” literally meaning “We are proud”.

Thanks to our foundation, they have self-confidence and can do what they couldn't do before.

‘‘It was a Sunday and we were coming back from a bus stop with my sister and a cousin. We came home in panic, running all over the place. I had gone to take refuge against a wall and that’s when a car with a faulty brake hit me. That’s what caused my disability. Being a model brings me a lot of things. First, it is a challenge that able-bodied people have launched against people with disabilities. I always thought I had to take up this challenge,” Prisca recounts.
In April, Prisca took up the challenge in Toza Fier festivities. Her profession is the pride for her parents.

‘‘I pretend she’s not disabled. I look at her like a normal girl. I don’t ask myself many questions. When I asked myself a lot of questions, I felt worried for her. I’m handling this normally. In relation to her modeling career, I agreed that she would do this. First of all, because she’s an open girl. Second, she’s a girl who knows how to forge relationships.  She has a lot of connections. I urged her to follow this path’‘, Prisca’s mother, Maudry Monika said.

Prisca is among an association called ‘Kontinental’ foundation which offers support to other young physically challenged persons. President of the foundation, Joachim Malumalu, is hoping to open an educational center in the future to build the skills sets of these physically challenged youths.

‘‘First, it brings self-confidence and also pride. You know that in our country the birth of a disabled person is considered a curse. And this person is not sure of himself at first. Thanks to our foundation, they have self-confidence and can do what they couldn’t do before,’‘ Malumalu said.

Aside fashion shows, the kontinental foundation plans to open education centres in the near future to provide beneficiaries with training that will make them suitable for the job market.

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