“Rumble in the Jungle” refers to the legendary boxing fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, which took place on November 2,1974, in Kinshasa.
I was still a little boy, but I have vivid memories of the thunderous roar of joy that, no doubt, traveled across the entire African continent when Foreman collapsed in the ring.
George Foreman’s defeat was a defining moment of my generation and one of my earliest childhood memories.
I remember watching it live with my dad and siblings on our grainy, black-and-white TV screen. It was 4 a.m. in Dakar and probably the first time I was allowed to stay up so late!
Almost exactly 40 years later, on November 1st, 2014, I arrived in Kinshasa to prepare a dinner at the Kempinski Hotel. The dinner was for delegates of the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the African Union (AU). The theme of the dinner was: “Neglected and Underutilized Species of Africa” — I was to plan my menu around indigenous African crops.
The first thing I wanted to do when I arrived was to walk around the markets of
Kinshasa. Market visits are the best way to get immersed in a culture when