NBA basketball star Dikembe Mutombo was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1966, and arrived in the United States in 1987 on an academic scholarship.

A four-time winner of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, he starred for the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets before joining the Houston Rockets in late 2004. In 1997, Mutombo set up the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation to combat childhood diseases in his native Democratic Republic of Congo and build the country’s first new, fully-equipped hospital in nearly 30 years.

A winner of numerous awards for his humanitarian work, he spends the off-season traveling throughout Africa, performing at free basketball clinics for as many as 2,000 children a day. Now Mutombo, who is fluent in nine languages, five of them African, is using his voice to speak out about the 800 million people living on the edge of starvation. He has recorded Public Service Announcements for WFP in English and French calling for support for the agency in its battle to prevent 24,000 people dying of hunger every day.

"Food – there’s no greater gift, and no better way to give it."- Dikembe Mutombo

Partner profile

Profession: NBA basketball player. Four-time winner of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.
WFP partner since: May 2005