As many as 250 ethnic groups have been distinguished and named. The most numerous people are the Kongo, Luba, and Mongo. Although 700 local languages and dialects are spoken, the linguistic variety is bridged both by the use of French and the intermediary languages Kikongo, Tshiluba, Swahili, and Lingala.
The Abir Congo Company (founded as the Anglo-Belgian India Rubber Company (ABIR) and later known as the Compagnie du Congo Belge) was a company which harvested natural rubber in the Congo Free State, the private property of King Leopold II of Belgium. The company was founded with British and Belgian capital and was based in Belgium. By 1898 there was no longer any British shareholders and ABIR changed its name to the Abir Congo Company and changed its residence for tax purposes to the Free State. The company was granted a large concession in the north of the country and the rights to tax the inhabitants. This tax was taken in the form of rubber obtained from a relatively rare rubber vine. The collection system revolved around a series of trade posts along the two main rivers in the concession. Each post was commanded by a European agent and manned with armed sentries to enforce taxation and punish any rebels. (Read more...)
LuaLua was born in Kinshasa but moved to the United Kingdom at a young age. After impressing in a college football match, he signed for Colchester United. There he scored a total of 21 goals in 68 appearances which prompted Newcastle United to sign him. However, the competition for places meant he was less of a regular in the first team and after four seasons and 88 appearances there he transferred to Portsmouth, the club that had previously loaned him for three months while at Newcastle. He remained there for three seasons but his spell was marred by disciplinary problems and malaria. After this, he moved to Greek club Olympiakos and spent a season there, helping them to win their fourth straight Super League Greece title, before joining Al-Arabi in 2008. LuaLua received his first cap in 2002, and has since represented his national team in the 2004 and 2006 Africa Cup of Nations.