Remembering Professor Crispin Adunagow
CRISPIN MUDIBANGU ATUNAKU ADUNAGOW, son of NGEMI MUTEKU and MARIE UDIMBILA, was born on August 9, 1943, in SUNGU (MASI-MANIMBA, KWILU) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
He was the eldest of 2 children: Crispin Adunagow (Dad), and Jean Guhosagubi.
Sadly, Crispin’s Father passed away when he was still very young. As tragic as such an event could be on a young child,it was not a roadblock in his life. Crispin was predestined for greatness and was a gifted child.
Crispin went on in life and in 1967, he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Lubumbashi. In 1970, he obtained his Master’s degree in Economics, with Highest Honor, from the same university.In his 20’s Crispin met and married Hildegarde Kukwikila, his one, and only wife and went on to have five children,Mireille, Yolande (Yolanda), Irene, Alain, and Hervé (Eric).
Crispin and Hildegarde had the privilege to be among the few chosen university students in Congo that were given the opportunity to study abroad. The couple and their two children at the time(Mireille and Yolanda) would move in Bruges, Belgium, wherein 1971, Crispin would graduate from the “College Post Universitaire et International D’Europe”with an Economics & International Finance advanced degree.
Crispin had a bright future ahead of him,and many opportunities were presented to him in Belgium and around Europe from organizations seeking his expertise. However, Crispin was not just a gifted professional, but he was also a patriot. His love for his nation would be the key for the family to return to Congo, where Crispin and Hildegarde wanted to re-invest their knowledge for the development of their homeland. He wanted a better Congo.
In 1971, Crispin would accept a position with “Banque du Congo” as an Economist, in Kinshasa. His knowledge and strong education background would quickly have him climb the corporate ladder within the organization.
In 1972, Crispin was now working at the D.R Congo State Portfolio Management “Institut de Gestion du Portefeuile de l’Etat” as Economist in charge of the Control of public companies and mixed economy. He then became a Finance Director.Crispin held various high-profile professions from 1971 to 1984:
· 1971-1972:Economist at Banque du Congo
· 1972-1977:Economist in charge of Audit and Control of Public Enterprises at the Portfolio Management Institute (“Institut de Gestion du Portefeuile de l’Etat, RDC”).
· 1977-1980:Director at the Ministry of Finance (“Ministere du Portefeuile”)
· 1982-1984:General Secretary (Secrétaire Général)
Crispin was also recognized with his contributions in Education as a professor:
· 1980-1983:Professor at National School of Finance (“L’Ecole National de Finance”) in Kinshasa where he taught general accounting, Analysis and Discussion of Balance Sheets, and Financial Math
· He was the founder of “l’Ecole des Cadres / Pigier – Paris/KIN”. He taught General Economy, Business Finances, Financial Math and Statistics.
· 1980-1983: Professor at CEPETEDE (“Centre Post-Universitaire d’Etudes et des Techniques de Development”) – Kin
· 1984-1989:Professor at the University of MARIEN N’GOUABI in Brazzaville, Congo where he taught Business Finance & Accounting Analysis, and General accounting
· 1993-1997– Professor/Lecturer at Temple University in Philadelphia, USA under the PanAfrican Studies Institute, teaching African Economy, Cultural and Development aspects, Economy of Developing Countries, and French language.
He spoke many languages: French, English,German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and many Congolese dialects such as Lindala, Kinkongo, Kimbala, and Swahili.
He was an excellent communicator and diplomat, skilled in expert negotiations and advanced analytics; an expert in Business and public communications.Crispin was also known for his contributions to D.R. Congo politics as a strong activist. His persistence and belief in justice,integrity, loyalty, and patriotism would be his path to an unplanned clash with politics.
Crispin ATUNAKU ADUNAGOW was political activism and refugee. -Engaged in political activity since 1964, he was a member of the General Union of Congolese Students (“Union Générale des Etudiants Congolais”), the U.G.E.C.In this capacity, he participated in demonstrations and strikes of protest against the policy of the dictatorial regime of MOBUTU in 1969, including when the autocratic regime of MOBUTU taunted the Progressive Movement of Students and the dismantling of the U.G.E.C. Since then, he joined other comrades for the struggle of writing and distributing leaflets, denouncing the MOBUTU regime and its dictatorial practices.
In 1974, while working as an economist at the Portfolio Management Institute (“Institut de Gestion du Portefeuille”), he was denounced and summoned to an interrogation at the Presidential Security (“Securité Presidentielle”), because of his criticism of the regime.
In 1975, he was once again summoned by the same security to answer to another interrogation. He was kept in custody for 24 hours, then released on condition that he stops criticizing the dictatorial regime.
In 1980, he became a member of underground groups of intellectuals and executives engaged in secret and covert political activities against MOBUTU's dictatorial regime. He participated regularly in meetings and secretive debates on the New Society Project to replace the totalitarian,autocratic and dictatorial regime resulting from the Coup d'Etat of November 24, 1965.
He joined secretly the working group for the creation of the UDPS party and contributed to the secret recruitment of friends and sympathizers who will later become the first militants of this party operating until then in hiding.
In 1982, after returning from a service mission in Europe, he was arrested and detained at Camp TSHATSHI, a Military Security post. He was accused of being the representative of the Opposition based outside the country and seeking to raise the circles of researchers, civil servants,professors and students to overthrow the dictatorial regime. He was detained without trial for 12 months at Camp TSHATSHI and then at Makala Central Prison. Thanks to the intervention of AMNESTY International, he was summarily judged and sentenced to five months; having already received 12 months, he was released the same day of the verdict.
In 1983, he was hunted again by the security of the regime,which tried to kidnap and kill him. His relatives were instead ambushed and five of his relative members were killed in the planned surprise attack. It was then that he decided to leave the country with his wife and children. They took refuge first in Luanda, Angola, then in Brazzaville, Congo. Upon his arrival in Brazzaville, he co-founded the Congolese Political Refugee Community (“Communauté des Refugies Politiques du Congo-Kinshasa”). The aim of the Association was to educate and mobilize compatriots in order to prepare them to participate in the fight against the dictatorship.
In 1989, dozens of Congolese refugees (Zairois) were arrested and detained in the “Cachots de la Securité d”Etat a Brazzaville” State prison in Brazzaville, who wanted to extradite them to Kinshasa. He took steps with the H.C.R. organization and the Government of Brazzaville to obtain their releases from prison and requested their resettlement from the Ambassadors of the USA,Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Holland, and Norway. Almost all of these refugees were accepted and resettled in various European countries, the USA, and CANADA.
He left Brazzaville and went to the USA, still in political exile. In the USA, he joined with other opponents of the then-current dictatorial regime, and they created activist committees, formation, and Information of masses and the Public about the ongoing dictatorial regime in Congo. On his arrival in the United States of America, he continued to campaign against injustice in Congo under the UDPS party in NEW YORK and Delaware. He was then elected as Secretary of Finance of the Committee.
In 1990, he became President of the UDPS / State of Pennsylvania Committee, with headquarters in Philadelphia, where he mobilized and recruited new members of the Party and supervised them until June 1997, date of his return to Congo, after the Coup d’Etat by the AFDL group.
He was part of the creation of the newsletter: “Le Forum Zairois”, (with Mr. MWENZE KONGOLO, who would later become Minister of Justice or the new Government). His Activities included:
- Publication of articles attacking and exposing the misdeeds of the regime of MOBUTU, Publication of interviews from political figures of the Congolese oppositions (Zairois) as well as Americans (Congress and Government). Creation of a political association Party: ANACOZA, with Dr. André KAPANGA, former Ambassador of D.R. Congo to the United Nations, Mr. MWENZE KONGOLO, and other Congolese cadres and intellectuals. The objectives of ANACOZA was to mobilize the public opinion with a view to overthrowing the dictatorial regime in Kinshasa.
Other key activities that Crispin was part of during his political involvement against the dictatorial regime in D.R. Congo involved the production of a videotape report on Goma and the liberated territories - as well as on the program of the now late President L.D. KABILA (speaking directly to Mr. MWENZE KONGOLO, in November 1996). This reportage was distributed in the United States and all around the world. He also provided Funding of the US trip to Congo (Kinshasa), including Goma, Lubumbashi, of some compatriots who came to work with the Alliance among which, Mr. YAMBUYA Pierre, former Director General of the DGM (Directorate General of Migration), April 1997. He also worked on the Recruitment of AFDL members among compatriots living in the United States or in Europe and Canada. He was part of the creation of the AFDL Philadelphia Support Committee, inspired the creation of other Committees in the USA, Canada, England, Italy, etc. He was also a member of the Union of Forces for Development, UFORD.Crispin ATUNAKU ADUNAGOW firmly believed in the values ??of solidarity and union between Congolese compatriots and in particular those of the geographical and political space KONGO (or the former Province of Leopoldville). He hoped that from a socio-economic association such as UFORD, participants could manage to mobilize for the reconstruction of the former Province of Leopoldville and the Democratic Republic of Congo in general.
From his own word: “The country must rebuild itself step by step through the work of all its sons and daughters of all ethnic, cultural and political sensitivities. All individual skills must be used exclusively to ensure the harmonious development of the country.”
CRISPIN ATUNAKU ADUNAGOW, age 76, passed away peacefully on December 5, 2019, at Hamilton, OH. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Hildegarde Yimbu Kukwikila; daughter Mireille Tekila and her husband Joseph Fwelo; daughter Yolanda Udimbila and her husband David Ndonga; daughter Irène Muzundu and her husband Joseph Kimpiabi; son Alain Ngemi Adunagow and his wife Kabibi Adunagow; son Eric Koy Adunagow and his wife Colombe Adunagow;Sixteen grandchildren Bénédicte, Joseph Fernand, Joel, Christopher, Elisabeth, Nathan, Joseph, Noah, Matthis, Dominick, Kenneth, Erica, Nicholas, Ethan,Daniel Allan, and Mirabelle.