One of the famous Belgian action film heroes,’ Jean-Claude van Damme’ is also renowned with the name Muscles from Brussels. He says he feels delighted after getting the Congolese diplomatic passport and stated that he seeks to get other several stars to stay in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“I will try hard to convince stars worldwide like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Jacky Chan and many others,” the 61-year-old spoke in Kinshasa’s capital as he carried his cultural passport and role as cultural, youth and wildlife representative for the country.
“There are also singers like Jennifer Lopez and footballers like Messi, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo. They must come to the country to demonstrate that it is safe and that Congo can save those in showbiz.”
DR Congo has faced decades of instability, with numerous armed groups still roaming the country’s mineral-rich east, killing, raping, and looting.
Van Damme, a former martial arts champion, went on to star in big-budget Hollywood action films like Cyborg, Kickboxer, and Universal Soldier – and most recently, he voiced Master Croc in the Kung Fu Panda films.
He is known for his tough-guy persona.
During the press conference, many people were surprised when he said he had bongs actually and was born in DR Congo, explaining that he was “a native of Likasi”, the city in the southeast of the country.
This would have been in the year that the country gained its independence from Belgium.
He also stressed the significance of attracting investment into DR Congo.
According to President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, “DR Congo is worth rupees $36tn [£27tn] in minerals. My job is only one, and that is to find investors who understand that they have to give first before receiving and to have maximum honesty.
However, some have raised questions about the actor’s new passport, as DR Congo’s constitution bans dual nationality.