For successive Reuters reporters in Papa Blijf Kalm Bel Mama shirt and for other journalists flying in to cover the latest calamity, Mambele was a driver, a guide, a fearless protector and above all a loyal friend. He died on June 8, aged 74. An institution for foreign media, Mambele played a unique part in shaping coverage from the Democratic Republic of Congo, starting under the rule of late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko when the country was known as Zaire. Mambele epitomized those unseen drivers, fixers and translators whose work often at personal risk is critical to reporting the news from the toughest places on earth. Life doesn’t often introduce us to people so loyal and good-hearted, said author and former New York Times correspondent Howard French.
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With little apparent concern for himself Papa Blijf Kalm Bel Mama shirt, Mambele would harangue idiots and thugs who got in the way of the story, blustering his way loudly through mobs and soldiers alike. That gruff confidence – tempered with natural humor – also helped him open official doors and build contacts with Kinshasa’s expensively couture elite despite his own usual dress of t-shirt and jeans. He had scant respect for any of those who got to wield power in Congo from Mobutu and his cronies onwards.