Woman of media, fashion icon, former basketball player, ex-model and mom. Ika de Jong is a name that resonates on the international scene from Brussels to New York thanks to her Platform Gltv, an empire created with her brother: Touba Bobou.
Who is Ika de Jong and what are her origins?
On the maternal side, I am Portuguese-Congolese and on the paternal side, Congolese-Dutch.This cultural mix helps me in my job. I speak six languages: French, Dutch, Lingala, Swahili, Chiluba, English and Spanish.
Television presenter for GLTV, former model … what have we forgotten?
I played basketball in Kinshasa and in Belgium. I had to stop because of a knee injury. Speaking of fashion, I participated in some Dutch castings and magazines, I was truly a model.
GLTV is fighting much to redeem the revalorization of Africa, its talents and its culture.
We started on the basis that the African is capable. We want to show his value. The big celebrities and the lesser known. To valorize them and their work. This is the essence of GLTV today. If you have Fally Ipupa, it is an advantage for your channel but if you take a small singer you allow the whole world to discover him and for us there is nothing more beautiful.
Tell us about GLTV and its beginnings …
My brother Touba Babou and I created GLTV to cover events around the world. We conducted interviews with leading personalities such as Dr. Denis Mukwege, the healer of raped women, or all the ministers during the Belgian elections. We have become a showcase for all communities because people need a reference.
Most recently, you awarded a trophy to the widow of Papa Wemba in Lagos during the “Afrima”. What does this mean to you?
A week before his death, Papa Wemba said to me on the phone: “My daughter, as soon as I return from this tour, I am here to make the show, I will pass on GLTV”. But he died a few days later. I discovered the tribute on the program, once I arrived at the “Afrima”, and my brother told me that he took a picture of Mama Amazone right there. Backstage, the organiser of Afrima told me that it is I who would call Mama Amazone to the podium. I had tears in my eyes, my heart was beating 100 beats per hour. It was as if Papa Wemba was there. When she went on stage, she had a standing ovation, and everyone stood up to applaud. Papa Wemba’s daughter sang a part of Orpheus. Backstage, she took me in her arms and said “Thank you Mama, thank you for everything. Your daddy sees you from where he is.”
What are the future plans for GLTV?
We are fighting to make GLTV a recognized television channel. All the glory to God as we try to go in the right direction. We aspire to serve as role models for all the young people around us.