Tuesday, February 14, 2012
iReport Pundit of the Week: Omekongo Dibinga


A lot can change in a week, especially when it comes to politics. We love it when iReporters weigh in on the latest developments in the political world, because they give us smart and incisive vox populi you can’t get anywhere else. Every week, we’re saluting one iReporter who regularly offers thoughtful commentary to the iReport community.


This week’s top dog is renaissance man Omekongo Dibinga. He hails from Washington DC, and is the father of two girls. When he’s not working as a teacher's assistant at Georgetown for Michael Eric Dyson’s seminar on Jay-Z, or dropping fresh tracks under his hip-hop alias "Young M.A.Y.A.," you can find him on iReport, where he’s never afraid to tell you where he stands:



Affiliation: "Independent, always an independent, definitely. I can honestly say I’ve never voted for a Republican, but that also doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t."


How did you get interested in politics and current affairs?
"My parents, plain and simple. They’re serious activists. They came from the Congo, and they grew up in the colonial era. They were very active in fighting colonialism, and fighting to bring democracy to the country. When they came to the United States, that evolved into activism on social issues. I was maybe 7 years old, and I was out there working on the 'Free Nelson Mandela' campaign, or the movement to stop police brutality in the neighborhood of Boston I grew up in."


Why do you share your opinion on iReport?
“What I really love about iReport is my belief that we make real change, lasting change, through dialogue with each other. That bit I did with W.J. O’Reilly – we probably would have never even met if it weren’t for iReport. The way we make change in this world is not through force or military might, it’s through conversation."


Who is your political hero?
"Maya Angelou is my hero. When I was young, growing up poor in a violent part of Boston, I had a lot of internal struggles. Maya Angelou was one of the first people I read, besides my parents, who were talking about Africans being beautiful. Reading her poetry really helped me get through a lot.


"That’s why my rap name is Young M.A.Y.A. – The Mighty African Youth Advocate. Her poetry, and her spirit of belonging to an international community, that’s what I want to do with my life."


What's going to be the defining issue of the 2012 election?
"Honestly, I really believed it was going to be jobs and the economy, but it’s looking like it’s going to be a resurgence of the culture wars. People are going to draw battle lines on social issues – pro-life vs. pro-choice and all that."


What's something people might be surprised to learn about you?
“I'm a rapper, I love hip-hop! I rap about a lot of the same things I talk about on iReport, but the entertainment world and hip-hop in general don’t support us, even people who say they want positivity and social messages in rap. It can be hard for people who don’t promote the drugs-and-sex lifestyle to make a living in hip-hop, but I still love it."

Follow Omekongo right here on iReport to get his latest commentary served up fresh on your personal homepage. Want to sound off on the most pressing issues of the day, and take your shot at becoming iReport's next Pundit of the Week? Join the discussion on iReport

February 14, 2012
Click to view Maggotfist's profile

Whats so "Renaissance" about this guy again?

February 14, 2012
Click to view omekongo's profile

@maggotfist what isn't? LOL...


February 15, 2012
Click to view EWillies1961's profile

Congratulations my brother!

February 15, 2012
Click to view verichards8's profile

Great report!


Vera Richardson

February 16, 2012
Click to view markpel's profile

Omekongo, you are great!

February 17, 2012
Click to view adriana71's profile


March 2, 2012
Click to view omekongo's profile

Double thanks!

March 6, 2012
Click to view k3vsDad's profile

Congrats, omekongo...though at times we agree, more often disagree. Way to go!

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