TUF10 heavyweight graduate Justin ‘The Viking’ Wren takes a keen and genuine interest in trying to help the less fortunate. That led him to recent spend a few weeks in the African republic of Congo, living with a pygmy tribe in the rainforest.
Wren was shocked at what he saw. Africa’s varied populace is riven by tribalism which has sparked civil war after civil war over the years. In the case of the Congo, the dominant caste are the Bantu and they form most of the population. According to Wren, they treat the pygmy people as slaves and consider them literally sub-human.
While Wren was there he travelled from village to village. At one, he was met with the spectacle of a dying toddler and a mother who was “too malnourished” to summon the tears to cry over him. The child had been taken to the hospital twice and turned away both times on the grounds that the pygmy’s had no money to pay for his treatment and that he was unworthy of treatment anyway, being pygmy.
“Four days ago I heard that we were needed to see if we could help a desperately sick mamma and baby boy to the hospital because they couldn’t possibly walk. When we arrived we stumbled upon a less than a hour old dead body of a 1 and a half year old baby boy,” Wren fumed in a message on The Underground forum.
“Andibo was still bleeding from his ears… His mother was suffering from such drastic starvation that she didn’t even have the energy to weep. I didn’t even know that was possible… Three days ago I dug the grave and buried Andibo. The tribe said we might as well dig two because mamma was going to die soon too. I’ve never heard sorrow and pain come from human beings like I did that day.
“Why would they suppose mamma was going to die shortly after her son? Because Andibo’s death was preventable.. Mamma’s soon to be death they knew was preventable too… But they knew something I didn’t… People don’t care about them enough to help.
“1 & 1/2 year old Andibo was DENIED treatment and REJECTED at the hospital… TWICE!!! $5-$15 for his total treatment would have been the cost to save his life but the hospital didn’t want to “waste” medicine on a ‘Pygmy Animal.’”
“Andibo was called a ‘Pygmy Animal’ who they didn’t want to WASTE medicine on! Then him and his starving and desperately sick mother were told they couldn’t be on a hospital bed because they were too dirty.
“A chicken, eggs, and firewood wasn’t good enough payment from the human slaves who don’t get paid in money… So they were rejected and Andibo died. I held this BEAUTIFUL little boy’s hand as blood was still running out of his ears… I covered his face and body with the sheet after he died… I dug the grave, bought the coffin.
“By the way… It cost TEN TIMES more to bury Andibo than his prescription cost… $50 for the COFFIN… $5 for the script that would have SAVED his life!!! Here is the video of me explaining it… As I type this tears are streaming down my face… I guess I’m still processing this kind of inhumanity & extreme discrimination.”
Wren is currently in the process of building a website to try and raise awareness of the plight of the pygmy people in Congo, whom independent observers have previously said to be among the most maltreated indigenous peoples in the world.
In his accounts, Wren says that he met as many as ten Bantu males who said they owned pygmy people as slaves and also learned that the pygmy are ‘rewarded’ for their labour with clothes, bananas and firewood – but hardly ever with actual money. In addition their hereditary rainforest lands are continually being cultivated and exploited, and their way of life is increasingly under threat.