Bisimwa Nabintu, Venantie
- Jeremy Rich
was born in Bukavu, a city in the eastern Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Little is available about her early life, but she was one of eight children (four girls and four boys) born to faithful Roman Catholic parents. Like her family, Bisimwa Nabintu identified herself as a member of the DRC’s relatively small Shi ethnic community. She attended primary and secondary schools in her home city and received her diploma with a specialty in biology and chemistry from the Alfajiri secondary school. From 1974 to 1979 Bisimwa studied at the University of Lubumbashi in the southern Katanga province of Zaire (as the DRC was then known), where she received an undergraduate degree in urban and industrial sociology. Around this time Bisimwa married Valéry Kasareka, an agricultural specialist and the director of the environmental non-profit organization Vision Verte. The couple eventually had three children together.