On the night of Aug 7, Ilunga Kitoha Jacques, a 28-year-old miner from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was getting married. However, the groom was wearing work clothes rather than his wedding suit.
Jacques works for the Somidez Group, a joint venture established by China Nonferrous Metal Mining and Gecamines, a State-owned mining company of the DRC in July 2017. The project is located in Kolwezi, a city in the southeast of the country, an area with abundant copper and cobalt resources.
Thanks to his hard work and eagerness to learn, Jacques was appointed as the chief monitor of the copper branch factory. With professional skills learned during the systematic company training and the careful tutorage of his teachers, he is respected by his colleagues.
After his promotion, Somidez increased his salary. The company is committed to providing each of its local employees an annual wage increase.
In September 2021, a large outdoor poster was unveiled at the plant, which featured Jacques due to his standing as an excellent employee. This was an accomplishment that made him feel extremely proud.
Therefore, Jacques decided to use his wedding to showcase his work clothes and his passion for the job. He said that it is his work clothes that gave him his current happiness.
Jacques’ plan was advocated by his bride and their family. When the host announced this “special arrangement”, the ceremony reached a climax.
Guests looked on as the beautiful bride in her white wedding dress carried the blue work clothes of her groom. She walked up to Jacques and helped him change outfit, carefully buttoning up the sleeves.
Once changed, the groom gave a bright smile and the guests responded with cheers and applause.
Holding fast to the principles of honest business and people-oriented management, Somidez is now shouldering the responsibility of propelling China-Africa cooperation and promoting the two sides’ friendship.
In early 2022, Somidez signed an agreement with the local government to better carry out social responsibility, pledging to invest $4 million in a series of assistance projects.
They include agriculture, infrastructure, education, medical and healthcare, energy and other aspects.
The aim is to boost the economic and social development of communities around the mining area and let people in the area share on the spoils of development.