Legendary Hollywood actor Jean-Claude van Damme has expressed his excitement after he received a Congolese diplomatic passport and was also made a cultural, youth, and wildlife ambassador for the Central African country.
At a ceremony in Kinshasa to accept the title and his new ambassadorial role, the 61-year-old said he’ll try and convince other famous people to visit the country, BBC reported. “I am going to try to convince international stars like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Jacky Chan and many others,” the Double Impact actor said.
“There are also singers like Jennifer Lopez and footballers like Messi, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo. They must come to the country to show that it is safe, to show that Congo can protect those in showbiz.”
During the ceremony, the award-winning actor also surprisingly revealed he was actually born in DR Congo, adding that he was “a native” of the country’s south-east city of Likasi.
The volatile Central African nation has reportedly experienced decades of conflict as armed groups continue to operate in the country’s mineral-rich east region. But van Damme, during the press conference, made mention of the country’s investment opportunities.
“DR Congo is worth $36tn [£27tn] in minerals… my job is to find investors who understand that they have to give first before receiving, and to have a maximum honesty with President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi,” the Cyborg actor said.
People have, however, raised eyebrows about van Damme’s new passport because DR Congo’s constitution prohibits dual nationality.