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Isaac Bacirongo & Michael Nest

Isaac Bacirongo is a BaTembo Pygmy. He helped establish Congo’s first Pygmy Rights organization before migrating to Australia in 2003. In 2014, Isaac was one of nine members of The Living Library program (Manning Valley Neighbourhood Services/Greater Taree City Libraries) in which members could borrow real people to tell their stories instead of books for a half-hour conversation.

Isaac delayed writing Still a Pygmy for years because of his concern about the possible consequences for his family if it was published, but decided it was a story that had to be told, not for the sake of his own family but for the sake of his people. He lives in Sydney, with his wife, surrounded by their children and grandchildren.

Michael Nest is a freelance researcher with a PhD in African politics. He is the author of Coltan (Polity Press, 2011) about activist initiatives against conflict minerals from Congo, and The Dem. Rep. of Congo: Economic Dimensions of War and Peace (Lynne Rienner, 2006), which won a ‘Best Title, 2006’ award from the American Library Association. Courtesy Finch Publishing Picture courtesy