The Kimpa Vita Institute was born from a meeting of young minds who refuse to surrender. It has the legitimate ambition to create an untouchable place where all these souls – young and having an unshakable faith in a prosperous Africa – will meet and allow their brave ancestors to finally rest in peace in the bowels of an Africa Rising.
Program and instructors coordinator.
Samya Lugoma is a community organizer. She was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and was raised in Canada. She is an Alumna of the Kimpa Vita Leadership Institute. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate in Psychology and Sociology. Through out her University years she has dedicated much of her time to raising awareness on the conflict in Congo and mobilizing students in Canada as well as in the United States to support social change in the Congo.
Her experience as a first generation immigrant motivated her to be engaged in her community and find inspiration in the youth of around her. In fact, her biggest inspiration are African youth and their ability to build a creative space where they can express themselves and be understood. Whether it is mentoring young newcomers or after school homework programs, Ms Lugoma is dedicated in engaging with the youth in her community and find new alternative ways to educate in order to bring positive and lasting change.
Lugoma has written for Pambazuka News and All Africa.
Recruitment and participants’ Coordinator.
Email : tambwe-at-institutkimpavita.org
Mr. Tambwe Makaba is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He is passionate of his home country and always wanted to understand the unexpected paradoxes of the Congo. His vision consists of bringing more awareness to all of the different sections of the Congolese community. He has a good experience with mobilizing, organizing and participating in different manifestations. He has some good link with all the local Congolese associations (Ottawa, Canada).
After receiving a college diploma at Dawson College, he is currently pursuing his studies in History at the University of Ottawa. Makaba is planning going to graduate school in History to specialized in research and maybe finding answers on Congo and Africa’s paradoxes.
As a graduate from the first edition of Leadership Retreat in 2013, Makaba had the sentiment that whoever wants to lead others must first learn to serve others. Today, as the participants’ coordinator, he believes that the Retreat is the perfect place to start new ambitions and meet other young Congolese with the same goals.
• Wrote an academic project on trafficking diamonds, “Congo: diamonds of indifference”
• Administers the facebook page of the friends of Dr. D. Mukwege and women raped in the DRC
• Photographed the first edition of the contest of Miss Congo Canada
• Talked about the situation of the Congo on a WebTV Ideo-Congo, made several community radio capsules and interview for a local newspaper
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, Ngoie Yedidia Nshisso is the founder and current Operation’s Coordinator of Congo Future Inc., a non-profit organization that has for aim to assist and support awareness about the Democratic Republic of Congo, by targeting and supporting organizations on the ground.
He also helped in the incorporation of the AYMC Inc., (Association of Young Minds of Charlotte). While attending Johnson C. Smith University, he became a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc and later served as its treasurer and then president. Ngoie received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and his now in the last semester of his Master’s program in Finance at Devry University. He is also in the process of enrollment in a Law School, where he aspires to specialize in International, Human Right’s and Immigration Law.
A graduate of the premiere edtion of the Kimpa Vita Institute Leadership Retreat, Ngoie believes in investing in the Congolese youth of today. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said: “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future,” Ngoie stands resolute to inspire and work with the next generation of young Congolese leaders.
Favorite quote: “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth
Co-founder & Operations coordinator.
Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and as a young African woman who knows the human, economic, cultural and social potential of the continent, Gracia Kasoki Katahwa aims to become a useful tool for the promotion of social change in Africa.
She holds a bachelor degree of Science in Nursing from Université Laval (Quebec, Canada) and a Master degree in Public administration at the École Nationale d’Administration Publique (Montréal, Canada).
As a Registered nurse (RN), she witnesses people’s sufferings, but also crucial moments of hope in people’s lives. Her multiple social implications and her numerous trips around the world (USA, Brazil, Western Europe, Scandinavia, West and Central Africa) made her realize that working for social justice is a powerful way to improve people’s life everywhere around the globe.
Recognized by her peers, Kasoki received the 2014 Youth Award from the Organisation des professionnels congolais du Canada (OPCC). Since she was young, Kasoki has been involved in multiple congolese communities and has been constantly inspired by great congolese minds. That’s precisely why she believe in the objectives of Kimpa Vita Institute: bringing young congolese leaders together will streghten their individual potential and influence congolese people, africans and the global community to act.
Kasoki is optimistic about the change that will occur on the African continent. To that challenge launched by Frantz Fanon : « Chaque génération doit dans une relative opacité découvrir sa mission, la remplir ou la trahir. (Each generation must out of relative obscurity discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it) » , she made her choice. Have you made yours?
Epenge Kabasele studies Accounting and Political Science at the John Molson School of Business of Concordia University in Montreal. She is a passionate young lady who uses her talent and abilities to contribute to her community. She is an actress in the play written and directed by Congolese playwright Beya Ntumba called “CongoDrama,” a play that tells the history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and explains the background of the current crisis. She was also an actress in the play written and directed by Congolese singer Beya Tshibuabua called “Doux Septembre” which was performed to raise scholarship fund of Congolese children in Kinshasa.
Epenge is the co-funder and administrator of the Concordia Initiative for a Conflict-Free Campus also known as CICC, an initiative and a movement which aims at getting Concordia University to change its policy regarding the purchase of electronics containing coltan that comes from the Congo. During the 2011-2012 academic year, she was the Vice-President External Affairs of the African Students Association of Concordia (ASAC) and the Vice-President Finance of the Montreal’s African and Caribbean Students Network-Concordia Chapter (ACSioN-Concordia). Epenge has also received multiple awards including the 2011 Art and Culture Award from the Congolese Canadian Women Association based out of Toronto, and the 2012 Youth Award from the Organization of Congolese Professionals of Canada (OPCC). She is also the recipient of RECOPAC’s Black History Month 2012 Merit Certificate.
With background in organizing the youth around the Congolese crisis, Epenge has come to understand the crucial need for a deeper social change implication of the Congolese youth. Therefore, her implication in the Kimpa Vita Institute was an evident choice.
Co-founder & Finance Coordinator.
Kingole Patrick Tshilenge is a Congolese national residing in the United States of America. He holds a bachelor degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Connecticut. He has served as the president of the African student association at University of Connecticut. He has also worked in collaboration with Friends of the Congo (FOTC), the Congolese Congress of the Diaspora (CCD), the Dynamic of the development of the Congolese Community (CODEV), Congolese Association of Connecticut (ACOCO) and other organizations on various project concerning the Congo.
During his time as the president of ASA (African Student Association) and through his adult life, he came to realize that despite the turmoil and all the challenges the Democratic Republic of Congo faces, it is a country gifted with numerous potentials including natural, agricultural and hydroelectric resources and other factors including geographical locations and cultural influence. For the last couple of years he has been working in the efforts to unite the new generation of Congolese leaders around ideals of patriotism, national unity, prosperity and faith.
Mr. Tshilenge is thrilled to join the Kimpa Vita Institute team. He is excited about the opportunity to learn next concepts and approaches on leadership for the Congo along with meeting other peers who share his burden and faith in the potential of the DRC.