CongoLive! interviewed ther inspiring and engaging Congolese author Dédy Mbepongo Bilamba on his latest book “À cloche-pied” (On One Leg) was released October 28, 2015 and his work shaping the African story through writing and community engagement.
Born in Kinshasa (Congo) in May 1976, Dédy Mbepongo Bilamba is a second child in a family of 4. He grew up in the rough neighborhood of Grigny La Grande-Borne project, in Suburban Paris (France), an experience that has helped him understand the struggle of marginalized communities.
After graduating in Human sciences from Paris XII University, he started a career in Marketing. But since an early age, he felt the need to express himself through art (drama, dance, song writing)
Trying to reconnect with his African roots, Dédy published his first book « À nous de le faire » (It’s Our Duty To Do It) in 2009. He started the writing of this book back in 2004, when he discovered a poem that his father wrote 18 year before he passed away.
Deeply grateful for what he calls a « gift from heaven », all of Dedy’s writings intends to promote justice, peace, joy and provide an inspiration to fulfill any dreams. Considering himself as an “Artivist”, Dédy often says: « writing is my weapon of mass reconciliation »
In 2013, Dédy helped the 18-year old Congolese actress, Rachel Mwanza, to write her autobiography entitled “Survivre pour voir ce jour” (Survived To See This Day). Rachel is known for her role in the award-winning and oscar-nominated movie “War Witch.”
Rachel was illiterate at the time of the writing, but today she travels around the world to promote the book and to advocate for access to education for street kids in DRC, and the rest of Africa. Dédy is proud that his writing could help bring back joy and hope in people’s life in the DRCongo, Africa and hopefully around the world.
He currently lives in Montreal, Canada with his beautiful wife and two children.