Ne Kunda Nlaba
“My name is Nlaba Kunda, mainly known as Ne Kunda Nlaba. I’m a film producer, director, screenwriter, actor and political scientist from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I’m the Founder, Director and film professor at Kongo Bizizi Academy (The Pan African Film Institute), and also the Founder & CEO of my film production company Labson Bizizi-Cine Kongo, and of the film distribution company Afrika Bizizi Distribution. And finally, I’m a French-English tutor at Chatterbox.
I’ve been here in London for 10 and a half years. I was born in Kinshasa, grew up there and came to the United Kingdom as a refugee with a degree in political science and continued my studies here in London where I earned a diploma in media industries production, a certificate of higher education in film production and film studies from the University of West London and a masters of arts in film, television and screen media at Birkbeck University of London.
In Kinshasa I mainly worked in theatre as an actor but went through different sectors as well such as contemporary dance, radio, television, etc that helped me start building a future career in film.
Though it is not easy at all to get access or to work in the film industry in the UK and especially for me as an immigrant coming from a non-English speaking country. But I focused my career in working on my own film projects and developing my own businesses in which I’ve been writing, producing and directing narrative fiction and documentary films of diverse genres. I recently produced and directed short and feature films distributed online, on television and at national and international film festivals including “The Next” (2009), “The Steel Pan” (2010), “Living Without Living” (2011), "Cherie Bondowe" (2012), “Abeti Masikini: Le Combat d’Une Femme” (2015) and “Kimpa Vita: The Mother of African Revolution” (2016), Kingdom of Kongo: In Search of the Destroyed Kingdom” (2019) and I’m currently producing a new dance feature film called "Afro Beat", set in London.
The first challenge I faced when I arrived in the UK was the language barrier as I was not speaking English fluently. The second issue was the recognition of my CV, my experience and my qualifications from the D.R. Congo, and of course the lack of a work permit too.
There are many benefits of being with Chatterbox as it helps working in a high level by putting forward one of the skills I have which is the French language. It has been a great way to connect with people from different backgrounds, sharing experiences and also to keep my French skills by practicing with customers as I’m in a country where I speak mainly English than other languages part from my mother tongues.
My future ambition is to develop my businesses that I’ve already created and produced more films that will be available in cinemas worldwide.”