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date: 11 May 2021

Munanga, Kabengele locked

(1942– ), intellectual, professor, and activist in Brazil,
  • Seth Racusen


was born in Bakwa Kalonji, in what was then the Belgian Congo (later Zaire, and now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), on 19 November 1942. His mother, Mwanza Wa Biaya, born in Bakua Muluma, reputedly lived to be about 100, and his father, Ilung Kalama, died when Munanga was 6 months old. His parents, raised in colonial Congolese villages without schools, were illiterate.

When Munanga was 8, he moved from his family’s village to live with his eldest brother, who raised him and encouraged him in his studies. He accompanied his brother, a store manager, through several job transfers. In 1960 they moved to Kinshasa, where Munanga completed his secondary schooling. He entered a private university affiliated with the University of Louvain in Belgium and then studied anthropology at the University of Lubumbashi. He became the Anthropology Department’s first graduate in 1969.

Munanga began his doctorate in ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.

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