“Telling Africa’s Story to Inspire Change and Empower through Faith and Journalism: Brother Lwanga Kakule Silusawa”

Brother Lwanga Kakule Silusawa, a Comboni missionary and trained journalist from the Democratic Republic of Congo is on a mission: to tell Africa’s story to its own people, inspiring transformation and spreading hope amidst the continent’s challenges.

The team at Afriquespoir today: From left to right: Fr Célestin Ngore from Chad, Brother Lwanga Kakule from DRC, Sister Elisabeth Yadasi from Cameroon and Fr Jean Claude Kobo, also from DRC.

Born in Butembo, DR Congo, in a Catholic family, Brother Lwanga learned many human and spiritual values early in life. Drawn to the Comboni charism in 2007, he left his family, friends, and work in 2009 to begin his missionary adventure. His journey took him to Kisangani for postulancy, followed by two years of novitiate in Benin and Togo. He then pursued studies in Colombia and completed five years of study and mission work in Spain.

In 2014, Brother Lwanga began studying journalism in Madrid. A year later, he joined the editorial team of the monthly Comboni magazine Mundo Negro, published in Spain. During his four years there, he corrected texts sent by missionaries worldwide, specifically from Africa and Latin America, and prepared them for publication. He conducted interviews, took photos, wrote columns, news, and reports, blending academic theory with practical writing experience.

Bringing Africa’s Story to Africans

On January 15, 2020, Brother Lwanga arrived in Kinshasa, DR Congo, just before the COVID-19 pandemic. He joined the editorial team of Afriquespoir, the French version of New People, run by Comboni missionaries in DR Congo. Unlike his previous role of presenting Africa to Europeans, his current task is to narrate the African reality to Africans, aiming to raise awareness of the continent’s challenges and inspire societal transformation.

Brother Lwanga believes, like Saint Daniel Comboni, that Africans must lead the continent’s rise. External initiatives can only be effective with Africans at the forefront. However, the socio-political realities in the region pose significant challenges. High illiteracy rates, a lack of interest in reading, and poverty mean that few can afford magazines or books. Additionally, inadequate infrastructure makes distributing magazines to subscribers costly and inefficient.

Engaging with the Community

Over three years, Brother Lwanga has visited more than fifty parishes in the Archdiocese of Kinshasa, engaging in missionary animation, spreading messages of hope, and promoting the magazine and books published by Afriquespoir. These publications are crucial for human, intellectual, spiritual, and missionary formation.

In African countries where few can afford books, the mission is to make these resources accessible by offering them at affordable prices. Many students, teachers, catechists, priests, and others testify to the usefulness of these materials. Brother Lwanga uses parish visits to connect with people, share experiences, and provide guidance, particularly to young people with vocational concerns. This direct engagement helps him understand and convey the realities faced by the community.

Journalism as Evangelization

For Brother Lwanga, journalism is integral to evangelization, as enshrined in the Comboni missionaries’ strategy. Through the magazine and books published by Afriquespoir, he transmits the Good News and contributes to the intellectual, spiritual, and missionary formation of the people of God. This mission requires attentive listening and respectful storytelling, as encouraged by Pope Francis.

As a Comboni missionary brother and journalist, Brother Lwanga is dedicated to proclaiming the gospel through various media, including magazines, books, radio and television shows, social networks, and web pages. He is committed to being faithful to the Gospel and improving the quality of his service, striving to be both a good journalist and a good missionary.

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