(Photo by Arenda Oomen)
About Mpanzu Bamenga
Mpanzu Bamenga, born in DR. Congo, was eight years old when he came to the Netherlands with his mother and brother in 1994 as an asylum-seeker. Last year, he was elected Political Talent of the Year as a councilor in the city of Eindhoven. He participated in several (international) exchange and leadership programs. He co-founded a movement: the inclusion leaders network (Incleaders). Mpanzu was a candidate for the Dutch National Parliament and was a speaker at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation event 2016, as well as speaking at the White House in Washington DC.
After leaving his place of birth DR. Congo, Mpanzu spent sixteen years living without a status before he received a residence permit in 2007. At first the authorities told him that he had nothing to offer to the Netherlands. They wanted to deport him back to his country of birth. In the end it was the Justice Minister himself who made use of his discretionary power to stop deportation and grant Mpanzu and his family a residence permit. The Justice Minister believed that Mpanzu had a lot to offer. How things have changed.
Why Mpanzu was invited to TEDxEindhoven
Current society and politics seem to have a tendency for the extremes. This creates a polarized and ineffective society. Mpanzu has been on all different sides of these discussions. He has seen and experienced societies in all shapes and sizes, humankind at its best and its worst. This gives him an unique vantage point to answer questions like, “How can we live up to our full potential; and how can we deal with a globalizing and polarizing world?”
What Mpanzu will speak about
Hope and determination: the lessons he learned throughout his life, how it changed his views, shaped his vision, and what we can do to change and build a just and inclusive society.