Emmanuel Kabongo was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo and with his family, subsequently relocated to South Africa during the Congolese civil war. They later moved to Toronto, in 1998. After his second year at a community college in Toronto, Emmanuel turned down a basketball scholarship to pursue an acting career. Emmanuel is an alumni of the Actors Conservatory Program at the Canadian Film Centre. Emmanuel produced and starred in the critically acclaimed web series ‘Teenagers’ which earned him a Canadian Screen Award nomination. Emmanuel is one of the leads in the series ’21 Thunder’ on Netflix.
WHAT DRIVES YOU?
Right now, I’m driven by three things. First is personal growth, because there’s so much I still don’t yet know about myself and the world. Second is family, because of the journey we experienced in order to move to North America from Africa. And third is wanting to make a positive impact in this world because I believe this is part of my purpose.
HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED IN THIS INDUSTRY?
I remain committed no matter what happens in life. As long as I have the opportunity to shine, I will keep going. When things don’t always go my way, I remind myself with one word told to me by a mentor – “Next”. This word keeps me fired up! So I make sure to always stay ready by being patiently active. Doing things like having a life outside of the industry, reading, taking workshops, asking questions, building and maintaining positive relationships, doing my best with each chance that comes my way. And most importantly, taking care of my overall health keeps me motivated.