From Congo to US: One immigrant’s story of family, culture, betrayal

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When Victorine Ngangu discovered that a photographer and one of her friends had forged her signature so that they could sell Ngangu’s photographs to a major U.S. company, she was outraged. Without her knowledge and consent, 144 of her photographs were sold. Ngangu was never paid and did not receive an apology from the photographer, her friend or the company. Those people walked free of charge in the court of law. In 2012, Ngangu filed a case with local police to bring them to justice but received no satisfaction.

This was not the first time a member of her family from the Kingdom of Congo had been cheated. Convinced that people of certain ethnicity are often victims of such practices, Ngangu wants to share her family’s tales in the hope that awareness will put an end to such discriminatory practices.

Ngangu, based in Los Angeles,  tells how her great-grandfather was cheated in her eBook In The Heart of Our Souls. The book is a collection of family stories and a source of pride for Ngangu, who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Her great-grandfather Ndonzoao Nlemvo was the king’s nephew, born in 1867. Because he could speak and write English, he was hired by a Western family to translate the Bible into his native language. Ngangu says this was a tremendous undertaking for which her grandfather was not paid—and a betrayal of trust that has been passed down for generations.

Victorine Ngangu is the author of two books, In the Heart of Our Souls containing the stories of her Congo ancestors, and Eyes of Africa, an examination of the politics, poverty and corruption in Zaire). She became an orphan while in primary school. Ngangu came to the U.S. when she was a teenager. She is president of Help Children of Africa, a charity she established to provide food and clothes for orphans and street children. – PRNewswire

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