Njamba Koffi, 23 years old, is an award winning community leader, an author, poet, public speaker and a musician. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, he has lived and traveled in multiple countries in East and Southern Africa, Western Europe and North America mostly as a refugee. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver campus, in Canada.
During his undergrad, Koffi has worked as a Co-Representative of African Studies Minor Program and as President of UBC Africa Awareness Initiative. He has also volunteered as a Wellness Peer. In Vancouver, he currently serves as a member of the advisory board for LEVEL Youth Granting, an initiative by the Vancouver Foundation focused on Indigenous and racialized immigrant and refugee young people. He sits on the Board of Directors for The Inclusion Project, a social innovation and resource hub working with organizations to develop knowledge and practices that advance Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). He also serves as an advisor for Amala, a charity organization which provides education to displaced youth globally. Inspired by his lived experiences, taught seminars focused on the refugee experience during the Yale Young Global Scholars program at Yale University.
Koffi reaches many communities through numerous speaking engagements performances in music, poetry and storytelling mostly organized by charities, university clubs and schools or other public institutions.
With a promise of continuous investment into his creative works and advocacy, Refuge-e: The Journey Much Desired is his first book. Currently, he is working on both a small poetry book and a children’s book.
His experiences living and travelling in multiple countries as a refugee and a curious individual has opened his eyes in many ways. He is very conscious about people’s differences in socioeconomic backgrounds, he respects multiculturalism (which he considers a key to building a more equitable, more inclusive and more sustainable world) and he is very critical about different forms of marginalization. He strives to be influential in social development – broadly speaking – and youth empowerment, especially on the African continent.
“I am Hope, So is Every Young Refugee” by Videographer Andy Tseng
What will a book reading with the Author be like?
Fun and Insightful. At the host’s request, expect a live performance featuring one or two of his songs or poems or both. Many scenes from his book were inspired by songs and poems he wrote while living in the refugee camp(s), and connect to larger thematic contexts of the book like struggles of young people in refugee camps. Be prepared to be moved and inspired, to learn and to be encouraged to strive for the best in you and the community of your choice.
Favorite quote from the book:
I knew every story has an ending: tragic for the unfortunate characters and joyous for those who adhere to the will of the writer. I was the protagonist in my own story, just like in this one.