VIDEO: Watch HEART OF AFRICA at the LDS Film Festival (Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020 at 7:30 pm)

VIDEO: HEART OF AFRICA Feature Film Opening March 13

A Congolese man runs from a terrible accident and finds himself at a revolutionary camp, where he is told that he has a great destiny. He tries to escape by going to another town, joining a religion, becoming a missionary. Ultimately, though, he finds himself back in the very place he tried to leave. He must face his fears and his shame, but also his magnificent possibilities.

For more information on HEART OF AFRICA, visit

Inspired by the true story of former revolutionary Aimé Mbuyi turned LDS missionary, HEART OF AFRICA is a tale of self-discovery, brotherhood, and redemption filmed entirely on location in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Intended for all audiences, the film features English subtitles as the dialogue is primarily in Lingala, one of the main languages of the Congo, along with some dialogue in English and French.

The film tells the compelling story of Gabriel Ngandu (the fictional counterpart of Aimé Mbuyi), a young Congolese revolutionary trying to escape the terrible mistakes of his past. His journey leads him to completely new experiences and even a new religion – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – but leaves him torn between the influences of two opposing father figures – Mwabila, his revolutionary leader, and President Kabasubabu, his new religious leader. Called as a missionary, Ngandu is sent back to his home village to help build an orphanage with his mission companion from Idaho, Jason Martin, who also has a tragic, secret past.

Heart of Africa LDS Mormon movie

Caught between enmity and reconciliation, revenge and forgiveness, and intolerance and understanding, Ngandu and Martin begin to overcome their pasts and prejudices and see a better, more peaceful future for themselves and the people of the Congo. But their new-found peace is shattered when explosions rock the new orphanage and President Kabasubabu is kidnapped by Mwabila’s revolutionaries. Ngandu must choose between his two worlds or find his own path.

“We wanted the film to remain completely authentic to this incredible story,” said director Tshoper Kabambi. “That’s why we chose to produce the film where the story is set – in the Congo.”

The Congo, he noted, is stunningly beautiful with profoundly good people, but it also has a history plagued by tribalism, colonialism, and exploitation. HEART OF AFRICA provides an authentic look at these issues through the eyes of Ngandu and Martin, and in so doing shares a story of hope for a bright future.


HEART OF AFRICA is the first ever Congolese-American production of a feature film and the first Latter-day Saint themed feature film made in Africa by Africans. It was written by Tshoper Kabambi and Margaret Blair Young. The film was produced by Bruce Young, Margaret Blair Young, Tshoper Kabambi, Ephraim Faith Buyikana, and Deborah Basa. Sponsors include Bimpa Production, Congo Rising Corporation, and Heart of Africa LLC. The film is distributed by Purdie Distribution.

“The goal of the film is to advance understanding, storytelling, and the film industry throughout Africa, and especially in the DR-Congo,” said screenwriter and producer Margaret Blair Young. “We want to empower the Congolese people to share their own inspiring stories as part of the humanitarian endeavors surrounding the film.”

Proceeds from the film will generate funds for humanitarian work and aid in the Congo, including innovative education to assist the people of the Congo in becoming more self-reliant. In addition, proceeds will be used to help revitalize the film and cinema industry in the Congo.



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The film is distributed by Purdie Distribution, the company that has brought all the audience favorite, top grossing, hit films to the LDS market over the last decade such as THE SARATOV APPROACH, MEET THE MORMONS, ONCE I WAS A BEEHIVE, THE FIGHTING PREACHER.



Listen to Kels Goodman, executive director of the LDS Film Festival, in the final 10 minutes of this episode of THE CULTURAL HALL.

For more information on HEART OF AFRICA, visit


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