July 2017, I went to the Congo and filmed a documentary that tells stories of driven individuals who manage to navigate their hardships through extreme recycling practices. These people are a microcosm of future young entrepreneurs whose business models keep families alive.
With a genuine and positive attitude as part of his lifestyle and job description, Rodney Bidi Kimbangu is an entrepreneurial and multi-award-winning Filmmaker, Photographer, and Painter. He speaks five languages and is fluent in three. One of the 1000 Mandela Washington Fellows 2016, a Master Photographer by the famous GuruShots standards, and a University Innovation Fellow 2018, Rodney started his artistic career at age 4, finger drawing on the sand, but was so immersed in what he was doing that he did not believe he was an artist.
"Rodney Kimbangu - video manager. He manages the student video team. He makes sure that video projects progress from concept to creation. He’s a technical wizard and a deep and creative thinker. He’s a pro who makes me look good. Rodney is fantastic. He’s one of my best students ever. I’m fortunate to have a great team.", Video Production - Berea College (2002 - present), Kentucky, USA —
"Rodney's skill-set as a photographer is unmatched. His ability to capture a replica of my true self really amazed me. He brings a positive attitude along, a rare sense of creativity, and a touch of authenticity in his work. Throughout my shoot, Rodney made sure I was comfortable. Its impressive how he is already excellent in what he does but still leaves room for alternatives during the shoot. In brief, my photo shoot was an experience! Rodney is fully equipped to add a unique flavor to the photography and film industry. And I know he will conquer odds.", Berea, Kentucky, USA —
"I once wrote that Rodney was intelligent, talented, driven, flexible, and amazing at expressing himself through various forms of art. I stand by those words and add that his ability to capture moments, memories, and stories is outstanding. Having Rodney capture our family photos has allowed us the opportunity to appreciate life and the daily happenings that we might otherwise take for granted and/or forget.", Black Male Initiative Supervisor - Berea College, Kentucky, USA —
"I’m not a big fan of being in front of the camera or others taking pictures of me. But Rodney was very professional and made me feel comfortable. He has this natural talent of making people laugh and giving them the product of what they want. As soon as I was ready to take head-shots Rodney was the very first person I contacted because he’s patient and he captures moments of someone truly being themselves.", Theatre - Berea College, Kentucky, USA —
"Rodney did an amazing job taking my photographs for my medical residency application/ profesional portfolio. He did a wonderful job and made sure the entire experience was exactly what I wanted. The final product was not only profesional looking, but also captured my personality!", Medical School Resident - Mineola, NY, USA —
"Rodney’s work ethic, critical thinking skills, and curiosity all contribute to a fantastic mind for design. He shows great versatility across many different mediums. It’s a pleasure having a student as enthusiastic and focused as Rodney.", Painting and Design Professor - Berea College, Kentucky, USA —
"Rodney was one of the most motived, talented students I have had the pleasure of teaching. He excels at storytelling and comes to filmmaking with a fresh, amazing perspective.", Spirit Riding Free - New York Film Academy, Los Angeles, USA —
"Rodney has been working with us (Zenufa) since 2015. It was chance that I came upon his talents and since the day he has started working with us, he has exceeded all expectations! His work is creative, precise, and executed to perfection. It has been exciting to work with such a talented and dedicated individual.", CEO - Zenufa Laboratories, Kinshasa - DR Congo —
"I am amazed by the talent and the creative imagination I discovered in Mr. Kimbangu R. In fact, Professional Designers reading or skimming through Bwato 2014-2015 editions (Bwato is a Bonsomi students' magazine in Kinshasa – DR Congo), would feel his creative genuine expressed in the logo as well as in all the covers he designed. I am confident in his abilities that with some support, his genie will blossom. Would you mind giving this promising talent a hand to touch the sky? I don’t mind it at all. However, I would help him as much as he deserves it if I could!", Bwato supervisor - Bonsomi (2013-2015), Kinshasa - DR Congo —