KINSHASA - Redhorse Reporter Roel Nollet goes to Kinshasa, Congo to meet former professional boxer, Champion Ndangi. Champion doesn't only train the new generation of boxers, but also a new batch of video journalists. "The link between boxing and the press," he says, "is 'combat". "They pulled out my hair. Tied me up as a thief. But I don't think I should abandon the ring."

Meanwhile hundreds of people take to the streets to demand fair elections. The police reacts merciless. There are deaths. Activists arrested. Cameras destroyed. In Makala - the most notorious prison of the country - Roel meets Fred Bauma and Yves Makwambala, two young activists who are locked up for planning peaceful demonstrations. They become figureheads for LUCHA RDCongo, a movement of youngsters that strive for a better Congo and take action to change the country themselves.

"If citizens are afraid to say what they think, and journalists are afraid to report about what is happening here, who is going to change something?" Fred asks. Outside the prison walls, the demonstrations continue.

"It's okay to be afraid," says Champion, "but after that you need to concentrate, and look your opponent in the eye.”

Back home Roel gathers camera equipment and sends them to Congo. That way, together with Champion and the youngsters of La Lucha he documents their struggle for freedom.


Saturday 3rd of March 20h05 on Canvas, Belgium

Realised with the support of the Flanders Connects Continents program of Journalismfund.eu.

A cooperation between Roel Nollet Champion Ndangi and Michael Kalamo.

Team members

Roel Nollet

Roel Nollet is an independent journalist and documentary maker with over 10 years of experience in socially engaged documentary projects.

Champion Babala Ndangi

Champion Babala Ndangi is a former boxing champion from Kinshasa who still trains young boxers, but also educates a new batch of journalists. 

Champion Babala Ndangi

Michael Kalamo

Michael Kalamo is a freelance photographer, director and a law student at the university of Goma in Northern Kivu, in the eastern part of Congo.

Michael Kalamo
Grant of €10.000 allocated on 24/12/2015


Fire Champ - Vranckx (Canvas) (BE), 3 March 2018


Verhaal van een ex-bokskampioen en de jongeren van La Lucha - MO* Magazine, 3 March 2018


Opboksen tegen repressie in Congo - NPO radio 1, 7 March 2018

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