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Angola: Luis Samacumbi, prominent lay church leader and emerging author.

Summary & Comment: Luis Samacumbi was the Development Officer for the Congregational Church in Angola. Now he is program specialist for gender issues at UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund, in Angola. He has written on his own life and faith, on faith issues, and especially bios on 3 of his mentors, Jose Chipenda, Julio Francisco, and Ilda Valerio. His latest publication is `Uma Voz de Fé em Tempos Difíceis/ A voice of faith in difficult times'. All Books in Portuguese only. 5 Excellent photos of Luis at: http://angolamsf.org/Luis%20Samacumbi-books_2013114.pdf JK

Author: Jean Burgess Date Written: 19 February 2016
Primary Category: Angola Document Origin: Angolan Memorial Scholarship Fund
Secondary Category: Culture Source URL: http://angolamsf.org/Luis%20Samacumbi-books_2013114.pdf
Key Words: Angola, Samacumbi, author, publisher, Chipenda

African Charter Article #17: Every individual shall have the right to education, cultural life, and the promotion and protection of values. (Click for full text...)

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Posted on AMSF website angolamsf.org under What’s New, February 2016


Work experience: Luis Samacumbi is well known to the Angola Memorial Scholarship Fund (AMSF) and other international NGOs, in his former role as executive director of DASEP - the social development branch of the Evangelical Congregational Church of Angola (IECA). AMSF relied on Luis Samacumbi to provide excellent AMSF-funded project reports.

Luis Samacumbi now works as a gender specialist for the UNPopulation Fund. Also he continues to work for IECA as Director of the IECA Department of Resource Mobilization and Institutional Development.

Luis is currently enrolled in the distance education Master of Divinity Program of the Chicago Theological Seminary, affiliated with the United Church of Christ. He is a graduate of the Masters of Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies of the University Kwazulu Natal, Durban – South Africa.

Personal Background: Luis Samacumbi was caught up in the Angolan civil war as a child soldier[2]. For many years his friends and colleagues encouraged him to write about his remarkable life journey from the suffering of war to his work for peace and reconstruction through Angolan church and NGO channels

[2] Note: for an article on Samacumbi’s childhood see Relative Values by Ann McFerran in The Sunday Times, February 24, 2008. http://globalministries.org/news/africa/relative-values-Samacumbi.html

Writing and Publishing: Luis began writing his memoirs in 2010. He self-published them in Portuguese in the book, Pilares de Sucesso/Pillars of Success, in 2012. Luis created his own publishing company, Livros Olohengo /Angolan Wild Plum Books in order to obtain an ISBN number and to thus enter the official international registry of books.

Luis Samacumbi attributes his resilient success in part to a series of extraordinary Angolan mentors. One of the most important to him is Rev. Jose Belo Chipenda, an elder statesman of IECA. Luis Samacumbi’s second self-published book is a biography, in Portuguese, of Rev Chipenda[1], which is entitled Construindo Pontes/Building Bridges. This book was launched in late 2012 in Lobito, the present home community of Rev Chipenda. The launch which honoured Rev. Chipenda was attended by government representatives and received national media attention.

[1] Note: Rev Jose Chipenda’s wife, Eva Chipenda has written her memoirs in an English book entitled The Visitor: An African Woman’s Story of Travel and Discovery. It was published in 1996 by the World Council of Churches as Volume 73 of the Risk Book Series

In 2014 Luis Samacumbi wrote a book of reflections on the faith that can sustain us in turbulent times. Its title is A fé além do impossível/ A faith beyond the impossible. The cover page image is of the sea parting before the person of faith.

Also, in 2014, Luis Samacumbi authored a book on the life of the first Ochimbundu woman ordained by IECA, Rev. Ilda Valerio. It is entitled O farol de esperança/ The lighthouse of hope. As Luis writes in his introduction, Rev. Ilda has been another important mentor to him. She has also become a mother to him following the sudden death of his own mother in his early adulthood.

In 2015, Luis Samacumbi wrote a fifth book, on the life of Rev Julio Francisco, the former Secretary General of IECA (1983 – 1997), who provided leadership to IECA during the challenging times of the civil war. The book is entitled Uma Voz de Fé em Tempos Difíceis/ A voice of faith in difficult times. It was the family of Rev Julio Francisco, now deceased, who asked Luis to write this book, so that the inspiration of Rev. Francisco’s life and words might be shared with future generations of IECA.

 Besides self publishing his own books, Luis Samacumbi has published several books by other Angolans writers: O papel da Sociedade no cumprimento da missão da escola/ The role of society in the school’s mission (2015) by Matos Enoque, Buscando sabedoria nos contos/, Seeking Wisdom in Tales (and proverbs) (2015) by Frederico Pascoal York and Viajando de Bela Vista à Cachiungo/Travelling from Bela Vista to Cachiungo (2015) by Anastácio César Culanda.  

Luis Samacumbi’s writings, and other publications of Livros Olohengo, are valuable resources for Angolan educational institutions ranging from seminaries, to church-run and public schools, to universities. Luis Samacumbi’s writings and others published by Livros Olohengo are also of interest to academics and friends of Angola in North America and elsewhere.

AMSF has supported Luis Samacumbi through a contribution to the printing costs of 4 of his books, from a gift designated in memory of Dr. George Burgess. George Burgess had worked closely with Luis Samacumbi, then director of DASEP, on the administration of the Rotary International Phase I & II project to fund the start up of 10 IECA health clinics, from 2003-2006 and 2007-2010.

Books are very expensive in Angola, up to 200% of Canadian prices. The AMSF print grants are making Luis’ Samacumbi’s books more financially accessible to Angolan readers.

Luis Samacumbi’s books can be obtained directly from him at airiluis30@gmail.com 

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s) and not do necessarily reflect the views of the AfricaFiles' editors and network members. They are included in our material as a reflection of a diversity of views and a variety of issues. Material written specifically for AfricaFiles may be edited for length, clarity or inaccuracies.

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