Victor Kamwendo came to the United States from Malawi when he was 13 years old. Now he is an actor and model in Los Angeles — but he has never forgotten his roots and the importance of giving back.
Victor Kamwendo: Being an immigrant was tough, but it was actually the best thing to be.
Victor is an immigrant from Malawi.
This is where I grew up. Born and raised, right here.
Got to show you the hood gym. This is the hood gym. It’s the gym in the hood. We out here working out in the hood.
You know about survival. That’s when you learn about yourself and just look forward.
L.A. Now he acts and models in Los Angeles.
Victor: Being in L.A. has been a great lesson. Taught me a lot about patience, but also taught me a lot about giving back to people.
Victor: Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
Victor: I was born in Malawi. Malawi, Africa. But I left the country when I was 13 years old. Moved to good old South Bend, Indiana. And it was until I had a conversation with one of my deans, and they’re like, “What are you doing, man? You have all this talent.” That’s what they called it. I didn’t know.
I just fell in love with the craft, I fell in love with learning, I fell in love with being on stage.
I did a show called “A Raisin in the Sun.” It was directed by Walter Allen Bennett, Jr., who was a director that came actually from L.A. and came to South Bend.
Mentors helped Victor see his true potential.
Victor: He asked me what I wanted to do, and I told him I didn’t know. And I remember he told me, he’s like, “You should come to L.A. You have the great personality for it.”
Shot several feature films and short films, and I wrote and directed my own short film.
One thing that my parents actually instilled in us was work ethic and actually believing in ourselves, but also, not only believing in ourselves, but putting God first. They saw that we had an opportunity to come to the United States of America, an opportunity to try to make the best of everything.
Victor still takes trips back to Malawi. He and his friends have helped build a school. Their mission is to inspire and empower local children.
Victor: This what happens when you try to play around.
And hope that people can actually see that thing in you that, you know, you strive to be. So, yeah.
Crowd: Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
Victor: Hey! (Laughs)