Rachel Mwanza

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Rachel Mwanza is an actress from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, best known for her performance as Komona in the 2012 film Rebelle (War Witch).[1]

Born in 1997 and abandoned by her parents as a child, Mwanza spent several years living as a street child in Kinshasa before being cast in Rebelle.[1] She was cast in the film after director Kim Nguyen and producers Pierre Even and Marie-Claude Poulin saw her in a documentary film on the street kids of Kinshasa.[2] Due to her lack of education, she did not know how to read or write when she was first cast in the film; the filmmakers have since made arrangements to pay for her education and housing until she turns 18.[2] In February 2013 she was granted a visa to allow her to attend the Academy Awards.[3]

Her performance in Rebelle garnered her awards for Best Actress from the Berlin Film Festival,[1] the Tribeca Film Festival[4] and the Vancouver Film Critics Circle in 2012, as well as the award for Best Actress at the 1st Canadian Screen Awards.[5]

In 2012, she appeared in her second film role, in Marc-Henri Wajnberg's Kinshasa Kids.

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