South African-raised actress and writer, Angelique Munyange is making moves in the USA.
She is also a producer who wrote, produced and starred in Words Never Said, a 2022 short film.
Born in 1998 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angelique said she remembers life being a little different than in South Africa. She said that family was a big part of her life. Constantly being surrounded by immediate family and relatives, there was a strong sense of community.
At the age of 11, Angelique moved to South Africa with her mother and younger sister.
“My father stayed behind in Congo because he was an attorney there. It was tough to not see him everyday but he would often come to visit us. It was quite the adjustment. We had to create a new life and community and we thought it would feel tricky because of the language and cultural difference. Luckily from the beginning of our move, we met a lot of kind and wonderful people who made us feel extremely welcomed,” she said.
Angelique said her parents were major inspirations to her. Her mother runs her own immigration consulting centre. Even though they have what others would call “traditional careers”, her parents have supported her throughout her journey and have always encouraged Angelique to grow to be the best version of herself.
Angelique and her family came from a predominantly French environment and she said that there were lots of things that confused her, in terms of language, in South Africa.
“There were a lot of sayings that completely confused me and slang that are truly South African. My sister and I enjoyed watching TV together. We had access to the Disney channel in English and in French. We would watch both versions of the episodes. This would give us an understanding of the English episodes and eventually this led to us learning English and speaking it together,” she said.
Angelique said that when she and her sister began studying at Parklands College, they had to really learn how to read and write in English.
“Another small difference was in Congo we wrote everything in cursive and I had to adjust to not doing that after moving as it wasn’t as common,” she said.
At Parklands College, Angelique joined an acting club and fell in love with the art of acting and public speaking.
“Eventually I took it as a subject and It was something I really enjoyed and obviously chose to pursue it as a career. It allows me to connect with people by using amazing stories made by extremely talented people. I loved understanding the process of a writer and how they create a world and tell stories. I wanted to do the same thing,” she said.
In one of her courses at Parklands College, she learned screen writing.
She has now performed in musicals and plays gracing the stages of the GrandWest’s Grand Arena as well as the Baxter theatre.
After high school, Angelique decided to take the leap and pursue a degree in acting and film-making. She moved to the United States of America where she studied and received her Bachelor in Fine Arts at the New York Film Academy summa cum laude.
Life abroad without her family was hard, according to Angelique. She said that she kept her head down and focused on her studies.
“The more I made friends and learned my bearings the easier it got to adjust. I will say it was very difficult to not have my family nearby and even though we could video chat, it wasn’t the same. The first time I really felt like an adult and the distance with my family, was when I first got really sick. When I was home, I had my family to take care of me. They made sure they watched over me etc. I did not have that. I had to really take care of myself for the first time and it felt really lonely at the time. It has definitely gotten easier but there is nothing like having your family around,” she said.
Angelique is now settled in Los Angeles as a working actress. She still does auditions and is working on writing more projects, and improving her craft as an actor. She also has a few commercials airing in the USA, including an advert on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
“Things are currently slow due to the strikes happening with the writers guild and talks of a strike with the Actors Union as well. So in the meantime, I stay ready by always working on my craft and trying to continue growing in all my work but also in my personal life,” she said.