Leading Questions with Mubanga Kalimamukwento
A Zambian human rights advocate who came to Minnesota as a Fulbright scholar
I have been practicing criminal law for the past two years, but have worked in various areas since 2013. I consider myself a human rights advocate through my writing and like to think about the relationship between literature, especially about minorities, and the development of human rights legislation and policy.
Decision to pursue an LL.M?
I was a Hubert H. Humphrey (Fulbright) Fellow in the 2018-19 cohort and, as part of that, decided to take the Introduction to American Law class offered by the Law School. I was already considering studying for my LL.M., and took the class to get a better understanding of the legal system and also to help me decide if the United States would be the right place for me to study.
Why Minnesota Law?
Zambians pride themselves on being welcoming to guests and I’m always proud when I hear visitors say how at home they felt in Zambia. Because of this, I’ve come to find that whenever I visit a country, I gauge my whole experience on how “at home” I feel in a place. In Minnesota, at the University, and especially in the Introduction to American Law class, I felt at home right away and that was a big part of my decision.
I am very interested in the relationship between literature and the law, so going forward, I’m sure my studies and career will continue to inspire the kind of stories I put out into the world.
Three words that describe you?
The incurable optimist.
My first novel, The Mourning Bird, a first-person narrative of the life of a homeless girl in Lusaka, Zambia, is available in paperback on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.