Kagyu Samye Ling Congo

A New Sun has Risen in Africa


Akong Rinpoche made his first visit to Africa in 1982, on instruction from His Holiness 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, and was later appointed as Karma Kagyu’s Representative in Africa.

His activity on this continent extended from Cape Town, through Zimbabwe, all the way to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and it is being upheld and expanded by an increasing number of devoted students, intent on fulfilling the Vision of their ‘Africa Lama’ by firmly establishing the authentic Dharma in their respective countries.

Back in 1997, a group of deeply devoted Congolese students made the first of many long and arduous journeys from the DRC to Harare, to take Refuge with Akong Rinpoche and to receive Empowerments and teachings from him. Under his guidance, the group grew in number and strength and since Akong Rinpoche’s passing, thanks to the extreme kindness of Drupon Khen Rinpoche, Karma Lhabu, Dharma activity has continued to flourish in the DRC, with many hundreds of people taking Refuge and benefiting from the firm foundations laid by Akong Rinpoche.

Lubumbashi now has its own Kagyu Samye Dzong, built by the people it serves, and given the name, by His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, of Karma Shenpen Nyima Ling.


In recent years, at the request of their parents, five young Congolese (three monks and two nuns) received life vows from Drupon Rinpoche and joined the Sekhar Retreat in Nepal. Sponsored by Drupon Rinpoche, due to his immense kindness and tireless efforts they are already benefiting from an intensive Dharma education.

Inspired by the changes they have seen in these young people, many members of the Lubumbashi Centre have petitioned Drupon Rinpoche to grant ordination to a larger number of aspiring monks and nuns. Consequently, 40 monks went forth in April 2024, with plans to ordain the nuns as soon as conditions allow. Those who are too young to receive the vows have been told they must wait.

Already, land has been purchased near the Lubumbashi Centre, with the intention of building a Monastery and Nunnery (along with other projects). Drupon Rinpoche has nominated Lama Katen as his specific representative, with responsibility for overseeing the growth and welfare of the Kagyu Samye Ling Congo Centre and Monastery; and Lama Zangpo has taken up the post of resident lama of Kagyu Samye Ling Congo, with assistance from Gelong Samten and Tensung Genyen Jinpa, among others.