Altona North’s Rick Kiembe Mwamba, a refugee from Democratic Republic of Congo, has written his first book – about what brings happiness.

After fleeing his homeland, Mwamba spent six years as a refugee in neighbouring Republic of Congo before coming to Australia in 2007.

“My dad was a politician and was working for a political party that was against the dictatorial regime of the president, so that led him to troubles … he had to flee for the family’s safety,” he said.

The former community worker with Darebin Ethnic Communities Council said he was pursuing his passion for writing short stories and poetry. He has just finished writing his first book, titled Bilengi, under the name Prince Rick Boss.

“It means whatever gives you happiness or joy in my mother language, Lingala,” Mwamba said. “It’s about a girl making a person the happiest, so it’s a romantic short story.

“Most African people, including myself, one of the reasons that we came to other countries is to make a good happy life.”

The 26-year-old, who was named Hobsons Bay’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2010, received mentoring from award-winning author Arnold Zable, whose own work is underpinned by refugee and asylum seeker experiences.

The book is available online and Mwamba is developing an app to market it.

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