Akende Munalula was born in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia in Southern Africa. Abandoned at three months old by his biological British father, Akende and his brothers were raised by a single mother who worked as a typist in one of the government owned companies. Living in the more modest parts of the city meant the boys had to go to government schools with minimal funding and poor teaching standards. At age eight, Akende met his step father, a Welsh artist who taught art at the International School of Lusaka, an affluent school for the expat community. Through his step father, Akende was introduced to books by writers like Charles Dickens. The story of Oliver Twist resonated deeply with Akende who saw parallels with his own struggle growing up. The books became a means of escape and helped to develop Akende’s burgeoning imagination. A good student with mostly A grades, he became interested in writing and won several awards for English language in high school. After graduating, Akende found his way into advertising, becoming a well sought after and successful copywriter for more than ten years. However, it was his love of hip hop music that took him out of the nine-to-five world and onto the performance stage, where he found his true voice. As a rapper, he produced two successful albums. However, all of that was simply leading him to acting, which he felt was more his calling. He left Zambia in 2012 and relocated to California where he lives and works to date.