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Meet Rapha Bola

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rapha Bola.

Rapha, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in Central Africa, where I spent all my childhood. At 11, my family moved to the United States. I have a younger brother and a sister; they are 18 and 10 years old respectively. I am fond of football, so I used to play in the NPSL League until I was 22. On August 15, 2015, I graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor Degree in Film Major. While I studied at university, playing football ceased to enthrall me because I found something more interesting. Over time, I became enthusiastic about art and decided to study cinema. My growing up took many different stages, and each of them was linked with a number of difficulties. I grew up in a semi middle class family, and sometimes I had nothing to eat. My parents tried to make money and they had to work very hard. My father worked as a janitor every night at the restaurant.

As I finished school, I also had to work in my spare time. I helped my father, but still I constantly kept looking for something else. Just then, I realized that I needed to grow and learn more. Only these contributions could make my future better. Even at an early age, I loved cinema, watching films of Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles. The director’s and camera operator’s work in “Citizen Kane” awakened my passion and admiration for cinema. In the course of time, I began to read more and learn how to shoot and develop films.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, Nothing has been smooth. Sometimes I feel like quiting because the industry is very competitive. But, I can’t quit because there’s no plan B haha. In addition, they’re many struggles, ex: finding a director to trust you and shoot their project and not owning any gear is also a struggle.

What else should our readers know?
I am a cinematographer, I work alongside with the director. I am most proud when the director seems very happy on set.

What were you like growing up?
I was a very active child and I still am. I love soccer and church in my family is a very big thing. I LOVE to dance and be dorky all the time.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 805-861-3468
  • Email:
  • Instagram: cinerapha

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