L. Nyankanzi was raised in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire).
In the early 1960s, he was one of the few Africans to be awarded a scholarship
to study in the United States, where he attended Fordham University, the
New School for Social Research, and Syracuse University. He has served as
Political Affairs Officer in the United Nations Department of Political Affairs,
and Professor of African History and Politics at the Pratt Institute.