Bwalya, a 29-year-old student from Norwich Avenue, Southend, appeared at Basildon Crown Court where he was told he must serve a minimum of six years, before applying for parole.
He was convicted of raping a 21-year-old woman in Royal Artillery Way, Southend, on the morning of Sunday, December 13, 2009.
Bwalya has also been recommended for deportation when he is released. He has also been placed on the sex offenders list.
Bwalya had been drinking heavily and threatened the woman with violence and took her to an isolated place where he carried out a prolonged and violent attack.
Senior Investigating Officer Det Supt John Quinton said:
“An attack like this on a young woman making her way to work early in the morning is thankfully very rare.
“Chishala Bwalya tried to engage the victim in conversation and she ignored him.
“He had been drinking heavily and threatened her with violence and took her to an isolated place where he carried out a prolonged and violent attack. During this attack she feared for her life but she was eventually able to get away and raised the alarm.
“Our investigation located Chishala Bwalya in a matter of days and due to the overwhelming evidence we had gathered against him he admitted raping the woman and pleaded guilty at court.
“I hope our victim can take some comfort from the fact that her attacker is now behind bars.”