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Tea Time with African Seniors

Tea Time with African Seniors is a program that was started by the Nigerian Canadian’s for Cultural Educational, and Economic Progress (NCCEEP), to provide a space for the African Seniors in the Windsor-Essex area where they can share stories, play games, learn new skills, and meet new people. Many African seniors saw this as a need because there were few places they could go in the city to be among people of their own culture. Tea Time has created this space so the seniors feel free to be who they are as well as converse with those who understand them.

Tea Time is probably one of the most successful programs that NCCEEP runs, with seniors continuously coming and bringing their friends.
The seniors started the day with snacks of fruit and some activities like sewing lessons, computer lessons, and games. Later a light lunch of chicken, potatoes, and green beans was offered, along with a cake to celebrate national seniors month! (P.S. June is also national Caribbean heritage month as well!)

After lunch the seniors aer free to pick from many activities like sewing, story telling, or computer classes.

The goal of this program is to bring African seniors together in a place they feel they belong and can be themselves. Before this program started many seniors felt as though other seniors groups would not accept them or they felt as though they could not be their true selves.

It is important to respect that elders need their own space and also people around them that respect, love and care for them. These seniors are more than a group that gets together, they are a family that support and uplift one another.

Tea Time with African Seniors runs every second Saturday of every month, from 12:00pm – 3:00pm at the Caribbean Centre in central Windsor. Small donations are accepted to help with the continuation of the program.
The success of this program has made many seniors happy and given them something to look forward to every month.

Viola Desmond: An example of an Omoluabi

Viola Desmond encompasses all the traits of an Omoluabi. She was a Canadian businesswoman born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is known to be a major civil rights icon. On November 8, 1946 she challenged racial segregation at a cinema in Nova Scotia. She was physically injured by police and wrongly convinced and fined by local courts.

Desmond’s case is one of the most publicized incidents of racial discrimination in Canadian history and helped start the modern civil rights movement in Canada. As a minority, Viola rose above the challenges she faced being a minority and a woman and launched an empire in the beauty industry and in the black community.

She is honoured today by being the first Canadian woman to appear on the Canadian ten-dollar note and the first historical woman of colour to be featured in a Heritage Minute. She possesses the fundamental principles of an omoluabi by showing bravery, hard-work, having excellent character, good will and embodying hard work.

What it means to be a leader

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, friends and family. Today we are going to talk about what it means to be a young leader. To me being a young leader means you’re kind, honest, trustworthy and resourceful. “The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own example.”- John Wooden

Being a young leader is about your attitude and how you handle difficult situations. For example, you are playing with your friends and you notice someone being bullied. You go to your friends and urge them to help, but your friends are reluctant. Then, you tell them, “what if it was you being bullied, wouldn’t you want us to help?” After, leaving your friends with the question you go on to tell a teacher and start playing with the person who was bullied. Do something to show you care. That is how you can be a young leader at school! “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.” – Nelson Mandela

Being a young leader is also about being generous, kind, honest and instructive. If someone just arrived in the city show them around, introduce them to your community and offer to help them with anything they need. Make them feel at home! Hold a welcome-to-the-city party for them. Introduce them to your friends and family. Do something to make them feel welcome. “It’s the friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey” – unknown.

A young leader also takes charge at all times. For example, you noticed that there was a fire starting in a kitchen. The first thing you do is call the fire department and get everyone out to the nearest exit, making sure that no one was left behind.

Being a young leader is very important. You must be organized, responsible and use initiative. If you’re a young leader you try not to make fun of people as people

will look at your example and follow it. A young leader takes courage and faces responsibility. Young leaders also take charge, like in school and in any situation.

That is what I think is it means to be a young leader.

The African Cultural Show

Compliment instead of compete. Enhance instead of duplicate. These are some of NCCEEP’s (Nigerian Canadians for Cultural, Economic and Educational Progress) goals and exactly what was accomplished at the 2nd Annual African Culture Show. Hosted by ACSOO, the Cameroonian Association of South Western Ontario, people from the African and Black Canadian community came together to enjoy food, dance, fashion and the opportunity to learn more about African culture.

Now more than before, Africans are enjoying the benefits of working together. So much can be said of a person who gives back to the community in both deeds and action. There is a philosophical and cultural concept used by the Yoruba people to describe a person of such good character, Omaluabi.

Abiola Afolabi, Executive Director of NCCEEP, gave a brief, but information packed, presentation on the programs offered at NCCEEP and the concept of Omoluabi. An overall person of integrity, Omaluabi encompasses someone who believes in hard work, respects the rights of others and gives back to the community.

We may all come from different backgrounds, but we are all united. T.J Travis, a performer and poet, had the crowd enthusiastically involved, while reiterating the concept that “together we rise” and “we are all related”. In his spoken word performance, he stated that “mighty be the woman who carries courage as her sword”, encouraging the audience to find alternative ways to battle societal hardships.

Bradley Jones, of the Emancipation Day Committee of Windsor, helped close the event by performing in the fashion show, which displayed traditional African clothes, and speaking about Unity. Unity and working together became the unofficial theme of the event. Effectively ringing true with the multiculturally diverse attendance, people left with an overwhelming sense that everyone, including the African community, should start collaborating more often.