30 January 2016
Carleton University’s Assistant Professor Dr. Nduka Otiono and his wife Onyeisi Otiono have two major reasons to celebrate this month. Their daughter, 16 year old Kikachukwu was easily the star of the show, at the 2016 Black History Month Launch and Opening ceremony at St. Paul’s University. First off she was a recipient of the 2016 Black History Ottawa Youth Community Builder award for her exemplary volunteer work as Youth Editor, Black Ottawa Scene, Co-President of Colonel By Secondary School Politics Club and Co-President of the school’s Black History month Club. Secondly, she was declared the overall winner of the RBC Royal Bank 2016 Black History Month essay competition, open to all high school students in Canada.
The ceremony itself was memorable in its own right, as one of the annual “must see” events in Ottawa’s social calendar. Mayor Jim Watson was there to read the city’s proclamation of February as Black History Month in the national capital. Other dignitaries included MPP Yasir Naqvi; MPs Catherine McKenna and Anita Vandebeld; Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau; COMPAC Co-Chair Awad Loubani; Jamaica’s High Commissioner Janice Miller; Zambia High Commission Chargés d’Affaires, Mr Evaristo David Kasunga and First Secretary (Political), Mr Chrispin M. Chibawe; Mali Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Chérif Mohamed Kanoute; Zimbabwe High Commissioner Florence Z. Chideya; Tanzania High Commissioner Jack Mugendi Zoka; Trinidad and Tobago Acting High Commissioner Venessa Ramhit-Ramroop; South Africa High Commission Counsellor, Political Section Nonceba Mogwera and Fernando Slawers, First Secretary, Political Section; and Barbados High Commission First Secretary Joanna Benn-Griffith.
Other notable Black History Ottawa award recipients were:
Community Builder Leadership award: Elcho Stewart and Sharmaarke Abdulahi
Community Builder Youth category award: Mariel Chartier
Black History Ottawa President’s award: Hon. Yasir Naqvi
John G. Dennison award: Kathy Grant
Special Black History Ottawa Leadership award: Godwin Ifedi