Incredible as it seems, Black Ottawa Scene is into its fourth edition as we enter the beginning of the New Year. But first things first. Here is wishing all our readers a joyous and peaceful new year, one filled with love, luck and laughter.
The January edition is filled with goodies we know you will enjoy. As in the past, we bring you coverage of pivotal events that brought the year 2013 to an eventful close. Foremost is the passing of Nelson Mandela, easily the most significant news maker of the past year. This icon of civil rights, equal opportunity and beacon of hope to millions of disadvantaged people round the globe, brought the world to a virtual standstill with a funeral attended by current and former heads of state and government, film stars, professional athletes and indeed people from all walks of life. They converged in December in South Africa to pay homage to a man whose ninety-five years on this planet symbolised hope for the hopeless, light for those condemned to seemingly eternal darkness by the forces of oppression, and the knowledge that we can each and every one of us make this world a better place, by putting service to others rather than ourselves at the top of our personal agenda. Here in Ottawa, we paid our respects to the great man, first at the Parkdale United Church (our top story), hosted by Rev. Anthony Bailey and Senator Don Meredith. This was followed just last week at the Sheraton Hotel at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Nigerian Professional and Business Network, with the South Africa’s High Commissioner to Canada as keynote speaker. At Black Ottawa Scene, we have made sure our readers got the flavour of Madiba’s inspirational legacy to Canada and the world beyond. We are truly honoured to dedicate the January edition to Madela’s memory. To quote the great man himself: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination,” he said at his 1964 trial. “I’ve cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” And: “I’m not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
The backbone of every publication is its readers, a fact that is continually acknowledged by our editorial staff. Your feedback has been invaluable in setting this fledgling news outlet in a direction that meets your needs. We ask that you continue to send in your views through your letters to the editor, so as to make Black Ottawa Scene the “go to” place for all things African Canadian in our national capital. We shall endeavour to respond positively and constructively to your suggestions, but mindful at the same time of our limited resources and manpower. In keeping with this theme, we’ve continued our series on people making a difference, an in-depth interview with Abdi Karod, Executive Director of the Somali Centre for Family Services, Noble Women’s Christmas gala, Victor Wilson’s society wedding in Lagos and more. Enjoy!