31 January 2016
When Sarah Onyango made the front page of Share News, Toronto’s foremost Black news magazine it was no surprise to her many friends and fans. Sarah’s story cannot be told without reference to former Citizenship Court judge John Dennison, who was instrumental in the federal government initiating the Mathieu da Costa Challenge in 1996 for young people, to celebrate the contributions of Canadians of African, Aboriginal and other backgrounds to the building of this country.
The late Ottawa resident was also a mentor and friend of the Kenyan-born translator and community advocate, who was the recipient of the Mathieu da Costa Award presented at the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) Black History Month kick-off last Sunday in Toronto.
Thinking about someone to dedicate the award to was a no-brainer for Onyango.
“This is definitely for John for his unyielding support, guidance and training,” she said. “It’s because of him that I am able to do much of the work I am doing now.”
The eldest of five children, Onyango completed her undergraduate degree in Canada where her father was a Kenyan diplomat in the 1980s and worked in the East African country for several years before returning to Canada in 1992. She earned her Master’s in Linguistics from a French University and is a translator for a Canadian television network specializing in political, parliamentary and public affairs coverage.
Onyango also hosts a weekly radio show on CHUO 89.1 FM and co-founded the Black Ottawa 411 website which is an online community information resource. She is also the Community Outreach Officer for Black History Ottawa, an organisation with a mission to advance education, research and advocacy on the history of Canadians of African descent and their contribution to the Canadian mosaic. Sarah is a also a frequent contributor to Black Ottawa Scene and is in frequent demand as an MC and speaker at community events.
Partial source: Share News
Photo credit: Kathy Grant
– See more at: http://sharenews.com/stalwarts-honoured-at-black-history-month-launch/#sthash.iRnifuYQ.dpuf