Daily Archives: March 31, 2019

Reading for Less


At the time I was really young, I used to love buying books. I think in some ways I had more money then. I didn’t pay rent and my food was free. Everything is cheaper when you’re a kid, so for those reading, enjoy it while you can.

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Projets d’écriture à venir de Donna Kakonge


Image result for Sweet Valley High

Comme Cane et Abel de la Bible … comme Jessica et Ida the name of the new character de Sweet Valley High … les jumelles vivent une vie compétitive et réussissent. Un jumeau est responsable de la mort prématurée de sa mère et ce jumeau doit être au service de l’autre jumeau pour le reste de sa vie. Il devient possible d’être à deux endroits en même temps – pour celui qui n’a pas péché. – Titré: Mary et Jess – Je vais écrire ceci dès que possible – jeudi 16 août 2012 – en cours … destination pour compléter manuscrit auto-édité … Novembre 2012.

Deuxième idée … le monde est en guerre de trop. Toute personne de moins de 30 ans qui peut se battre et toute personne de plus de 30 ans qui peut se battre est en guerre. L’économie est mauvaise, les gens en ont assez de se battre pour trouver un emploi – alors ces groupes d’âge se battent pour éliminer ceux qu’ils considèrent comme une menace. J’ai fait cette histoire au lycée. Je ne l’ai plus, mon ancien professeur d’anglais, M. MacPherson, l’a et je ne sais même pas s’il vit encore ou s’il l’a encore, mais c’est dans ma mémoire. Je vais l’écrire à nouveau. – Titré: Âge de la majorité – écrivez-le en novembre 2012 – en cours … destination pour compléter le manuscrit auto-édité … Janvier 2013.

Troisième idée … un travail créatif de non-fiction pour le cours Making a Book au campus de l’Université de Toronto à Mississauga au sujet de mon expérience avec le travail qui peut être lié et donné comme cadeau aux participants de mon doctorat. recherche. Intitulé: Donna travaille dur pour l’argent – commencer à écrire en Décembre 2012 – en cours … destination pour compléter manuscrit auto-édité, manuscrit autoformé, conception de la couverture auto-créé et publié par Life Rattle Press … Avril 2013.

Merci à tous … et vous devriez savoir qui vous êtes maintenant. Comme le dit Stevie Wonder: «Tu es le rayon de soleil de ma vie, tu es la pomme de ma vie. Pour toujours, tu restes à l’avant. »Stevie, pourquoi as-tu répudié ta femme?

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How to make your mall experience a free one (originally published with The Shoestring.com)


Image result for Shopping Mall

How to Make Your Mall Experience a Free One

 Being in a shopping mall can be an overwhelming experience – especially when you don’t have the cash to spend. But, there are ways to have a good time without spending a cent.

Before you go shopping, you want to make sure you look good. Visit a makeup counter and get a free makeover and look gorgeous while you walk through the mall. It’s also a great form of exercise.

First and foremost – know about samples. Rather than buying anything you need, you can always ask for samples of things and stock them for supplies. This goes for just about anything. For example, I had heard that there was this great hair product called Phyto and went to the mall to get samples every time I needed some. You can do this for face creams, body lotions, and many other toiletries.

Trying on new clothes for the fun of it could give you some great ideas to find cheaper versions of what you love at discount places or to get hand-me-downs from friends.

Once you’re done with looking your best, catch some entertainment by going into an electronics store and watching some of the stuff they have on their screens. Some really nice stores have chairs set up and might even have a new DVD on. You could always ask them to put on something interesting so you can see the quality of the latest flat screen monitor, without having the money to buy it.

What is this world without music? Even the smallest of malls will have one music store and the bigger ones will have more for you to choose from. The best way to find out what’s hot and what’s not is to look at the racks and see how the different CDs are ranked. You can even mellow out by checking out the listening stations in places like HMV and enjoy the tunes.

Speaking of how things are ranked – check out the bookstores for the bestsellers. Books from Dr. Phil or the upcoming biography on Bob Denver you can read for free at Indigo or Chapters. Take your time; some bookstores have places to sit so you can be there for awhile. Or squat on the floor.

If you have a child, spend that special time in the children’s department of a bookstore reading to your little one. Toy stores are great ways to keep the kids occupied. Perhaps if they can play with that doll or toy truck in the store, they’ll tire of it and won’t hound you to buy it.

Get decorating ideas that you can do on the cheap from places like the Pottery Barn.

After all this excitement, go to the furniture department and take a nap on one of the luxurious couches of any of the big stores like Sears.

Now after you’ve experienced a fulfilling free time, look for loose change in pay phones and on the ground (it can pay to walk with your head down) go to the mall’s bank and make a small donation to Hurricane Katrina relief (every penny counts as you know).

If you do have a little cash to spend – The Dollar Store is always a great place. For example, I bought a pair of sunglasses for a dollar with black frames from there and took them to a one-hour optical place and paid way more for the prescription lenses than the frames. People are telling me all the time they look like $300 glasses – but I didn’t spend anything near to that.

When you get hungry, try checking out places like Baskin Robbins and many others for samples to get a quick fix. If you go to enough fast food joints for samples, you might even end up feeling full.

All this will make your shopping experience pain-free for your wallet and enjoyable. Have a good time and remember to throw a penny in the waterfall if your major mall has one!

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Hurricane Carter: Book Launch & Talk Enid Lee: Working Together for Quality Education for Children‏


Photo Courtesy of Google Images

– ‘Moving Beyond The Superman Solutions Part II: The Powerful Potential of Schools, Families, and Communities Working Together for Quality Education for All Children’ with Enid Lee. This session will be held on Thursday, January 27th, 2011 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., OISE Library.

– ‘Eye of the Hurricane – My Path from Darkness to Freedom’ with Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. This session will be held on Friday, January 28, 2011, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., OISE Auditorium.

Regards,

Angie Fonseca/sent on behalf of Kirk Mark

Curriculum and Accountability Team

Toronto Catholic District School Board

80 Sheppard Avenue East

Toronto, ON M2N 6E8

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Book review of Cane by Jean Toomer



300x225 e-Newspaper USA Today

In Beauty, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds), book reviews on August 9, 2009 at 02:41

Jean Toomer is the Author of Cane

I came across this book for three dollars at a Lebanese restaurant in the McGill ghetto of Montreal. It was worth every penny, and proves that you can find good books for affordable prices.

Jean Toomer was a genius. Cane is part of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s. This book has influenced such writers as Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Eric Walrond, Zora Neale Hurston, Wallace Thurman, Rudolph Fisher and his other contemporaries of the 20s. When reading the book, there is no wonder that it had a tremendous impact, and should be revisted for some reasons I will point out now. Continue reading

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The Politics of Hair (Proposal to Ryerson University)


Everybody Does Something to Change Their Appearance for Advancement - Photo Courtesy of Stockexpert.com

Everybody Does Something to Change Their Appearance for Advancement - Photo Courtesy of Stockexpert.com

The politics of black hair shows in books like Tenderheaded to the Princess of Wales plays ‘Da Kink in My Hair and Hairspray to movies like Beauty Shop to songs played on Flow 93.5.

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Categories: Writing (all kinds)

Perfume has gone to the dogs (published in Canoe.ca in 2001)


 

Image result for Dog Generation Paris

Perfume has gone to the dogs
Oh, my dog! Now pet owners can get even more intimate with their loved ones by wearing the same perfume with their cat and dog.

Dog Generation Paris has designed the first ever prestige fragrance for dedicated dogs and frisky cats.

The French company offers an eau de toilette spray and a shampoo (“Oh My Dog! Eau de Toilette Spray and Shampoo”) for dogs, and an eau de toilette (“Oh My Cat? Eau de Toilette Spray”) for cats.

Image result for Dog Generation Paris
“Pet lovers may not always admit it, but they often share everything with their canine or feline friends, from their bed pillow to their favourite dish,” says Veronique Viellerobe, public relations for Dog Generation Paris. “Humans can now share and wear the same perfume with their dog or cat.”

The creators of the perfume and shampoo are two former Parfums Givenchy executives, Laurent Jugeau, Etienne de Swardt, and Olivier Echaudemaison.

Categories: Writing (all kinds)

Winterize your skin (published on Canoe.ca in 2001)


Image result for Ombrelle cold weather defence

Winterize your skin

Did you know that the sun can cause damage to your skin in the winter, as well as in the summer?

If you said yes, great. For those of you who said no, there can be grave consequences to not using sun protection in the winter. Even more, damage can happen to your skin in winter than in the summer.

“I would say it [my skin] would be drier than in the wintertime. I try to use a moisturizer,” says Jill Serrao, an executive assistant at an accounting firm, like most people she does not use sunblock in the winter.

Using winter sun protection is a routine Canadians have to start getting used to, in order to keep their skin healthy.

Fewer people think of wearing sunblock in winter. Winter winds, UV rays reflected by water, snow, sand or cement can really give you the cold and bruised shoulder.

Vanessa Visard, who works in consumer relations, says, “My basic routine is a good moisturizer once in the morning and at night. I wash my face every day. I don’t have problem skin.”

For many, the solution is not that easy.

Ombrelle Cold Weather Defence, with an SPF of 25 is L’Oreal’s answer to protecting drying winter skin with a sunblock.

It comes in a cream which guards against UV rays and the harsh realities to the skin against outdoor sports, shoveling snow, and walking children home from school.

The formula is also sensitive-proof enough to be used on children’s skin as well.

Yonette Ward, a fashion and interior designer, says the only form of sunblock she uses is a UV-protection gloss on her lips.

The Ombrelle sun protection also has anti-drying agents to lock in the moisture of the skin. It includes ingredients like glycerin, silicon, and fatty alcohol to add the much-needed moisture to winter skin.

“We realized it [the sunblock] was important because of following discussions with doctors and consumers, we need to protect from cold weather aggressions,” says Ombrelle’s Public Relations Manager, Nathalie de Champlain.

The spokeswoman for Ombrelle’s Cold Weather Defence product launch is World Champion freestyle skier Stephanie Sloan. Out on the slopes from the first snowfall she understands the importance of winter sun protection. Her husband who was a Crazy Canuck skier died of malignant melanoma in 1990.

“To me, daily suncare protection has become as necessary and important as a balanced diet or regular physical exercise,” says Sloan. She also adds sun protection is important to her as an anti-aging device.

The new Ombrelle product will be available in November across Canada. Its suggested retail price is $14.49.


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Get radical (originally published on Canoe.ca)


Trends in hair fashions are keeping tempo with music and other media. Looks change from the rock and roll and out of bed, straight with no frizz and shiny as a mirror like classical or jazz, or alternative radical styles with no half measures and no compromises.

The desired look with StudioFX

The desired look with StudioFX

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Kay McConney (originally published for Pride Newsmagazine)


Kay McConneyKay McConney

Image result for Kay McConney - Barbados Consulate

Kay McConney: leaving for other opportunities

Published in Pride Newsmagazine – June 29, 2005

By Donna Kay Kakonge

Kay McConney, the Consul General of Barbados, is leaving her post for other opportunities at the end of July. She has been the longest-running Consul General the consulate has ever had, beginning her diplomatic assignment on May 3rd, 1998.

“I think for me when I came to this job, even though I had not been in the diplomatic core before and was posted to Toronto, it felt natural for me,” McConney says. “I went into a place where in terms of managing relationships which is a huge part of what I do – but, it’s relationships with the private sector, relationships with institutions and partners, relationships with the government agency, relationships with the community people. It was all a business relationship management – and for all of my life I’ve been in one way or another involved in that. So it was very easy for me to make a transition into that.”

McConney started out her career by earning a track-and-field scholarship to the States and studied international relations. She then went on to do her MBA in Belgium in international business.

“I think also the area of international business relations did something that made me very much able to deal with the business community,” McConney said. “When I was in Barbados prior to here, I was involved with private, public sector partnerships. Working with those sectors was something that I was once again very much at home with and I was in collaboration with others.”

McConney says in terms of the challenges of Canada, it was a new environment when she first came, but she saw that if you have the skills, as long as you’re adaptable, you can transfer that in any different situation. “It was a natural fit for me in terms of the experiences I’ve had. It was just another place in time.”

She says there are stories from all different sides to share her experiences as Consul General. There are stories in terms of the coordination of the office. And then there are stories about the external relationships they have with their various publics.

“I would say one external situation that we’ve had to deal with was when Barbados felt we were being challenged by the OECD, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development – we were able to be demonstrated that people did not need to be concerned about taxation in Barbados. This concerned the international community, as well as Canadian investors. And that was a very exciting time in terms of continuing the kinds of examples of the challenges we have faced.”

McConney also notes the challenges on the internal side of the consulate. “We have got one of the four different departments integrated into one which we called the Barbados Country Team. And those departments are responsible for labour, investment and trade, tourism and foreign affairs – it’s important to integrate all of those.”

She takes special note of the fact achievements she has had as a Consul General were not made alone, but with a team effort.

“We have had some tremendous victories in that regard – not because of me – but because of the team. The truth is that solution has always been working with the team. I have been so privileged to have the kind of team that I’ve had.”

As part of the consulate team, Cheryl Carter is head of the tourism team, Kenneth Campbell is head of our investment team, and Marva Scott is retired from foreign affairs, but worked with McConney for years.

McConney’s last day of her term as Consul General will be on July 31st, 2005.

“I will be going to take a little bit of time off from the diplomatic service before going into other opportunities. Temporarily, I will relinquish the diplomatic service. People will continue to see my passion for Barbados and the Caribbean for whatever I go on to do right now and that’s whether it’s in Canada, or further afield.”

McConney notes she really and truly sees the world as her oyster. “I’m really an international citizen, very proud to be a daughter of Barbados, but a woman of the Caribbean and a citizen of the world. I have lived in the U.S. before, I have lived in Belgium before, I have lived in the Caribbean before, and I have lived in Canada before. In fact, for the last 15 years I have been in this country. So to say that the world is my oyster, I truly believe in that. I am certainly going to follow opportunity wherever that takes me.”

She made her announcement of her departure from the diplomatic core at the 2nd annual Barbados Charity Ball on June 25th, 2005.The theme of the Charity Ball was “Safeguarding the Future.” The money raised went towards youth education and HIV/AIDS. McConney notes the ball was taking care of “body and mind.”

“One of the key things [about the ball] is that we had 15 organizations working together like a united front. And we had a coalition working together like they have never united to work together before. It’s a meeting place for bringing together people. A meeting place for our investors, suppliers, and partners, our consular relations, our community, our government friends from Canada, as well as the Barbados government. It is a meeting place for all those who have interest in Barbados and Canada, and what we can do then is galvanize financial support.”

“I think one of the other things that we are happy about the ball, is that we’re on the path to putting the infrastructure in place for the community to move forward,” says McConney.

Without McConney’s involvement, she says: “I really trust my community to be able to take it forward.”

“We have increased corporate support by 400 percent – that is a phenomenal achievement and it is something that we are here to celebrate tonight… The RBC [Royal Bank of Canada] financial group was critical in our financial support… A special thank you to Canadian business,” Kay McConney said, at the ball. She is hoping that the corporate support increases for the future.

McConney notes the things she is proud of during her time as Consul General.

“We are expanding in the hospitality sector, new opportunities in our labour section, and our relationship with our community is something I feel proud about,” she says. “We launched the first Caribbean Canadian Literary Expo that was in 2003. That is something that I feel especially proud about. Roger McTair was one of the key consultants. It was a fabulous event and hopefully, that is something that will find new life. What it did is to raise the profile of the Caribbean literary artists in Canada. When you can get the Dutch, French, English and Spanish-speaking Caribbean literary artists together – that is bringing together a family of literary people that have a certain feeling.

“When I look back now on my years of Consul General I hope I was the kind that brought people together.”

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Becoming an Educator: Teaching the next generation of journalists and media Professionals (Published on CABJ.ca)


Image result for Cartoon character of a black female teacher

It took me five years to teach in Toronto. My first teaching experience was at Carleton University in Ottawa as a Television Teaching Assistant. I later went on to teach in Kampala, Uganda at Makerere University (the oldest African university) and while I was a graduate student at Concordia University.

I had grown up in Toronto, however, once I reached the age of 18, due to work and school, I spent time outside of the city. I returned to Toronto for my longest stay in any one city since the age of 18 in 2001. I returned to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), as well as worked with Canoe.ca, Young People’s Press, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, freelance talent work, Media Research Institute, Share Newspaper, Pride Newsmagazine and New Dreamhomes and Condominiums Magazine to name a few. I really wanted to make the transition to teaching, and 40-year veteran of journalism Robert Payne helped me to make that transition.

I went to him for career coaching and he let me know in 2005 that there was a job opening in teaching at Centennial College. I applied for the full-time job and although I did not get it, it opened the door for me to teach my first course in Toronto at Centennial in Magazine Journalism that started January 2006.

This experience springboarded into working at Seneca College, University of Guelph-Humber, Humber College, Trebas Institute, George Brown College and Ryerson University. If I did not have my master’s degree from Concordia University in Montréal, I would not be able to do this work.

The landscape for what a lot of post-secondary institutions are asking of journalism educators is changing. Mike Karapita at Humber College calls it “credentializing.” There is a movement for educators to become more educated, and this is a big reason why I am currently doing my Ph.D. in Education at OISE/University of Toronto. I started May 2010.

The next generation of journalism educators has many challenges ahead of them. It is still a competitive market that grows even more competitive because those that are untrained in the field continue to make strides. Journalism education needs more of an emphasis on how young journalists can be entrepreneurs and successfully run their own freelancing business. This is effective from a tax perspective, as well as a job security perspective. Job security is an elusive thing these days; however young journalists can stay on top of this by working for a variety of employers.

If you would like more information on this topic, you can email Donna Kakonge at dkakonge@gmail.ccom.

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Gathering People for Gardens of Diversity (originally published in the Toronto Voice)


More than 10 people came out to participate as volunteers for a conference being held by the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA). The conference is called Gardens of Diversity.

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Forging a Career in Journalism A Pioneer Voice in Radio (Originally Published with Impowerage.com)


Robert - August 18, 2009

Robert Payne has enjoyed a life in  the limelight – Photo Courtesy of Robert Payne

Robert Payne has been a journalist for 40 years. He has worked in Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, London, ON and gained notoriety in Toronto, Canada where he now lives. In the early days of his career, he coupled his work at radio stations with being employed at Dominion stores while in the province of Quebec.

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CanUgan Evening of Celebration — October 12


CanUganPoster9Sep2012

 

Dear friends and colleagues,

We have lined up an exciting program for the evening of October 12th.  Our Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be Adrian Harewood, co-host of CBC News Ottawa at 5, 5:30 and 6, and host of CBC News Ottawa Late Night at 10:55 p.m. He will set the tone for the evening that will feature Rita Carter, a popular singer and songwriter whose roots are in Uganda. She will be followed by a performance of dances, songs and music by Carleton University’s African Music Ensemble. The Special Guest for the evening will be the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Federal Minister of State for Transport.  In addition, we will have a silent auction of Ugandan and African articles and handicrafts made by persons with disabilities. The buffet dinner will include a variety of appetizing dishes. Continue reading

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Not to Be Boxed In Always Wanting to Try Something New



AVG'S AWARD-WINNING PROTECTION!

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Living, Media Writing, Writing (all kinds) on August 13, 2009 at 04:52

Hyacinth Harewood Continues to Live a Full Life – Photo by Donna Kakonge

Hyacinth Harewood is a civil servant with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) working from home, former college professor, former businessperson, former volunteer and mother of five living in Toronto, Canada. She worked as a sessional lecturer with Carleton University in Ottawa, as a professor with Algonquin College in Ottawa for 16 years, has been working with CRA since the late 1980s, and once had her own sole-proprietorship business focusing on communications and written work. This consummate professional used to get up at 3:00 a.m. to work on her business, and then take care of five children to get them ready for school. She would continue working on her business while her children were at school and tend to their needs once they were home. She played the role of a superwoman well. This impressive woman who was educated at the University of Western Ontario where she studied French and Spanish, then received her master’s degree at the University of Ottawa in applied linguistics managed to juggle a life of work, family and children. She has been a terrific role model for her five children. Continue reading

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Not to Be Boxed In Always Wanting to Try Something New


Hyacinth Harewood Continues to Live a Full Life - Photo by Donna Kakonge

Hyacinth Harewood Continues to Live a Full Life - Photo by Donna Kakonge

Hyacinth Harewood is a civil servant with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) working from home, former college professor, former businessperson, former volunteer and mother of five living in Toronto, Canada. She worked as a sessional lecturer with Carleton University in Ottawa, as a professor with Algonquin College in Ottawa for 16 years, has been working with CRA since the late 1980s, and once had her own sole-proprietorship business focusing on communications and written work. This consummate professional used to get up at 3:00 a.m. to work on her business, and then take care of five children to get them ready for school. She would continue working on her business while her children were at school and tend to their needs once they were home. She played the role of a superwoman well. This impressive woman who was educated at the University of Western Ontario where she studied French and Spanish, then received her master’s degree at the University of Ottawa in applied linguistics managed to juggle a life of work, family and children. She has been a terrific role model for her five children.

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Adrian Harewood Profile – (Published on CABJ.ca)


Image result for Adrian Harewood CBC

Adrian Harewood and I first met at the NFB in Ottawa in 1993. He was a student at McGill then where he graduated and also later became Station Manager at CKUT (McGill’s community radio station). He has done various freelance work for the CBC and stations in the United States. Seventeen years later, he is married and anchor of the 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. news in Ottawa.

He met his wife Lana at a gospel music event that he hosted marking Martin Luther King Day.

“I don’t really see myself as having to juggle my professional life with my marriage,” writes Harewood responding to email questions. “My relationship with my wife Lana is a fundamental part of my life. We both have professional responsibilities and so we make sure that we set aside quality time for each other.”

Harewood says that he does not have a typical day.

“With this new TV gig, my work day now starts at 3:00 p.m. So normally during the day I try to go for a run or do some form of exercise, read various newspapers/websites, maybe watch a film, read a book, listen to radio programs on CBC, BBC, NPR, Democracy Now, Radio Pacifica, Radio Canada, Christopher Lydon’s Open Source, This American Life on Public Radio International, while I am doing housework, watch CBC TV, Radio-Canada, BBC, CNN. Right now because we have a crabapple tree in our front yard I have been picking apples early in the morning and cutting them up getting ready to make crabapple jelly.”

Knowing how to make good use of his time, Harewood has advice for young journalists who would like to be where he is today.

“The advice I would give to anyone is to follow your passion,” Harewood says. “Be curious. Read widely. Be a sponge. Travel as much you are able. Get out of your comfort zone, whatever that zone is. Learn some languages. Expose yourself to as many stories as you can be they radio documentaries or films or TV shows or ballads or magazine articles. Read poetry. Practice reading out loud. Check out some art. Ground yourself as much as you can in history and politics and philosophy and science. Don’t get complacent. Never be satisfied with what you think you know. Get to know your community. Get involved in community media (I am particularly biased towards community radio). Write something every day. Try to become as versatile as you can as a media practitioner.”

All this advice has helped Harewood to be who he is today. Five years from now he sees himself writing a lot more for newspapers and magazines and pursuing some book projects. He would also like to teach at some post-secondary institution. He would like to produce documentaries for radio and TV…and yes ladies (perhaps, gents)…he will still be married.

To catch Adrian Harewood’s work on CBC, please check out CBC Ottawa online.

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Continually Learning Aiming to Make a Better World


Gini Dickie is a Teacher and Activist who is Making a Difference

Gini Dickie is a Teacher and Activist who is Making a Difference

Gini Dickie is a teacher-librarian, as well as a political activist in her own right living in Toronto, Canada. She worked as a teacher in northern Nigeria with CUSO-VSO, she worked at Expo ‘ 67 and she has been active working with Chilean refugees. She has worked in the inner-city Regent Park area of Toronto, as well as with York University. She also owned her own typesetting business for a brief period of time and everything she has done has taught her about the world around her, as well as about herself.

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Forging a Career in Aboriginal Film and Video (originally published in Heartbeat of the North.com)


Marie-Helene Cousineau is a video and filmmaker who I first met by being her teacher’s assistant at Concordia University in Montreal back in 1997. Her career path has lead her to many opportunities to work with Aboriginal people in Nunavut. She is founder of a women’s video collective called Isuma.

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You Can’t Clap With One Hand (Originally Published in NuBeing International)


In Education, Writing (all kinds) on May 26, 2009 at 12:00

Five-year-old Heather Keogan smiles at the reflection in the mirror. Pushing her blonde hair off her face, she touches her blue nose and red cheeks. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! The sound of African drums draws Heather’s attention away from the mirror.

Heather goes to a corner of the room in the YMCA-YWCA in Ottawa [Ontario, Canada]. She joins about 14 other painted faces that were also lured to the same spot by the drums. The rhythms touch the children’s feet and slowly they begin to dance. The children shake wildly, trying to follow the beat. Some children hold hands while dancing. White hands hold yellow hands, brown hands hold red hands and black hands hold white hands. Continue reading

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You Can’t Clap With One Hand (Originally Published in NuBeing International)


Five-year-old Heather Keogan smiles at the reflection in the mirror. Pushing her blonde hair off her face, she touches her blue nose and red cheeks. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! The sound of African drums draws Heather’s attention away from the mirror.

Continue reading

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How to make your mall experience a free one (originally published with The Shoestring.com)


Image result for Shopping Mall

How to Make Your Mall Experience a Free One

 Being in a shopping mall can be an overwhelming experience – especially when you don’t have the cash to spend. But, there are ways to have a good time without spending a cent.

Before you go shopping, you want to make sure you look good. Visit a makeup counter and get a free makeover and look gorgeous while you walk through the mall. It’s also a great form of exercise.

First and foremost – know about samples. Rather than buying anything you need, you can always ask for samples of things and stock them for supplies. This goes for just about anything. For example, I had heard that there was this great hair product called Phyto and went to the mall to get samples every time I needed some. You can do this for face creams, body lotions, and many other toiletries.

Trying on new clothes for the fun of it could give you some great ideas to find cheaper versions of what you love at discount places or to get hand-me-downs from friends.

Once you’re done with looking your best, catch some entertainment by going into an electronics store and watching some of the stuff they have on their screens. Some really nice stores have chairs set up and might even have a new DVD on. You could always ask them to put on something interesting so you can see the quality of the latest flat screen monitor, without having the money to buy it.

What is this world without music? Even the smallest of malls will have one music store and the bigger ones will have more for you to choose from. The best way to find out what’s hot and what’s not is to look at the racks and see how the different CDs are ranked. You can even mellow out by checking out the listening stations in places like HMV and enjoy the tunes.

Speaking of how things are ranked – check out the bookstores for the bestsellers. Books from Dr. Phil or the upcoming biography on Bob Denver you can read for free at Indigo or Chapters. Take your time; some bookstores have places to sit so you can be there for awhile. Or squat on the floor.

If you have a child, spend that special time in the children’s department of a bookstore reading to your little one. Toy stores are great ways to keep the kids occupied. Perhaps if they can play with that doll or toy truck in the store, they’ll tire of it and won’t hound you to buy it.

Get decorating ideas that you can do on the cheap from places like the Pottery Barn.

After all this excitement, go to the furniture department and take a nap on one of the luxurious couches of any of the big stores like Sears.

Now after you’ve experienced a fulfilling free time, look for loose change in pay phones and on the ground (it can pay to walk with your head down) go to the mall’s bank and make a small donation to Hurricane Katrina relief (every penny counts as you know).

If you do have a little cash to spend – The Dollar Store is always a great place. For example, I bought a pair of sunglasses for a dollar with black frames from there and took them to a one-hour optical place and paid way more for the prescription lenses than the frames. People are telling me all the time they look like $300 glasses – but I didn’t spend anything near to that.

When you get hungry, try checking out places like Baskin Robbins and many others for samples to get a quick fix. If you go to enough fast food joints for samples, you might even end up feeling full.

All this will make your shopping experience pain-free for your wallet and enjoyable. Have a good time and remember to throw a penny in the waterfall if your major mall has one!

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How to buy food cheap (orginally published on The Shoestring.com)


Image result for Cheap food

How to Buy Food Cheap

Food, as you all know, is something that we need to survive. Whether you eat too much, too little or the right amount for your body type, here are some tips on how to cut down on your grocery expenses without starving.

If you are on a really tight budget, food banks are a great way to get free food. Some people volunteer there to stock on groceries. This could definitely be a great way to meet some interesting people with fascinating life stories as well. One new friend of mine named Greg who I met on my way to meet an old friend Simone, told me about his experience volunteering at a food bank not too far away from where we both live. He said that the people he met there were great and he also got a lot of free food.

Speaking of free food, Greg is a cook and gets a lot of free stuff from the restaurant he works at. If you are looking for a job and need to make ends meet, looking for something in the food industry may be a good way to earn an honest living and stock those empty shelves in your kitchen.

Also, a lot of restaurants and grocery stores throw away food at the end of the night. The Loblaws, close to where I live, have their sandwiches with healthy stuff in it like tuna, egg, cold meats and different kind of cheeses that are half price at the closing time. You can get a $4 CDN sandwich for half the price and have all your meals set for the day.

If you are like me and you are a breakfast person who enjoys eggs, bacon and some home fries – check out governmental cafeterias. They often have food at discount prices that do not compare to the food you will find in other restaurants for the same price. Remember, it is public property.

For dining out, there is always the failsafe “all you can eat buffet.” If you allow yourself to starve enough in the morning and go at a time when you know you will not need to eat again for the day, you can visit one of these places (the ones in Chinatown and Indian villages are especially good). Actually, you cannot go wrong checking out the food of the world wherever you may be located.

Now for the traditional grocery shopping – flyers and coupons are your friends. Plus, if you can stand the attitude at times (with the exception of local grocers) try going to places where you can bring your own bags or they may provide boxes for you to take your stuff. I was with a girlfriend Joan of mine and we saw a man riding his bike carrying another bicycle. If that could be done, imagine the strength you could build up carrying your groceries with your bike.

If you are blessed to have a car, you need to work out if it is worth it to drive to a supermarket with great deals, or just walk to the nearest one and save on gas. Let us hope the exercise will not kill you.

You can also take advantage of the fact the weather is still good and enjoy an old-fashioned farmer’s market. If you avoid the ones in the ritzy neighbourhoods, you can get great deals on everything from jams to corn. Sometimes these farmer’s markets have such amazing deals that it’s worth it to take your car, or rent one, to get out of town and do some shopping in a place a bit out of the way.

One of my fondest memories growing up was my Dad taking me and my siblings out to do apple-picking outside of Toronto. They say apples keep the doctors away, so stock up. It would be hard to live on apples alone, but at many of the orchards, you can get a number of fruits dirt cheap and in large quantities.

If you are ever really starving and there is just nothing in the fridge and in the cupboards, there is a Chinese proverb that says “one can go without eating for many days, but needs green tea.” Mind you I received this proverb from my friend Steve and I do not know about its scientific basis. I would advise you not to try this at home, but green tea (which you can find inexpensively in China Town) is a great way to suppress your appetite, thus keeping your food costs down.

If you have a large family, buying in bulk is always an option. Places like Costco can be a good way to support an army. If you just basically need to support yourself, good advice I got from my friend Joan was to not stock on food. You can end up finding your shelves filled with things you will never eat. Buy what you need and then maybe the rest of the world will have more too.

I hope that helps since $100 can go pretty fast on food. I have seen it happen in the blink of an eye and not really understood what the woman in front of me in the grocery line was buying. Always check the prices of the food, remember flyers and coupons can be your friends if you are into that sort of thing and think cheap and be cheap.

Donna Kakonge is a freelance writer/communicator/professor in Toronto. Her books can be bought at http://stores.lulu.com/kakonged. She is working on another book she is hoping will be published in 2008.

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How to make your mall experience a free one (originally published with The Shoestring.com)


In Business, Entertainment, Events, Writing (all kinds) on December 16, 2007 at 20:24

How to Make Your Mall Experience a Free One

Being in a shopping mall can be an overwhelming experience – especially when you don’t have cash to spend. But, there are ways to have a good time without spending a cent.

Before you go shopping, you want to make sure you look good. Visit a makeup counter and get a free makeover and look gorgeous while you walk through the mall. It’s also a great form of exercise. Continue reading

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Getting around for less (originally published with The Shoestring.com)


Getting Around for Less

With high gas prices now it helps to know how to get around for less money. There are so many options; all you have to do is choose.

Continue reading

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Self-Publishing


Interesting Masters Degrees - January 22,2010

Self-publishing is a passion of mine. The journalist in me loves the immediacy of it. The fact that you can finish a piece of work and have it published and ready for sale in a matter of a day. The photo archives online make it possible to come up with inexpensive cover designs and voila…you have your book ready for the world.

Now I have published 34 books. I have obviously taken full advantage of the ease of publishing online. The fact that I have connections in the United States has made it easy for me to also have my books on Amazon Kindle. E-books are really where the future is at, however, there is nothing quite like cracking open a finished book and having it in your hand to read.

For this year, I plan on doing some re-formatting of my past books. I have noticed that some of the books do not contain page numbers and headers which was truly an oversight at the time on my part. Look out for some tweaking and improvement in that area. As well, once I am done that project, I want to create some new stories. I would love to work on other people’s stories with them, as well as create some new ones of my own.

If page numbers and headers do not bother you and you would be interested in buying one of my books as is, you can access them from my online store at http://stores.lulu.com/kakonged. As well, if you live in the general Toronto area, I would be willing to meet with you to sell to you extra copies of some of the books that I have such as My Roxanne which has been one of my bestsellers.  If you are interested in this, you should truly contact me soon, because I do not have many books in supply. I give a special discount for books bought through me, as well you would not need to worry about shipping. Encouragement to those in the States though – shipping costs are actually very good in the U.S. with Lulu.com.

Here’s wishing you a Happy and Safe New Year, plus a prosperous one too.

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UTSC-Centennial College Online Stories


Danger to Pedestrians in Toronto – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Online Stories - Seventh Three - January 25, 2010

Sarah DeMille
Online Story
01/19/10

In the past seven days, Toronto has been witness to the deaths of eight pedestrians due to traffic-related accidents. The cause of four of these accidents was determined to be vehicles making careless turns. Another accident was caused by a driver running a red light, and yet another was the result of a supposedly confusing intersection. Continue reading

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Skype and Gripe to Mic, The Mic Will Listen to Anything


Book your appointment today and it costs $15.00 USD per hour

dkakonge@gmail.com

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Donna Magazine TV at a New Studio


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