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Courtesy of Ben Barry Models, Photographer Caitlin Cronenberg, Photo Taken: 2007 (start of Donna Magazine)
That is how I looked when I started this magazine.
The same woman still after 11 years.
Here are my qualifications:
So hard, I even wrote a book about it at the link above.
2005: (But actually, 1990)
Finally, she started a business, and like the Frank Sinatra song, she did it her way (with a lot of help from good people). The magazine she created with the help of a business plan and other interested partners, however, Donna is a sole proprietor and the magazine is called Donna Magazine. It was like a People Magazine that focused not on stars, but the people who get up for work every morning and shave with one hand while diapering their baby girl. For people who have decided to devote their whole lives to volunteer work and received honorary degrees for it. For people like you and me, who are taking life one day at a time and often their fascinating stories never get told.
Donna first started a magazine called Miss Sassy when she was about eight years old with her younger sister Lisa. That magazine had drawings of the dolls of Lisa and Donna, plus interviews with the models done by the late Michael Landon (he did not REALLY do them for us). We just both really loved Little House on the Prairie.
The launching of Donna Magazine happened at the start of her business officially in 2005, as well as doing her master’s degree at Concordia University. The launch in 2005 was a low-key affair with Donna working away in her office and going to bed early.
Donna did not have a lot of experience at first at running a business. Over the years of the magazine, it aims to tackle many interesting public affairs topics, from health to war to gender issues. Donna Kakonge follows another passion of hers – teaching. She teaches writing, broadcasting and English, and other subjects.
This magazine is something where you need to sit back, have coffee or tea and take your time to go through. The inexpensive means to pull something like this off could not have come without the power of technology and the ability it has to uplift the common man or woman. Donna has also written 107 books and has multiple audio products for sale that can be bought at http://lulu.com/spotlight/kakonged, plus many broadcasted stories with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Thank you to Trevor Hughes for letting me know about WordPress back in 2007. The first posting of this magazine was in October of 2007.
Book Publishing Visual Arts
Art modeling was not Kakonge’s first time in the classroom. She assisted in teaching the graduate students at Carleton University in Ottawa, as well as the third-year journalism students. She also received a Bachelor of Journalism degree from this school with an award funded by former Canadian Senator Pamela Wallin. She assisted and also had sole responsibility classes taught at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, as well as closer to home at Concordia University in Montréal. She speaks French fluently.
She taught journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber and Humber College. She taught The Broadcasting Industry and Online Marketing at Trebas Institute, as well as Skills for College English at George Brown College. Kakonge also taught ESL at Sullivan Centre de Langues in Montréal, Institute Provincial in Montréal and TEC Inc. Donna Kakonge has also taught the SAT for Kaplan and Manhattan schools. Other teaching experiences include the day programs in Seneca College’s and Centennial College’s journalism programs with combined university degrees from York University and the University of Toronto Scarborough campuses respectively. She taught Dramatic Writing at Ryerson University’s Chang School of Continuing Education. Recently she taught Magazine Journalism and Journalism Career Management with Centennial College. Both courses were taught online. She worked as a Senior Facilitator with Hetta Institute and worked as an Online English Teacher with Weblish Pal and Tutor Doctor. She currently takes private clients in writing and English coaching. She also offers life coaching and services to help people write their memoir and biography books. Currently, she is working on a biography of a Canadian politician and editing a book of poetry for a retired teacher. In the fall of 2011, she taught five sections of Global Citizenship at Centennial College. Donna was a Course Developer for a Proposal Writing in Adult Education course at Yorkville University. She worked as a Toronto Area Manager with Lernit Tutoring Services. Donna worked as a Teacher Education Program Assistant/Academic Advisor at OISE | University of Toronto. She was a Teaching Assistant with the Department of Arts and Culture with the University of Toronto, a Teaching Assistant with the University of Toronto Mississauga campus and was a former Instructor with the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and taught Self-Publishing Around the World. She also worked as a Writer with the University of Toronto’s Ontario Education Research Exchange (OERE) and as an Assistant Editor of the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Donna was also an Editor with Nsemia Inc. Publishers based in Oakville, ON. She has done writing workshops at Toronto Public Library branches in the downtown core, as well as book signings at Indigo Bookstores and independent bookstores. Donna helped to build a curriculum for Metro College of Technology in Toronto for a Paralegal course. Donna Kakonge was an Expert with Just Answer.com and is an Expert on Homework Market.com, Study Acer.com, and Presto Experts.com. She currently works independently helping students with Homework.
GOVERNMENT | LAW | BUSINESS
Donna began her government experience working with the Ministry of Skills and Development at a very young age simply spending a summer with hard copy paper and circling dots. This improved her artistic ability. Later, she spent decades as noted above with the crown corporation of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which a rich education in quality journalism at the time. She also spent some time, one month, working the superb team of the Conservative Progressive Party in Toronto. She left due to other work only – this latter group was phenomenal to work with at the time. She recently received a Québecor Documentary Fellowship that ended in 2009. She has presented at many conferences and worked for the provincial government in the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration as well as received grants through Canadian Heritage to work with SAW Video Co-op in Ottawa. She also received a grant from the Royal Bank of Canada to work with Mobilman Management Inc. in Québec online. She was formerly a Bilingual Grants Consultant with the Ontario Women’s Directorate (OWD) which began as a position as a Bilingual Receptionist. As a Consultant with OWD, Donna helped to organize a conference for the organization’s service providers at the Delta Hotel in Toronto. She also worked as a Curriculum Development Writer with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services in Toronto. Donna Kay Cindy Kakonge also has an RCMP level of clearance for security purposes. Donna Kay Kakonge took early retirement as a College Professor and worked as a Lawyer in the criminal courts for the Ministry of the Attorney General. Donna worked as an Online Legal Consultant with Presto Experts previously and worked for James Morgan Attorney having answered approximately 10,000 legal questions. Donna Kakonge is currently working with LawGuru Attorney Network helping with legal questions.
MEDIA | VISUAL ARTS
Since 1992, Donna Kakonge has freelanced in the cultural and performing arts, as well as worked in the government sector. She began by working on a breakthrough show for youth called Road Movies which aired on CBC. Following this, she worked at the local, national and international levels of both CBC Radio and Television in Ottawa, Toronto, Montréal and then again in Toronto for 17 and a half years. Kakonge was involved with the start of a first-ever morning show aired on shortwave to sub-Saharan Africa called African Eyes. While an Announcer/Producer for this show, she was sent on special assignment to Edmonton to meet Canadian diplomats and Nigerian author/activist Dr. Wole Soyinka.
Kakonge has also worked for the Discovery Channel, Discovery Channel International, Vision-TV, and the BBC. She keeps up with the latest technology in broadcasting by maintaining a podcast online and has produced a CD of radio documentaries, as well as two audio downloads narrated by her that are available on Lulu.com. She worked for Mobilman Management Inc. and Miralupa Inc. from her home office in Toronto and the companies are based in Québec. Working in both French and English, Kakonge worked with these companies as a Proposal/Grant Writer in the areas of Augmented Reality (AR).
She has done television appearances as a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s program through commercials that aired all over Ontario, as well as guest appearances on the W Network, Food Network, and Breakfast Television. The latter was with her News Announcing class from Seneca College. She has been a fashion model for print and runway, represented by Tony Eastwood Talent Agency which also represented Neve Campbell at the same time. She has done art modeling for the Toronto Art School, Etobicoke School of the Arts, Durham College, Arts, and Letters Club, Maxx the Mutt Animation School and many others. Currently, she is the show host and producer of Ideal Job with Donna Magazine, the show host, and producer of Beautiful People with ThatChannel.com and makes occasional appearances on ThatChannel.com’s flagship show Liquid Lunch. In one of the episodes I was in with “Liquid Lunch,” the views were close to 4 million. A new show co-produced by Donna Kay Kakonge, MA, ABD and ThatChannel.com is the studio provider and hosted by Donna Kakonge called the Donna Magazine TV but is actually the Beautiful People show rebranded and rebroadcasted on her top-ranked online media channel Donna Magazine. Donna Kakonge also responded to general questions on Just Answer for two years answering more than 10,000 questions. Donna also produces visual art with the help of clients on Guru.com. She also worked as a Research Interviewer with Nielsen.
WRITING | EDITING | PUBLISHING
Donna wrote her first novel at 17 and began self-publishing in 2006. Kakonge is the author or contributor to 125 books and audiobooks that are mainly self-published and published by Lulu.com, plus did ghostwriting for one book making 127, to the editor of and also including almost 5,000 postings on Donna Magazine since 2007, as well her books are in 27 libraries and 16 bookstores and services either brick and mortar or online. Donna is also the editor of three upcoming books. Donna Kay Cindy Kakonge has sold more than 86,000 copies of all of her books making her a best-selling author. As well, she is working on three manuscripts. One hundred and three of her books are listed with the Library Services of Canada. These numbers do not include the books available for all of Donna Kakonge’s books. Books are also translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish and Arabic. Please search for Donna Kakonge in Google. The books sell in India, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, India, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia. Through Ingram, Kobo Books, Smashwords, iBookstore, Amazon, Lulu.com, iTunes, Audible.com (ACX with Amazon), Nook, CD Baby and Barnes & Noble and more with How To Talk To Crazy People, with seven copies in the Toronto Public Library, and an updated version of How to Write Creative Non-fiction – New are sold all over the world, plus many other of Donna Kakonge’s books. There are five copies of How to Write Creative Non-fiction – New in the Toronto Public Library. Three Quarters is also in the Toronto Public Library with three copies. Her first literary publication was published by Concordia University, a short story in Headlight Anthology, vol. 1. The Totally Unknown Writers Festival Collection 2011 is her latest published contribution in an anthology. Since 2007, she has had a multimedia online magazine called Donna Magazine which is currently top-ranked in Google. The Spirit of Kasacba: A Creative Non-fiction Novel published in 2015 was recently acquired by the Toronto Public Library with four copies that can be borrowed. Donna Kakonge has a long history of doing freelance writing both in print and online for various publications. She works with KTML Communications doing articles about the environment and editing books. Recently, Donna Kay Cindy Kakonge received an Ontario Arts Council grant to write a follow up to How To Talk To Crazy People called Seven, Delete. The official online book launch in English and French on Donna Magazine occurred March 30, 2018. Four copies of Seven, Delete will be at A Different Booklist in mid-to-late April of 2018. Seven, Delete is available in English and French as an ebook on Kobo and Amazon, as a paperback book in English and French on Amazon, and also as an audiobook on Amazon’s Audible.
She has academic publications published with the International Conference in New Horizons in Education 2012 (where she has also been a virtual presenter), The International Global Education Conference 2012 (where she was a virtual presenter), Global Citizen Digest with Centennial College and a completed publication with Media, Mind, Society with OISE | University of Toronto to name a few. Kakonge has also published a number of journalistic work with New Dreamhomes and Condominiums Magazine, one editorial in the Toronto Star and a number of stories with Pride Newsmagazine for African-Canadians and Share Newspaper. She has presented or will be presenting or appear at more than 100 conferences and has received approximately 40 awards in her adult livelihood and has more than 120 academic publications, not including her 125 published books. She recently was offered a Bram & Bluma Appel Scholarship worth $2,000.00 to attend the Humber School of Writers in Creative Writing for a graduate certificate correspondence program. A version of Kakonge’s dissertation Young Black Women in Toronto High Schools: Portraits of Family, School and Community Involvement in Developing Goals and Aspirations is distributed to schools through Coutts Information Services and is also in the Library and Archives of Canada. Three Quarters was published in 2013. She completed the University of London External Programmes with a Bachelor of Laws. Kakonge has a Doctorate in Education from OISE | the University of Toronto in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Development. She recently received a TESOL certificate from LinguaEdge and has a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies from Concordia University where she built a website back in 1999 called Salon Utopia that included her own artwork, photographs, and creative stories. Donna also worked as a Computer Lab Monitor at the Graduate Students’ Association while at Concordia University. She has also taken numerous courses in languages, creative writing, script-writing, and broadcasting. Recently Kakonge received a $2,030.00 Tuition Assistance Fund (TAF) grants from CUPE 3902 Local Unit 1 to off-set her out-of-pocket fees for her doctorate degree.
My first book was written in 1989 by hand and unpublished. I began self-publishing with the Lulu.com from an advertisement that I saw on the page of a Facebook friend of mine Micheal Teal, yes, that is how he spells his name. The first book that I published on Lulu.com was How to Write Creative Non-fiction in 2006. Since that time, the book is now in the Toronto Public Library and has a second issue that came out in 2013. The book has been featured and sold at Indigo Bookstore throughout various bookstores in Toronto, as well as is still available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com throughout the world, Indigo online, Kobo.com, Smashwords, Lulu.com still, and other online retailers, such as retailers as well. Also about in this year, I began working with other authors that wanted to publish, however, although my business was registered in Ontario, I encouraged the authors that I work with to work with me as an editor and they would retain full copyright of their book(s). Since that time, I have had about fifteen authors I have worked with, with one of my authors who wrote two books, making sixteen published books this date, all not including my own titles. Including my titles, that adds one hundred and eleven books that I have written myself. The most recent book that I wrote was just in March of 2018, called Seven, Delete, which is a follow up book of mine to a bestseller called How To Talk To Crazy People, which explores my experiences with mental challenges, and I received the Deaf and Disability Grant from the Ontario Arts Council this year of 2018 in order to complete Seven, Delete, which I have also submitted for a Governor General Award for 2019. These latter two books are literary non-fiction. For How To Talk To Crazy People, it is also in other libraries throughout Canada, (my books are in 24 libraries at least throughout Canada). I also have two other books the Spirit of Kasacba and Three Quarters, both of these latter books are in the Toronto Public Library and are based more on fiction.
Many of my own books, the most successful ones such as Three Quarters, How To Talk To Crazy People, How to Write Creative Non-fiction, have been also translated into French, as well as other languages such as Arabic, German, Italian, and Spanish. Many of the most successful books have also been rebranded as multimedia ebooks, ebooks, and audiobooks. Seven, Delete, my own recent book published in March of 2018, has an English and French versions of both ebook forms, as well as audiobook forms. The audiobooks are available on Amazon.com’s ACX Audible.
To this date of April of 2018, my own books, all one hundred and eleven of them to this date, have sold more than eighty-six thousand copies. Out of the books that I have helped the authors to publish, namely, Afro Forever (non-fiction, 1999) by Donna Kakonge co-published with Concordia University in Montréal, Canada, What Happened to the Afro? (non-fiction, 2009) by Donna Kakonge co-published with Concordia University, How To Talk To Crazy People (literary non-fiction, 2012) co-published with Life Rattle Press, Steppin’ Out (literary non-fiction, 2012) by Mariam Ibrahim, Memoirs of a Hippie Girl (literary non-fiction, 2013) by Ann BeCoy which became a New York Times Bestseller, Girl Power: Chronicles of the True Power of Female Friendships (literary non-fiction, 2013) by Teresa Madaleno, Boomerbroadcast: Baby Boomer Reflects on Living Life in the Sixties to Living Life in Her Sixties (literary non-fiction, 2014) by Lynda Davis, Pinnacles of Vandalism (book of poetry, 2014) by R. William Patry, Young Black Women in Toronto High Schools: Portraits Of Family, School and Community Involvement in Developing Goals And Aspirations (non-fiction, 2014) by Dr. Donna Kay Cindy Kakonge, LLB co-published with OISE | University of Toronto, Anansi and Rococo (children’s literature, 2015) by Phyllis Broom Walker, Never Far Apart (fiction, 2015) by Kitty Salsberg and Ellen Foster, Anansesem: Telling Stories and Storytelling African Maternal Pedagogies (literary non-fiction, 2015) by Adwoa Ntozake Onuora traditionally published by Demeter Press, Young Black Girls in Toronto (non-fiction, 2017) by Donna Kay Cindy Kakonge, co-published with OISE | University of Toronto, the Essentials of Writing for Small Business (non-fiction, 2017) by Teresa Madaleno, God is Always There (non-fiction, 2018) by Donna Kay Cindy Kakonge, co-published with OISE | University of Toronto, Seven, Delete (literary non-fiction, 2018) by Donna Kay Cindy Kakonge funded with the Ontario Arts Council, plus the one hundred and four other books that I have written.
All of these writers that I have helped to publish their books have sold collectively about five hundred books among all of them.
The focus for my book company, as well as for my magazine is based on an Amanda Marshall song that I would often play as I was working as a DJ basically with a fancier title as an announcer/producer in Montréal with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation with the lyrics, “everybody has a story that would break your heart.” The subtitle of my magazine Donna Magazine is “Everybody Has a Story | Know.”
Donna Magazine began in October of 2007, with the first post published that day. I was also teaching magazine journalism at Centennial College and University of Toronto Scarborough campus students in a joint college and university degree program when I first started Donna Magazine. Just prior to my deciding to call the magazine, Donna Magazine, and powered by WordPress.com, I had more of a blog, called Donna’s Questions. People seemed entertained by Donna’s Questions. I believe as a guess, a fairly approximate guess, but I do not have complete pinpoint accurate records of this, however, based on a memory that even a reviewer of How To Talk To Crazy People commented on the fact that my memory is good (if so, I credit it to writing), particularly in journals, which I have done for at least forty years, Donna’s Questions, began in January of 2007. I’m actually pretty sure that’s right.
At the same time, I had a static business website that was light blue in colour with the slogan: “just write it!” That slogan was inspired by a group of African Canadian and Arab Canadian friends of mine, just outside of a condo building close the headquarters of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, where I worked at the CBC for seven and a half years, on and off.
My web designer was nice but slow. Slow because he was very busy. He encouraged me to start with WordPress.com, which I did, with Donna’s Questions, then transformed the magazine, from a blog to a magazine, called it Donna Magazine in October of 2007, and now the magazine, has video, radio, polls, photography, writing of course, and even artwork. I had the same design of the magazine for many years, that I will share with you, the reviewers of this application, among my support material, and then I chose to have advertisements on my magazine when I did not for a long time, so I needed to change the theme and structure of my magazine to support advertisements.
My magazine writing class has also written for my magazine in exchange for academic credit with the consent of Centennial College, who I was being paid by, and am actually now retired from college teaching, although by time I receive this grant, I will be turning forty-seven years old.
Donna Magazine, as of the date that I am writing this grant, April of 2018, has almost five thousand postings from 2009 onwards, since I did recycle some of the material.
It has a monthly viewership of five hundred thousand people, mainly from Canada, but also from all over the world, particularly the United States of America.
I make a bit of money from advertising, I make more money from selling books online, selling individual advertising, working with book clients, using it as a tool to work on contract connected to my business efforts in either teaching of books, and magazines, to note I have also taught the very first Self-Publishing Around the World course in Canada, at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies as an instructor. One of the books that were published from that class was also published with Second Story Press and is available on Amazon.com. Another book that came out of that class was self-published and is widely available online. That same author I just mentioned just published the second book last year in 2017.
The content of Donna Magazine speaks for itself with five hundred thousand readers and viewers each month. There is interest. As for the books, my own book sales also indicate that there is an interest in the Canadian market, as well as a contribution to Canadian literature. The new writers, the first new twelve writers, have new stories to tell, exciting stories to tell that range from poetry to literary non-fiction, to fiction, to children’s stories, will help these writers to achieve works that will be available in bookstores, both online and brick and mortar bookstores, as well as in libraries, and new contributors to the Canadian government Public Lending Commission, who would be helping to connect other Canadians with stories that they did not know.
This effort also puts the power of publishing truly in the hands of the writers. They receive an honorarium for their work and for their stories; however, they retain and maintain full copyright of their own written material. They receive one hundred percent of the royalties, I have been working this way, without government funding all of the time, since 2006. I will offer them editing, I am associated with the Editors’ Association of Canada, as well, I will offer them an online book launch that I help to create to open up a wide audience of people to know about their creative work.