Country of Origin:
Immigration, Asian Heritage, Racism/Discrimination, Human Rights & Social Justice, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity
Alysha Brilla is an award-winning Tanzanian-Canadian singer-songwriter and speaker with a passion for social equality. Born to a European-Canadian mother and a Tanzanian father of Indian descent, she is particularly interested in how second generation youth relate to their heritage as well as how being "mixed race" contributes to ones life experience. Alysha has performed her music internationally and has spoken at TEDX Youth in Waterloo.
When I was a child, I would listen to my dad reminisce on his youth in Tanzania. Little precious anecdotes here and there about a world that seemed so far away. In the winters, I would see my dad fall into a depression and he would say "There is no winter in Africa". I never quite understood why mangoes got him so excited, or why he would sometimes have the car heater on even in the summer. My father was born and raised in Tanzania; one of the most beautiful places on earth. His experience of coming to Canada and leaving his family behind is one that informs who I am today because his pain has been passed down as well as his stories. Being mixed is about more than the colour of my skin. It's about the vastly different worlds and cultures in which my parents grew up, and I, in the middle of it, am able to find what truly makes all of us humans the same at heart.