Kenny Gwena

Country of Origin:

Zimbabwe

Themes:

Citizenship, Immigration, Black History/African Heritage, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity, Adjusting to Life in Canada, Refugee Experiences

Photos:

    Browse while you listen: images with relate to audio


Bio

Here is my latest bio. "A native of Zimbabwe and a Canadian national, Kenny Gwena is an effective social communicator, group facilitator and motivational speaker with over fifteen years’ experience in meaningful and productive engagement through higher education student development, multicultural programming, preaching, social media dialog, adjunct teaching, strategic planning, and immigrant settlement and integration management. Kenny’s work has included facilitating and presenting in a variety of settings, including schools, colleges, universities, libraries, local government meetings, community events, conferences, and church meetings, and hosting musical concerts. Kenny believes that all social interaction presents immense opportunity to teach, learn and achieve."

My story is always about a day to remember. Everybody has one and I have had quite a few. People ask me, Kenny, where do you get all these stories. My response varies from question to question, but the gist is the same. I have an eye for drama and the whole world is a stage. I only talk about what I have seen happening around me, and most of it is stranger than fiction.

Story

I had never been on a plane before. My one chance flapped right past me in grade three because I was from a poor family and it was only a joy ride. Mother did not think it was worth the twenty dollars. I caught another chance in grade seven, but it was a fluke. My "supply" teacher was only kidding us when he told us, every other day, about the impending "Trip to Norway." What I loved about that story was that he somehow found a way to keep our three resident bullies off the list.

The real trip to Canada happened over a period of seven years because I made a stop in the US. But here is what happened. I got on the plane and chose a window seat. I thought planes and buses worked the same way. The owner of the seat brought help in the form of a friendly flight attendant who asked to see my ticket. Knowing my luck, I thought this was it. She saw me to my seat. Snack time. I didn't know my way around food, so I asked only for a drink. She wanted to know what kind, gave me a list of choices. I had a terrible headache after. I think she served me beer. I had never had one before, and haven't had another one since. Amsterdam Schippol. I liked the airport and the merchandise, but had no idea what the exchange rate was. I only had $55 USD...