I Got Nominated For Gala Dynastie & Here’s How I Really Feel About It
How My World View Changed Thanks To Gala Dynastie
If you’ve clicked this link to read an extensive article that would bash the Gala Dynastie and what it stands for, you’re definitely at the wrong place. Perhaps, little did you know, you’ve probably clicked on what will go down has the deepest open letter to the black community.
Nothing compares to the feeling of seeing your name attached to ”Blogger Of The Year.
In my case, this year I got nominated for the second year in a row for Gala Dynastie.
Being in this content business for almost 5 years, seeing people come and go while persevering through thick and thin with only a strong will and foresight. I felt honored.
Honored for what? Multiple reasons.
I felt validated by the most important group of people a black man will ever encounter, his own people.
This debate is a current thing in the US,: Why do black people put white validation on a pedestal (i.e the Grammy’s)?
On my side of the border, things are not as clear cut.
I live in Montreal, Quebec to be exact. I don’t identify to nothing quote on quote Quebecois.
I was raised on B.E.T, Hip Hop, Montreal-North street gangs and a slew of Haitian slurs my mom would yell at me whenever I was fucking up.
I was never with the marching and shouting for justice, I was more of the belief that nothing would be given to me but I would have to bust my ass to get it.
Certain things go without saying, to me it was always
THEM and then it was US.
Cynicism for the world but that I used to my reality
I never once thought that something like Gala Dynastie would exist and better yet that I would be nominated.
What Gala Dynastie does, what Never Was Average does, what La Rue Inspire does is bigger than plaques, nice events or free shoes.
It’s about empowering people. Not because we don’t have the power already but mostly because we need to be reminded that we have it
You think representation doesn’t really matter that much and then you realize how being celebrated by your community is a band-aid for the soul.
Even though things seem to paint me as an overnight success, this was quite a journey
Let me start by saying that, so many things changed ever since I started said journey.
I’ve met people, I kinda did legendary things, made friends from New York, Toronto, Dubai and L.A but something was missing.
I was seeing success in multiple fronts but for some reason I felt like I wasn’t getting the love or respect I thought I was entitled to.
The keyword here is ”Entitled” because yes as a creator you may feel like you’re ahead of your time.
You can also feel like you’re the best at what you do but once you put your ideas out you know who won’t lie to you?
Yes, you guessed it, THE WHOLE WORLD!
Once upon a time, I was a kid with a 300$ camera and a laptop wishing he could compete with Quebecor.
Once upon a time, I thought the world was in the palm of my hands and that I had access to ANYONE by the push of a send in an Instagram DM.
Kids do dream about things that don’t exist and then the man they become chase those things.
The man I became was actually about to quit daydreaming and find the nearest ”Good job” he could find.
The man I became was bitter that the world wasn’t responding to what I thought was amazing.
The man I became had a lot to learn and he did.
I’ve learned that things come to you by way of patience.
I’ve learned that hard work and dedication can’t beat faith and working with a purpose.
I’ve learned the value of relationships, helping people around me and making myself a part of the conversation.
I wish my younger self knew that one day he would be on TV & radio talking about what he went through.
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Sat down with Henry Ngaka for @icitelevision this week to talk about the new media space and running a black owned business at large. It feels good to have a voice and being able to tell the world how minorities feel in this climate. I have a profound understanding of the barriers that are set against my people and me by design. I was told to work twice as hard. I was told to compromise my nature to be accepted. Never ask for permission to be great and don't settle for a piece of the pie because deep inside you know you want it ALL. I want to live in a world where you don't need to emphacize that you're a BLACK entrepreneur just to let people know you've beat the odds, I want to build a place where you can be a great man with a great idea and where being black is just the extra sauce.
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in this recent interview I did with Henry Salgado, I talked about how I feel like even though the States can be racist for some things, it seems to me that they understand the value of black culture and are willing to capitalize off it. meanwhile in Quebec, I believe that they don't really think we bring something to the table… what's your take on it?
I wish my younger self knew that one day there would be a celebration of black excellence that will recognize his work for what it’s worth.
I guess not knowing these things in advance made the quest even better but life does work in mysterious ways.
Everybody I’ve met early in my career are now key players in the industry.
Everybody I used to look up to consider me as a peer with the respect that comes with it.
My people still can’t see why I’m not a lawyer but hey you can’t win every battle.
It’s like my life did the perfect circle and I’ve yet to understand why.
I’m writing this as I’m scrolling through old pictures wondering if that fire that was in my eyes is just now all over my body for the world to see.
”You Did That”
I’m talking to my younger self at the moment but also to You, Him and Her.
Yes YOU, another creator waiting for recognition.
The photographer who wants to be published in magazines.
The videographer who thinks his movie should be screened at Cannes.
The model who believes that the New York Fashion Week runway is missing out.
The black kid who thought those things were not accessible because of his color.
I’m not here to tell you that those things don’t come into play but I’m here to tell you that you decide if it does or not.
I’m here to tell you to take full advantage of the evolving times because as Drake once said ”What A Time To Be Alive”.
What a time to be proud, what a time to take on new journeys, what a time to be BLACK.
Gala Dynastie is a testament to that to me.
It tells the world:’
”We Got Us”.
It tells creators, shakers and movers :
”We Believe In You”.
This year, my brother and close friend Steve Daniel brought home the trophy for ”Blogger Of The Year”.
Working with him really taught me a lot about what this game of life is about.
We used to see those things as far away and here we are.
My story could be your story.
Like that kid I used to be, you will never know until you try it and never look back.
Oh and if by any chance you want to celebrate this new chapter with us.
Come through at Thêatre Maisonneuve
260 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O