Alexander Uche Nnamonu - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
MEng. PEng PMP - Chief of Staff, Deputy Minister's Office at Government of Alberta
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com )
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born in Nigeria and migrated to Canada in December 2005. I am married to a splendid wife, Maureen, have a lovely daughter, Eliana (and have another baby in the oven). I am the youngest of 5 siblings and we are scattered across the globe. Two in Toronto, one in Houston TX, one in Nigeria and me in Edmonton. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering (from the old country) and I have a Master's Degree in Oil and Gas Engineering from the University of Calgary. I have worked in various capacities within the Government of Alberta (in the Natural Resources and Environment domain) over the past seven years. I am currently Chief of Staff in the Office of the Deputy Minister of Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.
Tell us what many people may not know about you?
I have a penchant for watercolor painting (perhaps a little odd for an Engineer!), have studied French and can still transact quite passably, play and watch soccer avidly, am a fan of Arsenal football club (although for some reason, I think a lot of people know that!)
What's your inspiration and how do you get motivated?
Faith, Hope, Love!
I think of the end (what will be on my gravestone) and I allow that to influence my actions; I also look at my wife and daughter and have them be proud of me and my decisions, motivates me. Of course, a sense of what God will have me accomplish is also a significant motivator and that is made clear to me in many ways including through my intellect, intuition, suggestions others provide, etc
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
Where I am now is a product of a number of things: hard work, a loving family, good friends, good mentors, and God's grace. I cannot take any of those for granted.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Loving, peaceful, conflict resolver, Godly man, Good husband, Good father, good friend, problem solver
How do you balance work, family, friends, and leisure?
Deliberately leaving work at a certain time and working remotely if required
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
Food: Middle Eastern (Lamb curry or Kebab if I had to be specific), Book: The Lord of the Rings, Movie: 300 and the last Samurai
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada?
In the main, I have found the experience thoroughly enjoyable. It may be due to some strange attraction I have to feel "special" or "different". I also think that in addition to being black, being African has added to my "exotic" appeal and I feel that has worked well because Canadians tend to be quite curious and interested in hearing about my history, antecedents, and experiences.
Are there as many opportunities for Blacks in Canada that can produce role models and institutions like TD Jakes, Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Obama, BET, etc.:
I think there are opportunities. I don't know if the community is large enough though to have that type of "presence"
Mention a few of your favorite Black Canadian Leaders, Artists and Role Models?
I have always found Michelle Jean quite remarkable.
Should & do Blacks support / patronize black music, events, and businesses?
There is a fundamental brotherhood among men, I believe. I believe love can conquer all. Of course, it makes sense to support members of your community, but I subscribe to an abundance mentality that there is enough largesse to go around and we can all be successful (and more importantly fulfilled) by patronizing all well-run businesses.
What’s your understanding of Black History in Canada?
Books like The Book of Negroes exposed me to the role that Canada played in saving black slaves, I have also gleaned snippets of the history of various black communities across Canada. However, I am frankly not very informed on the broader narrative of the "black experience in Canada". I think forums like Black Canadians can help to tell that story.
Give us a few words from you to an uninspired person?
The best thing you can do is find your niche, your role, your voice and then fill it the way that only you can. No one is better equipped than you for that role. Remember to look up and remember God is love.