CLINTON HOSANNAH - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
Journalist / Entrepreneur
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com
Clinton Arlington Hosannah is a professional journalist working at City News as an Assignment Editor. Clinton also has a media consulting business called Group of 1 Media Solutions. Before journalism, Clinton was a club and restaurant owner in Toronto Canada. The establishment was called The Bamboo Cabana. Before that, he owned a recording studio and a record company producing urban music. The record company was called Up North Records and the studio was called Round Table Entertainment. He graduated from the Humber College journalism program, as an adult student, earning 3 awards in journalism and in the media program. Clinton was born in Georgetown Guyana and came to Canada when he was 2-years-old and grew up in Toronto. Clinton frequently speaks to youth at schools in the GTA. He was a member of the C.A.B.J. (Canadian Association of Black Journalists,) and was also the first student member of Humber College’s President Lecture Series.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I love being a journalist because I love telling stories. My children will say I always have a story and my wife will say that I have a knack for talking. I believe people want to hear me so I decided to put that to the test. After I sold my ownership in the Bamboo Cabana I decided to change my career so I jumped at the chance to reinvent myself and share my stories with the community. My greatest skill set where journalism is concerned is getting people to open up to me. Most confess while telling me their secrets, they don’t know why they are telling me.
What many people may not know about you?
I once, as a child, wrote a poem that was featured in the Toronto Sun’s poet corner. That was the first time I realized I had a voice and that it’s a voice people might want to hear. People do not know that I love to watch Kung Fu movies and anime; but both genres of film from the 80’s and 70’s.
What's your inspiration and how do you get motivated?
The thing that inspires me most is the thought of my mom working 2 jobs when we were children because she wanted to make sure all of her kids had the opportunity. Her intestinal fortitude made it so I could attend one of the best high schools in Canada – De La Salle.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
I got here by taking a leap of faith – and knowing this is where I wanted to be at this time. I made a plan and stuck with it. In the months and years to come, I will execute other aspects of that plan that will see me working with other people in the city to create original content for film, television and online. I will also develop my consulting firm to become one of the top firms in the GTA providing media solutions to companies trying to expand their media platform.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Being a father, husband, friend, brother, son, uncle and a human being who helped affect positive change in the lives of the people I interacted with. In business, I would like to be remembered as the person that made IT happen.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?
I have a hard time with balance – I get carried away with each of these things from time to time. This is an area where I am striving to get better at.
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
Music: Hip Hop
Movie: Five Deadly Venoms.
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada?
My experience as a black boy, teen, and man in Canada has changed through the years. As a boy I dealt with racism but in a way that was felt by all the boys, I knew at the time, from my peers. It had a weird effect on me because at the time we lived in little Italy in Toronto and so we were a minority twice! A minority in Canada as a people and a minority in little Italy as a family. Lots of fights in those days. As a young teen, I lived in the Lawrence Heights community with my mother and brothers and sisters – 7 kids. I faced a different type of racism at that time – systemic racism. By police, and other institutions of authority and trust, and from the community outside of Lawrence Heights. I started to notice how some of the other communities treated my peers and me. It wasn’t only racism I experienced though. My mother sent me to a Catholic school further away than the local school so I met a bunch of kids and teachers different from the ones I would have met in the local school. This experience showed me that not all people that are different are racist. I started to embrace the differences in people and some of my best friends were of different races. As a man, I see less racism but I understand and know that discrimination exists in more subtle ways (sometimes overt ways) and that as a people or community, Black Canadians need to develop structures that will allow us to build our community. Every community except the black community has structures that they can call their own.
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.
In my opinion, there are opportunities but the struggle is still young. We need to be able to lift each other up and to do that we need structures and infrastructure. This will allow us to define a space that is ours, own it and use it as a platform from which we can draw strength and focus.
Mention a few of your favourite Black Canadian Leaders, Artists and Role Models?
Isaac Olowolafe Jr., Michael Lee-Chin, Fennella Bruce, Dwight Drummond, Jojo Chintoh, Oscar Peterson, Dayo Ade, Dr. Anthony Sterling, Chris Spence I can go on and on.
Should & do Blacks support / patronize black music, events and businesses?
They should – I find they do; but only if the music, event or business is high profile or has been afforded some aspect of a high profile. For instance, many blacks came out to see the musical Fela; but I find that having Jay Z, Beyonce and Will and Jada Smith brought them out. More should attend the plays and musicals put on locally. That being said, sometimes the local purveyors of black culture don’t know how to promote or co-promote.
What’s your understanding of Black History in Canada?
My understanding of black history in Canada is not extensive – I try to follow and read about our past and about our contemporary history. Recently I have been learning about the connection between the natives and the first recorded blacks to come to Canada on masse. The blacks escaping slavery in America. This is an interesting history and now many blacks are being given native status from the government.
My few words for an uninspired person:
To an uninspired person, I would offer this: Time is your true opponent. You, like all of us, are running out of it. You can have any and everything you desire but time is catching up to you. The quickest way to success is to be like Dora the Explorer – make a map and then follow it. So take the time to think of what you want to do in life, then make a map before you start the journey, and then follow that map to the letter and you can’t go wrong.