April’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Manock Lual to support online tutorials showing youth from the black, indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) community how to properly treat and care for their skin, scalp, and hair.
“The quarantine has allowed us to take a step back and think about what is important,” explains Manock. “My sister and I would like to show our community the power of self care and self love. Together we will empower youth to take pride in their natural hair and teach them how to style, braid, and twist. We will also demonstrate how they can make their own natural products using simple ingredients you can find in any local grocery store. The youth will be invited to send us photos of their finished hair so we can showcase their results and hold competitions.”
“My ambition,” Manock continues, “is to allow the youth that I work with in our community to have a voice, and to express not only the beauty within their souls but also the pain that they have bottled up. The path I chose has given me a very unique perspective,” he observes. “Growing up in this community I was able to use the resources available to my advantage. These allowed me to earn a full athletic scholarship to university, and also achieve my dream of a career in professional basketball. All this has been my inspiration for why and how I address and help influence the upcoming generation.”
Manock is Head Coach of the La Cité Coyotes, Chair of the Overbrook Public Safety Committee, and CEO of a basketball social enterprise. A refugee from South Sudan, he grew up in Overbrook.
Funded by Ottawa (April 2020)