George Kamanda | Writer
1. Tell Us About Yourself
My name is George Shadrack Kamanda; I was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I see myself as a poet, writer, motivational speaker, and a global citizen. After finishing high school in Sierra Leone, I traveled to the United States of America in 2012 to further my education and to reunite with my lovely mother after ten years of been apart. Currently, I’m a studying at Saint Josephs University. As a born-again Christian, I’m very active and passionate about my service to others and humanity as a whole as I seek to grow ever closer to my God in service and humility to others and my community.
2. What inspired you to create George Kamanda Foundation?
One could surprise the amount of impact our daily experiences whether positive or negative can have in our lives. As such, I drew my inspiration from my single mother who was very smart going to school, but she was not given the opportunity by her family to further her education due to the illiteracy plight of her parents, they opted to give her hand in marriage at age nineteen and refuse to pay her school fees. Just like my mom, there are millions of children who suffered from such experiences every day in Sierra Leone and the African Continent as a whole. As the founder and president of the George Kamanda Foundation, which is a foundation that seeks to help create a pathway to educate, inspire, and empower Sierra Leonean children to value education and its social and economic benefits it can bring to them and the country as a whole.
3. What pushes you to do what you do?
As an African, growing up in a war-torn country, Sierra Leone, where poverty, unemployment, corruption, lack of better education and other social necessities are lacking or not available there is always going to be a story to tell, to write, to talk about and to learn from in every sphere. I see my life story as a journey and one that it will always be a story. I secret recipe that keeps my going is my coined life’s principle known as “Kamandanization” which just means ‘motivation meets inspiration.’ My policy pushes me to do what I do as a devoted student, writer and poet and also a global citizen. For example, positive sayings from friends, family, and fellow students who always say you“you can do it,” ‘keep it up,” and a host of many others is the motivation and while God’s presence, favors, and blessings are the spark of inspiration in my life. With these facets are combined, I excel in life.
4. I know it's hard to have an organization and try to find support. How do you handle studies and the foundation?
It is the hardest thing I have encountered in my amateur, professional life as of now. However, beating all the odds, although I find it challenging but at the same time it is doable to a certain degree based on what I portray my organization to be. As an educational foundation, myself and my team of fellow students located in Sierra Leone have spent a bulk of our foundation’s existence in researching and locally disseminating our vision that is to educate, inspire and empower Sierra Leonean children. About my studies, yes, it is challenging, but my relentless drive and determination have propelled me thus far. For all that, I give thanks and appreciation to God almighty and my lovely mother for her continuing support.
5. What advice would you give to Africans in diaspora trying to make a difference back home?
In our contemporary world, there is no shortage of new ideas, innovations, new technologies, and a new form of community identity. As Africans in the diaspora, my plea, and my personal advice to you is to make the most of your time here by first gaining the necessary education with good Christian upbringings. Also, don’t forget to collaborate with fellow Africans and be positive minded in all your doings to oneself and others. We all know we are needed back home someday to help make the necessary changes and improvements in our individual countries, my advice to that is to make it a priority to help, make it your desire and make it your journey call to help play a role in development in your country. In all, to be a part of the “African Dream and the African rising” remember this:
“You don’t have to be rich to make a change, and you don't have to be an expert in what you have a passion for, with that said, we can combine our love for action, our efforts into innovation and our innovation into transformation. And only then, our transformation would become a realization."
6. What makes you Original ?
For me, it's my unique life experiences for which have shaped my entire life, my principle of growth stated above-“Motivation meets inspiration" and finally, my identity in Christ—the Son of God. These facets are interconnected, and truly they intermingle to make the most out of George Shadrack Kamanda both for himself and others around him. I believe, it would be fair to say, we all are a uniquely package creation to be who we are in life and if there is one strong supporter and proponent of that idea—I am one. When asked, what makes me original, I only reply in good faith that my unique life experiences and my belief in one supreme creator of humanity, makes me original. You are next, what makes you original?