ROLE MODEL OF THE WEEK,CASSIANNE MARTINA LAWRENCE FROM JAMAICA – AUTHOR & POET

CLaw was born Cassianne Martina Lawrence in Kingston Jamaica. At the age of 7, she moved to the Cayman Islands to live with her mother and brother. Growing up in Cayman was easy but also very challenging, being a black woman “yes I am going there as it determines and dictates a lot of how CLaw became CLaw.” Growing up in Cayman as a black woman was not easy, I was teased about my skin and my hair as well as my nationality. I was called names such as ching ching which is a blackbird, described to be, black like tar, Tar baby, picky head, black Jamaican and the list goes on.

It may sound funny but as a child having to endure that being described as ugly compared to the light skinned or white females, it was tough. I had a lot of insecurities growing up because of it and still struggle even today at 27 years old.

 

To mask and hide behind toughness, I started playing sports. I knew I had a talent for it, so I did and I played every sport available to me, making national teams traveling for the country, winning medals and trophies, it was the only way I could escape my insecurities well that and writing.

 

Writing became a part of me very early in my life but I was too insecure to share it with anyone. Moving to Germany, namely Berlin gave me the platform and the opportunity to showcase my hidden talent. I got my first chance at the poetry meets hip-hop series curated by Jumoke Adeyanju, a brilliant poetess/songstress, and superwoman she has inspired me to walk in my greatness and truth even though she may not know it.

 

After my first show, I felt alive and knew that writing was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I started a children’s book series called afro kid three years ago and am just now in the illustrating/publication process, I am working on a poetry book and a multitude of other projects. Twenty-seven years after birth and CLaw being held back because of harsh words that were spoken, I am now in my element and speaking my truth one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page at a time.

 

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About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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