Born in Mansa, Zambia |
After studying in Windsor for several years, Peter came to Toronto to further his education at Ryerson University. He grew up on Pelee Island, his parents both worked in the NGO sector, so they were always moving around, and it wasn’t until high school that he was living back in his birth country Zambia. Although all this moving around as a child was difficult, he now recognizes the fact that he was exposed to different cultures and ideas at such an early age as a privilege. Since arriving in Toronto, he has grown to love the city for all of its quirks and imperfections. His deepest connection to the city is that many people he holds close to his heart reside here. As well as being a banker, Peter has helped start The Social Art Movement which aims to help struggling and independent artists find ways to grow and nurture their artistic careers through building connections and sharing ideas.
Toronto as Home
Peter is standing inside First Canadian Place, the building that he works in as a commercial banker for the Bank of Montreal. He loves its architecture and this building, for him, symbolizes the fact that if you work hard pursuing your dreams anything is possible no matter where you came from. Peter explains how he both works and ‘plays’ in the downtown core.
Connection with the Past
One of the artists involved with Peter’s Social Art Movement did this painting of his mother. Peter’s mother, also his hero, Rhoda Lesteris, has helped a lot of African women. When she was living in Mozambique she worked with rural women in what was, at the time, a war ravaged country. She helped them develop ways to support their families. What started as small groups of women in little villages soon grew into a country wide organization that developed its own credit union. Now these women travel to other parts of Africa and Asia to share their knowledge. She taught Peter that in the developing world, women are the glue that connects society. He appreciates the fact that he now has the chance to honour his mother’s legacy and be involved with helping women in Africa. Peter helps his parent’s organization Rural Action International which helps families in rural areas (currently in Zambia). This summer, together with his brother and sister, Peter will be doing an 800 km bike ride from Toronto, to Pelee Island and back. They are raising funds to continue building schools and hospitals.