Born in Blantyre, Malawi |
At the age of five, Veronica and her family moved to Ottawa. Her father had received a scholarship to complete a master’s degree at Carleton University. While growing up in Ottawa, Veronica always enjoyed visiting friends and attending summer festivals in Toronto, so she decided to move here permanently after finishing her undergraduate degree. She explains how living in Toronto allows her to travel and experience different cultures without ever leaving the city and this is much more affordable than flying! She recently launched Kuwala which is an online store offering ready-to-wear African-inspired clothing and accessories.
“This business helps me to stay connected with the continent as well as promote the work of young African fashion entrepreneurs. In Toronto, many people seem to be running their own businesses and projects and I think that has rubbed off on me.”
Toronto as Home
“The Annex,” is where Veronica has always lived during her time in Toronto. In the evening she loves to walk down Bloor Street – especially during the summer months when the street is crowded with people.
“It’s my first real home away from my parent’s. I love that the Annex is not too central but it’s still in a convenient location in the city. I can walk 10 minutes in any direction and find what I need. I also like seeing the CN Tower every day!”
The CN Tower’s presence reminds Veronica of those university road trips from Ottawa to Toronto. Sometimes they would get lost and need to use the tower to get their bearings.
Connection with the Past
This is a photograph of Veronica in Malawi with her grandmother and great-grandmother, whom she calls Agogo and Amao, respectively. It was taken the last time she saw her great-grandmother who passed away in 2012. She remembers her Amao as a great storyteller – who often shared important information about the family’s history with her. Veronica cherishes those moments as they allowed her to learn about and to connect with the past. She says that it is hard to know one’s family history when you have lived abroad for so long.