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Born in Cotonou, Benin |

Yussuf left his country of birth at an early age. His family moved from Benin to Ghana because his father, a businessman, was, and still is, working there.  Yussuf decided to attend school in Canada, first in Hamilton in 2008, then at Toronto’s York University in 2010 to study International Development. He has been heavily involved in activities at University – specifically the African Students Association (ASA) and the Track Team – two organizations where he has built connections that now feel ‘like family’. As President of the ASA 2013/14 he helped further develop the association, and played a big part in their annual show called Afrique Couleur.  York has provided Yussuf with the opportunity to meet “different people from different cultures” all of whom, interestingly; seem to connect based on their differences. He feels comfortable discussing his culture here in this multicultural city – a freedom he does not take for granted.

Toronto as Home

York University is a place that has allowed Yussuf to pursue his goals. Its campus is where he has spent the past four years, and where he has had many great experiences.

“Through school, I have gained confidence, leadership skills, and lifelong friendships.”

Yussuf plans to work in the government or NGO sector after graduation.

Connection with the Past

This handmade cloth map of Africa is written in Yussuf’s first language, French. He explains that it now hangs in his condo, and reminds him of how colourful Africa is, and, like Canada, how it is incredibly diverse. The fact that it came from his mother, and was purchased at an artisan centre in Benin makes it extra special.

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