How did you hear about Manyatta Network, how was your experience with us and what is your opinion?
The first time I was brought to a Manyatta Network event was with a friend. I have exchanged interesting thoughts with a lot of individuals, and managed to promote my business to some people I would maybe not had the chance to get introduce to. I was also gladly surprised that some of them have heard about Excuse My French 416.
Tell us about you ( Background, believes, profession, passions and drivers)
Originally I am from Guinea but I was born and raised in a small town called Annemasse in the East of France. I stepped foot in Canada in 2007 to finish school and after 7 years in Montreal. I have decided to move to Toronto as I felt the city was offering more interesting professional opportunities.
Currently, I am working as an IT analyst for an insurance company while organizing and planning events in the city through Excuse My French 416. I have a passion for technologies and more specifically graphic design, and with this company we built, I have managed to develop those skills. I love to learn new things and step out of my comfort zone to challenge myself.
What Excuse My French is about? and where the idea came from?
Excuse My French 416 is an event planning company who organizes parties with a French touch in Toronto. What that means is that we are providing an environment where the music is key as we play a range of style that brings people from different background together and create a unique experience. It is formed of 3 members: Hizola, Diego and myself. We met in Toronto and built a strong and honest friendship which today helps us to be successful as business partners. Going out a lot in the city showed us that most of the “mainstream” nightclubs were playing the same type of music. At some point it became redundant, so we decided to host our own parties. The first one was private and we had maybe 30+ people. We made few mistakes, learned from them and met people who helped us bring the company to what it is today: we host weekly events where we managed to showcase the diversity of our community through music and special events with different themes.
What were your biggest challenges after relocated to Canada?
I don’t think I have encountered any difficulties to adapt to the Canadian life. I had the chance to arrive in a city with a few family members who helped for a smooth transition.
I would maybe say that connecting on a social level with Canadians took some time as the culture is different. But when you start to learn more about the country history and the “dos and don’ts” of social life, it gets easier to connect and share experiences.
What would be your advises to young African diaspora?
Blending in a new nation is very important but stay true to your roots, educate people with your knowledge of the African continent and keep striving to be the best at what you do.
What is your short term goal and your vision of the future?
My goal is to grow as an entrepreneur and learn as much as I can to make our company bigger and stronger. We still have dreams and hope to do greater things, and we want them to be reality.