Kenny Daodu tells her incredible story
Kenny Daodu is a force of nature. Once you meet the president of the Congress of Black Women of Manitoba, it’s hard to forget her sparkling personality. She always has the biggest smile and a positive outlook. Beneath her smiles hides many secrets, pain and trauma that she had to overcome to be where she is today.
Originally from Nigeria, Kenny has recently published a book about her life, entitled Life Labour Legacy: Journey from the Motherland.
Kenny said the book is to leave a record of her life and culture first and foremost for her children, then for her Yoruba tribal community and then for anyone who wishes to learn more about Nigerian culture. She said if she could inspire anyone with her resilience, that would be icing on the cake.
Her book launch was held in conjunction with her birthday party. There was music, food, cultural dance, and an overview of the book by Kenny. The books themselves were snapped up like hot cakes.
The book is a page turner, especially for those who know Kenny well, because it is hard to believe she went through so many difficulties – events that would have scarred many people.
Unlike most immigrants, Kenny’s journey to becoming a Canadian citizen was not straightforward. It took many twists and turns, and even involved detention in the Remand Centre and deportation.
Kenny said she sees herself as a leader in her family and that the purpose of writing the book is to document her history and culture.
“It’s a legacy book that outlines how far I have come from where I have been,” she said. “It is for my children, granddaughter, and future grandchildren. I also represent my twin sister, whom I lost a few years ago.”
Kenny survived as a single mother in Winnipeg for eight years while her husband’s immigration papers were being processed in Nigeria.
“My in-laws threatened to find another wife for their son if I did not return,” Kenny laughed. “We were married only a few years when we were separated through immigration issues. I knew my husband would never be satisfied with anyone but me, so I never took their threats seriously.”
She said the book was two-year labour of love, even though it was difficult to remain focused. Her editor and publisher motivated her in a timely fashion. “COVID-19 was a blessing (in that) it gave me time to write,” Kenny said. “I also wanted to teach my children and others in my community never to give up on their dream, so I had to see the project through.
Kenny said that there are young Yoruba people in the province who were born in Canada, and she hopes the book will help to connect them to their cultural roots.
Mother of two daughters — one is a pediatric surgeon, the other is a registered social worker — Kenny said she is proud to have produced two talented, bright women who are making valuable contribution to Canadian society.
“They love Canada, and once we were here, they did not want to return to Nigeria and, as a mother, it was my job to do whatever it took to satisfy them. I never gave up and summoned all my resilience, to push through.
“My daughters are very proud of the road I travelled and so am I.”
Life Labour Legacy is available at amazon.ca or email email@example.com.
Fort Rouge community correspondent
Beatrice Watson is a community correspondent for Fort Rouge.