Kente Claus who describes himself as ” Canada’s first Afrocentric Claus,” and is also known as Dewitt Lee 111, will hold his first annual his Kente Claus ImagiNation Youth Awards ceremony on Saturday.
Venue: Kiza Restaurant & Lounge at 366 Queen St East Toronto
Lee, an activist in Toronto’s Black community, said children 13 years and younger will be” recognized for their good deeds and celebrate their compassion and their creativity in imagining a nation where they play a part in making it better.”
The two-hour event starts at noon” and is free for anyone who want to attend.”
“Then, after the this event, there will be the annual Kente Claus Skake-a-thon at Nathan Phillips Square starting at 3:30 p.m.,” he said.
Lee noted that Kente Claus was brought to life in 2016 ” to bring joy to children and pride to my community during Christmas.”
He recalled that it was the hardest thing he ever had to do but a year later” it turned into a full fledged international mission.” He was recruited by the Claus Corporation ” to help Santa distribute toys in Africa and the Caribbean.”
Now he is on a much more important mission. he told the Caribbean Camera.
“That mission, ” he said,” is to bring Christ back into Christmas by telling the story of the ”First Christmas In Africa’.
” The scripture tells us that right after Jesus’ birth, his family had to flee to Egypt to avoid persecution.
” And this is where the Kente Claus legend begins… 2000 years ago his great ancestor, Kente the Knight was a member of the Royal African Regiment that escorted the holy family across the Mediterranean, into Egypt. Kente the Knight witnessed many miracles during this journey and was told by an angel to put down his sword and pick up a pen to tell the story of the first Christmas in Africa. He has passed down this responsibility to his descendants and now today’s Kente Claus continues the tradition.
“So I have shifted the Christmas narrative by directing attention back to Jesus, the reason for the season and helping African Canadians to be ambassadors of goodwill.”
Kente Claus also plans to continue to raise funds to help support orphanages and schools in Africa and the Caribbean.