I was born Canadian, but my heart is African – Vicsoleil
While his Instagram page is filled with pictures of places in Africa, with some showing his involvement in community development activities on the continent, especially in Ghana, social entrepreneur and prolific author, Beausoleil Victor Emmanuel Mervyn, recently set the record straight about his roots.
“I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, where I currently reside with my wife and four children,” he stated, “my father has been a deacon for the past thirty years at Prince of Peace Parish in Canada, and my mother worked for the Federal Government of Canada.”
According to Beausoleil, better known on Instagram as Vicsoleil, his connection to Africa started when he was barely 19 years of age. “Then I co-founded African Educators of Toronto, me, my wife and a few colleagues,” he explained. “We went on to establish the African Book Collaborative (ABC), which provided door-to-door service from our vehicles with books on the history, spirituality, politics and nations of Africa to our subscribed members.”
Through ABC, which he founded in 2003, Vicsoleil has convened hundreds of workshops and lectures that featured prominent speakers from the global Pan-African community.
Of his affiliation to Ghana, he further disclosed: “I have been supporting community development work in Ghana since I was 21 years old. I was the Co-Chair of the Manya Krobo Youth Coordinating Committee established by Nene Kwasi Kafele.”
Vicsoleil further avowed that he is inspired by African thought leaders, past and present.
“The likes of Kwame Nkrumah, Nana Yaa Asentewa, Steven Biko, Thomas Sankara, Fela Kuti, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka and novelist Flora Nwapa, they all inspired me a lot,” he enthused.
The African Canadian professed his desire to undertake some developmental projects in Nigeria. “There is a young brother from Nigeria too Yinka “Lamboginny” Lawson who does some fantastic work regarding Prison reform; I will like to be able to come to Nigeria and support him with his work for especially wrongly condemned prisoners,” Vicsoleil said.