Cameroonian-American Jasmyne Cannick honored by CAMSOLA
LOS ANGELES – For the first time in the organization’s history, CAMSOLA honored a Cameroonian-American at its annual awards event and party held on Dec. 10. Jasmyne Cannick, a 34-year-old political activist and journalist who traced her African ancestry to Cameroon through the AfricanAncestry.com site in 2008 has been announced as the 2011 CAMSOLA Community Service Award recipient.
Cannick joined scholarship finalists Noella Bih, Lajoyce Ornella Mboning and Desmond Chotanjong, as well as native Cameroonian singer and songwriter and the event’s featured performer Marcel Bwanga at the group’s annual celebration.
“CAMSOLA recognizes outstanding native Cameroonian and Cameroonian-American individuals, groups or businesses that have made an impact in the African immigrant community and the community at large in Southern California,” said member Gerard Ngwang.
For five years, CAMSOLA has celebrated the voice, life, and soul of Southern California’s Cameroonian, African, and African-American communities as both a social club for native Cameroonians and Cameroonian-Americans as well as the home organization for the amateur soccer team of the same name.
The group works to engage and educate the greater community about Cameroon as well as to provide quality representation for native Cameroonians and connect Cameroonian-Americans living in California with Cameroon. An integral part of Los Angeles’ collective African community, in 2011 CAMSOLA saw the launch of its Youth Development Scholarship Fund and Youth Leaders Club.
While most of the club’s members are native Cameroonians, the club encourages and invites African-Americans who have traced their ancestry to Cameroon to get involved. That is what attracted Cannick to the group.
“It’s because of encouragement I received from the Pan African Film Festival and Isaiah Washington who traced his own ancestry to Sierra Leone, that I traced my ancestry,” Cannick said. “I remember the feeling of being complete after opening that envelope and finding out where I really come from in Africa. The award, while nice, doesn’t compare to just being accepted and welcomed by my brothers and sisters from Cameroon. For that I am truly grateful.”
The local Cameroonian community nominated and voted for individuals in various categories including community service and academic achievement.