‘Incredible’: Nigerian-Canadian architect honoured by park naming in Winnipeg’s south end

With family at his side, architect Emeka Nnadi was honoured as the first Nigerian-Canadian to have a park named after him in Manitoba. Joanne Roberts has the story

“I feel like the honouring is, it’s really not about me. It’s about inspiring others to follow,” said Emeka Nnadi.

Dozens gathered in the south end of Winnipeg on this sunny Saturday morning for an intimate unveiling.

For the first time in Manitoba, a park is being named after a Nigerian-Canadian.

Emeka Nnadi’s family was alongside him as the park sign was revealed. (Photo Credit: Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

Architect Emeka Nnadi has done work in Nigeria and the United States. Much closer to home, Nnadi played a key role in the creation and design of the Bridgwater neighbourhood in Winnipeg’s south end.

“I’ve been working on Bridgwater for 20 years. Yeah, it’s been 20 years from the initial inception of the concept and I didn’t do any of it expecting this as one of the outcomes of it. So I’m quite humbled by this recognition,” said Nnadi.

Nnadi’s family did not leave his side throughout the commemoration ceremony, which was hosted by the organization AfriCans in Winnipeg South Association. It brought many members of the community to the new park, including Mayor Scott Gillingham, city councillors Janice Lukes and Markus Chambers.

Emeka Nnadi (left) was surrounded by family throughout the ceremony Saturday morning. (Photo Credit: Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

As Nnadi spoke to the crowd, he turned his attention to the people in his life — family, colleagues, clients, who helped him in his journey.

“If we’re going to celebrate and commemorate my contributions to the neighbourhoods of Bridgwater, I think it’s important for me to celebrate the many other individuals who also played significant roles in making this a reality,” said Nnadi.

Leaders from the Nigerian community were also present. Vera Keyede called the unveiling “groundbreaking” — not only for Manitobans but for Nigerians across the country.

“We are into every facet of profession in Manitoba. Unfortunately, we don’t get that big recognition, so this is the first time a Nigerian gets this kind of recognition. I tell you, it’s a very exciting time, it’s a new dawn for the Nigerian community,” said Keyede.

NAMI’s Vera Keyede called the unveiling event Saturday ‘groundbreaking’ for Nigerians in Canada. (Photo Credit: Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

Africanad founder and the event’s emcee, Ayodele Odeyemi, says its significant Nnadi is being honoured in the south end of Winnipeg, as it has a large and growing Nigerian community.

“Many immigrants comes to a country like Canada and they try to find their feet, looking for where their story could be told … It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and this will make a lot of new immigrants, especially Nigerian immigrants, very proud.”

Ayodele Odeyemi, the event’s emcee says the naming of Winnipeg’s new park will mean a lot to new immigrants. (Photo Credit: Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today