Sumaiya Tufail | Canada | Long-Term Resilience

Poet | Writer | Aspiring Human Rights Lawyer


My name is Sumaiya Tufail, my family left behind everything they knew in Mombasa, Kenya in the 1990's to settle in Canada. Growing up struggling, I grew a passion to know myself, my roots and for justice. I began my career in philanthropy at 17 fundraising on the streets for organizations. At the same time I was introduced to poetry, a way for me to express myself for the first time.

After years of studying in the US and Khartoum, Sudan, I was finally able to connect back to my roots in Kenya. From there I began raising money for those in need in the community and have completed multiple projects which include helping orphans, single moms and giving people access to clean water. During this period my poetry platform grew and I began performing in Canada and in Kenya. I began a community events company @saaeventsmsa with my friend where we organize impactful and educational events in Mombasa.


Currently I am starting my own consulting company for other Non-profits to learn from my fundraising and content creating skills whilst pursuing my undergrad in International Studies to complete a law degree. I am interested in justice and making a positive impact for my people and society.


What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?

My biggest hurdles were overcoming generational trauma in my household. We grew up struggling financially with my father being physically and mentally ill. I took on a lot of burdens I shouldn't have, but it made me who I am today.

What books are you currently reading?

Right now I am reading Welcome Home by Najwa Zebian


What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

My advice would be to work on growing a deep sense of compassion for yourself and all you've been through and are going through. In order to believe in yourself and develop long-term resilience in the face of adversity, you must be kind to yourself.


Social Media Handles:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sumaiya-tufail-19575b123/

Instagram: sumaiyatufail @saaeventsmsa @diasporicpoets