Noordin Kassam: A Love Story

noordin kassam and karim kanji

Noordin Kassam in one of 8 children who came of age during the Idi Amin crisis in Uganda. He is also the father of two children who survived two separate terrorist attacks. This episode was recorded in front of a live studio audience in Canmore comprised of family members from across the world who had gathered to celebrate Noordin Kassam’s 80th birthday.

This is episode #135  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • How it came to be that all the brothers and sisters have different last names.
  • The fun experiment that was MANTS and how all the brothers came to own a strip plaza in Kingston, Ontario.
  • Where Noordin Kassam was born.
  • What his childhood was like.
  • How he came to study accounting after almost choosing another career path.
  • The positive influence of his parents on both himself and all his siblings.
  • Navigating two crisis as a young adult: First, the Idi Amin situation in Uganda. Then, the draconian nationalistic policies of the Kenyan government in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  • The importance of volunteering in Noordin Kassam’s life and his advice to future generations of leaders.
  • Meeting Rozy Auntie and why they had to hide their “friendship” from both their parents.
  • Tashmin was their first born child. As a child, both Rozy and Noordin Kassam were concerned that she wouldn’t do well in school. Years later, Tashmin ended up completing her PhD and is now working at the Aga Khan University.
  • Why Noordin’s second child, Faisal, decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an accountant.
  • How Noordin Kassam came to find out about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and his frantic search to find out about Faisal who was working in one of the Twin Towers.
  • More than a decade later in 2013, Noordin would go through the same experience when Tashmin was caught inside Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya during the September 21 terrorist attacks.
  • Noordin Kassam describes his relationship with Rozy, who tragically passed away just short of their 50th wedding anniversary.
  • How the Rozinoor Foundation came to be and the various works it has already accomplished.

Listen below:

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Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this episode you will also like the following conversations with other former podcast alumni:

Elena V. Wolfe

karim kanji with elena v wolfe

Currently a star in the hit Nikelodeon show, Star Falls, Elena V. Wolfe was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario and fell in love with acting at a very young age while watching her favourite shows on television. Her first introduction to performing came in the form of a high school musical when she was cast to play one of the evil step sisters Lucinda in Into the Woods.

Her acting would take a backseat however when she received a scholarship to play varsity tennis at the University of Virginia.

It wasn’t until after graduating college that her acting career would resurface when she landed her first role in the American crime drama television series The Bridge on FX. Shortly after, Elena joined the cast of the hit sci-fi television series Defiance on Syfy and Space. Other credits to her name include Flashpoint (CTV), The Firm (NBC), Degrassi Takes Manhattan and Filthy Cities.

This is episode #134  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • What does the “V” stand for in Elena’s name?
  • How Elena got her start in acting.
  • Attending the University of Virginia on a tennis scholarship.
  • Some of the world’s famous women and men Elena has watched play and played against.
  • Elena’s thoughts on players “grunting” when hitting shots in tennis.
  • Her previous modeling career.
  • Why Elena studied law in grad school and how that’s helping her career today.
  • Her initial and continuing attempt at writing a book.
  • Why she left her career in tennis.
  • Moving back to the Greater Toronto Area

Listen below:

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You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this episode you will also like the following conversations with other former podcast alumni:

Jaime Stein: Chief Client Officer, ICUC

karim kanji with Jaime Stein

Jaime Stein – formerly from Toronto – is now a Vancouver resident and Chief Client Officer for Winnipeg-based, ICUC.

Stein joined me inside the Girth Radio studio for an in-depth chat about his travels, his passions, work and why Canada has the best sunsets in the world!

This is episode #133  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • The SportsConnectTO panel that started the friendship between Jaime Stein and Karim Kanji.
  • Jaime’s experience in preparing for and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • His work with the National Public Cord Blood Bank.
  • Doing varsity football play-by-play for Queen’s University in Kingston while going to school at Toronto’s Ryerson University.
  • Meeting Keith Pelley while at TSN helped Jaime Stein kickstart his professional sports broadcasting career.
  • Calling the play-by-play for the Toronto Argonauts.
  • His role at ING Bank in Canada.
  • Working the social media war room as ING changed their name and branding to Tangerine.
  • Why Jaime Stein had enough of Toronto and moved to Vancouver.
  • His role at Vancouver’s Hootsuite.
  • Leaving Hootsuite to join another company helping brands navigate the social media space, ICUC.
  • Jaime Stein finally ends the debate on which city province has the better sunsets: Ontario or British Columbia.

Listen below:

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You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this episode you will also like the following conversations with other former podcast alumni:

Tim Micallef from Tim and Sid show

tim micallef with karim kanji

Tim Micallef is co-host of the wildly popular Sportsnet TV program, Tim and Sid.

An honorary resident of Scarborough (he’s actually from Don Mills but proudly beats his chest to the beat of Scarborough), Tim Micallef joined me in studio where we discussed his career, sports and why Sid Seixeiro never seems to wear a tie to work.

This is episode #132  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • I always thought he was from Scarborough. However, Tim Micallef called Don Mills home.
  • His Malta roots.
  • Playing basketball in high school was much different that playing varsity sports.
  • How his sports career never took off at Carleton University.
  • How he started at The Score as an intern.
  • Where Tim Micallef’s love of the UNLV Running Rebels came from.
  • Tim Micallef shares his thoughts on if NCAA athletes should be paid. Or not.
  • The chemistry he has with Sid Seixeiro on their popular show, Tim and Sid.
  • Tim Micallef’s relationship with Bob McCown.
  • The legacy of Jose Bautista.
  • What does Tim Micallef think of Alex Ovechkin’s first Stanley Cup? And where did all the Ovechkin haters go?
  • Is LeBron James the greatest basketball player of all time? And is Michael Jordan even in the conversation (Sid Seixeiro seems to think Jordan played against much inferior talent)?
  • What is up with Vince McMahon’s XFL?
  • The legacy of Duane Casey and his time with the Toronto Raptors.

Listen below:

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You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Recorded live at Girth Radio.

Intro music by Famous.

If you liked this episode you will also like the following conversations with current/former Sportsnet personalities:

Sam Reid of Glass Tiger

sam reid of glass tiger with karim kanji

Sam Reid is a founding member, songwriter and keyboardist with the award-winning band, Glass Tiger. Founded in Newmarket, Ontario Sam and the rest of the members of Glass Tiger have been making music and touring the world for the past 30+ years.

Listen to this exclusive Girth Radio podcast as Sam Reid and the band get ready to play the historic Massey Hall in Toronto.

This is episode #131 of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • How Sam Reid’s parents enrolled him in piano lessons in order for him to open up and develop his growing interest in music.
  • Why Sam Reid had to play “hidden” in his first bands.
  • Why the band’s first name was Tokyo and the circumstances that “forced” them to change it to Glass Tiger.
  • How Sam Reid and Glass Tiger came to open for Culture Club in the iconic Maple Leaf Gardens.
  • How Glass Tiger got hooked up with Jim Vallance during the recording of their first album.
  • How their first hits and success of their debut album changed Sam Reid and the band.
  • The value of a song.
  • Sam Reid’s relationship with the Snowbirds.
  • The importance of not sucking!
  • What is Willow Music and who are the indie band, Alpacas.
  • Why Glass Tiger is still playing music and recording after 30+ years.
  • The importance of playing at Toronto’s Massey Hall.

Listen below:

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You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Recorded live at Girth Radio.

Music by Glass Tiger.

If you liked this episode you will also like the following conversations:

 

Sarah Climenhaga: Toronto Mayoral Candidate Discusses 2018 Ontario Election Results

karim kanji, sarah climenhaga and gregg tilston

Sarah Climenhaga joined co-hosts Karim Kanji and Gregg Tilston inside the studio this past week to discuss the 2018 Ontario Election results and its potential impact on the city of Toronto.

This is Episode  #3 of the Toronto The Podcast and Episode #130 of Welcome!

Here are some of the things we discussed:

  • Why Sarah Cimenhaga does not think that the city of Toronto is as divided as the election results seemed to point out.
  • The many reasons why she is running for the office of the Mayor of Toronto.
  • Gregg Tilston is obsessed with Doug Ford’s “Buck A Beer” election promise.
  • How Sarah Climenhaga would work with Doug Ford should she be elected as Toronto’s next mayor.
  • Sarah Climenhaga’s candid thoughts on the strong mayoral system as advocated by Doug Ford.
  • Why Sarah Climenhaga thinks the King Streetcar project has been successful and what she would do to improve the experience of drivers.
  • Karim Kanji argues why the $0.10 reduction in gas prices will do everything to increase drivers and cars on the road, decrease the use of public transit, lower the revenues available to the Ontario government, decrease the chances of continued and/or increased investment (including ongoing service and maintenance) in public transit in both Ontario and Toronto.
  • Sarah Climenhaga’s thoughts on affordable housing, affordable child care, the environment, equity, civic engagement and so much more!

Listen below:

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You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Recorded live at Girth Radio.

Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this episode you will also like:

Episode #128: 2018 Ontario Election Primer with Dan Speerin

 

Bif Naked: Canada’s queen of punk rock

bif naked with karim kanji

Bif Naked joined Karim Kanji inside the studio to chat about her music, her life, why she’s always so positive, if it’s true that she moved to Toronto to be close to Drake, and so much more!

This is Episode #129.

Here are some of the things we discussed:

  • Bif Naked was born to a Canadian teenage mom in India.
  • She was adopted by American parents who were in India doing Christian missionary work.
  • As a young adult, Bif Naked visited her mom (who was then living in Barrie, Ontario) and discovered that many of the character traits she had came from her birth mom!
  • Bif Naked’s real name is Beth Torbert. She explains how she got the name Bif and what she thinks of it.
  • Bif Naked is the most positive person I’ve ever met. She is most likely the most positive person you’ve ever met. She explains how she got this way.
  • Her battle with cancer and why she enjoyed it so much!
  • How a hole in Bif Naked’s heart most likely saved her life but gave her kidney failure.
  • How her dad’s dentistry profession and time in med school piqued her interest in all things health and medicine.
  • Why she doesn’t drink anymore.
  • Why a lot of punk rockers are also “straight-edge’d”.
  • Why she believes in God.
  • Why Bif Naked got into music and why she enjoys touring more than recording new material and putting out albums.
  • The circumstances that forced her to start her own record label and own her own music since the beginning.

Listen below:

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You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Recorded live at Girth Radio.

Music by Afraaz Mulji and Bif Naked. 

If you liked this episode you will also like:

Episode #100: Maestro Fresh Wes

Episode #51: Barenaked Ladies’ Jim Creeggan

2018 Ontario Election Primer with Dan Speerin

2018 Ontario Election

The 2018 Ontario Election is now upon us. Believe it. Dan Speerin joined me inside Pacific Junction Hotel’s Girth Radio studio to talk everything you always wanted to know about next week’s Ontario election but were too afraid to ask.

Listen to this episode before you vote on June 7th.

This is Episode #128.

Here are some of the things we discussed:

  • The history of how Patrick Brown was parachuted in Barrie to begin his political career.
  • How the 2018 Ontario Election was Patrick Brown’s to lose until…well, we all know what happened.
  • Doug Ford’s hijacking of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.
  • What actually happened between Doug Ford having an insurmountable lead in all polls to being in a virtual tie with Andrea Horwath’s New Democratic Party of Ontario.
  • The reasons why Doug Ford hasn’t released the costs of his 2018 Ontario election platform.
  • Why the Ontario Liberal Party and Kathleen Wynne are so unpopular in Ontario.
  • Will millennials turn out on June 7th to vote for Andrea Horwath’s New Democratic Party?
  • The role of the Ontario Proud Facebook page and how it has over played it’s own importance in the 2018 Ontario Election.
  • The role of the mainstream media bias and how that is creating false narratives for and against all the major political parties in the 2018 Ontario Election.
  • Stay tuned until the very end. Dan Speerin tells all our listeners who we should NOT vote for next Tuesday in the 2018 Ontario Election.

Listen below:

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You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Recorded live at Girth Radio.

Music by Afraaz Mulji. 

If you liked this episode you will also like:

Jeremiah Brown: The 4 Year Olympian – Interview

karim kanji with jeremiah brown

Jeremiah Brown was part of Team Canada’s Men’s 8 rowing team that captured the silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He is also the author of the new book, The 4 Year Olympian (published by Dundurn Press).

This is Episode #127.

Here are some of the things we discussed:

  • How being bullied as a kid helped form his character.
  • His stint in jail after robbing a delivery man.
  • How his relationship with Amy, his ex-girlfriend helped his stay focused on training and his Olympic dream.
  • Jeremiah Brown’s two most important coaches: Coach Riley (his football coach at Hamilton’s McMaster University) and Doug White (his rowing coach).
  • How Jeremiah Brown made the McMaster football team as a walk-on.
  • His 4 year journey to the Olympics (including all his failures and stumbles)
  • The amount of money Team Canada athletes make to be full-time athletes
  • Why Jeremiah Brown decided to leave the rowing team and not pursue a Gold medal in 2016.
  • His work with the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Game Plan program.

Jeremiah Brown’s next challenge: Playing drums in a successful stadium-filling band!

Listen below:

Girth Radio
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You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Recorded live at Girth Radio.

Music by Afraaz Mulji and Arkells.

If you liked this episode you will also like:

podcast show notes karim kanji jeremiah brown

Book Report: Scarborough

Trailer for Scarborough: a novel from CEHernandez on Vimeo.