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Growing up in such a richly diverse country as Trinidad and Tobago, Christopher Gordon (Class of 2004) acquired a well-rounded perspective of seeing color, and accepting and embracing each other’s differences. Born in Trinidad, Christopher Gordon (together with his business partner, Kristin Bento) lives by their mission: to promote diversity, positivity, good values, and empowerment…through their books, apparel, activities and in any other way that they can, to help their communities.
As a student of Fatima College, Christopher imbued and nurtured qualities such as discipline, creativity and dedication for one’s self and work––attributes he carries with him through the journey of his life and career.
Q. Tell us about your memories at Fatima.
My memories at Fatima College fall in the three categories of: fun, nerve-racking and inspirational. It was fun, because the environment at Fatima was a comfortable one in which I could enjoy ‘ole talking’ with my friends, and playing football at every chance I had. Nerve-racking, because at the end of each year we were given Progress Report Books wherein we would be placed in order of our grades in our class. Let’s just say I was always one away from being in the top 10 of my class academically! Thirdly, inspirational; on a few occasions at our morning assembly, we were often reminded that our home-grown heroes Ato Boldon and Brian Lara who were hailed and respected on an international level both attended Fatima College! This motivated me to ‘strive on’ with aiming at achieving greatness on my platform one day.
Q. Who was your favorite teacher(s) and which teacher(s) scared you the most (if any)?
Some of my favourite teachers were Mr. Brash and Mr. Cooper. One teacher that was definitely strict in my eyes was Mr. des Vignes.
Q. Did you play any sports or take part in any extracurricular activities at Fatima?
I did not represent the school in any sport, but I played football on my lunch-break almost every day …for fun.
Q. Tell us about your journey after leaving Fatima and how you got into authoring books.
After Fatima, I found myself interested in the design field, graphic design and animation to be specific. I studied at the University of Trinidad and Tobago as well as SBCS (School of Business and Computer Science), and following that I worked as a professional Graphic Artist for a few of Trinidad’s top Advertising Agencies.
Having such an appreciation for culture and diversity, my mission became one of simply to educate, inspire and motivate children to be the best version of themselves.
As a child, we all have dreams of becoming a brave superhero exemplifying what is right. Based on this concept, our brand “Timothy’s Lessons In Good Values” became a reality through its storybooks and activities catering for children of ages 3-8 years old. We focus on spreading good morals and values through our stories, followed by educational and fun-filled activities kids can enjoy while learning at the same time.
These vital messages are shown throughout our picture books––“Friendship Has No Color”, “Courage In The Face Of Bullying”, and “Timothy’s Lessons In Good Values-Volume 2”. Our wonder-full books showcase various ethnicities––for kids to connect with, and furthermore understand the true meaning of being unique and different! We believe in creating a safe space for kids so that they may have open conversations about race, diversity, bullying, and inclusion…this giving them a clearer understanding of such key topics. Now more than ever, the effort to address these issues is becoming a necessity to enable the younger generation to mature into better fully adult individuals.
Our passion drives us to create positive content: whether it’s for storybooks for kids, or to teach at-home activities. All this contributes to building a peaceful environment which will inspire, motivate and educate future generations.
Q. Why this topic of Diversity?
Well, inspired and motivated by current issues which arise in our society (with emphasis on diversity), plus with the urgent need for positive lessons in morals and values, Kristin and I both decided to collaborate on this exciting venture, and to be a part of the community which genuinely wants to make a difference in our world.
Q. What inspired you both to write this book?
We drew our inspiration from not just our surroundings (both past & present) but also from our backgrounds…and that moulded our unique stories, growing in us and anchoring the themes of diversity and friendship. Our experiences with friends and colleagues who arose from various ethnic backgrounds gave us a very common norm when we were growing up. We learned so much from our friends, as we embraced all their differences. This mindset led us to create our third picture book, entitled “Friendship Has No Color”. A captivating book, it unveils the true meaning of overcoming diversity and embracing differences we each possess.
Q. Does the title of the book signify that you ‘see’ no color?
Absolutely not! It is a classic example of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, or assess a person by their ‘outside’ or how they look. It serves as a two-fold book. The title “Friendship Has No Color” actually means that in cultivating friendships, you should not be restricted to just one ‘color of friend’. How you decide on forming a friendship should not be based on color or similarities. Friendships should be about variety, should be diverse, should be full of differences, and should not be restricted.
Another thing we would like to share with others is the mandate to stay humble and giving. We need always remember that everyone has their own story, paved on a different path from yours. So, don’t be too quick to judge or assume. Stay humble, be grateful, and appreciate the life around you.
Q. Do you keep in touch with your former classmates? Attended any class reunions?
I do keep in contact with a few of my Fatima friends.
Q. What would you advise a young student at Fatima who is thinking about being an author?
For any upcoming authors currently attending Fatima, my advice would be to focus on academic offerings such as Business classes, Accounting classes and even Design classes. These will assist you on that writing journey. The more knowledge you acquire, the better off you will be. As an author, your knowledge needs to be well-rounded. Writing is just a small part of being an author. Knowing how to market yourself as well as your books, the publishing process (traditional and self-publishing) and understanding the business of being a published author…these are the elements of foundation you would need as you venture out onto this field.
Q. Favourite way to spend spare time? Any hobbies/guilty pleasures?
Besides sleeping, I love the outdoors. So, in my spare time I am either biking, hiking, or relaxing on the beach.
Q. Who is your role model?
My role model is Jesus. Trust His time and His plan for you.
Q. Favorite sport and team(s)?
One of my favourite sports teams was Barcelona––the years that Ronaldinho played for the team!
Q. You currently live in Canada. What do you miss most about Trinidad?
I definitely miss the Doubles…and Bake & Shark.
Q. What is the first thing you would eat on a trip back to Trinidad?
I would eat Doubles for sure. “Give me four Doubles with slight pepper!”
Q. Favorite music?
Favorite music would be Gospel, Reggae, Soca, Dancehall. I am a bit of a fan of all genres.
Q. Any closing remarks?
Life already has its challenges, so if you are blessed to be in a position where you can help someone, do it!