Certified Inspiration

a Black woman's takeaway from Drake's determination and drive

Black History Month is a celebration of the achievements and contributions of Black Canadians and their communities who have had a major impact on Canada and the world. In this blog, I write about how Drake inspires me as a Black woman.


Picture a young Aubrey Drake Graham growing up in a single-parent home in Toronto, navigating the complexities of being biracial in a city comprised of distinct, multicultural districts. Fast-forward to today, and the now single-named Drake is probably one of the first names that comes to mind when you think Canadian, Black, and successful. Read on to see as this story unfolds from a young boy struggling to fit in, to the life of a superstar.


The Toronto-born ‘Certified Lover Boy’ (a nickname derived from the title of his sixth studio album), has grown to become a favourite of mine and many others around the world. He has established himself as an icon in the world of contemporary music, RnB, and rap. From his humble beginnings growing up in a low-income home, Champagne Papi (his Instagram username) gained popularity acting in the Canadian CTV teen drama series, Degrassi: The Next Generation. In 2006, he began pursuing his musical career with the release of his debut mixtape, Room For Improvement. This was the beginning of his meteoric rise to superstardom.

What sets this five-time Grammy award winner apart from his peers isn’t just his chart-topping hits or his magnetic stage presence. In my opinion, it’s his unwavering commitment to authenticity and staying true to his roots that has made him a beloved Canadian performer. You gotta love him for that.


It’s not just Drake’s music that I find inspirational – it’s his resilience in the face of adversity. Despite critics and setbacks, he has always risen above the noise. Drizzy’s (another one of his many nicknames), ability to reinvent himself time and time again is admirable. From the thoughtful lyrics of my all-time favourite Take Care, and the infectious energy of Hotline Bling, to his Spanish lyrics in MIA, Drake continues to push the boundaries of his artistry, refusing to be confined to any genre or style.

The artist does not fall short of philanthropic efforts, either. He has had a profound effect on communities across Canada and beyond through his million-dollar donations to charities, support of local businesses and championing social causes. We can see an example of this in the music video for his single God’s Plan where Drake gives away the video’s production budget of $1 million dollars USD to the underprivileged people of Miami. This video has left an indelible mark in the hearts of people worldwide and has since become the thirty-first most-liked video on YouTube. Drake is committed to making a difference in the world – and that’s something we can all aspire to emulate.


As we celebrate Black History Month and reflect on the contributions of Black Canadians like Drake, I’m reminded of the power of resilience, determination, and authenticity. His humble beginnings to his status as a global icon fuels my own ambitions and dreams as a Black woman.

Drake’s story is a testament to the enduring spirit of Black excellence. As a ‘Certified Lover Girl,’ I believe it’s my duty to carry on his legacy and continue to break barriers, defy the odds, and make my own mark on the world.


Esinam Adjaklo graduated with distinction from Stenberg College’s Business Diploma (Marketing Specialization) in 2024. She is currently interning with Stenberg College’s Marketing Department. She was born and raised in Accra, Ghana where she lived with her parents and 3 other siblings. She has always had a passion for art and creativity and graduated with a degree in Industrial Art with a major in Fashion Design from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Esi plans to continue her studies at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in the fall, make Canada her home, and establish her brand, Adzoa Atelier, as one of Canada’s top fashion houses.

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