Meet our Montrealer of the Month: Christian Sambou

·2 min read
Christian Sambou is a security guard at the McGill University Health Centre’s Glen Site COVID-19 screening clinic. (Submitted by Christian Sambou - image credit)
Christian Sambou is a security guard at the McGill University Health Centre’s Glen Site COVID-19 screening clinic. (Submitted by Christian Sambou - image credit)

Christian Sambou has been described as a much-needed, welcoming presence, especially during such a difficult time. He works as a security guard at the McGill University Health Centre's Glen site COVID-19 screening clinic.

"There's a lot of tension in public life right now," Annette MacIntyre told Sambou on CBC Montreal's Let's Go. "You're just very warm, and welcoming, and feel like a friend, you know? And so, it's very special!"

MacIntyre decided to nominate Sambou after visiting the clinic to get her five kids tested. Her husband, James Bray, said Sambou was a warm welcome for him and his family.

"You could see the smile in his eyes from behind the mask. And it was just such a welcoming feeling at such a stressful time," said Bray.

Lucy Wardell, the nurse manager of the testing site, says the clinic can often be stressful for visitors. And through all that, Sambou has been a source of positivity.

"He's just done a phenomenal job," said Wardell. "Christian with his big warm smile just makes them feel welcome, he makes them feel like everything's going to be OK!"

But it's not just visitors who've noticed the impression Sambou makes on those around him. His supervisor, Marc Akel, says he's always warm and friendly.

"Basically every time he enters the office, signs the paper at the beginning of every shift, you feel like a positive energy instantly," said Akel.

Sambou is originally from Senegal. He's been living in Montreal for six years, after moving to the city from Ottawa. Being positive is just him showing how happy he is to be here.

"I'm a free man in a free country. And I'm just expressing my freedom to be humble, helpful," said Sambou. "I like the job."

During the pandemic, he saw a need he could fill as a security guard. Sambou said rather than doing nothing at home, he decided to jump in and do something useful.

"I'm a man of action, you know? I move a lot, I love moving, I love talking, I love encouraging people," he said.

"I always tell them, let's go, we can achieve the results, we're not so far from the end of the tunnel! And people are happy to hear that."

Do you know someone who has made a positive impact on you, your loved ones or friends? Submit your nomination here.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

<cite>(CBC)</cite>
(CBC)