CHARLESTON, SC, U.S.A.
ENTREPRENEUR, POET, MUSICIAN
6/17/2015, CHARLESTON, SC
Tywanza Sanders, 26, was the youngest of nine parishioners killed at Emanuel AME in 2015.
Tywanza Sanders was shot protecting his mother. As he died he reached to help Susie Jackson.
“You don’t have to do this,” he told the man who pointed a gun at the Bible study participants at Emanuel AME Church. “We are no harm to you.” He was a man close friends described as selfless and devout in his faith.
The essence of Tywanza Sanders’s character was pure love. He was genuine, kind-hearted, ambitious, zealous, inspirational, exuberant, faith-filled and faithful. No one was ever a stranger to Tywanza Sanders. He is remembered for a “majestic and contagious smile few people have.”
Sanders worked various jobs including lifeguard, retail salesman, and barber. In 2009, Sanders enrolled at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina. While studying business administration, he pursued his interests in the arts that included both the creative and performing aspects. He began writing and composing music, and was inspired to begin writing poetry. His poetic style was one that focused on black themes and social consciousness.
In 2014, Sanders received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Allen University. After his graduation, Sanders returned to Charleston. He worked as a licensed barber.
Mr. Sanders is hailed by loved ones for his passion for business. As a child, he started a lemonade stand outside a beauty salon operated by his mother, Felicia Sanders. At a young age, Tywanza’s parents instilled in him the importance of hard work.
“He was not afraid to try things,” said Shirrene Goss, Mr. Sanders’ older sister. “He was very passionate about what he did.”
Through the Tywanza Sanders Legacy Foundation, the idea for Camp Wanza grew out of Tywanza Sanders offering makeshift summer camps at his parents’ house where he’d teach his cousins lessons in math and reading, encouraged outdoor sports activities and taught piano lessons. The goal of Camp Wanza was to draw from Sanders’ legacy by empowering and educating young people and instilling an entrepreneurial spirit in the participants.
At Camp Wanza students honor the young businessman by reflecting on his warm personality and positive business-related topics, learning about their own strengths, and how they can contribute to and improve their community through outstanding business practices.
Mark 4:1-20(ESV)The Parable of the Sower