And I am so grateful to God for the journey of the last 25 x 2 years.
As I look in the mirror, I see myself, 25 years ago, a first time mum to a three month old gorgeous boy with whom I was (and continue to be) besotted. I had just started a new role as an IT consultant with a firm in the UK and my husband was rapidly rising in his career at the time as an computer programmer. Three years later, I packed in my consultancy job to sing nursery rhymes to children, as I could not bear the thought of someone else looking after my son after school.
I bought into an early years music education franchise in the UK and I fell heads over heels in love with the work. Although the hours were long and the pay was a pittance, I drew strength from the joyful expressions on the faces of (most) of the mums and children whenever they came through the doors for their weekly singalong. I loved watching the children grow out of their car seats and start toddling around the room, paying no attention (it seemed) to my crashing cymbals and unending chorus of “Everybody do this”. I said to myself, I would do this for five years, until my little boy was attending school full time and then I would go back into the corporate world.
Fast forward to today, and I am still creating music learning experiences for children. I never did make it back into corporate life but I did spend some time in education, working in various schools in the UK, supporting children with special education needs and also as an administrator to busy special needs departments in schools.
I still love the way the process of learning music affects children’s lives in the most profound ways. I now have a team of passionate educators and administrators working with me to impact children’s lives through music and every single one of them are joyful witnesses to the power of music to change the narrative of children’s lives.
In 25 years time, on the third anniversary of my 25th birthday, when I look in the mirror again, I would love to gaze upon a sea of innumerable children whose lives and life outcomes have been transformed through music.
Too many children in my beloved home country and continent, have little or no experience of touching a musical instrument until their late teens. I know this because some of those children are on my team today, using the skills they first acquired in their late teens or as young adults.
Access to structured music making experiences are out of the reach of the majority of the Nigerian population, despite the huge impact that our music is having on the world.
So I wish to change that narrative for one child. I don’t know his or her name, I don’t know what they look like, but I do know that if they are able to connect with quality music learning experiences, it will change their life story forever.
I have no need for more clothes, shoes or bags. There are not enough days in the year to wear them all in any case. What I do need is your hand behind my back, propelling me forward towards touching one child’s life at a time, and helping that child to grow in confidence, character, cognition, creativity and courage.
My team and I will be grateful for every kobo, cent, pence, shillings, rupees or any currency that you can spare. Please email “Making A Difference” – firstname.lastname@example.org to find out ways in which you can support this cause.
And thank you, for wishing me a happy 25th birthday – reloaded. :)x