It’s been well over 20 years now since I first set foot on America soil. Here I was, a refugee from Nigeria, being told at every corner that this is the country to be all that I can be. I believed it! I knew the hardships and uncertainties I was leaving behind in my home country Nigeria, and I was dreaming big of the wonderful opportunities that lay before me in America.
Although I eventually became a Physical Therapist and was on course to live out my American dream, my journey took a fortunate detour as I realized I could make a great living doing what I truly loved which was being a musician. My passion for music eventually led me to my most memorable show. Even more memorable than my stint on the TV show The Voice, was the time I had the honor of performing for the troops in Guantanamo Bay Cuba in 2011. That by far was my most meaningful gig.
Although I don’t agree with a lot of the politics behind war and exploitation, my time in Cuba afforded me the opportunity to separate the brave from the masses. It afforded me the clarity to separate true service from lip service. You see most politicians play lip service for personal/party gain, while every soldier puts his or her life on the line regardless of party lines. These brave men and women in uniform sacrifice their lives in service for a country that sometimes devalues them. It’s the blessing and the curse of a soldier. Being a military brat myself, I can’t help but have the uttermost respect for anyone that stands in the gap, despite impending harm, for another.
So putting a smile on the faces of these soldiers in GITMO in 2011, absolutely blessed my soul. Nothing can replace the sacrifice of a soldier, but making them dance, sing along and smile is my way of showing my gratitude. I wish every soldier a happy Memorials Day. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten by this refugee turned citizen.
Keep making good music the soundtrack to your life.
Why am I writing this blog?
Even though I have committed to writing a blog every Monday, I had to stop myself today to ask the question why? What could I possibly write about that no one doesn’t know of already? What new insights do I have to profound or superficial topics? Who cares? If a musicians blog fell in the forest and no one was there to hear it or read it, does it make an impact?
FYI, if you are waiting for the answer to my questions, don’t hold your breath. The one thing that I do know is that anything of value in my life has only come about through action. Yes action is the operative word here. If I had waited for the perfect circumstances in Newport News Virginia to play my first ever bar gig to an empty room for two hours, I would never have continued to where I am today. If I had waited for the perfect time to audition for the voice, I would never have been on the show. If I had waited to understand the science of giving a public speech, I would never have presented my first TEDx talk. If I had waited for the perfect conditions not to fail, I would never have succeeded.
So today with this blog, I don’t know what to say and I have no new insights to the workings of the mind, or the world. What I do know is that I cannot afford not to try. I give a big shout out to all my fellow failures out there. A big shout out to all my fellow action people. A big shout out to all my take a step of faith people. It’s OK if you make one out of 10 shots. It’s much better than missing 100% of the shots you don’t take.
The moral of this blog is don’t wait for the perfect conditions not to fail. “Just do it” like my boy Nike would say 🙂
Here’s a free song listen as a thank you to anyone that took the time to read this till the end.