My name is Stephen Umezurike and this is the story of how I went passed my fears, believing that I can be better. Today when i see how well I’ve grown as a singer and how good and different I sound, I believe that indeed growth is an achievable feat.
I had a rocky start as a singer, there were days where I felt like I didn’t have any talent and couldn’t sing. I was a great child singer and I remember getting a lot of candy and stick sweets singing Benita’s “Osemudiame”.
However as I grew older, it just seemed as though I didn’t know anything at all. I joined the choir and struggled with choristers who didn’t know how to hold a part and kept colliding with yours and making rehearsal unbearable; singers will understand me.
Anyway, I was a fast learner and grabbed parts very quickly unlike other people but I had a problem; my confidence!!
I remember being asked to shut up and keep quiet one rehearsal day and worst of all, my Pastor shouted when he heard an off key I sang backing up one Sunday.
That experience killed me and I remember it made me become a master at giving excuses almost anytime I was asked to sing a song, lead a solo or even backup.
I would go late for rehearsals, lie that I had a running stomach or that I was stooling.
But somehow, I never stopped getting solos or opportunities to lead a choir piece or even back up, it was as though they were seeing a potential in me that I wasn’t.
What exactly was my problem? Confidence? fear? what people will say? I was often afraid, I didn’t want to flop or murder the song, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.
Unknowing to me that I was doing myself a great disservice. I was emptying my confidence tank, I was losing my essence and I was dependent on people’s praises.
Now, I’ve learnt to be willing to make mistakes, to be confident and yet be humble no matter what, to sing that off key because I can learn to be on key, that growth is possible and progressive and that just as people see your potentials, the first and most important person who needs to see it is you.
I’ve learnt today to appreciate everyone’s uniqueness, everyone’s capabilities but more especially I’ve learnt to appreciate my uniqueness and my capabilities; my gift is what distinguishes me from the next person and I don’t need anyone’s affirmation to know that I am valuable.
So please, don’t be held back by anything, keep growing, keep learning and don’t stop believing in what God has deposited in You.
I just pray my choir master and pastor don’t read this post, they’ll finish me for all those lies I told. I AM SORRY.
Have a blessed week.