Have you ever had of the saying “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go”… I risked going too far with my Ewi performance (Yoruba poetry rendition) for Ade’s wedding and I found out how far I can go……..Here is my story……
Ade invited me to perform at her wedding 13 days before the wedding day. As you know, presenting before an audience requires a lot of homework. Ewi is not any different. As a matter of fact, it requires more work and is more complicated because it involves research work (like any presentation) and in addition, articulating the poem to have a traditional melodious tune to it and memorization of the poem.
Then the act itself needs to be perfected so as to deliver the performance eloquently and flawlessly. As a result of all these factors, I called Ade that I would not be able to do it considering the limited time factor. I did not think I will be able to it in the few days I was given.
In the course of that week, a voice kept whispering into my mind, telling me “Tolu, come off it…you can do it. Even if you were given 2 days, you can and you know you can” I battled with this voice…….honestly battled. I discussed with my hubby and he was of the same opinion that the time was too short to put something beautiful together. On a good day, I would listen to him (which I almost always do) but this voice inside my head and my mind just refused to bulge. It was persistent. Ade’s cousin called me to talk to me about it. I still refused. Even though my refusal didn’t sound convincing, even to myself 🙂 ….the voice kept whispering “You can do it if you put your mind and energy to it”. So about 1 week before the wedding I called Ade to let her know I was going to do it. 5 days to the wedding (late Sunday evening), Ade forwarded the “Oriki Idile” (family praises for both the groom and bridegroom family) to me.
That same night, I wrote the poem and went to bed. The next day, I began memorization and rehearsing and the rest is history…..I delivered the rendition with an ovation and applause…. What is my point of telling you this story….few things I learned in the pursuit of my dreams especially this particular story
- My life is in my hands…at the wedding, after my performance (to God be the glory), I was applauded and I got invitations to perform at other events. If I had missed the opportunity, I would have missed the invitations;
- If you do not challenge yourself, you will not know what you are capable of doing or your ability or the heights you can attain;
- We underestimate the power of our dreams…..Dreams give you hope, strength, creativity, resilience. If you have a dream that you believe in and are pursing, it gives you the courage to take prudent risk and it is only people who take risk that go higher to the next level in life.
Watch the performance. I hope you are not only entertained by the performance but also inspired by my journey to getting there.
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