Tag Archives: Role Model

Self-improvement lesson 4. Don’t underestimate yourself

All my life, perhaps as a result of having been bullied through most of school, I’ve had very low thoughts about myself. I thought everything about me was stupid, from my name to the way I looked and I would have given anything to be someone cool and popular with an exciting life

 

I remember the first time I was confronted with being someone’s role model and it felt very strange. I was complaining to a friend on MSN Messenger in emo teenager style about how much things just sucked, to which she replied saying “How can your life suck? You’re so damn perfect!” And then she went on to list all the so called perfect things about me. I was shocked to say the least that anybody could think this about “stupid me”.

 

That incident didn’t turn my self-image around. I continued to not like myself well into my twenties, which probably affected all my life choices. Let me tell you, I wasted time on some terrible relationships, both romantic and platonic. And filled my time with stuff to do so I didn’t have to just be, think and reflect.

 

I didn’t have a eureka moment when I suddenly saw my own worth. It came slowly, as I received affirmation from people that really, I was doing alright and I seemed to know where I was going in life. I wasn’t fishing for those compliments, but these things come up in conversation when you spend time with people. I probably relied too much on other people to find my own self-worth, but at least I found it. And I’m glad it didn’t take even longer.

 

I now know that I’m somebody who can be a role model to people and somebody who is a role model. And those people, who are giving me the greatest affirmation on this today, are internet trolls. Because for someone to sit down and write hateful messages to me, they have to actually spend time following what I’m doing. What they’re projecting on to me is jealousy and envy because I dare to do something they haven’t done and I do it with confidence. Someone who may just dislike me or my music won’t take the time to put their heart and soul into hateful messages that are meant to hurt. They probably won’t message me at all. And it’s fine to dislike or disagree with someone. There are artists I am not keen on, but I respect them for what they do and don’t feel the need to hate online.

 

Without you knowing, there is probably someone out there who has you as their role model, or looks up to you because of something you’ve done. And unless you live under a rock, I can almost guarantee you that this is true. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a million people in a foreign country or someone at school, work or in your family. You are being looked up to because somebody thinks you’re awesome.

I admire: Femi Anikulapo Kuti

I know. It looks so easy. Recording in the studio, appearing in the media, performing on shows, getting nominated and winning awards and have lots of fans telling yu every day how much they adore you.

Yes. There is this side to being an artist. And nothing feels more fulfilling and rewarding than, when you do these things and they go well.

But to get there, you need to work hard and take chances. Many artists before me have experienced working with dodgy labels, being rejected over and over and puzzle over how on earth to get together money for a good promo for their new single. Many artists after me will experience the same things. I am going through these things.

Though you know you’re not the only one going through these things, you can often feel really alone and isolated when you do. And it’s easy to lose faith in yourself and start a negative cycle of thoughts.

When I feel particularly down related to my career, I cheer myself up by reading, or listening to success stories of artists who are doing well now.
And who I see as my role models. One such artist is Femi Kuti. He is the son of the legendary Fela Kuti. And in my opinion, a legend himself.

I Recently came across a very lovely interview with him on youtube. Don’t let the title fool you. This is deep, personal and to me it was super inspiring.

I may not agree with every single of his viewpoints, but I share many of them and it would be a dream come true to one day work with him.

Not many, if any women is doing this type of pure afrobeat. With my soon-to-be released single, I’m going to be doing a pop version of it. But how cool wouldn’t it be to perform at at the Fela Shrine with Femi and his band?