I want to tell you a true story.
Three years ago, I came back home to stay with my nuclear family full time, after been away for the better part of the last five years.
I felt out of my skin when I arrived back, because I wasn’t really into the area anymore. Most of my childhood friends there weren’t around anymore, the ones remaining had either outgrown my company or grown out of the attitude I remembered them with.
I wanted solace, but didn’t know where exactly to begin my search.
As luck would have it, in my parent’s church, the registration for confirmation classes into the Anglican communion was ongoing, so I opted to go register, and have mine done, after putting it on hold for many years.
Don’t worry, the confirmation class is not the point, but what it gave me opportunity to witness.
A day during the last week of the confirmation class sessions, we closed later than usual because we needed to perfect a piece of the many literatures we had to master for presentation to the Bishop the coming Sunday.
On my way out of the church my ears heard something that struck my fancy. It was a group of people singing, but not with words, instead with tonic solfas, doh-reh-mih.
My fancy has never been so struck, ever.
Suffice it enough for me to say I was star struck at music for the first time in my life.
I found myself asking questions like, what the choir was about, and how to join, and as fate would have it, one of my mates in the confirmation class, was a chorister, and she had a sister, who was an exceptionally good chorister, she was the star of our church.
Both of them made my interest in joining become a reality in no time, with much words of encouragements and the needed emotional support.
I remember clearly, the first day I attended the rehearsal. It could be likened to a student’s first day at school. With everyone looking to see if the new guy will sing well or not.
Luckily, I had a natural bass voice, and placement to a musical part wasn’t an issue, but I lacked the confidence needed to open my mouth, and voice out tunes straight from my soul.
The lack of confidence continued for about a year in that choir.
Majority of the time when I came for rehearsals, I would be the only bass singer available, and because I didn’t open my mouth well enough to sing audibly, the choir master saw teaching me when alone as a waste of time and would continuously skip my sit, as he went about teaching the choristers of the other parts, but I still didn’t relent.
I kept coming for rehearsals, I knew something was wrong somewhere, because at home, I’d learn the song myself, using my own copy, and the recording from the previous rehearsal, and I’d sing it perfectly, but would not be able to do same when I come for general rehearsals.
I loved the choir, I loved the art of using doh-reh-mi to sing beautifully composed lyrics, but couldn’t understand why my confidence kept failing me.
I put it into prayer.
A little while later, I got admitted to the university, and couldn’t join any choir because of the distance from my place of accommodation to the student’s Anglican church. The village church I attended, didn’t even boast of a weak choir, all they had were kids, who just attended second service to wear the coloured robes for beautification purpose.
Two years later, I’m back home on holiday, to my parents, who have moved to another area, much quiet than our former.
After much attempts to attend the service of the Anglican church close to our home, I finally did after two months at home. I decided to identify with the choir after three weeks of attending the church.
On the first evening I attended the rehearsal, something happened that was unexpected. The music director noticed me. Me! I was short of words. He asked me to take a solo, because according to him, my voice was loud, bold and uncompromising. That’s when it dawned on me.
I finally had the confidence I prayed for two years ago, and didn’t even realise it.
My prayers were answered, and for two years, I didn’t bother to check for a reply from the one I prayed to.
The next month I spent at home with the choir saw me as a rising star, the next big thing. My confidence grew with each rehearsal; we were having rehearsals between 3-4 days a week.
I began to mentor and encourage members of this new church, who hadn’t found their voice. I became a voice of reason to those who couldn’t stand alone will singing.
And it happened that on the last week I had to return to school, a voice spoke to me to go build a choir at the village church near where I live at school.
And because it is what that’s been programmed by God, I raised the idea on the whatsapp page of the youths of the church and majority were eager to bring positive change to a lukewarm arena.
I intend convincing more to join this crusade when I arrive, because as I type this, I’m on my way back to school.
Be diligent in whatever you do and never give up. God who sees the heart of every man will crown your sincere efforts to be better, with success.
(NB: This was typed November 2015)
To be continued…