Contributed by: Jenifer Nesi

There was a point in my life that I thought I was insignificant and hopeless because of everything I underwent as a kid. The insults, the criticism and shame that I grew up facing made me lose all my self-esteem. I was called a thief at the age of six by an uncle’s wife who accused me of drinking five litters of her corn beer (a drink I don’t even like, and by the way it is implausible that a skinny six year old can drink that much corn beer) which resulted to her sending me away. All the childhood trauma always comes back to haunt me and today like back then music helps uplift my spirits.  Back then I would listen to Chris Brown’s songs and laugh at my awkward attempt to replicate his moves. Today, I mostly listen to inspirational songs both gospel and secular. These songs give me hope and reassurance that I’ll be just fine. When I listened to Hailee Seinfeld’s “love myself’’ this song made me realise that love and acceptance came from within and my happiness depended solely on me.

I was brought up by my uncle and his wife because I lost my dad at age one and my mom who had three of us back then could not take care of me and my sisters. So, she had to give me to her brother who was childless to raise me but then his wife never liked me for reasons I still don’t understand till date. After living with them for two years, they sent me away and I was taken in by my other uncle whose wife became my mother. She also became my greatest source of inspiration because she was always there for me during all my trying moments.  Even when I acted ungrateful and considered her disciplinary attempts as wicked; I knew she treated me just like she did her own children. When I was sixteen, I overheard her telling my husband [my uncle] that she preferred to keep one of her own children at home so I could continue my education. This was a tough decision because the family was facing financial problems and could not afford tuition for all of us and still pay for my elder sister’s hospital bills since she needed an emergency operation. I had to register for the G.C.E Ordinary levels so my mom kept my elder brother at home while I continued my education. That singular sacrifice of hers marvelled me and still does. It has motivated me to work harder in order to succeed and make her proud. This is because I don’t want her sacrifice to be in vain so I keep pushing myself.