Life Lesson by Esinako, a 10 Year Old Shack Dweller

DCAS showcase the talent of undiscovered artists

MSED Director, Eugene Daniels with Vocalist sensation, Esinako
Esinako, the Hillwood Primary school 4th grader, had fun today singing “My Redeemer” at the DCAS MOD Centre Principals’ Conference. We gave her a standing ovation, mesmerized by her vocal range and tone that by far exceed her age.

Lavender Hill dancers with Esinako as their Lead singer
  Later we saw the Lavender Hill dancers, also highly skilled and equally confident,drawing a huge applause from us. Not too long ago these township youngsters would have not had the opportunities to develop their natural talents because they become invisible to many of us.

Lionel Slinger, Hillwood Deputy Principal, Lavender Hill dancers, Esinako, Hillwood vocalist and Eugene Daniels, MSED director

But let me not digress. I wish to indulge you with the conference magnet, Esinako, the ten year old. She has her own special story. During the school week, her life is far more complicated than charming appreciative audiences. When the school day ends, Esinako rushes off to her choir practice organized by DCAS coaches and then speeds off to pick up her three year old sister. She then cares for the toddler until her working parents come home – a shanty in the informal settlement in Overcome Heights, Lavender Hill.  There are many days, says Esinako’s coach, when Esinako’s sister joins the choir, strapped happily on her small, big sister’s back.
Lionel Slinger, Head of Extra-murals at Hillwood and Esinako

We learn two powerful lessons at the DCAS conference.

Lesson 1: DCAS MOD Centre refutes defeatist thinking 

 Lessson 1 is that DCAS is establishing Mass Participation and skills development centres at schools. All the learners at HIllwood Primary and Lavender Hill High are benefitting from these opportunities and access to sport and cultural activities after school. This broad-based programme is a structured, pro-social platform to grow our children who all have potential. 

Lesson 2 : The Young model resilience

Esinako singing "My Redeemer"
Lesson 2 is about the Esinako Possibility. Like Esinako, we are also surrogate parents. We have strapped to our backs, our very own self-centred, broken twin who thrives on our obsessive need to overfeed and indulge it. This is the key difference between ourselves and Esinako. She acknowledges her reality fully and then persistently, relentlessly, weaves around these obstacles to grow herself.

Our challenge

Now, just imagine the unstoppable powerful influence we would have if only 50% of adults applied the DCAS and Esinako real, working examples of possibility.

I am ready to stretch myself, are you?


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