“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” - Kahlil Gibran
Musicians and most artists have the unique opportunity to give of themselves! Whether big or small, charity is charity, a value deeply embedded in human nature and in most beliefs!
With that said, I will tell you about a couple of charities with which I was involved earlier in my life. My hope is to inspire new independent artists to get involved in this noble undertaking! I strongly believe that if you are open to being charitable, a charity will find you! As was the case in my experience.
The Kindness Quest
During an evening medical seminar hosted by our company in a Hilton ballroom, Dr. Angelo D’Agostino, M.D., approached me and proposed that I get involved in a fundraising campaign for his Nyumbani hospice for HIV+ abandoned children. He initiated the campaign in 1995, and now the home provides the children with nutritional, medical, and psychological care.
Without any shadow of a doubt, I complied with his proposal. He suggested that I create a cassette entitled “Tribute To Elvis”, featuring the 12 songs that I had been singing on our Kenyan television networks and local radio stations.
Because this was my first musical work for the purpose of raising much needed funds, I went into my campaign with all the energy it deserved, despite my very busy work schedule. It took a few evening rehearsals with the band until all the songs sounded good, and I must say that the band showed a lot of dedication to create a perfect cassette .
The backbone for the success of the campaign was the administrative team of Nyumbani who left no stone unturned to reach out with a promo letter to the embassies and to the general public from different walks of life, which was a huge target group.
We had collected funds far exceeding our target!!
Fuel a Cause
In the following year 1998, I became involved with another charity due to the widely publicized success of the Elvis cassette.
The Education Kenya International Fund (EnKI) was a joint effort among a team of local artists. By following the pattern of the first campaign, EnKI turned out to be another success, resulting in 2.5 million KSh!