Gospel artistes in Abuja have concluded arrangements to hold a concert with the intention of raising support for children living with disabilities in care centres across the Federal Capital Territory today.
The Christmas Barbeque Concert is the brain child of Abuja-based musician and fine artiste, Toyin Joe-Bassey, who has seen the need to celebrate the yuletide with the special children with the intention of raising support for them.
Joe-Bassey told journalists that the concert, billed for The Havens, Maitama, Abuja is will drum support for the selected group of people with disabilities. Scheduled to hold by 4pm, December 6, the event shall feature other artistes including Da T.r.u.t.h, Jazzsari (Asari Otu-Adeoye), Asuza (Ayobami Timothy) Eketi Aimee Ette and Israel Funsho and Amaray (Amarachi Angela Nwankwo).
According to the organisers, a former Head of Health and General Desk at the Nigerian Television Authority, and President of International Society for Media in Public Health, Chief (Mrs.) Moji Makanjuola (MFR), is a major partner, providing local and international media support for the project like she did for the VVF Centres and IDPs.
Gate fee for the concert is put at N2,500 to allow for large participation; bringing people together in one place to create awareness about and raise relevant support for these disabled persons.
“The main focus of the event is the fund raising to gather support from privileged Nigerians to support the homes,” Joe-Bassey explained.
Stating further, she said that, “I have visited some of these centres where children with disabilities are kept and found out that a lot needs to be put in place to make these facilities more conducive.”
The gospel and fine artiste continued that, “The teachers and care givers at the homes need to be supported. Though the government is sponsoring these centres, such support, in reality of modern day challenges and the actual needs on ground, can be boosted by efforts of the larger society.”
Urging well-meaning Nigerians and faith based organisations to support the concert in order to drum enough support for homes where children with disabilities are constantly ‘dumped,’ Joe-Bassey added that “These homes house disabled children per term.
The disabilities and handicapping conditions include down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, speech disorder, intellectual disability and what have you.
These individuals ranging between age eight and 40, need the love of the society as their disability is not due to any fault of theirs, rather it could have happened to anyone.
According to Joe-Bassey, “Given more humane attention and creating a more livable environment for them has the capacity to improve their conditions greatly and make them more useful to themselves, their families and the society.”
Recently, Joe-Bassey, launched her 10-track album, titled ‘My Tribute,’ at the Ladi Kwali Hall, Abuja, which album has continued to generate impact. “The last event we had on the album was the life recording, which was successful to the glory of God,” she said.
On pushing the album further, she said: “We depend on God, though there are ideas and plans on ground, we still need a lot of time to plan, we also have plans to push it online to be of blessings to more people.”
Talking about the message of the album, she said, “It has a lot of messages but basically, the main message is that, God is not someone who is unapproachable, but a loving father, and if we approach Him, He responds to us in his own way, not in our way.”
On her challenges while packaging the album, the 1990 graduate of Industrial Chemistry, University of Ilorin, explained that, “Usually, the financial aspect of the project is challenging. The post production stage as well was equally tasking, and that is done already. The audio is ready; the video took a longer time because we had to do a re-run of some of the data due to the fact that the video card had some problems along the line.”
Advising up-coming gospel artistes, Joe-Bassey said, “up-coming young artistes should believe God has called them, if they are sure He did. They should ask God for their avenue to reach out, they must find out how He wants them to reach out. They should stop prioritising things in their own ways. This may however give an initial ego boost, but they should instead, ask God what He actually wants them to do,” she counseled. Advising further, she said, “If you are going to venture into things like this, then, you have to ask God for the timing; God has His own time. It depends on what you are looking for, if you are looking for fame, you may probably get it, but for me, I’m looking for God’s approval.”
She however enjoined well meaning Nigerians to stand up for the less privileged in the society especially the children living with disabilities in several homes. “I believe that the support we are going to gather shall go a long way to providing succor for these individuals in need as well as their care givers,” she said, adding that “It is no fault of theirs that they are in the state they presently are, God knows best and I believe He has placed people in strategic positions to be of help and we must not disappoint destiny and the resources in circulation if ell harnessed can also cater for these group of people,” she said.