- A perfect way to address the global inequalities and the societal imbalance, according to Maguire, would be tapping individual potential and removing the thorns on the path of talent search.
- Song Garden works closely with collaborating artists to help them maximize their talents with great lyrics to produce great songs.
- Song Garden has set out for a one-of-a-kind singing competition in Kenya, where participants, such as Maggy, are expected to express their talent and skill.
When Candy Maggy, a Grade 2 pupil at St. Mary Goretti Comprehensive School in Homa Bay County, asked her mother for a smartphone to play with, it was an ordinary request from a child to a parent.
According to her mother, Maggy was becoming too playful and interested in playing games, as most children would do.
This habit continued for months until one evening when her mother stumbled on a selfie video recording of her daughter singing while dancing.
The six-year-old girl had uniquely expressed her talent in a manner that left her mother in both wonder and surprise.
“My daughter disapproved me. I didn’t expect such a powerful song and dance video clip from her. I learned she has so much potential, laced with both talent and skill,” says Dona in an interview with Scholar Media Africa.
The mother says it is important for parents to identify talents and skills in their children early enough in order to enable them to fulfill their desires and lifelong dreams.
She adds that mobile phones should not be limited to call and message applications but instead open to all other relevant icons that would build both the manipulative skills and the intelligent quotient of children.
According to the mother, Maggy’s personality and creativity is a product of exposure, exploration and desire to learn.
But Maggy is not alone.
Many children continue to operate in a vacuum, unaware of their talents and skills as neither their parents nor established authorities is ready to help them exploit.
The story of Maggy is the story of Eamonn Maguire, Founder of Song Garden, who spent years searching for purpose in life after realizing he could lyricize sounds.
“In 2014, after years of humming music in my mind, I realized that I could lyricize sounds. Not realizing that they were song lyrics to be freed, I dabbled in poetry, but there was no harmony in the sounds,” he says.
From 2014 to 2023, Maguire has been in the long search for talent and skill actualization.
It wasn’t until January 2023 that he discovered the Japanese concept of IKIGAI, which translates as your life purpose, and decided to apply its principles.
“It was here where I decided that people could be helped to find meaning and purpose in life without having to endure the frustrating journey I had to travel.
So, Song Garden was born and works closely with collaborating artists to help them maximize their talents with great lyrics to produce great songs.
It helps artists write their story,” he opens up.
Song Garden, a non-profit community initiative focused on cultivating musical talent to create songs that raise funds for charities, has trained its eyes on building artists who are passionate about lyrics.
Maguire says positive thinking lies with the youths, who, in their expression of talent, are the owners of creativity, innovation, and inclusivity.
“In a society where unemployment, drug and substance abuse, and high cost of living continue to define many families, the window of exit must incorporate both skill and talent,” he says.
Song Garden has set out for a one-of-a-kind singing competition in Kenya, where participants, such as Maggy, are expected to express their talent and skill.
The Competition intends to identify singing talent and discover the silent skills among participants.
“Whether you are a seasoned musician, a budding songwriter, or someone who believes in the power of music and song, Song Garden offers you a space to grow, shine, and make a real difference,” he adds.
Juster Kagendi, Song Garden Director, East Africa, says the mission of the initiative is to use music as a tool for social awareness, charitable support and community engagement.
According to her, the Singing Competition, dubbed “Embracing the Rich African Culture With a Theme That Reflects our Community’s Spirit and Values,” offers all participants the rare moment to prosperity by letting their voices soar not only regionally but globally.
“The entry to the Song Competitions is open to anyone regardless of age, nationality or religion. For entrants under the age of 18 years old, the signature of either the parent or the guardian is required.
The entrants are free to participate in as many categories as they like,” says Ms Kagendi.
Song Garden, she asserts, intends to encourage innovation and creativity in societies, hence taming boredom and idleness, which could readily lead many people to engage in criminal activities.
Maguire stated that entry is restricted to the performance of songs in the Seasons of My Heart, with each competition opened for entries until a designated closing date, after which no further entries will be permitted.
He revealed the winners at the competitions will win big, including cash awards and international recognition, which would build their social capital, talent input and financial commitment.
The Song Garden initiative, he adds, will award cash prizes to the most outstanding performers.
He says it is not just about the competition but about recognizing and rewarding the local stars.
Maguire, also the founder of Thinking Wealth, announced that the proceeds from the musical extravaganza will go into supporting local charities and community projects.
By attending and participating in the Song Garden Competition, he states, “you are not just enjoying an amazing event, you are also making a positive impact.”
How to participate
“Select your favorite song from Seasons of My Heart album. Record a captivating video of yourself singing the chosen song.
Send your video entry to Songs@SongGarden.net, and provide the web address link to your video entry.
Ensure your video is set to ‘public’ or ‘unlisted’ in order to be eligible for entry. Let the world hear the melody of your heart,” he says.
He added that while submitting the entry, the email subject must be “Seasons of My Heart Entry” with the name coming at the end.
The launch of Song Garden in Kenya, according to him, is a sure path towards the celebration of local talent and selfless contribution to meaningful causes within communities.
With this entry, it is highly expected that exploitation of talent and skill will take precedence over perfection which has always been the greatest undoing of many societies and systems.
The Best Overall Performance Winner, according to the Founder, will receive KSh.25,000, with the song and video recorded in a professional studio.
The Best Male (Vocal) and Best Female (Vocal) will receive KSh.15,000 each.
He announced the categories for the Cash Awards as Best Young Vocal (Under 18), Best Music Video, Best Country Song, Best Pop Song, Best Music Production, Best Solo Performance, and Best Band Performance, with each category winner pocketing KSh.15,000.
“The entrant permits Song Garden to use winner’s song, name, likeness and bio for future advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation,” he explained.
A perfect way to address the global inequalities and the societal imbalance, according to Maguire, would be tapping individual potential and removing the thorns on the path of talent search.
Living CBC spirit
Having lived and married in Kenya before traveling to his home country, Ireland, Maguire believes true talent freedom, as Maggy and other children sought, lies in realizing everyone’s potential.
The Song Garden Competition comes only days after the Government of Kenya merged talent-based subjects: Art, Craft, Music, and Physical Education as Creative Arts, paving the way for a structured approach towards creativity, innovation, and performance.
As Competency Based Curriculum takes shape in Kenya, it remains to be seen if more community-based interactions and activities in the design of Song Garden would rise to the stage to uplift children who are rich in talent and skill.
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It is imperative for all music enthusiasts to grab this opportunity offered by the initiative to enhance their involvement in building their own talent, attitude, and skill, not only for today but for a lifelong endeavor.