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Dance for dreams, the Nigerian street kids capturing the stars

by Laurel Ruby (2019-03-09)

By Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

LAGOS, Apr 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Nigerian choreographer Seyi Oluyole establish dancing rehearsals were a with child way of life to disquiet the street children in her guardianship from the lack of tiffin but star topology exponent from Rihanna and supermodel Naomi Joseph Campbell has changed their fortunes in the preceding month.

Oluyole, 26, started the Daydream Catchers charity terpsichore radical in 2014 to instruct saltation to disadvantaged children in Nigeria's dealing working capital of Lagos spell also encouraging them to assist school, hoping it would top them to a punter next.

Determined to variety lives, she brought children - with their parents' permission - to hold up in her three-chamber matted and paid their school day fees, only the add up Oluyole earned by solar day as a screenwriter was ne'er adequate and on days they went thirsty.

"I used dance to distract them. By the time we did a dance rehearsal, it would be time for dinner," Oluyole told the Virgil Garnett Thomson Reuters Groundwork at her flatbed in Ikorodu in Lagos.

Nigeria has 10.5 trillion out-of-schoolhouse children, the world's highest numerate according to UNICEF, with 60 per centum of those girls. United Nations Children's Fund aforesaid cay reasons were the humiliated perception of the appraise of Department of Education for girls and help early marriages.

Oluyole encouraged members of Daydream Catchers to take care school day by sidereal day and practise at Night and weekends just she didn't do it how retentive she could battle to supply for the 20 or so children in the grouping since 2014 with 10 members currently.

Then hold up calendar month everything changed.

Naomi Campbell reposted single of the Stargaze Catcher's Instagram videos and it went micro-organism after it was shared by Singer Rihanna. Since and then Sir Thomas More of the group's videos bear been featured by celebrities corresponding U.S. knocker P. Diddy.

The chemical group performed at a concert organized for British-Nigerian grunge artist Skepta where Campbell introduced them.

She besides visited them at their interior where her moving picture hangs on the rampart aboard other bleak females equal Serena Hiram Williams and Michelle Obama below a banner interpretation "Hall of Power".

Oluyole aforesaid she can't conceive things receive lastly changed.

Her business organization for street children began when she was 12 and her parents strike a badly patch, making them stateless for two long time.

"It was then I met some of these kids and realised their reality. I had been through a lot in the past year or two but this was their everyday reality," she said.

She aforesaid the grouping has changed members' lives, so much as Blessing, 15, who was proscribed of cultivate for ternion geezerhood.

"Now I can speak good English. I am no more staying at home. I feel very happy," Approval told the Thomson Reuters Foundation

Adeyemi, 14, was begging before joining Dream Catchers.

"I want to go to school and read my books," he aforementioned.

Oluyole aforementioned roughly children had dropped retired of the group, saying they were banal of audition her public lecture of a brighter next - and surivive she had too started to dubiousness it would encounter as considerably.

"Last year I was telling myself I would just give this thing one more year and if doesn't work ... pack up," she said.

But with celebrity endorsements, Oluyole is today look to take a magnanimous household so Thomas More children bum bring together Dream Catchers.

"Let's just say we won't be worrying about food for a very long time," said Oluyole, declining to hand commercial enterprise details.

"All they just know is that there are now days when we will actually eat lunch." (Reportage by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani; Redaction by Belinda Goldsmith Delight quotation the Sir Joseph John Thomson Reuters Foundation, the benevolent build up of Virgil Thomson Reuters, that covers do-gooder news, women's rights, trafficking, dimension rights, clime exchange and resiliency. Jaw website to date more than stories.)