‘I was born blind’ – Singer Chidinma Ekile Reveals as She Covers Guardian Magazine

Chidinma Ekile, who is on the latest cover of the Guardian Life magazine has revealed that she was born blind, according to her parents.

Chidinma who rose to stardom after winning the third season of Project Fame West Africa in 2010 first revealed she was born blind in a song ‘Martha’ dedicated to her mother.

She has, however, used that experience to help visually-impaired children and young people across Africa through her NMA Foundation, formed from the last three letters of her name.

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“I was born blind. I just couldn’t see for some months. Since I sang about it, I felt the need to help kids that find themselves in such situations or even worse.

So every time I travel to these places, I try to extend a hand of love to these children.

For some years now—I think like two years or thereabout—I’ve been using my foundation to do quite a lot of things. I’ve been able to take it to some places in Africa.

The last time, I think I was in Togo and I was able to do a few things with the SOS village, I hope to do more of that.”

Chidinma also opened up about her family with a lot of passion. She started singing in the church choir and never dreamed that she could be on such a platform as Project Fame.

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So, when she found herself in the competition, she didn’t believe that she would win. But she did and became an instant celebrity. Regardless of that, she remained her true self.

To her, she has “the coolest family” and it felt like nothing had changed in her personal life since her Project Fame adventure.

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”We’re a very intimate family. Everything that happens to anyone is known to everyone. It’s still like that; I still relate with my siblings the same way I’ve always related with them.

Sometimes it can be annoying when they don’t even see me as Chidinma, you know, and I have to remind them like ‘Come you people, is it not the same person you used to know.’

My sister will still be like ‘My friend what’s wrong with you? Go and bring that thing jor.’ Everything is still the same way it’s always been.”

She spoke passionately about her late father who she credited with teaching her a few things that helped her in the industry.

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”No one can intimidate me. Absolutely no one. My father was an extremely strict man and some people would ask me sometimes if he was in the military.

He taught us not to let anyone intimidate us. He was the only one that could intimidate me, only my father. He passed and then no one else.”

Chidinma does not want to wear the feminist tag. Asked why, she said,

“People take feminism too seriously. I don’t understand. I think that they just miss the whole thing. A lot of women have used that in the wrong way.

Women have taken it to another level. They’ve even forgotten the whole meaning. If it’s about women going to school, fighting for the girl child and all those stuff, then that’s okay.”

Because she is averse to being tagged a feminist does not mean she is disposed to women being sexually harassed. Sexual harassment is “a very terrible thing”.

“It’s heartbreaking to hear stuff like that and to hear that it happens in our industry. People have become very desperate and would want to go to any lengths to get what they want and sometimes that is when stuff like this happens, not every time.

I think people should just be patient. Wait for your time. Love what you do and avoid shortcuts. Work hard. Don’t let anybody tell you if you don’t do this it will…. No! It’s a lie. Just be patient. That’s it.”

Photo credit: Guardian Life
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