Parents, mentors harp on ways to help young creatives
Some young creatives find it difficult to be focused in life, especially when they start becoming popular and possibly, when they start making money. They, most times, lose the control of their parents, who do not only see them as geese that lay the golden egg, but as role models that must not be touched or reprimanded, even when they behave abnormally. Some of these young creatives call the shots around them, not minding that they are not knowledgeable enough to do so, as they are supposed to be under the tutelage of mentors or their parents.
Though the society commends them for their feat at such tender ages, these kids do not always last long on the scene, as they fizzle out, because of their inability to manage success. They soon lose their worth because their stagecraft lacks some core values of life — integrity, respect and responsibility.
According to Tosyn Phebean Oluwadare, Founder and Creative Director, Arts XII, who, from her tender age, has been playing saxophone, but recently combined mentoring talented children and young people in the arts to her avocation disclosed that these young creatives are, often times, discouraged to continue in the arts, “because they fall into the hands of wolves in sheep clothing, who do not only exploit them, but fail to teach them the basis of what they are meant to learn.”
According to her, experiences from such exploitation are enough to affect the gift of any creative person, adding that parental guidance is key, when it comes to grooming of young ones in the arts.
She revealed that these young talents also have their own time of low spirits, and as such, needs people to be by their sides, to tell them what to do and what not , adding that the society expects them to know everything whereas they are looking forward to seeing people teach or guide them to be better people.
According to her, some of them do shed secret tears and have pains they cannot share with anyone, which is one of the reasons we have young people in the creative industry act the way they do against the norm; if you may say.
For Founder and CEO, De-Blisskids Entertainment, Magdalene Elembe, parents should first be teachers of their children before handing them to anybody to mentor.
According to the De-Blisskids Entertainment boss, parents should show interest in what their children are doing even if they know little or nothing about it, adding such motivations leave a lasting impression on the child and go a long way to refraining him/her from deviating from his or her vision.
She stated that as a mother and mentor, she took the responsibility to instill morals in her children at a very early age. She always had quality time with them to the extent of understanding their likes and dislikes, strength and weakness and to know how best to be of help to them.
“I play the role of a mentor by helping to groom, nurture, ignite and project any of my gifted children to the world. I give every assistance and encouragement needed to enable any of them fly high and excel with his/her gifting,” she said.
She noted that some of the young creatives behave contrary to the expected norm and sometimes exhibit maladjusted behaviours because their parents believe they are mature enough to take decisions on their own; they forget that a very wide gap exists between talent and the courage to stand on ones conviction even when those you trust want you to do otherwise.
Elembe noted that aside moral teachings and advice, parents should also pay attention to the needs and feelings of their children irrespective of his/her fame and wealth.
“I spend quality time with my daughter chatting. I make her my best friend, which makes her very free to discuss any issue with me. My daughter doesn’t hide anything from me, and it has really helped in keeping her away from bad influence,” she said.
On when could a young creative be allowed to take and make his/her personal decisions, the actress, who has been mentoring young people, honing their acting skill to position them to earn a living in the entertainment industry, noted that at 18 years parents should allow their children to take some decisions about their lives, adding that at this age, they are adults and must have acquired enough knowledge to manage their affairs.
She observed that at this age these young talents are little bit difficult to monitor and control, especially as they have started making friends, emulating their role models and might have chosen the path to toe in life. She stated that this does not mean parents have to let them go unguided, for one has to continually advice on their choice of friends because any wrong step taken at this stage could ruin their lives.
She noted: “This is where the parents of many celebrities are getting it wrong. They are so distant from their children, which is surfacing in the various not so palatable news we hear and read about young celebs. If we do the right thing at the right time in their lives, the rots of today would not exist.”
Founder and director of Centre for Research, Information and Media Development (CRIMMD), Dr. Raphael James whose three children are young creatives disclosed that he tries not to make the fame of his children, especially his first daughter, who authored a book at the age of six, change their lifestyles.
According to him, he encourages the children to be the best in any field they find themselves, while not forgetting to make them to be humble, explaining that they are only better than their peers because he (their father) stands by them.
Identifying the impact of peer pressure, the researcher and curator, revealed that one cannot take away monitoring, advising that the first rule is for parents to lead a good life in private and public that the children could emulate. He revealed that he tells his children to follow his footsteps and be better than he is.
According to him, “I hardly flog them, rather I most times engage in heart-to-heart talk with them. I tell them of how I dreamed of being greater than my father when I was small and how I had to work hard to achieve that. Through this, I urge them also, to dream of being greater than me and also, to work hard and smart.”
Harping on openness and giving the children room to express themselves, James noted that as the children begin to make new friends, they should be allowed to bring such friends homes and that parents should be among the circle of friends of their children.
He noted that through this means, “one could understand their thought line, know their friends and also be able to weed out those they do not want to associate with their children.”
Knowing that with much time to play around children could be deceived to doing what is not supposed to be, the curator revealed that he makes his children to read and give him feed back on what they have read, saying, ‘through this means they learn more and have no time visiting friends and engaging in any unproductive venture.”
On which gender is easier to manage as a young creative, Olayiwola Awakan, Founder and CEO of Artsbeat Concept, disclosed that it is a bit easy managing a girl child’s talent before she becomes a teenager, adding that at this stage she could easily be controlled, but once she outgrows this stage she becomes difficult, especially when she begins to be attracted to the opposite sex. According to him, most of people who admire young female talents do not do it for the love of who they are, but for what to get out of them.
The dancer and playwright noted that female mentee are difficult, because they always assume they are aware of what they want in life and would want to follow their minds.
He noted that what he does on such occasion is to let them see the bigger vision ahead and dissuade them from all forms of distractions.
Understanding this state of mind, Awakan engages his female mentee in activities that will make them focus on their goals.
He said: “I do keep them busy with two things — their visions and education. These are the two drivers of national and personal economies. I try to make them balance both, as there is no need exerting coercion, rather make them see why they must not fail in life or allow fame to get into their heads.
“It is important to get them closer to God. Make them move with like minds; people who are driven by the same passion, this will go a long to making a difference their lives. I know I cannot always follow them about like their shadows, which is the reason I harp on cutting off bad friends because they are killers of goals and destroyers of visions. And above all I let them know that money and fame are not everything, they will fizzle out if value is lost,” he said.
Awakan noted that another way to remain focused is to have a manager, who will see to the daily affairs of the young creative, saying even adults have managers. According to him, this would make them to be on purpose and not fall into wrong hands.
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