Ayi Jihu inspiring to achieve at Raymond Cree Middle school in Palm Springs
Watching hundreds of kids enthralled, listening to the experience of a young Chinese girl who fought against all the odds to become a star was truly something to behold. Having seen and reported on Ayi Jihu’s Canadian experience with kids in schools I like many others wondered just how the American youngsters would handle her. What we all discovered is that wherever she goes and whoever she speaks to the reaction is more or less the same: People are inspired.
Ayi Jihu is an honest, accessible star, No Bodyguards or limo’s, no fanfare, no passing out of CD’s or merchandise, no pluggin of a forthcoming single or album. Ayi just turns up and talks to the kids from the heart, she ask them for nothing but a moment of their time to hear her story and to be motivated by it. She wants them to know that if she can, they can.
I have seen this kind of response before, but it is usually reserved for superstars like Michael Jackson, Not many stars reach their fans on an emotional level also. To see kids respond to an artist who before today they had not even heard of in this way is quite extraordinary. Whether it’s the lines of boys standing in turn just to get hug or to ask her to sign their arms, hands or school books, or the throngs of girls getting up from their seats to dance to her songs and circle around her as though she was the answer to all their questions. I have never quite seen anything like it. However what struck me most was seeing young girls in tears as she spoke, girls who seemingly before now did not feel anyone quite understood what they were going through. Ayi Jihu had hit a nerve for sure and as she spoke to these kids from different cultures and backgrounds she could see looking back at her was a room full of ‘Ayi Jihu’s’.
Just the reaction to the Fear Chaser Trailer alone tells you much, her first lines in the trailer speak of her loneliness and exclusion when she first arrived to the West and you could see the reaction of some in the Audience. You could see them thinking, ‘yeah that’s how I feel’.
During her Q&A Session the kids hands just kept popping up. Too many questions, not enough time. They hung on every word. As the word spread, more and more students kept coming, more teachers, more people. Something special was going down in the Auditorium.
As a Woman of Action representing A Celebration of Women Foundation Inc Ayi Jihu is focused on helping women, young and otherwise around the world in anyway she can, but not at the expense of leaving the boys out. Her approach is balanced realizing that Great women need great men and visa versa. So although Ayi Jihu is a Woman and a Chinese one at that it seems that she has more in common with many of the students than we would first believe. When the students hear of her journey from a small village in China to the West, of how her aunt risked her life to get her there all they can see is not a Chinese girl, but someone who has overcome and made good and they want to be just like her.
What the entertainment world is slow to see as the system clings on to old ways, old messages and old values is what these kids see straight away. They are looking for stars they can believe in, stars who offer more than a dream for the few, Star who give as a way of being rather than who give as a way of not feeling so guilty about all they have. Ayi Jihu’s message is not pop idol or X Factor, it is not reality TV or fast track secrets to making it. It is not just for those who want to be singers, dancers or entertainers, it is for everyone and it is very simple. Hard work and humility are the keys to success at whatever you which to achieve in life. Giving while you get, not after you get, paying it forward, the mantra of A Celebration of Women Foundation Inc and its founder Catherine Anne Clark. It is a message teachers are happy to have preached in their schools, as they try to combat the fast track mentality that is embedded in their students through the media. Ayi Jihu is a role model they can actually use and refer to.
For more information on Ayi Jihu visit www.ayijihu.com.
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China's no.1 Independent RnB star and crossover artist to the West. Fear Chaser, Global Ambassador, Philanthropist and rising media icon