She had been told that she was wasting her time; that the children could never make it but she continued working with them.
Seyi Oluyole is the 26-year-old founder of The Dream Catchers, an organization using dance to keep street children in school.
Living in the slums of Ikorodu, Lagos, Seyi created the dance troupe in 2014 to get kids from poor homes off the streets. Their Instagram page, Ikorodu Talented Kids is filled with videos of them dancing to songs of different artistes, showing their skills.
Recently, a video of the children caught the attention of American celebrities like Rihanna, Naomi Campbell and Diddy. Rihanna had shared the video of the kids to celebrate being named the most streamed female artist of all time on Apple music and Naomi Campbell and Diddy did same.
Meanwhile, Seyi had been trying to get the attention of celebrities in the Nigerian music industry, all to no avail.
“Many times, if you go through our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook pages, you would see that we have tried to reach out to top celebrities. We would mention their names in our videos and did all sorts to get their attention. I always thought the biggest thing that would happen to the kids was when Wizkid or Davido would recognise and support them. However, it took an international artiste for us to get a huge recognition. When God wants to do something, He does it in a way you can’t fathom,” she told Punch
While Naomi Campbell wrote that she couldn’t wait to meet the kids, Rihanna responded to their message of appreciation, telling them how much she loves them.
Even though the kids are not familiar with the celebrities considering their backgrounds, they were excited that a celebrity from another country noticed them.
“We had some tears when I explained what it meant. A lot of us cried because it’s like the moment we’ve always been waiting for might be here. People have told us we are wasting our time. People have told the children they could never make it,” she told BBC.
Although, the kids love to dance, Seyi says they do not rehearse if they are not keeping up with school work as that is the whole essence of the group.
Seyi hopes that dancing would take the children to international stages like the Grammys, BET and MTV and connect them with people like Serena Williams and Oprah.
However, the ultimate vision is for the children to have access to a good education as far as a Bachelors and Masters degree as well as achieve this height of success through their passion.