No one needs to convince Paulyne, Fernmonica or Lewinsky of the power of music. These girls are just a few who make their surroundings a little more beautiful with their art – art that takes the barriers out of language and, just maybe, some of the hurt out of life.
“I became interested in music when I heard a song that encouraged me – it’s called ‘You are Yahweh,’” Paulyne says while sitting outside, talking in the afternoon sun. Paulyne is a teenager in the Odede family at Maono Light, where she has grown up and kindled a love of music – specifically, singing and songwriting. The encouragement Paulyne initially received from that song fueled her own motivation to write music that will lift others up.
“I write songs about the situations I have gone through,” Paulyne shares. Listen to this song below, written and performed by Paulyne and her friend Fernmonica.
Paulyne, left, and Fernmonica, right, performing an original song together
The same musical energy has descended on Baba Nyumbani. Lewinsky, a 21-year old in Alice and Walter Juma’s family, has a passion for singing and songwriting. And her motivation is similar to Paulyne’s: “I write words that can inspire people.”
It doesn’t take too long to see Lewinsky’s earnestness and passion for her craft. As she recounts the beginning of her love of music as a young child watching television, awestruck at the inspiration she felt from their words, a smile spreads across her face. Her expression shifts to one of deep love; she moves her hands as she speaks, as if in a dance of their own.
“I write songs using Bible verses,” Lewinsky says. “I look at different circumstances, what people are going through. I get some verses from the Bible that can encourage people in these circumstances. This can at least help them out of what they’re going through.”
Lewinsky is always ready to sing – during a conversation, she shared part of a song she is writing called “Work a miracle, Lord.”
“I love listening to music,” Lewinsky says. “It makes me motivated to compose my own music. I try to dance, too, as if I’m on a stage. Yeah, I love it” she says with a smile and turns to her friend Vivian sitting beside her on the step.
Music is many things: an expression of the heart, a way to process life and, from it, extract hope. But for these girls, it’s something even more — something at the core of Horizon’s hope. Lewinsky says it best:
“When I listen to music, I am empowered.”