Wednesday, July 29, 2009


When I heard that 8 years old Kanyinsola Soyannwo of international children’s film festival was going to deliver a speech to the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, I quickly signed up to join the crew that will witness the event. You know, it is not everyday young people get to have a tête-à-tête with Law makers.

“One day I asked my father what the future holds for me.” Young Kanyinsola began his speech, and a deafening silence filled the hall. “He took a deep breath, took my hands and led me out of the house to the balcony. He asked me to look up into the sky at the Moon and touch it if I can. I told him it is too far away and I cannot touch it. He smiled, asked me to close my eyes, and stretch my hands out and touch the moon.” Kanyinsola looked up to examine the impact of his speech on his attentive audience.

“That night, with my father beside me, I closed my eyes, deep, and looked inside my heart, and saw the moon, not far, far away, but so close by that I could easily stretch my hand, and touch it. That night, my father told me the future is as far or near as I see it in my heart…I stand before you as a child to tell you that one night, beside my father, in our small house, I looked up, stretched my hand, and touched the moon. That night, I realized that the future is as far away or as near as I see it in my heart. The future that I see is so close, so near, just a stretch away. The future that I see is not tomorrow, or weeks, or months or years away, but the future that I see, the future that I bring before you, is now, is today.

Today I am eight years old, and with my strength, there is so little I can do to change the world. But I can lend a voice, my child’s voice, to the call of children for global peace in Africa , a call for our brothers, our sisters, our fathers and mothers, in the Plateaus, the highlands and the Deltas, to drop their arms and embrace peace, for the sake of Africa , for the sake of children. I see a future. I see the future. I saw it that night beside my father. I saw it that night when I closed my eyes. It is a big, bright, beautiful future. I see it. I hope you can close your eyes and see it too.”

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