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THURSDAY’S CHILD: Singing a thrill for Akeem


Cheryl Harewood

THURSDAY’S CHILD: Singing  a thrill  for Akeem

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HE is a soft-spoken, shy 13-year-old who loves to sing, and play football.
However, If he has to make a choice between the two, he would rather sing.
Akeem Yarde’s favourite music is classics and jazz, but this does not mean he won’t listen to other forms of music.
As a member of the 100-strong St Leonard’s Boys’ School Choir, Akeem delights in being part of this team, as well as performing at various places across the island.
A visit to Britain last July, where the choir performed at a number of places thrilled him so much, that he would like to travel again to lend his voice to this popular choir.
It’s been three years since Akeem joined the choir, but for him, practising in the bathroom is just as good as doing so under the direction of choir director Andrew Lokey.
“I joined the choir because I love to sing.
I love most songs. I cannot say that I have any one favourite song,” the first soprano singer said, “I just  love to sing,” he emphasised.
Some of the many places where Akeem has shared his gift of singing include Independence Square; the Frank Collymore Hall; the Christmas competition at Trimart, where the choir came first in 2008, and the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA).
Akeem is actually part of the choir that copped six gold medals during various NIFCA performances.
 The choir has also been nominated  for four awards in the upcoming Barbados Music Awards in January.  
With high hopes of singing professionally, Akeem is yet to have that vision of seeing himself performing solo. Prompts by his mother Janelle Yarde to enter the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Show have fallen on deaf ears – at least for the time being.  
Shy boy
“Akeem is a very shy boy, but I always encourage him to sing.
I would like him to enter the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Show, because I know he has a good chance of doing well,” Janelle added.
In the area of football, while he plays right midfield, or striker, for the Regents Football team, Akeem has had to put aside this sport to pay more attention to his “schoolwork”.
“I stopped from playing football after my grades at school dropped, but I remained a member of the choir,” Akeem said.
His mother also added that his grades must be consistently good, before he returns to football.
Akeem still has high hopes of playing professional football when he gets older, and even singing professionally.
With hobbies of playing football, table tennis, road tennis and swimming at the Aquatic Centre, Akeem, a former student of the Milton Lynch School, says his motto is: “Go to school and learn.”
Undoubtedly, this is also timely advice for young people the world over.

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