Bersama – Wavelengths

 

Please wake me when I am free

For I cannot bear this captivity

But my inner eye can see

A race

Who reigned as kings in another place

The green of trees were rich and full

Men and women together as equals

But please wake me when I am free

I cannot bear captivity

For I would rather be stricken blind

Than to live without the expression of my mind

At times, I often wonder

Could I ever see my neighbour as my Brother

Love tore us apart; love for the self and love for our kin

My teacher told me was slaves, my mama told me was kings

During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people.

Our nationalities divide us

Yet we created borders and gave them names

We created nations, and yet we allow them to control us

In this respect, we are all slaves

I have fought against white domination

And I have fought against black domination

But for all my troubles, I have witnessed no change happen

Every journey starts with a step, and Nelson said, it’s a long walk to freedom

I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony

To be free

It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.

But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

You see, Martin tried, 2Pac died, Nina cried

And Bersama roared

Power

U19A Football [Grade 12]

This football season was incredible. We didn’t win anything; we finished fourth in both ACSIS and SEASAC. I didn’t make SEASAC, which was my goal for this season, either. But what made this season memorable was what we accomplished on an interpersonal level. The love, respect and chemistry we all had with each other helped us make memories every single game. I also managed to achieve some minor goals as well: I scored my first goal this season, and the next game I scored my second – obviously, I screamed. I also wore the captain’s armband for a game, which was another special moment for myself. Lastly, for Friday Night Lights, I rapped to introduce the team:

 

Friday Night Lights, the time is here

The Dragon’s den, may they be filled with fear

When they step on the pitch and meet Rich

Or see Kev, or get hit by Aansh with the last-ditch tackles

Get gassed, the King is Jasp

Love O’s, Varun run the show

Dima is the captain and you never really know

With Cesc at right-back but his gadgets go go in the presence of greatness

Ian and Jake so dangerous

Batra is the wall can’t get past it, Banta L2 with the right stick

So it’s Keiron and Quinn for the win

Josh is the heart, I’m the cog in the machine

Hopkins, Mr Top Binz, it’s Ash

Dinsdale, wind our sails, it’s Gav

East go hard, don’t step in our yard

Bersama – (MUN, UWC Day)

Bersama this semester has been very busy. We performed at UWC day and at the MUN conference  In both performances, I was able to perform solo pieces that differed in topic, style and delivery.

 

The performance at UWC day was a celebratory piece of the school and what we try to embody in the UWC movement. For the performance, we sang the UWC school song, written by Hannah Jones and Molly Stirrat. They asked me to write a short rap that would become part of the song. I was ecstatic when they asked me but I was also nervous because this is something that would probably last a while. The knowledge that the song would probably be performed after I had left the school was the hardest part; the challenge was to write something that would remain true for years to come as well as something that could be understood and appreciated by all, not just high school students. I came up with this:

It’s my squad, it’s my team it’s my crew

And when we stick together ain’t nothing we can’t do

Cause on my own I’m alone, but I still feel at home

When I walk through these halls, I feel in my zone

In this United – World – College,

Opening my mind through the learning of this knowledge

As I open up my heart and I open up my eyes

I see a sustainable future, a force to unite

Save the turtles

 

Then we performed at the MUN conference. This one was special because I also performed an original piece, a song that I call “We Are Free”. The song is about peer pressure, and being free from it which I think is a timely message in today’s trend-driven age. Below are the lyrics for the song:

 

Here we are today

And we’ve found a way

Cause we’ve escaped

From this place of pain

We’re no longer slaves

We don’t have to change

In this present day

We can now say…

We are free, we are free

There’s no stopping us

(We are free, we are free)

We don’t have to follow

(We are free, we are free)

We are not held by sorrow

(We are free, we are free)

We have a better tomorrow

(We are free, we are free)

We can now say

(We are free, we are free)

I tell the truth and I make the devil shame

Nowadays I leave enemies in my wake

Cause I’m no longer afraid

And I’m no longer a slave

To other people

No longer needing their approval

I’m finally free, and fresh out of jail

Locked up for putting my person up for sale

But I’ve never known freedom

Killing my self I’ve been charged with treason

I put the king in kingdom

I didn’t need a reason

To stop me being a victim

Only God could judge me, so I’m full of all his wisdom

But hierarchy is arbitrary , always been a visionary

My way or the highway, now i move when I say

Word to Uzi, I do what I want

Now I’ve got the backing so no need for me to front

I’m being blunt

Alpha, riding on my own terms

I went to the mountains, and here’s what I learnt

Here we are today

And we’ve found a way

Cause we’ve escaped

From this place of pain

We’re no longer slaves

We don’t have to change

Today

We will now say…

 

We are free, we are free

There’s no stopping us

(We are free, we are free)

We don’t have to follow

(We are free, we are free)

We are not held by sorrow

(We are free, we are free)

We have a better tomorrow

(We are free, we are free)

We can now say

(We are free, we are free)

 

Wave your hands if you know that you’re free

Always be yourself, not the one you pretend to be

I’m breaking new grounds, but they told me I was wrong

I longed to be myself, so I never could belong

And I’m out

You know what I’m about

Finally free, so I scream and I shout

But it’s my power of will, I finally feel

That we are free, just hope I’m bringing you along with me

 

We don’t have to follow

(We are free, we are free)

We are not held by sorrow

(We are free, we are free)

We have a better tomorrow

(We are free, we are free)

We can now say

(We are free, we are free)

We are free, we are free, yeah

[I’m breaking new grounds, but they told me I was wrong]

He is free, she is free, yeah

[I longed to be myself, so I never could belong]

They are free, I am free, yeah

[We are free, we are free, we are free, we are free]

We are free.

Unplugged 2018

Coming into this performance, I had all sorts of ideas in terms of what I wanted to do. I had originally decided to do Rise and Shine by J. Cole but before I went to audition I was told that all performances had to be played live; basically I couldn’t play an instrumental track and rap over it – like I was used to do doing. Realising that but trying to remain calm, I auditioned with the only piece that I knew well enough to perform with ease – Make the Money by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, which I rapped and played the piano to. The audition went well and I was accepted into the show, however, both I and the directors of the show agreed that I should probably choose a more upbeat piece. I spent a bit of time thinking about it and eventually chose Unforgettable by French Montana. I really liked the song and thought it summed up my first few months in the school. I took the song with me on holiday and listened to it on repeat. I started to write my own lyrics to it, which I had made a practice of to keep myself lyrically and musically engaged. However, for some reason, despite my excitement to perform it, I just didn’t feel as though it was the right song to perform. After going back and forth mentally with this dispute, I eventually changed my song to Unstoppable by The Score. Ms Stirrat told me she wanted me to close the show, and I felt that the energy in this song would be a nice touch, and contrast to the more melodic, slow songs that would be performed prior. I was excited that I ended up with my own band behind me: I had my friends Vir on the electric guitar and backup vocals, Nick on the Bass Guitar, Adil on the drums, and Alastair aka Stairly on the keys.

 

My lyrics were:

Unstoppable, born 2 ball

You can’t tell me otherwise

Cause I’m facts only, and you only lies

Turned to the left, can’t nobody stand against

So I switched to the right, I see no enemies in sight

Cause I’m Kobe in the fourth, I be Yoda with the force

I’m Kareem with the hook leaving everybody shook

Man, I’m sitting at the top looking down ain’t nobody on my floor

Through it all, He’s my source cause

Climbin up the ladder

Even when my body shattered

But my eyes’ on the throne

And He’s the only thing that matters

So I’m 50 and O

Mayweather flow

I’m strong on my own but we’re stronger when together tho

Can’t nobody tell me what I can’t do no more

Can’t no key limit my access to the top floor

Cause I’m Breakin all the boundaries

People still doubting me

Greatest undoubtedly

Stopping me clownery

They said it wasn’t possible now we unstoppable

 

 

All in all, I think it was an okay performance. I’ve realised that sometimes I start to shout which is a bit annoying in hindsight but I can’t help in the heat of the moment – sometimes I try too hard to energise the crowd but like it was fun, I guess 🙂 It was honestly a pleasure to perform with these guys and being my first official music performance in the school, I can’t wait to show what else I can do.

Project Week Reflection (LO3 & LO7)

Project Week, for me, was a very fun, cohesive and interesting experience for me. I tried a lot of different and new activities, some I enjoyed, most I didn’t. But I think what made it cohesive and interesting was that I realised the kind of person I want to become in life. I got to meet people on this trip that there was nothing I could do except admire their positivity and outlook on life. A lot of these people are nowhere near the kind of privilege, that we enjoy everyday and constantly take for granted. Yet the way, they have smiles on their faces; the way they just get on with life and take it day by day was what really touched me. I think these kind of trips, when you get to do service, help you remember that not everyone is like you in the way that they live, however, I think Project Week, just its uniqueness, helps you also remember that life is what you make it. Sometimes people think they have to make a difference in these big environments, or where it can be recognised officially. But the man that let us help him build the dining hall, proved to me that making a difference is simply trying to make the life of those around you, better. Service doesn’t have to be explicit; you can say hi to your quiet classmate everyday, or you can tell your teacher everyday, “I appreciate you”. All of this can help to make the lives of those around you better. I think this has given me more direction on what and how I will want to live my life in the years to come.

Posted in CAS

Group 4 – Day 2 Reflection

Today we completed our Breakout Box, and I have to say, it turned out very well. Our box was complex but also understandable and followed a logical process. We also ensured that there was an educational aspect to our box, in which the people playing it would also learn from it. The challenge was then to try and unlock other boxes. This was a challenge as we first had to try and understand what the Sustainable Development Goal was before we could see how it was connected to the unlocking of the box. This process was annoying yet fun at the same time. It kind of showed me how being stuck in your own thinking or being narrow minded can prevent you from perhaps discovering new things. I think being open-minded was the key to unlocking the box, and having the mentality that anything can be a clue to success. It’s almost a metaphor for life really, you can find hidden treasures everywhere.

Posted in CAS

ACE GC – Season 3

This season was filled with much more events than the previous seasons. In Season 3, ACE GC partook in Run for Rights and Family Festival. Family Festival was fun, because it was in school and almost everyone was there. I remember that I didn’t eat much, but it was hilarious watching some of my friends from other GCs sell products or people in my own GC advertise a cotton bracelet as if it was worth millions. Run for Rights, however, I remember more vividly. I showed up, expecting to be a supporter and motivate those who were running around Bedok Reservoir (4.3km), wearing jeans. I hadn’t expected to run but when I saw everyone dressed in running gear, it was the most embarrassing thing. I still figured I could be a supporter, since it was obvious to everyone that I was new and hadn’t realised what I was supposed to do. But all that went away when I saw one of my Grade 2 buddies show up with her dad, decked out in all her running gear. Just seeing that melted my heart because, honestly, I didn’t even know how she knew about the event. She only ran about 30 metres before she stopped and walked with her dad, but I realised that if she could run, then so could I, even if it was in jeans. The fact is, this wasn’t a race. The learning point for me, was not that I had to be the fastest, but that I could show my support in any way possible, even if it was just walking the 4.3 km.

U19B – Basketball [Final]

I enjoyed this season. Even though we didn’t do very well, our overall record was 3-5 (win-loss), I enjoyed being part of a group where we laughed together almost every training and game. Through this experience I learnt to be a mentor. It was different than football where I was the worst on the team and knew that I made contributions elsewhere, but with basketball, I wasn’t the worst but I was one of the older kids, and so I realised the importance of giving the younger kids opportunities, comforting them when they made mistakes, and setting a good example as an older student. That was something that I had to constantly remind myself of. Me being older, regardless of what was said on the court, or who got on my nerves, I had to remember that the implications of what I said or how I behaved would go way past the 1 1/2 hours spent playing basketball. Sports is a great test of character, because it shows your true nature in its rawest form.

Gymnastics Service – Season 3

This season, I think was the most effective for me, in regards to building interpersonal skills. We had a new member, Molly, join our service and so I unofficially deferred my chair authority to her, since she was in Grade 12. It was a nice experience, having someone new, because it was almost as if we got to relive starting this service. One of the highlights for this season was the fact that I resolved my “beef” with one of the kids. For months, this little girl and I had some issues, to the point where I didn’t want her in my group, and she didn’t want to be near me. For some reason, one day, we just happened to be in the same group, and she called out to me and asked for help. This, somehow, instantly ended our beef and now we’ve become friends again. It’s petty, I know, considering the age difference, but this is me being honest. Another key moment from this season was that my group made me do the service video, despite all my contributions to our group. People started saying I do the least work, which is a complete lie, but I guess when you can have false information and preach it like its truth; if you have people supporting it, it becomes the truth. So I ended up doing the video, only after my football coach, told me to always see the opportunity to learn in every task given to me.