I attended the 2022 edition of Kids Got Talent show in Lekki, Lagos on Sunday 17th April 2022. To be frank, I was not really keen on attending; I usually reserve my Sundays for relaxation after the morning Church programs. Since starting my Executive MBA program at Lagos Business School in 2022, I left Sundays for rest.
However, on this faithful day, I was ‘’mandated’ to go out for this event by family members. For peace to reign, I obliged, got dressed, and took the entire family on a ride to the venue.
To my greatest surprise, it eventually turned out to be a very exciting 5 hours. I witnessed raw talent on display by kids mainly under 12 years old; small children who obviously had properly rehearsed what they wanted to present. Not only were they keen on winning the N500,000 prize money but they also had in mind to entertain the audience as well.
Having watched the event, I put together a few learnings to share.
Exposure is important for kids.
Parents and schools have an obligation to expose children to healthy activities apart from academics. A lot of schools focus only academic programs and do not pay attention to other non-curricular events like music, dancing, sports, etc. Getting academic grades right is important for children in school, but equally important is identifying their other talents and creating opportunities and exposure to nurture them.
In the Kids Got Talent event, I saw children who could sing, play musical instruments, perform drama or do some great tricks with a football. And most did these exceptionally well. Parents and care givers need to invest in and develop these talents. Who knows, your child may be the next Pele or the next Beethoven out there.
Children need coaching and mentoring as well.
We all need to have coaches and mentors. These are people we look up to and would advise and bring the best out of us all. Children are no exception. Parents need to realize that this is their primary responsibility. However, depending on the child’s strengths and needs, they may need external professional support to build them up, with the parent’s guidance of course. I noticed most of the great performers at the Kids God Talent event had coaches who were by their sides. They were supporting and helping to groom the children in the skills they were displaying.
If a child is good at computer programing for example, it would be best to get the child a programmer, good with children to brush them up on that skill. If they are good in music, football, or arts, please get them a coach or into a sports/music club that would help nurture and grow their talents. In this new age, people have made great impacts by being outstanding in other things they do, apart from academics.
Each child is different. Every child is talented.
Parents often compare their children with others, who they perceive as performing better in an area the parent thinks is important. But the question is- what area is really important for your child? We miss out that all these kids have different hidden talents and skills. Our responsibility as parents and guardians is to unlock and grow these in them. Just because one child is good in mathematics in class, for example, should not be a reason to castigate other kids who are not. I am not encouraging laziness in any way (every child should get to work and study hard at school). but the emphasis should be on trying and discover strength in these children, versus constant comparisons.
All the fingers in our hands are not equal, but each finger is equally as important as the other. Similarly, all children are not the same. Even children within the same family are different.
The Kids Got Talent afforded me the opportunity to see children perform beyond just academics. As I got back home that day, I got thinking; as a parent am I creating enough opportunities for my own children as well? Every parent needs to ask themselves this question once in a while. Looking back at the talent show, it became apparent that this must been the idea behind the show organizer: to make people understand that even these small children have potential talents we all need to nurture and grow.
Written by Ikenna Ngonebu #EMBA27