The We Are The World Blogfest is in its 7th month now, and this month’s co-hosts are –
It pleases me a great deal that we have come so far in the WATWB journey. These past 7 months have helped me connect with a variety of people doing a variety of things, but intent on one thing – spreading the light!
If you already are a part of the WATWB family, don’t forget to read the stories of the other participants. Should you like to be a part of this family, please click here and follow the instructions provided in the post.
My contribution to this month’s WATWB story is not exactly a new story, in the sense that we have already seen it happen many times before. It’s a typical ‘rags to riches story’. But why I mention it is because of the nature of hardships faced by this man since infancy, his will to overcome his adversities and the people who helped him through it all, all in an industry where cutthroat competition is the norm and people are ready to push you back to get ahead of you, without a care whether you get a scratch or die.
Ok enough with the suspense. Here’s what really happened…
Some months back on a sick, sweaty summer night, I was listening to Jackie Evancho’s version of Nessun Dorma on YouTube, the one she performed at UK’s Got Talent. Now we know that YouTube suggests videos that the viewer might also like. That’s how I stumbled across Choi Sung-bong’s audition for Korea’s Got Talent… and my jaw dropped off! Not because the man was an exceptional talent (he is a fine singer, no doubt) but because of his life story.
Click on this link to go to the YouTube video of his Korea’s Got Talent audition of 2011.
In brief, since the tender age of 3, this man had been staying at an orphanage for abandoned children in Korea. At age 5, he ran away because of the abuse he had to suffer there, took a bus to Daejeon and started living in the Red Light District of Daejeon, ALL BY HIMSELF. He survived only by adapting quickly to the street life, selling chewing gum and purely living a hand to mouth existence. It gives me goosebumps to imagine a toddler of 5 living in containers and public toilets in an area that thrives on human depravity. How he survived, I don’t know, but I’m not the only one who’s glad he survived. Because years later when he met Jeong Seo Park, a famous name in Korean Opera, Park was astounded to see the talent in Choi. Park took upon himself to help Choi with his musical training. Choi enrolled in school too, but struggled immensely because he had to work to pay for tuition. He briefly left school and became disenchanted with music, only to return to work with Jeong Seo Park again. In 2011, he auditioned for Korea’s Got Talent and the panellists couldn’t believe that this man, who came from nothing, sang Opera, which is a difficult art form that requires intense training. After Korea’s Got Talent, Choi’s fame only rose and he received more help and more kindness from the Music Industry and his sudden army of fans. God bless him and all those who helped him in being who he is now.
I hope this man goes from strength to strength. He is a living reminder of both human cruelty and human endeavour. He survived only by sheer luck and will to live. No doubt his talent in music is exceptional for his circumstances, but his education in music could not have been possible without the help he received from kind souls like Jeong Seo Park, the Panellists at Korea’s Got Talent who recognised his worth and the people who sponsored him through his struggle. His story not only shows what wonders human beings are capable of but also that even in an extremely competitive environment, it is still possible to be human. My faith in humanity – restored!
That’s it from me. Goodnight folks! 🙂
Copyright ©2017 Pradita Kapahi.
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