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*Top artistes shunned us when we asked for support –Dream Catchers’ founder*

Luck smiled on a group of Nigerian kid dancers, Dream Catchers, recently when American music star, Rihanna, shared their video on Instagram. Before Rihana’s recognition, most people didn’t pay attention to the group of nine or think they were good enough. But at the moment, these kids have become the talk of the town.

In a chat with Sunday Scoop, Seyi Oluyole, who founded the group, said before now, they had done all they could do to attract the attention of top names in the Nigerian music industry but all their efforts were abortive. She said, “Many times, if you go through our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook pages, you would see that we have tried to reach out to top celebrities. We would mention their names in our videos and did all sorts to get their attention. I always thought the biggest thing that would happen to the kids was when Wizkid or Davido would recognise and support them. However, it took an international artiste for us to get a huge recognition. When God wants to do something, He does it in a way you can’t fathom.”

Oluyole stated that she was overwhelmed when she saw Rihanna’s post as she had been looking for such opportunity since bringing the kids together in 2014.  She said, “I cried when I saw Rihanna’s post. I even accidentally broke my phone (mobile) because I couldn’t control myself and it fell.  It has not been easy for us, but I usually assured the girls that they would be great if they work hard. Sometimes, I get afraid that things I tell them might never come to pass. There were days I felt like walking away from the children because I was their only hope and I became afraid that I could disappoint them.”

According to her, convincing their parents to leave the kids in her care was a gradual process but since most of the kids were living on the streets and left alone to fend for themselves, some of their parents were indifferent.

Also a dancer and a script writer, the 26-year-old lady said, “Some of the children were not in school when they joined the group, but I encouraged them to go back to school and they agreed.  They live with me now. It was hunger that made one of them to join us. The boy’s mother became fed up as he was always getting into one trouble or the other. He was 10 years old when I picked him up but he is 14 years old now.  He joined us after hearing that I gave them food on a particular day. He came to me and wanted to know if I would give him food if he stayed. That was how he became part of us. The oldest of them is 15 years old while the youngest is six years old.”

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