Based in London, UK
As an artist, he is known as Pianist Without Borders, and by his friends as Humanitarian Pianist Without Borders
Member of the Idealists of the World Facebook group since March 2018
When did you realize that you were an idealist? What moment or event sparked your desire to make the world a better place?
I have had the desire to make this world a better place since I was very very young. The best years of my life were between 1-5 years old. I truly believed I was living in a paradise. Then when I started looking at the TV and news and saw what was going on in the world, I was traumatized, and that is why I decided to just be on a mission on this planet, with the hope that one day we will live in that paradise that I believed in, in my early years.
What is one simple thing anyone can do to have an impact in the world?
Each of us needs to dedicate some time for others, for sharing, for doing something without expecting anything in return. If each of us can dedicate some of our time for others then we will all enjoy this planet together. At the moment I find myself dedicating 99% of my time for others. I have been like this from a young age. I know already that most people won't give 99% of their time for others, and that is why I'm doing 99%—just to cover the shifts of others who don't really care.
Do you believe idealism is learned or is it inside of everyone?
For sure, I truly believe idealism is already inside each of us. If you take people individually and talk one-to-one, you realize that we all share many things, like love, kindness, compassion, and so on. The challenge now is the system where we live closes down these natural essences, so the masses are just doing what the system is asking: working 9 to 5, paying taxes, respecting rules, and the list goes on. In doing that, most people totally forget how to be kind or to do something for humanity We get too busy following something that we don't love, and that makes me really sad.
What’s one thing you’ve done—big or small—that you are most proud of?
In fact, there are so many moments that I'm really proud of. I will try to explain one and mention a few others:
in 2016 I did a tour in Uganda. Taking an upright piano all the way from London, I played for 3 months in many orphanages, including a deaf school. After I left Uganda, one girls’ home that I visited closed down. I keep in touch with some of them. One in particular, named Giovia, went back to live in the slum with her relatives. She told me she had no future anymore since they closed her orphanage, so I was the only hope for her. I asked her what she would love to do, and she said that since she loves children she wants to become a teacher. Then I supported her for the past two years in one of the best schools to become a primary teacher. I'm so proud of her. She's so committed. This year already she started working in a school for the first time, and now in August she will go back to school to finish her diploma. Currently, she's also learning others skills, like hair salon designs. I'm so happy for her because now she will have a better life and she will inspire many.
Also, I dedicated my free time to sharing music with people without any money being involved. So far I have played 966 public pianos around the world, all placed in public spaces: stations, airports, and so on.
Also, one of my best friends from Burkina Faso lost his father many years ago, just when we met for the first time. His father had been killed at his workplace, so he left his wife and all his young children. My friend, Apolinaire, is the oldest, so he took the role of his father to look after his mother and brothers and sisters. Since he didn't have any education, I asked him what I could do to help him to have an income to feed his family. He told me that his father used to have a trolley with two donkeys, but then they both died and the trolley was broken. So I fixed the trolley and bought two donkeys for him in 2008. Ever since that day Apolinaire is still working with those donkeys, and has been feeding the family and paying all his bills from this work. So, I'm proud of the way I think and act because I always love to help others in need whenever I can. I have been like this from a young age.
I'm also involved in a big project with 30-plus women affected by albinism in Uganda. I'm so so proud of each of them. They are going to change the image of people affected by albinism, as they are going to show the world that they are capable of achieving anything they set their minds to, proving everyone wrong. This is just the start of an amazing journey for them.
The list of proud moments goes on; I will need a book to write all of the proud moments. :)
What are your long term goals, and how can the Idealist community help?
My long term goal is to give our children the hope that we lost. We have to think about our children and what we are going to do for them. For sure, we can't continue to live in a world with inequality, where we have too many rich and too many poor. We need to stop and change this mentality for the sake of all. We need balance, equality, freedom of speech, we need to replicate any ideas that are already making a positive impact somewhere and spread them all around the globe. We need to say “No” to what is destroying and dividing us. If we don't, we will never be able to move forward. It is not an easy task, but I have hope for young people because so many of them are already making massive movements and slowly, slowly, people are opening their eyes. We need to support each other, get stronger together, and take action. With the internet, nowadays it is easy to create massive movements, so I believe the Idealist community, if each of us shares our skills, then together we can create something extraordinary. What we need is to put all good ideas on the table, then find all the people who are able to develop these ideas, and then finally take action and spread all these good ideas worldwide.
Inspired? Read more Idealists of the World Stories.