I write to you as someone who has children’s well-being at heart. Your daughter Erica Tandoh aka DJ Switch is talented. I admire her confidence and smartness.
In fact, I would be disappointed if she did not win the ‘Talented Kidz’ contest.
However, it is worthy of note that all that you do to win such a contest is not as important as what you do after winning. That is premised on the child’s focus and the parent’s inspiration. To have motivated your child to train as a DJ for a contest tells how much you cherish her talent.
So what next? The shows? Travels? Well, DJ Switch is not the first to have gotten into the limelight as a child ‘showbizer.’ We have had child actress Maame Serwaa, we have child actor Abraham Attah and rapper Tutulapaato who was also discovered in TV3’s ‘Talented Kidz’ talent hunt.
Maybe I have to tell you more about what Tutulapato went through after he won the contest. You may draw some inspiration from his story.
In 2013, right after he won the contest, I wrote an open letter in Flex newspaper to his parents, asking them to be careful with which people they allowed their son to move with. Of course, Pope Skinny was not happy about that and rained insults on me.
My open letter to Tutulapato’s parents in 2013
After he won the ‘Talented Kidz’ recently, his fans would expect that he takes his music more seriously and possibly release an album or records some songs but I suggest Cosmos Boako aka Tutulapato be made to pull the reins on his music ‘talent’ for the time being.
Even before he went into the ‘Talented Kids’ contest which was put together by TV3, I had listened to him so many times on Adom FM’s ‘Kasahare’ and had watched some of his ‘Kasahare’ videos on Youtube.
Although, I personally don’t see any extraordinary talent in him, I guess he has passion for rap music and would do better as he grows and gets proper education. For now, it will be harmful for anyone to be pushing the small boy into serious music business because we are talking about someone who cannot even spell his name. Ask him 1+1 and he is likely to say 3. At the age of 8, he is not too young to answer simple questions but I guess he has not had good education so finds it difficult to do any proper interaction with people. His environment has really affected him.
The truth is that talent alone is not enough for what the boy is doing and if whoever is taking care of him does not pay attention to his education, his future is bleak. I have been apprised of the fact that Pope Skinny and Kwaw Kesse are considering bringing him from where he is in the Central Region to Accra to have better education. That would be a good idea but I have a problem with the people who will be acting in loco parentis when he finally moves to the capital city.
I know little about the boy’s family. If his parents are all alive, then they should open their eyes. In fact, if I were Tutulapato’s father, I would let him stop this rap thing for some time until I see he has improved tremendously in his academic performance.
Secondly, I would be very choosy of which people are going to take care of him when he moves to Accra or Tema. I wouldn’t want my child to move with people whose lifestyle might end up making him a wastrel. In fact, children are susceptible to things around them so are likely to pick any character about his mentors whether good or bad.
If I were Tutulapato’s father, I would not only think about the small money he will bring home, but the danger of being exploited by people who ostensibly may appear as helping him. The secular and hip life music world is too slippery for Tutulapaato to step in at this crawling age when he can’t even spell his name.
If his father or mother is not alive and any relative is reading this, I am not portending doom for the young boy but I think he needs to do the first thing first. This is my humble advice.
In 2013, after Tutulapao had won ‘Talented Kidz’ he was handed over by his mother to a police man, Buffalo, to manage him.
Buffalo was working at Brekwa in the Central Region until he was later transferred to Assin Fosu. Because Buffalo’s family was fond of Tutulapato, one brother of Buffalo called Johnson who lived in Accra picked Tutulapato to Accra where he registered him at the Silicon International School.
Rapper Pope Skinny was helping in terms of promotion. However, Tutulapato`s mother thought Buffalo was exploiting the small boy so she was always dictating to him.
Later, after Tutu went to his hometown Breman Asikuma in the Central Region to spend vacation holidays with his mother, he was prevented from coming back to Accra. Attempts by Buffalo and Pope Skinny to bring him back to Accra proved abortive.
I personally interviewed his mother and she told me Buffalo and Pope Skinny did not treat Tutulapato well so she was not going to entrust her son into their care again.
For about three months Tutu was in the ‘village,’ not attending school. It took the media’s intervention before he was sent back to stay with an uncle here in Accra.
What happened was that while at Breman, he felt uncomfortable moving from a preparatory school in Accra back to a ‘saito’ school in a ‘village.’
So what is my problem?
Tutulapato, while with Pope Skinny, was taken to places meant for adults and at odd hours. He was so exposed to things people of his age should not see or hear. Even his lyrics changed; he started sounding risque and sensual in his songs. It was my worry.
As a teacher, I trust you know the essence of education. I also hope that you know child psychology – and that you know things that are capable of harming DJ Switch at this time. In case you don’t remember, let me remind you.
I am sure you may be planning to let your daughter come to stay in Accra with somebody. If you have that plan, please take note: you need to get a very responsible person for the child to stay with. Possibly, it should be parent or take her to one of these boarding schools that would have good watch over her.
The most important thing, also, is that whoever becomes her manager her in Accra should be one that has the child’s total well-being at heart and not only to cash in on her career.
Last Saturday, I watched DJ Switch put up a spectacular performance at the ‘Ghana Meets Naija’ show. She wowed the audience.