Today is Adekunle Gold‘s birthday and the Nigerian Afro Pop star shares an inspiring, personalised letter to his fans. As he evolves in his music journey, AG Baby shares the progress in a newsletter titled AG Letters to his fans that subscribe.
Read AG’s letter to his fans:
It’s my birthday today. I’m feeling grateful and blessed. Thankful for how far I’ve come and where I’m still going. Been reflecting all night in front of this beautiful ocean so I thought I’d share this with you.
When I first started putting my photoshop images online, some people laughed at me, others ignored it and some supported me. Same thing happened when I started sharing my music publicly, people didn’t really pay any attention to it. In fact, some of the people I really respected made fun of my voice lol. In 2019 when I started releasing Afro Pop sounds, I saw a tweet where someone had called me a ‘Yoruba singer’ and told me to stick to what I knew. In hindsight I wonder why they thought “Yoruba Singer” was an insult, lol. I didn’t allow anyone’s opinion to stop me from expressing my creativity, I was doing it for me.
My point is, with everything you do, people will have their own opinion about it, some will criticise you openly and others will keep it to themselves. Some opinions will discourage you and some will empower you. Sometimes those that criticise you will come back with a different perspective and support you and sometimes those that support you will turn on you when you’re no longer winning. Just make sure you’re doing everything you do for yourself and not for the approval of anyone else.
A few months ago, we all watched Cristiano Ronaldo break down in tears after losing the World Cup. The world trolled him, people ridiculed him, called him all sorts of names and trashed the legacy that this man has built. Even the FIFA Twitter page trolled the five times FIFA player of the year, 5 ballon d’or amongst his other incredible achievements. One of the world’s greatest footballers lost the World Cup title and people turned on him. He has achieved so much and will forever remain an icon to me.
A similar situation happened when Anthony Joshua lost to Usyk for the second time. Some called him trash, claimed that he doesn’t have it in him anymore, created memes to make fun of him. The same people that praised him when he held the heavyweight title turned around to troll him. People who have no idea what it feels like to walk in his shoes, the mental capacity that he had to build to be where he is and the discipline he has to live his life with. People who probably know nothing about boxing.
One thing I’ve learnt is that sticks and stones are only thrown at trees that bear fruits. Only those with momentum get criticised. If you ignore the critics and focus on your goal it won’t affect you but if the motivation behind your goal is to receive appraisals and approvals from people, you’ll find it difficult to accomplish or even start anything in life.
Time and time again I’ve observed how our society has become comfortable with the culture of tearing people down when they are not perceived as ‘winners’ or when they fail to meet the expectations that we place on them.
Make sure your wins are for yourself. Focus on your personal goal, your true desires and not what society expects of you. Don’t do things for the approval of anyone else because the moment you give that power to others, they will use it against you when you don’t meet their expectations. Learn to deal with the anxiety of doing you even when people disapprove of it.
Three days ago I shared a picture of the Range Rover I just purchased. A lot of people were commenting in shock that it took me so long to purchase it after singing about it 7 years ago. Yes, buying that car was high on my list of ‘must do’ but I wanted to do it in my own time, not to please anyone but to satisfy myself. I pay no attention to anyone’s timing or expectations that they may hold for my life. If I had spent all my money on that car 7 years ago none of those who are congratulating me today would’ve bailed me out of debt.
You might be finding it hard to make decisions without constantly asking others what they think, rejecting opportunities and limiting yourself because you worry if those around you will approve of it. Don’t put yourself under pressure to win all the time because you want to please other people, do it for yourself and yourself only.
All my love,
We wish Adekunle Gold a happy birthday!