Aiesha Robinson’s continuing crusade against vetiligo and other human adversities
Aiesha Robinson remembers too well those dark days after she was diagnosed with vitiligo (a disorder caused by the absence of melanin in certain areas of the skin, which leads to irregular shaped white spots on different areas of the body.)
She was 18 at the time and says it was devastating.
“I felt as if I was in a dark space with no one to turn to… no one to help me
get out of it,” she recalls. “I wouldn’t want anyone to experience that kind of depression.”
Then slowly, after a couple months, she pulled herself out of it.
Eventually she made a promise to herself to do all she can to help those who are experiencing any form of adversity “to come out of their darkness.”
And so for the past four years she has not only become a public face for the disease but also an avid campaigner on behalf of those facing various forms of adversity.
She has been doing so through Born To Rise, an organization she formed in 2015, and also the theme of her annual show that features a line-up of power-pack speakers and performers, all aimed at helping people deal with whatever personal challenges that are darkening their world.
Now in its fourth year, Born To Rise has become a signature event to Montrealers young and old, seeking a comforting space where messages of empowerment mixes easily with inspiring performances by local artistes.
This year, the show, which takes place on Saturday, April 21, at Loyola High School in NDG, will be a two-park event, one for youth (categorized as those in Grades 2-9) and another for the general public.
Aiesha says the earlier show for the youngsters will be a little more interactive and driven by activities and sharing stories.
Then the floodgates of emotions open for the adults with what she describes as “real life…. real stories.”
This year, her line-up of speakers ranging from ages 12 to 38 will cover a range of issues and will be drawn from all walks of life.
“As usual, I expect it to be hardcore and very inspiring.”
Aiesha says she’s especially excited about her featured speaker, Nyeem Hudson, a12 year-old from New Jersey described by Forbes Magazine as “The Most Motivational Kid in America.”
Nyeem, known widely as King Nahh, who is being brought up by his single father, is a phenom on social media, and on the speaking circuit has made a name for himself for his unwavering positivity and free flow of motivational life-quotes.
He will speak at both the youth and adult shows.
Aiesha says audiences can also expect more from this year’s Born To Rise because of its collaboration with ‘Knowledge is Power’ an initiative of Montreal Community Cares Foundation, which is bringing some of its organizational and support to the event.
And as usual, performances and food will be a significant part of the mix, both of which will be in ample supply. As well as an inspiring showcase of artwork by another vetiligo awareness crusader.
Lukay, an emerging Montreal artiste, and Chippoli Studio Dancers will add to the hype of the evening.
Born To Rise: Real Life. Real Stories. Real Emotion on Saturday, April 21, at Loyola College, 2477 West Broadway (corner Sherbrooke).
Doors will open at 3:30 pm, allowing audiences to network over delicious treats and food by vegan Caribbean chef – Taymer Mason. Show time is at 4:00PM.