By Prisca Sam-Duru
March 21, is the World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), observed annually as a global awareness day that has been set aside by the United Nations since 2012, to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
The 2020 edition of WDSD, comes up this Saturday, March 21. And to mark this Day, Muyiwa Majekodunmi aka Majek or MM as he is fondly called by friends, a trained experiential Learning Facilitator and founder of JazzVille, has unveiled the Down2Music Foundation. The Foundation has concluded plans to hold a concert whereby guests will not only be entertained, but be informed about what it means to have Down syndrome, as well as how persons with Down syndrome play some vital roles in our lives and communities.
Scheduled to take place at House 21, Majaro, Onike Yaba, the event tagged “Unveiled Unplugged Unleashed” features impromptu live performances with some young adults with DS, alongside friends of the house- Nigerian-German musician and founder, Afropolitan Vibes, Ade Bantu; Afro-fussion performing artist, Seun Olota; Yinka Davies and many others.
“Perhaps, it is no coincidence that where we are gathered today is House 21. The creator indeed does have a sense of humour. On this day, March 21, people with Down Syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organize and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of persons with Down syndrome.”, Muyiwa Majekodunmi began explaining the reason for the concert.
“Asides the opportunity given by the occasion to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, it also exposes and expounds on what it means to have Down syndrome, and to educate the world on how persons with Down syndrome play some vital roles in our lives and communities. This year’s theme, “We Decide” is inspired by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which supports effective and meaningful participation as a core human right. Previous themes over the years indicate a common thread; a tapestry that depicts a continuous flow of thought, tenacity of purpose towards the fulfilment of inclusion goals in society for these wonderful people.
‘We Decide’ emphasises that people with Down syndrome should have full participation and be responsible in decision making about matters relating to or affecting their lives. This is the purpose, objective vision and mission of Down2Music Foundation (D2MF).”, He said.
Continuing, he emphasised that “This is the reason why the Creator gave me my son BJ (a young male adult with Down syndrome and so much passion for music), to showcase him to the world and let other families who have children with DS know that there is hope and there is a reason behind every act of God.
On World Down Syndrome Day, Saturday 21 March 2020, we call upon every person with Down syndrome to tell the world “We decide”, knowing full well that a close mouth is a closed destiny.”
Majekodunmi however, frowned at the prevailing negative attitudes, low expectations, discrimination and exclusion, and lack of opportunities to participate fully in decision making about matters relating to or affecting their lives at all levels, noting that this occurs in society, but also within the disability community and the Down syndrome community.