Change Story : Lydia Dola

“I have been a beneficiary of the GoDown; I have learnt at the GoDown without paying a single coin, I have attended concerts without paying anything, I have sung on their stage and they have paid me. It’s a beautiful thing to support the arts,” – these are the words of Lydia Dola, the very first person who has managed to complete our Raising 19 challenge. We had asked her what motivated her support for us, and she left us both proud and in awe.

Lydia exudes passion for and belief in the mission of The GoDown Arts Centre, a willingness that comes from the best kind of place – a place of gratitude, even ownership. She is a musician and songwriter who has performed widely. We had asked her if she wanted to become a transforma, and she was keen to learn what this would mean. We explained the funds drive to her – that we were seeking people, transformas, who would in turn get 19 other people, who would each contribute 500 shillings to the cause.

One could certainly say that they could do the sum of 20*500 on their own, which is fine, but the idea behind seeking the 19 other people is to truly make this a community project; to get as many people interested in the vision. “The money they are asking us to give is nothing”, Dola continues. “And when the new structure comes up, you will feel like a part of it – it doesn’t matter what you give. You will talk about it, to your children, and your children’s children. You give out your 500 bob and it is going to go way beyond what you felt.”

Dola believed in the vision and the urgency of the need for this cultural complex in the city and became the first to reach the 10,000 shilling mark in our Raising 19 funds drive. She got 13 friends to raise the equivalent of 20*500, showing that there are certainly many ways to go about hitting the target. “I urge more people to come in. If you want me to form another group of 19, I’ll do it. Get your friends. They don’t have to be artists. The people I went to were not artists. This complex is going to be one of the biggest, I think, in Africa,” she says.

We are more than grateful, Lydia.

Would YOU be interested in building your own network of 19? Let us know via email or on our facebook page and we will guide you through the process.