“If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” These were the words of Jesus Christ, according to the Gospel of Mathew.
Literally, no visually impaired man can lead another to a success. But that is not the case of a thirty-four-year-old visually impaired man who has braved the storm to make impossibility possible.
Tony Kwarteng who sings with passion, is the leader of Wonders of Peace of God Blind Gospel Band which he formed together with the support of other visually impaired friends.
They perform live band free of charge on the streets to entertain residents in the Ashanti Region and beyond and sometimes at funerals.
Tony suffered measles at age two, which affected his eyes since then.
Unfortunately, his mum could not raise money for treatment.
Growing up, he had no chance of attending school or landing gainful employment opportunity, a situation which compelled him to resort to singing on the streets to survive. Then came the idea to form a group made up of visually impaired persons.
The group, as a first step, resorted to renting musical instruments at exorbitant prices to meet their objective of singing to entertain the people.
“It is disturbing because most of the time we were unable to pay the money and the owner would have to refuse giving us the equipment the next time," Tony recounted.
Compassionate passers-by touched by the performance of the group, would occasionally drop notes or coins into a plastic container placed in front of the band.
Now, married for eight years, the father of six including two sets of twins has written about 30 songs.
Tony is among the many young talented visually impaired persons who need help to develop their music careers.
“Have you lost your senses because you are blind,” he recounted how a young lady encouraged him during one of the group’s street performance at Abrepo Junction.
It is for this reason that a Kumasi -based gospel musician has launched a musical concert to support people like Tony and others on the streets.
Philip Kwaku Acheampong’s foundation, Agent for Worship is aimed at getting visually -impaired persons off the streets through talent hunt developments.
His project, Vision of Music Reality Show, will bring together musically talented visually- impaired persons on one stage to battle it out for an ultimate prize.
Beneficiaries will undergo further training and grooming after a three- month reality television show given professional management support to help them record their personal albums.
“Artistes and citizens must use their influence and positions they hold to support initiatives such as the Agent of Worship foundation for the good of the society,” says board member, Dr. Kwabena Nyarko Britwum.