Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Hello I'm Ori, Nigerian American lifestyle blogger and career consultant encouraging you to live boldly. Be original. 

Kanwulia Gwam | Artist

Kanwulia Gwam | Artist

Tell us about yourself

My name is Kanwulia Gwam (Can-wool-e-a Guam) and I’m 20 years old. I was born in Geneva, Switzerland and moved to Maryland when I was 2, where I was raised in a Nigerian household. I’m studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland. I’m also on the worship team in Crusades for Christ (Cru), a Christian ministry on campus, and enjoy singing and writing music in my free time.

Where did your love for music stem from? 

My best friend, Briana, ignited my love for music. We always sang together, and did choir together from elementary school to high school. In high school, we formed a band with another friend, Kelsey, and performed throughout the community a lot. It became a passion around my junior year in high school which is when I started writing more songs and began performing throughout my community. When we went to college, I decided I wanted to continue pursuing music, and began writing more songs and performing at various events on my campus.

What are your future plans and goals? 

I get asked what my future plans for music are pretty often and honestly, I don’t know yet. But I do know that I want ministry through music, to play a big part of it whether that be through involvement on a worship team like Bethel Music, or promoting individual work like Jimmy Needham. I would love to record a CD and go on tour so those are some goals I have! Ultimately, I want people to encounter Christ through my music.

Do your parents support your musical interests? 'cause we know African parents pressure their children to only focus on higher education.

Haha!! School is a big priority for me and my Mom knows that. She also knows that music is my passion and respects it because I wouldn’t allow one to jeopardize the other. I, in no way, see music and engineering as mutually exclusive. Both enable me to exercise my logical and creative muscles and are thereby skills that enhance one another. It works out nicely!

What advice would you give to kids who want to pursue their interests? 

Be brave. As of late, I’ve been reminding myself that I can do hard things through Christ who gives me strength. Pursuing your interests isn’t an easy thing but don’t stop, for anything. I find that I’m my toughest critic, and that it’s far easier for me to believe lies of inadequacy than to cling to truth. But even that’s a battle, one worth fighting. Fortunately, God didn’t give us a spirit of fear; matter of fact, He commands us to not be afraid 365 in the Bible (one for each day)! Also, the older you get, the more you begin to realize that time truly is a very precious commodity. As you pursue your interests, steward it wisely.

What makes you original? 

I am passionate about music, engineering, love giraffes, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, weeping willow trees, writing music, playing guitar, shopping, reading articles on social issues, and the list goes on. Evidently, there are an eclectic array of interests, a unique organization of genes, and a creative display of personality traits that make up who I am— all of which God designed in the secret place (Psalms 139: 15). I’m original because a creative God whose favored style is originality made me. It’s super cool to know that I’m unlike any other work of art He’s ever created and ever will create. 

Sound Cloud

Kanwulia's Music

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