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Hope through music, despite all odds

35-year-old Jeshurun Vincent overcomes despair following partial hearing loss and is determined to inspire those in similar struggles

Music holds a profound influence on our lives. For many, it serves as a daily companion, offering solace and rhythm to navigate through the day.

Yet, for individuals like Jeshurun Vincent, it is something even more.

The 35-year-old semi-hearing impaired Malaysian musician believes music is a universal language capable of inspiring hope and uniting people, saying that while there’s many kinds of music, everyone will have a favourite tune.

Vincent, a passionate traveller was in Brunei Darussalam recently, marking his 133rd country visiting during an incredible nine-year journey across the globe.

Beyond his love for music, Vincent connects with local communities, sharing his travel experiences and offering valuable insights on harnessing talents for positive life changes. 

He tried singing in his travels at first, but said that the language barrier meant many couldn’t understand his songs.

Eventually, he switched to instrumental music, which bypassed the need for words in his journey to connect people to one another. 

Vincent didn’t begin with an interest in music. In fact, he said he was significantly demotivated from taking it up at all as he recalls being punished at a tender age of 10 for his inability to play a flute during music class in school.

Yet one day, he decided to try play a tune on the instrument on a whim. His mother saw his spontaneous performance, and feeling he had potential, attempted to enrol him into music school.

He was declined, as the school didn’t take students that young, but he returned at 14 to begin learning his first instrument, a bass guitar. Vincent recalled the instrument towering over him, and was made fun of by other students for the mismatched in stature, but it didn’t deter his growing love for music.

He learnt to sing and had a strict teacher pushing him to his limits. 

At 19, he was starting to perform gigs and began nurturing optimistic dreams for a future as a musician. All of which came crashing down one day when he woke up unable to hear from his left ear.

It was a dark time for him. Convinced that his life had essentially came to an end, he fell into despair, and those he should have trusted to encourage him instead shattered his motivation and confidence.

The words they had for him were hurtful, he said, and driven him to turn away from society for a time.

It took a few years to overcome his fears, and eventually, once again found the courage to pick up an instrument again.

It was an inspirational moment for him to play once more, and he was driven to share that moment with the world, with those who faced similar struggles and be their beacon of hope.

In 2014, His family thought he was crazy when he told them of his plan to head to Myanmar. “Not many people supported the idea,” he said, adding that they were concerned for him spending his own money.

He said the leap of faith proved worthwhile, as the journey opened doors for him to explore another 39 countries over the course of two and a half years.

“With sincere dedication and effort, you can achieve your goals, and your journey can become a source of inspiration for others.

“When your story can touch someone else and inspire them, that’s the biggest success you can have,” he said. – Lyna Mohamad

Photos show Jeshurun Vincent performs at various locales in Brunei Darussalam. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD

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