Season 12 AGT star and Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer Kechi continues to inspire us. The 29-year-old singer, who survived a plane crash when she was 16, wrote an essay for Teen Vogue about her experience with bullying, in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month.
However, the bullying Kechi refers to didn’t come from an outside source, and it wasn’t because of her scars. Instead, Kechi discusses how she bullied herself, believing that she wasn’t talented enough.
‘AGT’ Star Kechi Talks Self-Bullying
Kechi talks about how she and her mother helped her younger sister deal with bullying when they moved from Nigeria to the United States. “During this time, it was extremely important for me to lead by example,” she said, adding that her confidence in her appearance made her want to teach others self-love.
“What I didn’t expect was to become a victim of self-bullying,” she explained, saying this stopped her from pursuing a professional career in music. “I told myself my voice wasn’t good enough to share with the public, and that even if it was, I was too different-looking for the music industry to take any interest in me.”
“Because of self-bullying, I allowed myself to believe lies about me. Didn’t that make me like any other bully?” Kechi pointed out.
How Kechi Gained Confidence As A Singer
Kechi started singing in church in 2015, and said it was her first time “allowing myself to be vulnerable on a stage that wasn’t my living room”. Then in 2017, her friend signed her up for America’s Got Talent, which put her on a much bigger stage.
Kechi made it to the finals of Season 12, and returned for AGT: The Champions, where she earned the Golden Buzzer from Simon Cowell. She has since used her platform to raise awareness of issues such as bullying.
“All I want to do is lend a hand in the move to reduce that number, one person at a time,” Kechi wrote in Teen Vogue. She adds “by using my story and my voice as tools to empower the victims however possible.”