Despite being born blind, 36-year-old Kimiela Isaacs has accomplished a lot in her lifetime. She is never one to ask for handouts, but the realities of COVID-19 have put her on a different path. As a recording musician and teacher, the pandemic created reduced income which has led her to dream of creating her own home studio to do advertisements and voice-overs.
Hearing of her plight, Barita Investments Limited donated $300,000 to help her in building her studio. With a home studio, she will be able to earn an income, be more self-sufficient, and will eliminate transportation worries, especially considering the pandemic.
Paula Barclay, general manager at Barita Investments Limited, noted that the company is honoured to invest in Kimiela’s dream. “Hearing Kimiela’s story inspired us to contribute to her ongoing success. Like Barita, she is a game changer. She has achieved so much despite her challenges, and we at Barita believe in supporting Jamaicans who are making a difference and breaking barriers,” said Barclay.
The musician, who has not been teaching since May 2019, expressed her joy in receiving the donation from Barita. “The recent investment has pushed me a long way and I am truly grateful to Barita. I had recently received a phone with a quality camera to record my videos, I have invested in a microphone, a headphone, and I am in the process of getting my ring light. I will be using this donation to put towards purchasing a Mac computer, an audio interface, voice booth, speakers and soundproof materials for my home studio. This will allow me to begin recording and be another step closer to editing my very own ads,” shared Isaacs.
As the first visually impaired musician to graduate from the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts, she earned a music degree in jazz and popular music studies in 2012. Isaacs has since volunteered as a music director who prepares young adults from various communities for Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) festivals and graduation ceremonies. In 2014, she formed her own musical group called Sweet Sounds, and has entered them in the JCDC Festival Competition yearly, where they have won numerous medals and national trophies.