Entertainers who suffered before they 'made it in life'

When I was a karaoke singer earning sh9,000 where were they? When I spent days in church on an empty stomach, where were they? You can’t wait for me to hustle and make it before telling me what to do. No one will tell me what to do, how to dress… I am an adult who has catapulted myself to the top,” said singer Sheebah Karungi.

Hart, Sheeran and Karungi

When Sheebah said these words, she tugged at many heartstrings. While many others frowned upon what they perceived as her self-pity.

However, she is right.

She has built herself up slowly and painfully, thereby personifying the words by Mira Nair: "I’m not interested in passion and love for their own sake — without the struggle of life, they’re just fluff".

Here's a lady who grew up so poor she could eat the holes out of a church mouse's cheese.

Her deadbeat dad left her and her mother to slug it out in a male-dominated economy. But Sheebah never gave up, she treated her suffering as a form of training for a better life.

She was told that she was ugly and couldn't dance, so she joined a dance troupe of hotties called The Obsessions.

Then she was told she couldn't sing, so she became arguably the biggest musician in the country.

Sheebah Karungi is definitely one of Uganda's few authentic heroes and she's uniquely wired for struggle and personal growth.

However, she is not alone.

Ed Sheeran is considered one of the most famous musicians in the world. But before he made it, he suffered.

At fourteen years of age, he left home with only his guitar, and went to London.

However, instead of making it right off the bat, the singer was homeless for two and a half years.

At times, when there was nowhere for him to rest his head at night, he would sleep in a park or the subway.

Most days he didn’t have money for food.

The hardship he endured during this period imbued him with an indomitable spirit and this is partly why he is such a sensational artist today.

Then there’s the comedian Kevin Hart.

As one of the world’s most successful comedians, he earns millions of dollars.

But this was not always the case.

Growing up, Hart lived in a shoebox apartment with his mother and brother.

Hart grew up poor in Philadelphia, USA. His father was a drug addict, so his mother raised him and his brother Robert alone.

He and Robert slept in a bunk bed in the hallway of their one-bedroom apartment.

We had a hallway, and there was my mom’s side and there was me and my brother’s side,” Hart says.

Professionally, Hart was rejected in many comedy circles even as he had to commute from Philadelphia to comedy clubs in New York, sometimes not getting home until 4 a.m.

In the end, his struggles paid off to remind us of the old saying: Suffering builds character and impels you to penetrate life's secrets. It's the path of great artists, great religious leaders, great social reformers.

The stories of Kevin, Sheebah and Ed should inspire you to fight the good fight.

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