“I’m genuinely in love with my roots and I feel a sense of ‘kinship’ for the Kenyan youths” – CECILEStraight Talk recently engaged Jamaican riddims queen Cecile, and her passion and love for Kenyan youth is simply overwhelming! This is what she had to say:1. Have you ever visited a HIV/AIDS testing centre“Yes in Jamaica! Every year our Ministry of Health does a workshop for World Aids day and I have been a part of their mobile events a few times, where not only do entertainers perform but we get to speak to people with HIV and also see site testing being done” 2. What can you tell the youths about drugs and substance abuse “I just feel that to knowingly start something that’s harmful to you is foolish, regardless of any reason or so called excuse, I’ve lived around people who have been abusing drugs and I have no tolerance for such people, I’m very hard on such people and I can’t bring myself to lend support to someone who knowingly started it, so I prefer to talk about staying away from drugs in the first place, as opposed to trying to get people off drugs. Usually someone has to want to get off because its so hard to.” “So stay AWAY!!!!!” 3. What songs of yours do you feel highlight the rights and wrongs in relationships “Honestly I’m not one to say what’s right or wrong in a ‘real persons’ relationship because all people are different and what works for one relationship may not work in another. However when I sing about stuff like ‘Waiting’ (being monogamous) Or ‘Ride or Die’ (sticking by someone through thick and thin) its my hope that these general rules will help push some form of decency in relationships because I find that people can be very promiscuous which I’ve never been, will never be, and don’t like!” “Mostly though my songs are for entertainment purposes so most of my ‘real life’ encouragement comes from what I choose to say and not necessarily what I choose to sing.” 4. What is the biggest challenge you ever faced as a youth? “I’ve never had a relationship with either my mom or my dad where I was extremely close and that bond where I could tell them anything, so I’ve had to rely on reading and I’m happy to say reading worked for me. I don’t like to complain about my hardships in life, there have been many, but I’m a firm believer in shutting up, getting up, and making your own life and paving your path! I don’t believe in being weak. There’s nothing wrong in having a hard life so its not an excuse, we didn’t choose who had us, what kinda financial situation we were born in or any of that, but belief in self is something you CAN choose to have, and ambition! I’d rather pretend it was easy than sing about how hard life’s been, that’s just me!” “One day I will write a book and you will see!” 5. What advice do you have for the Kenyan youths? “I’m genuinely in love with my roots and I feel a sense of ‘kinship’ for the Kenyan youths and I’m aware of the power of music and I feel the pure, real love from Kenya and I don’t want that corrupted by music, my music, music of Jamaica in case that’s possible which it very well maybe!  So I think its my responsibly to extend my real self to them, hoping that they see the real values of who I am, especially for the ones that will now have me as a role model! I want them to know don’t use my songs (or all of them) as a model for your life but instead take inspiration from the person that I really am, the real Cecile who says No to drugs, No to hate, Yes to hard work, Yes to being positive, Yes to loving who you are, No to being promiscuous, Yes to being smart and Yes to giving back etc etc ! Its why I extend myself so much on social media like twitter,” “I firmly believe in being a star, whoever you are, on your own level, acting like a King or a Queen, commanding respect and earning it.” 6. What would you be if you were not a musician? “I’ve been asked this all the time. Maybe a writer, school teacher of English Language and Literature!” 7. What are the main challenges for the Jamaican youths maybe in comparison to Kenyan youths “The challenges are very similar! Knowing yourself and having self worth, cause once you have this there are many situations you just won’t get involved with or in.”