The 6th grade theme for the end of year exploration is “What is courage?” During exploration we have people who have displayed courage in their life come and talk about how they are related to the theme.
Our first speaker this year was Sidiki Conde. Sidiki’s visit to MS8 on June 7th was more than just interesting, it was inspiring, fun, and a perfect example of courage. Sidiki got polio at 14 year old and in the end it had cost him the use of his legs.
In Guinea, being disabled means you bring bad luck, shame, and misfortune to your family. Sidiki was sent to live with his grandfather because of his disability. Sidiki knew he had to participate in a coming-of-age dance ceremony to be accepted back into his villiage. He began experimenting with new ways of walking. It took him 3 years to get get good at it. Eventually, he found a way to walk on his hands without scraping or burning his feet in the ground, and without breaking the sides of his shirts. Soon enough he was old enough and able to take part in the dance, after this he was able to rejoin his village.
Sidiki grew up with dance and music and it was his love for it that brought him to America. His goal is to help people who have been separated from their community because of something bad that happened to them reconnect with society, like he did after his polio. Now he goes around the country visiting schools and this year has been his 4th year MS8. He shows kids that even if you have a life changing disability you can still live as happy a life as you would without the disability. It is his courage that brought him to where he is now, had he not tried and tried for 3 years he would be still in his grandfather’s village.
Sidiki is determined to make his life the best it can be, and he wants others to do the same with their lives. Sidiki fought the odds with courage and rose to the top.
Ava O. (6th grader)