For a good five minutes, the sidewalk outside Toronto’s Me to We store was filled with uplifting tunes and packed with dozens of dancing and clapping teens on Saturday.
We Day supporters were treated to an impromptu performance put on by The Kenyan Boys Choir — best known for their rousing performance at President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony — as they lined up patiently, waiting to catch a glimpse and get an autograph of their favourite performer and speaker.
“We’re here to see Shawn Desman,” said 17-year-old Suraiya Jinah. “Spencer West is amazing too, he came to our school before.”
Shawn Desman, Kardinal Offishall, Spencer West, The Kenyan Boys Choir and Free the Children co-founder Marc Kielburger were in-store signing autographs and greeting fans as part of the sneak peek event for tomorrow’s We Day at the Air Canada Centre, where 18,000 students and educators will attend the annual performance put on by Free the Children to inspire and empower youth.
“It’s always special when you do a show at home, just ’cause this is where you’re from and people know that and they’re very proud of it,” said Desman. “It’s all about the kids, all about meeting the people and supporting a great cause.”
But not everyone was there for an autograph. One of the youth in line, Sinead Zalitach, who, when asked why she was there, responded, “For drought relief. I could care less who’s appearing. That’s not really the point. I’ve been coming to We Day since 2008, but I can’t this year because I graduated from high school, so I wanted to come out today.”