An update after two weeks into this action and we can tell you we are halfway the first project. Thank you all donators. This action goes on for another four weeks. We will update regularly.
Today (Valentine’s Day, February 14th), exactly in six weeks, Amira will be sixteen. We can all make it a big party.
She has shared her exceptional talent with the
world. It is something many are grateful to her for. The writer of this post
can only confirm that. Goosebumps! Tears! Who has not had them? When she also
says, just like that, on TV that she wants to build playgrounds in townships of
South Africa, you completely fall for it.
The Gelukskinders Foundation was born to give every fan an opportunity to implement her ideals together with Amira. Every playground is a gift for her. She is already happy with just one piece of equipment! In recent years, the donors, generous supporters of Amira’s foundation, have already realized fantastic projects following various promotions. This year, it won’t be much different. WITH a special TOUCH from Amira herself!
The foundation will realize two new playgrounds this year. Everyone who can count, comes to 15 playground projects… YOOHOO? She will be 16!
So, this will be the first project.
We are going to sponsor a sixteenth playground for her. This is going to be a project in an orphanage called HOSPICE EMMANUEL LOVING ANGELS for the little ones (0-5-year-old) in Promosa. A few pieces of playground equipment adapted to their age of course.
The audience is spoilt during these concerts. Amira on top of her ability.
Together with the Nijmegen Men’s Choir, Amira showed that she was in her optima forma. Amira is able to take listeners to another universe. She also succeeded during that concert.
As a warm-up, Dormi Filli, La Vergine Degli Angeli, Pie Jesu… All beautifully interpreted. Then came Ave Maria by W. Gomez. Something I had been looking forward to. The melody line, however, was so strange in my ears that I did not fly here as I did in 2015. Of course, Enjoyment with the capital E, but still, it seemed that the piano player was playing something different than intended. Amira, two more times before the break. This time with Ave Maria by Caccini and The Holy City. Amira has such a huge voice, a promise for after the break. Well, that came! Gesu Bambino, immediately followed by Sancta Maria… If you ever want to get the feeling of being able to float above the ground, then these two songs were the pinnacle of perfection. Magistral! Angels from the Realms of Glory and Joy to the World followed and brought an end to a fantastic evening. The people present could hardly stop applauding. Amira was in the mood for an encore, so she announced it herself. Again, La Vergine Degli Angeli sounded through the Saint Steven’s Church. What an end to a fantastic evening.
Amira also posed for photos with many fans and had time for everyone who just wanted to say something. She wore two beautiful dresses that evening. The photos provided will show how elegantly she looked.
If this evening was a prelude to a television show registration a day later, well then there is still something to wait for. My goodness, what a voice, what a girl!
The Gelukskinders 5th anniversary celebration cannot do without a party. This also applied to the 3rd fan club day. Fans from 13 different countries were present, as well as VIPs who contributed to the development of Gelukskinders or to Amira’s development in the artistic field. It was one big party thanks to the efforts of three main artists were to turn “De Warande” upside down the following day.
The fan club day did not start as planned. Anne Keizer wanted to “warm up” her fingers on the piano. Those present became quiet… What a feeling she can convey with her sounds!
After awarding the sponsor deal prizes, everyone went back into the room. Time to bring in the artists and their families. The Keizer, Acke and Willighagen families made their entrance with loud applause. Anne… even louder applause; Marjolein… ditto; Schilpaddie… also applause… Who did we miss? AMIRA, of course! The applause was so loud that people actually needed earplugs. The audience present were ready for it!
Anne kicked off. She played “Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis” insanely beautiful. With Anne at the piano, Marjolein sang “Halleluja” by Mozart, which is unparalleled when one also considers that it was the first time these two did it together. It testifies to the enormous talent of these two artists.
Finally, it was Amira’s turn. Anne made way for Mr. Willighagen. A sigh… if I still think about it. A good ten minutes of medleys from the Sound of Music musical. The applause that followed was corresponding! While Amira gave the best of the best, Fincent handed out small, self-made booklets containing short texts – the meaning of life for them.
Concert-wise, October has been a very busy month for Amira. Here are some highlights!
On October 23rd, Amira and Corlea Botha performed at the Nelson Mandela University South Campus Auditorium in Port Elizabeth. The concert was titled Two Sopranos in Concert and organised by The Music Society of Port Elizabeth. The two ladies were accompanied by the Nelson Mandela University Choir.
An eyewitness report, as provided by Robert Zahn: What an incredible evening! Tine and I attended the grand finale concert in the 2019 series of the ‘Music Society of Port Elizabeth’ at NMU. The impressive university choir introduced two sopranos, namely Amira Willighagen and Corlea Botha. Amira Willighagen,15, won ‘Holland’s Got Talent’ in 2013 at the age of 9. She has moved to South Africa and is absolutely sensational. What I really admire the most about this young lady is that she makes donations to the ‘Gelukskinders Foundation’, ensuring that playgrounds for the underprivileged are built in South Africa. Her voice was powerful and repertoire wide. The packed theatre was spell bound by the magical voice. Corlea Botha is well known and needs no introduction. Her involvement in ‘Classics is Groot’ will be known to most and she has so much CHUTZPAH, that she had us in tears of laughter between her powerful pieces. Corlea had a cold and apologised for not always being able to hit the high notes. I would not even have noticed had she not informed us.
Important also for fanday and concert visitors. This comes after the Christmas gift part.
This year, the Christmas gift for Amira is the sponsor deal.
That item is listed separately in the Gelukskinders web shop: https://www.gelukskinders.org/shop/SPONSORDEAL-p149320449
This time no new playground, but a big boost for the maintenance fund. In the past five years, all maintenance has been done from the general income. However, the costs for this increase as the number of playgrounds grows, 12 new ones and one adopted now, so the general income is being spent more and more on maintenance. This is therefore at the expense of new playgrounds. The age of the playgrounds will also eventually count. All the equipment will eventually have to be replaced. The equipment is heavily used by the children. In order to be able to continue building new playgrounds, the realized playgrounds must be guaranteed to be maintained. It is essential that every playground is maintained by Gelukskinders. The schools cannot take that on themselves. They have no money for that.
The playgrounds bear Amira’s name, the foundation cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this very important work. Not now, not tomorrow and actually never. Accidents happen at playgrounds, that is the case everywhere and schools are insured against accidents like that. Scratches, bloody knees, bruises, up to, unfortunately, broken limbs – who hasn’t had that kind of experience as a child or as a parent? However, when a child is hurt as a result of negligent maintenance, it reflects directly on the foundation, including Amira. That must be prevented at all times.
On September 14, 2019, Amira performed at Emmanuel Christian School in Louis Trichardt, SA. Here’s an eyewitness report on that unforgettable event, as well as some photos.
On 14 September, Louis Trichardt in Limpopo Province had the great privilege of experiencing the wonderful singing of Amira during a concert filled with great music.
From the first note on stage for her first three songs, she had the audience mesmerised and applauding enthusiastically.
She started off with Amazing Grace, which is a lot of people’s favourite. Then she sang Hallelujah and ended the first part with How great Thou art.
Next to perform were the ensemble put together specially for the concert, consisting of local performers: piano, flute, violin, guitar and bass guitar, joined by the children of the ZCVO School outside of town and an adult choir. After they had performed four songs, it was Amira’s turn again, this time with the title track from her new album, With All My Heart, as well as a medley from The Sound of Music.The violin and piano were next with Czardas by Monti, after which Amira came on for Nella Fantasia and Plaisir d’Amour.The piano and flute then performed Allegro by Mozart, after which the adult choir performed three songs.
The opera section was introduced by the flute, violin and piano with the Flower Duet from Lakmé. Amira came on to perform O mio babbino caro after changing her dress. The wonderful evening was concluded with the singing of Dana Winner’s Let the children have a world by the whole ensemble and the children, followed by Amira and the adults with Gabriella’s Song. Needless to say, the audience gave her a standing ovation, after which she and Fincent distributed thank you cards to everyone, which they really appreciated. The feedback received afterwards was unanimously positive and Amira stole a lot of hearts with her willingness to greet her fans and have her photo taken with all and sundry. Truly a fantastic evening!
July and August 2019 marked a huge milestone for Amira’s Gelukskinders foundation – 6 new playgrounds were opened!
These were very busy months for those involved in preparations, construction, and openings, but the results are astonishing and well worth all the efforts. Several hundred more children can now enjoy brand new equipment and playgrounds. They were all very enthusiastic and happy about it. Broad grins on their faces said it all!
As always, children received gifts made by Amira who was assisted by her family, friends, and fans attending the events. Joined by local young soloists, choirs, and well-known artists, Amira performed for the children and guests. She was also very eager to demonstrate how to use the equipment!
The sheer joy Amira exhibits when opening new playgrounds is contagious. We are all very proud of her and thankful for being a continuous inspiration to us!
Below is the list of all six playgrounds. Follow the links for more details and photos.