Malik Kofi

Meet 11-Year-Old Musical Prodigy Malik Kofi

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Malik Kofi

Malik Kofi and Grandmother

Reported by Malcolm Morrow

Eleven-year-old super prodigy Malik Kofi is a multi-talented child that is about to take the world by storm. Malik’s musical talents leave audiences entranced as he plays with vigor, skill and knowledge well beyond his young years. He plays numerous instruments including drums, piano and guitar; but he is most passionate about honing his skill on the cello. “Malik is a musical prodigy. He has advanced technological and interpretative abilities as a child. Beyond that he also puts in the hard work to develop those talents, says Craig Hulgren, a cellist in the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Kofi’s teacher for the past five years.

Kofi was born in Birmingham, AL and has been raised by his grandmother Ruby Cox since birth. Cox says that she could see something special in Malik and decided to home school him and his older brothers so that his advanced skills could properly develop. It all seems to be paying off in a big way. Cox also says that she stays in tune with the lesson plans of the top boarding schools in the country because she believes, “In order for them to compete with the best in the world they need to be able to perform at a certain level.”

Cox also has Kofi on a strict vegan diet because she thinks that, “Junk food is like any substance abuse. Kids that eat junk don’t focus, can’t sit down, are noisy and disruptive and are not imaginative.” They also don’t have access to a television or the internet in their home, Cox says that they research things in books at the library and CD’s and DVD’s. She believes having no technological distractions around helps him to be more imaginative and focused. Malena Cunningham, a filmmaker, heard about Malik and felt obligated to tell his story on film. “If Ruby Cox wasn’t the type of grandmother she is, he’d be a bright, frustrated, African-American child, lost in the system because he didn’t have the right push from a parent, Ruby saw in her children, especially her grandchildren, and in particular Malik, the ability to help them grow. She has nurtured and given them opportunities despite their socio-economic background.If we had more parents, not just grandparents, who were as tenacious as Ruby, we wouldn’t have a generation of lost children.”

I agree whole heartedly with the sentiments of Ms. Cunningham. I’m glad that Malik’s story will be told on a large scale because so often gifted children are not given the proper recognition they deserve. The first screening of the film entitled  Little Music Manchild: The Malik Kofi Story will be held in April and all of the funds raised will go towards Kofi’s music lesson expenses. They are hoping to shop the film around at various festivals and maybe get a distribution deal. I hope that they due because this young man’s achievements should be known on a national level.

Malcolm Morrow, a Your Black World Network contributor, is a senior, criminal justice major at The University of Southern Miss

Comments

comments

13 comments

  1. Ms. Ruby you are a wonderful woman may God bless you in all you do. Keep pulling out the best in your grandchildren they will forever be grateful to you. I see God’s blessings all over this story and family.

  2. A very uplifting story for all parents. I guess that is why not many comments. God Bless you Malik and your great grandmother.

  3. I cannot wait to see this!

  4. ” . . . lost in the system because he didn’t have the right push from a parent”: herein lies the problem as well as the solution to Black education!
    As a people, let us stop looking to others to nurture and direct excellence in Black children. If we will not or cannot do it ourselves, then it just won’t get done.
    Many a Black doctor, lawyer, educator, theologian, business and political leader has come from what we now describe as poor schools. But a parent or a teacher or a guardian of the community PUSHED some child to realize his or her potential, nevertheless. It is not necessarily what we put on the outside of a child that stirs greatness in him or her. It is always what we put in his head and his heart that makes all the difference in his and our world.
    So, let us not wait for the government to pour more money into schools into the Black community. Let’s pour ourselves into them!

  5. Billie Jelks-Hood

    Mrs.Cox, my praise goes out to you for all your great work with your grandsons, and I make it clear sons, because I know you have worked very hard, to get, and keep your grandsons active, and involved in helpful,hopeful and gratfying activities. Thank god that god saw fit to bestow this wonderful gift to Malik. I understand your econmic situation is not at thetop of the food chain, but god, will provide. I do beleive that we must help our selves, if we can. God Bless , and hope I can see this film soon.

  6. Gloria Fredericks

    Such an uplifting story. We wish Malik every success. Mrs Cox thank you very much. You are an inspiration to other grandmothers, and thanks to Malik for listening.

  7. I comment this grand Mother for taking stock in the future of her Grand Kids we need more G-mother like that about the fast food I agree with her,parents these days want to have kidsso they can get more money from the system.NuFF sais

  8. That picture look’s like a girl..

    • What difference does it make how he looks. You should be more concerned about the great work that this young man has achieved and not his looks.His Grandmother should be commended for see the gifting that God has placed in this young man. Much success to not only Malik, but to his siblings as well. Great story!

  9. Earnest Mosley

    U can dream all u won’t but if u don’t put in work it will b nothing but a dream!!!!

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