Meet The Partially Deaf Musician Who Set A Malaysian Record After Visiting 102 Countries

With a guitar in hand, this Kajang-born musician has travelled across the globe sharing his music and story.

Cover image via Jeshurun Vincent (Provided to SAYS)

After travelling to over 100 countries, Jeshurun Vincent has recently become a Malaysian record holder for the most countries visited by an individual

Over five years, the globetrotter has been to a total of 102 countries, sharing his music and story to anyone who'd care to listen in the hopes of inspiring others to strive for their own goals and dreams.

The 33-year-old kicked off his journey six years ago, going from country to country all while working a full-time job

In August 2014, Jeshurun's first stop was to Myanmar, where he knew no one and did not have any itinerary planned - truly a spur-of-the-moment decision. 

His first trip to Myanmar in August 2014.

Image via Jeshurun Vincent (Provided to SAYS)

Initially, the musician was travelling monthly, with his journey taking him from Myanmar, to Indonesia, and then Brunei.

Working full-time at a financial firm, Jeshurun would leave the office at 4pm each Friday, only to arrive back just in time to start work on Monday morning.

What is astounding is that he managed to visit 79 countries during this time!

It wasn't until June last year that the avid traveller decided to leave his job, using the savings he had to continue to see the world.

The decision to travel across the globe, spreading a message of hope, was born out of Jeshurun's own experiences overcoming the obstacles he faced after becoming partially deaf

Jeshurun was 19 when he first discovered that he could not hear out of his left ear.

To make matters worse, Jeshurun told SAYS that several people pinned the blame on him, saying that his loss of hearing was a form of punishment from God. 

Because of this, he struggled with a lot of doubt. But as Jeshurun rekindled his long-time love for music and turned to spirituality, he soon found the courage to face these challenges head on. 

I started thinking that my left-side hearing loss was not a loss, but something I could use to influence and impact people.
Jeshurun Vincent

Jeshurun in Cairo, Egypt.

Image via Jeshurun Vincent (Provided to SAYS)

With cultural and linguistic barriers, visiting a country for the first time is not without its challenges

Often travelling with little money, the musician has definitely found himself in some sticky situations. But for every tight spot, a kind-hearted soul would turn up and offer to house or feed him.

Jeshurun with a few of his friends in Oslo, Norway.

Image via Jeshurun Vincent (Provided to SAYS)

In a recent trip to Somalia, Jeshurun failed to secure a visa. After explaining the purpose of his visit to an officer at the Somalia Consulate in Jeddah, the globetrotter not only received a visa, but was asked to be interviewed by the country's national television station!

Jeshurun standing outside Somalia's national television station.

Image via Jeshurun Vincent (Provided to SAYS)

On his trips, Jeshurun typically stays with locals he's never met, communicating through the universal languages of music and smiles

The power of smiling was something Jeshurun learned from the people he met in Afghanistan and Syria, two of his favourite countries he's visited thus far. 

"With all the challenges they face, they taught me that they never fail to smile, that changed my whole impression on life," he told SAYS. 

Wanting to better connect with those who came to his musical performances, the Kajang-born guitarist began to play more instrumental music despite being a vocalist himself.

Jeshurun and a group of students he performed for and spoke to at Tbilisi, Georgia.

Image via Jeshurun Vincent (Provided to SAYS)

Originally intending to travel to South Africa, Jeshurun's plans were cut short after learning that his mother was unwell

He returned a week before the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO). A month later, Jeshurun revealed that his mum had sadly passed away.  

Jeshurun standing with his parents after winning in the 'Unsung Heroes' category at the Malaysian Indian Cine Awards 2019.

Image via Jeshurun Vincent (Provided to SAYS)

Speaking candidly about being recognised by The Malaysia Book of Records, Jeshurun said, "It's definitely a mixed feeling for me as I am happy for the award, but I am missing one key person in my life."

His mum had been his biggest fan, encouraging him to pursue music ever since he first picked up the recorder at the age of 10 and later when he took an interest in bass guitar.

"Life is totally different without her presence now," Jeshurun expressed.

As his travel plans are on pause, Jeshurun is taking the time to reflect and write his second book

After the success of his first book Into the Potter's Hands, Jeshurun now spends his days writing about his experiences in South America. 

On top of that, the humble musician hopes to continue inspiring others with his music that will soon be made available on a website he is constructing.

You never know… The difficulties and challenges you face today might be a great encouragement for someone tomorrow.
Jeshurun Vincent

This feature is part of the #saysplaylist series, providing your playlist with a breath of fresh Malaysian air

Image via Pixabay/SAYS

If you have any Malaysian bands, singers or songs that you think we should feature, let us know!

These Malaysian have also set a few records of their own:

Local indie band Jumero also found themselves taking their music to a global audience:

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