IN FOCUS is ReaTalk.BB’s Question and Answer Interview Series produced by our Publisher and Editor-In Chief William Chandler focusing on the lives, philosophies, ideologies, passions and struggles of seemingly average but very driven Caribbean people. We encourage you to have a read, enjoy and share!
- How would you describe yourself?
To describe me … I’m fun loving, down to earth, driven and ambitious. I live by virtues and always by kindness.
- You’re often online highlighting your parish; St. Andrew. Why?
I highlight my parish because I was born and grown in St. Andrew, I represented St. Andrew in the Parish Ambassador Programme in 2008 and later was chairman of that group in 2011.
- How does St. Andrew compare to other parishes?
St. Andrew is very unique in my eyes, rich in natural resources for example natural gas, clay, shale and sand yet it remains beautiful and unspoilt. St. Andrew needs an infrastructural upgrade but its beauty is still unmatched.
- What’s your passion? What drives you to do what you do?
My passion and my dream is intertwined; politics and community service are paramount for me. What drives me is the result, when I can use resources to help someone progress, we all need a hand sometimes.
- How do you define success?
I define success as the reward for a goal set and executed, it may not always be executed in the time we’d like; but success often comes through effort.
- What’s your view on Education in Barbados?
I believe education has been one of the most strategic investments this country has ever made, the evidence of this can be seen in Barbadians securing key positions all over the world and positively impacting on those societies. The current status of Education is changing obviously because of the cost factor associated with tertiary education but I still believe we have the potential to continue birthing gifted and intelligent Barbadians.
- Imagine you are Barbados’ Governor-General. What’s your message for your people at this time of worry and hope?
My message to the people would be to acquaint your selves with our past, remember the things that made us the strong nation that we are. I’d ask Barbadians to remember that our greatest resource is not in oil, gold or bauxite it’s in our ideas. I would ask the political parties not to destroy the fabric of our country for political control, we are not rioters we are right thinking.
- What’s your view on inter-parish competitions?
Inter-parish competitions are great ! They could only bring our communities closer, that is why I commend the Ministry of Social Care and Constituency Empowerment for facilitating the David Thompson Memorial Football Competition.
- If you were in-charge of constituency empowerment what would you do?
I would concentrate on creating a culture of partnership, investment and entrepreneurship. I would also try to facilitate more social groups to look at issues facing communities, being actively involved in volunteerism I know it’s difficult to help everyone but unless we look deep enough we won’t ever find the people in our society who really need assistance.
- When you look back on all your life to date can you honestly say you are successful?
I tend not to measure life in time …. hours and minutes but in experiences, and i’ve had some amazing experiences at 28 years old. From introducing the Prime Minister of Dominica Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit in 2013 at the Errol Barrow Memorial Lecture, Chairman of the Parish Independence Committee, Member of a schools Board of Management, recently appointed as maybe the youngest Deputy Chairman of that board; embarking on my own business ideas and gaining experience in political strategy first hand. For 28 years I definitely think I’ve been successful.
- Do you believe Barbados has a bright future? Are you part of it?
I believe Barbados has a very bright and rich future, I do believe I will be a part of it but im not sure what aspect. I would love to be involved in elective politics but I also really love political strategy. I think I have some good ideas and growing up in a family who take politics very seriously I’ve always been reminded to remember where ive come from and always be mannerly even to an animal that crawls. That upbringing is the back bone of a leader.
- What’s your view on CARICOM?
CARICOM in my mind is a long time engagement but the wedding is yet to happen. Of course its difficult to merge an entire region but much like a marraige we cant all sign prenuptial agreements, we have to merge on faith, take stock of what we have to offer the world as one body.
- Would you describe yourself as a regionalist?
At the moment no. I haven’t done any regional work to date but I’d like to meet other likeminded people within the region as Ive done with my friends in the Conservative Repulican Party in the US. These links are very informative and certainly give firsthand knowledge on how the Presidential system works.
- What’s your life philosophy?
My consciousness was granted by the creator that is my link to him, most things critical to life lie within ones self.
- What do your family members think about your chosen career path?
My grandmother was very political, she worked closely with various candidates; I think she would have been proud. My family is very cautious about my career path because they fear I may be victimized in the future, after all politics is not comparable to a weekend at Sandy Lane. However, whatever role assume I want to lead the fight in removing victimization from partisan choice and also enable persons in the public service to be able to participate in politic without fear of reprimand once conducting themselves in an acceptable manner.
- Be honest, do you think you are a humble person?
I am a humble person, not soft spoken but humble and very aware of who I am and where originated.
- What plans do you have for the future or are you keeping those a secret?
Even if you have secret plans surely there must be something you can spill. Prime Minister of Barbados RT. Hon Fruendel Stuart once said to me, look at those who have power, they had to work for it. Noone gave anything to them dont expect them to give it to you. Start to work. That being said I think you know what I plan to do. And it involves St. Andrew.
- Do you see yourself as a world changer or spare change?
Definitely a world changer, the name Don actually means great man or world leader. I really believe ideas make a difference, but we must believe that we can change the world or those ideas will just be brief thoughts.
- Would you ever consider leaving Barbados?
Vacations yes, but Barbados is where I will stay and to be more precise, St. Andrew Barbados.
- It is often said that youth must be involved in politics at some level. What’s your level of involvement? What’s your view on that statement?
Youth must be involved in politics mainly because we need leaders to continue after our current leaders have passed on. I think honestly someone getting involved in politics should have worked in the community at some point, ideally that’s what politics is, community service. Many have believed that a good career validates you to enter elective politics, but then are elected and found wanting. My level of involvement in politics is very minimal at this time.
- Please tell us your greatest inspiration(s).
My greatest inspiration would have to be my dad, he always tells me he was never a star student but he has an understanding. He recollected on times going to the theatre in slippers and feet greased with oil, but he is grateful to the almighty that now he is very comfortable. My dad has inspired me to work hard and always remember my roots.
- Have you ever had a life changing experience?
Yes I have, Back in 2007 I was confronted by police about the company I kept and my whereabouts, I hadn’t been guilty of anything but the fact that they saw me as a questionable person in the community made me take control of who I really was. I cut my hair, joined community groups such as C.E.R.O now D.E.M and the Parish Independence Committee.
- What do you want your future family / children to know about the person you are now?
I’d like them to know that I worked hard for the victories I’ve had so far, I literally started from the bottom working at a supermarket for $4.25 an hour. I’d want them to know to never be afraid to speak because that’s the only way someone will know you’ve got something brilliant to say.
- With all of the strife in the world do you see any good?
Look positively and you’ll find positive, I do see good in the world I dont try to ignore the bad but just like we repositioned to find solutions we will have to do so again.
- What is your message to the world?
My message to the world would be to absorb every day, cherish your loved ones and live life consciously seek knowledge and understanding before riches.