BackStory “Nyanda”

BackStory presents you with the life story and views of people from around the Caribbean and World. Each installment highlights a personality with something real to say about our world. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Join The Conversation Today!

This installment of BackStory features Nyanda, Caribbean global-trotting recording artiste. She keeps things real, bubbly and full of fun and laughter. Definitely the total package.  Nyanda joins the conversation, sharing with us her journey and desires. Share your opinions in the comments and Join The Conversation.

BackStory “Nyanda” Part 1

BackStory “Nyanda” Part 2

BackStory “Nyanda” Part 3

Nyanda’s YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxbNZQRRIPxtdY9azxZdhoA

Nyanda’s Sound Cloud:

Additional Credits:

Cloud 9 – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_411v5XTGmfSfWD9Cpk-Zw

 

5 Black Enjoyable Freestyles and Sessions

black-music-2014

RealTalk.BB Celebrating BLACK HERITAGE in EVERY WAY EVERY DAY!

NUMBER 5 – Sweet Irie, Tippa Irie and General Levy.

 

NUMBER 4 – Lady Saw, Wayne Wonder and Frisco.

NUMBER 3 – Akala on Fire In Da Booth

NUMBER 2 – Bunji Garlin The Frist Time!

NUMBER 1 – Bunji Garlin The Second Time!

 

HOW ABOUT ON EXTRA SESSION FOR THE ROAD?

JUST ONE MORE YES?

HUSH|HUSH

Business-ManWoman-512

HUSH/HUSH is an interview series where we ask bold questions to marginalized individuals and get bold answers.

 

How would you describe yourself?

Soft spoken and motivated.

What caused you to start using drugs? When did you start?

I wanted to try it out. Age 16

Is there a difference between drug abuse and drug use?

Yes

What drugs did / do you use?

Marijuana

How did/ do you consume your drugs?

Smoking

How does it feel when you are high?

Normal

Depending on the drug is the psychedelic feeling different?

Yes

Tell us your story. What was your life like before drug use ? What’s your life like after drug use?

Before my life was normal. After I was aware of the distinction that drugs cause.

Have you ever engaged in sexual acts for drugs?

No

What’s the craziest thing you have ever done while high?

Laugh

When you look back on all your life to date do you regret ever using drugs? Why?

No

Have you ever engaged in crime?

No

Would you say you are well educated? Tell us why.

Yes, because in a year I will be graduating from UWI Cave Hill

Describe you family situation. Does your family know about your drug use?

Single parent household. Yes they do

Would you describe yourself as a responsible person?

Yes

What’s your life philosophy?

Once you ask God for health, strength and wisdom, nothing is impossible

Have you ever encouraged anyone to use drugs? If yes, how do you do this? If no, why not?

No I have not

Please tell us your greatest inspiration(s).

-Unanswered-

Have you ever had a life changing experience?

No

What’s your message to other drug users?

Don’t use drugs

 

 

Marginalized – “Van Culture”

VanCulture

RealTalk.BB Presents – Marginalized 

An in-depth look at the issues and people society often ignores or oppresses. 

This is the first questionnaire published in a series on societal perspectives on van culture.

The purpose is to give insight into the society’s perspective on van culture and those parties who contribute to it.

The interviewees prefer to remain anonymous for personal reasons.

Interviewee: Given Anonymous Name Jepter

Age: 26

Occupation: Student (University Of West Indies)

Interviewer: Shakira Lowe

Please tell us your story. How did you become who you are today?

I am a 26 year old individual who was to make changes locally and regionally. I caught Ellerslie van every day. Went in the van stand every day. I belief I have an understanding of the van culture and I heard other stories of different routes. Stories of Jackson van, B142 always being “write off”; popularity of the van culture; and the drivers entertaining people. Interesting culture- interesting values, generate friends, entertains, building friends to feel towards a family, makes money for their families. Not like a traditional family but still a family

Have you seen sexual acts being committed to ZRs or buses?

Being in vans, heard never saw it. I saw the doubling up and heard the allegations.

There are anecdotal accounts of women being molested in vans and minibus. Have you ever witness/ experienced this? If so how did it make you feel?

No.

Have you ever engaged in any sexual or otherwise private acts while using public transpiration? If so what did you do? If not; why?

No, never, I do not think it is right; it is against the laws, rules and regulations. Morally wrong.

What is your view on the playing of music in VANS?

Enjoyable sometimes, too loud not in mood for. Different age groups may get frustration, annoyance and angry. I heard a person quarrelling because of the music …. Vans with complete silences can also be frustrating. It depends on the music and the mood of the individual… there are two types of music frequently played, reggae and dancehall- gun tune. Women don’t really feel the gun tune… different personalities… keep it radio.

Do you think ZRs and Minibuses are unjustly given a bad reputation?

Yes, I acknowledge some speed and bad driving that creates a bad view in the public eyes but they go places buses don’t go. Transport Board Buses are too rigid, vans must hustle. There is good and bad but a negative view in the public… transport board has a fix salary.

What’s your favorite mode of transportation? Why?

Driving, because, waiting for an over packed van can be annoying when in hurry, plus the stoppage… limited wait time; there is only traffic to contend with and only worrying about yourself.

What is worst experience you ever had using public transportation?

3, only, I almost died in 1st or 2nd Form at Ellerslie exiting a van, I tripped over from my lace and the conductor saved me from hitting a fencing that had a lose wire.

Is there any ZR, Minibus or Transport Board bus you want to highlight/ “big up”?

Most don’t run anymore. 142 Jackson and Black Rock route.

What do you think about getting rid of ZRs? Should it be done?

No, question 7 answers this

How do school children behave on vans?

In my time, I enjoyed the van culture, it was never in a position of lives being threaten… there is nothing wrong with the behaviour, but nowadays people are fighting and fighting is not because of the van culture but the society we live in … things have changed.

What’s your preference? ZRs, Minibuses, or Transport Board Buses? Why?

ZRs. I’m accustomed. transport board buses are too big.

What is your Life Philosophy?

Motivation

Have you ever witnessed illegal drug use in vans?

Nope

Should public transportation have mandatory air-conditioning?

No because of the high aromas of different individuals.

What’s the scariest/ wildest moment you ever experience using public transportation?

Yeah, cradles, excessive speeding and driver got out the van and ran next to it.

Would you let your child use ZRs and Minibuses? Why?

Yes, knowledge of living area, don’t want kids growing up with a bourgeoisie mentality, he/she must know the basics.

What’s your message to providers of public transportations?

Improve image, be a more organized business, consideration and have a fix pay.

What’s your message to the Barbados Government on public transportation?

The Ministry of Transportation and Works needs to regulate and aid in improvement, to boost it. The van culture is a tourist attraction, although it holds a similarity to other Caribbean countries, the Barbadian van Culture is unique. The tourists are moving away from the taxi and want to get around on their own. It must be improved, not killed. Barbados must maintain it identity regionally and internationally

What is your view on the uniform implementation?

Too much, just have badges.

 

 

In Focus, “Tanya Brathwaite”

IN FOCUS is RealTalk.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!

TanyaBrathwaite

 

  • What’s your story?

I was born and raised in Barbados, I attended St. Angela’s primary school and Queens College before moving to Venezuela at 14 where I lived for two years (and didn’t learn nearly enough Spanish. ) On returning to Barbados I attended the Ursuline Convent where I completed my CXCs. In 2011 received a scholarship to attend the United World College in Montezuma and complete the International Bachelorette program. There I was able to meet individuals from over 82 different countries, participate in many clubs, become a resident advisor, go on daring wilderness trips and even lead cultural show representing the Caribbean and Latin America. On completion of the program I received a scholarship to attend the University of Florida where I am currently pursuing a degree in Advertising. Here I have become a member of the Caribbean student association, joined a service fraternity, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, joined the Florida Women in Business organization and started a fashion and lifestyle blog.

  • What’s the most intriguing thing about you?

Honestly couldn’t say.

  • Describe who you are now.

I’m a spirited college students who’s trying to find her place not only on campus, but in my life in general. I’m conscious of my flaws and determined to work on them day by day. I’m extremely driven and excited for all the new experiences the next few years have for me. I love fashion, I love to party and I love service. I’m also a cat person who love to sew, crocket and read.

  • Are you the sort of person who always moves forward, stagnates or gives up when the going gets tough?

I would have to say I’m always moving forward. I’m constantly looking for new opportunities and experiences.

  • Up until recently you were living in Barbados. How was it?

Living in Barbados is as close as it gets to a fairytale for me. Going to school with the my childhood friends, family lunches on Sundays after church, liming on the beach whenever, partying as much as I could (because the drinking age isn’t 21) and in general never really having to worry about much.

  • What’s your passion? What drives you to do what you do?

I would have to say my passion is meeting you people and seeing new places.

  • How do you define success?

To me, success can only be measured by how happy you are. I think the things that will make me happiest in life will me having a big family and the ability to support them very well, being able to travel and know that in some way I’m constantly working to bring positive change to the world.

  • Do you have a wild side? Spill!

I enjoy partying but I think most college students do.

  • If you could change one thing about your past what would it be?

They’re all things that we look back and wish we could do differently but I’m honestly very happy with the person I am today and where I am with my life and it’s all my past triumphs and mistakes that have brought me to this place so I can’t say I would change anything

  • When you look back on all your life to date can you honestly say you are successful?

As far as my life goals go I would say I’m on track to be successful but for right now I’d say I’m a work in progress

  • Do you see yourself as a Caribbean person?

Always and forever!

  • What’s your life philosophy?

I guess it would have to be just to make the most of years I have

  • What do your family members think about your chosen career path?

They’re sceptical at best but very supportive.

  • What plans do you have for the future or are you keeping those a secret?

They are secrets!

  • Even if you have secret plans surely there must be something you can spill.

All I can say is Barbados better watch out.

  • Do you see yourself as a world changer or spare change?

World Changer.

  • Do you have any regrets?

Not appreciating my time at home enough and not staying in better contact with my friends.

  • What’s the most exciting thing you ever did?

I would have to say it was moving away from home for the first time when I was 14 to live in Caracas.

  • Describe yourself using five adjectives.

Determined, creative, fastidious, well-rounded, curious. 

  • Have you ever had a life changing experience?

Attending the United World College in Montezuma, New Mexico. The school is so much more than just a boarding cool, the 200 students from over 82 countries and all driven, amazing, socially conscious individuals who opened my eyes to so many new thing and at the end of the two years I had a whole new perspective on life.

  • Do you have a reason for living? What is it ?

To do as much good and have as much fun as I can in the time I’ve been given.

  • What do you want your future family / children to know about the person you are now?

That I’m working very hard to be the best possible me and I hope when they meet they’re proud of who I’ve become.

  • What’s your message to your country?

Try to appreciate how truly lovely our beautiful island is. 

  • What’s your message to the world?

I honestly don’t know, I guess just to appreciate the amazing life we’ve been given and try to make the most of it.

 

 Thank you for reading! Remember to share with your friends. If you want to contact Tanya trying sending her an email at:

tanyamariabrath@gmail.com

First Independence Address Prime Minister Eric Williams 1962

2010-07-26-11-2a_eric_williams

RealTalk.BB Presents – RealWORDS – our series highlighting the speeches, comments and quote-worthy word-craft that have shaped us all. Please enjoy, comment and share. 

Fellow Citizens,

It is a great honour to me to address this morning the citizens of the Independent Nation of Trinidad and Tobago as their first Prime Minister. Your National Flag has been hoisted to the strains of your National Anthem, against the background of your National Coat of Arms, and amidst the beauty of your National Flower.

Your Parliament has been inaugurated by Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, the representative of Her Majesty the Queen. You have your own Governor General and your own Chief Justice, both appointed on the advice of your own Prime Minister. You have your own National Guard, however small.

You are now a member of the Commonwealth Family in your own right, equal in status to any other of its members. You hope soon to be a member of the World Family of Nations, playing your part, however insignificant, in world affairs. You are on your own in a big world, in which you are one of many nations, some small, some medium size, some large. You are nobody’s boss and nobody is your boss.

What use will you make of your independence? What will you transmit to your children five years from today? Other countries ceased to exist in that period. Some, in much less time, have become totally disorganised, a prey to anarchy and civil war.

The first responsibility that devolves upon you is the protection and promotion of your democracy. Democracy means more, much more, than the right to vote and one vote for every man and every woman of the prescribed age. Democracy means recognition of the rights of others.

Democracy means equality of opportunity for all in education, in the public service, and in private employment–I repeat, and in private employment. Democracy means the protection of the weak against the strong. Democracy means the obligation of the minority to recognise the right of the majority. Democracy means responsibility of the Government to its citizens, the protection of the citizens from the exercise of arbitrary power and the violation of human freedoms and individual rights. Democracy means freedom of worship for all and the subordination of the right of any race to the overriding right of the human race. Democracy means freedom of expression and assemble of organization.

All that is Democracy. All that is our Democracy, to which I call upon all citizens to dedicate themselves on this our Independence Day. This is what I meant when I gave the Nation its slogan for all time: Discipline, Production, Tolerance. Indiscipline, whether individual or sectional, is a threat to democracy. Slacking on the job jeopardizes the national income, inflates costs, and merely sets a bad example. The medieval churchmen had a saying that to work is to pray. It is also to strengthen our democracy by improving our economic foundations.

That democracy is but a hollow mockery and a gigantic fraud which is based on a ruling group’s domination [of] slaves or helots or fellaheen or second class citizens or showing intolerance to others because of considerations of race, colour, creed, national origin, previous conditions of servitude or other irrationality.

Our National Flag belongs to all our citizens. Our National Coat of Arms, with our National Birds inscribed therein, is the sacred thrust of our citizens. So it is today, please, I urge you, let it always be so. Let us always be able to say, with the Psalmist, behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.

United at home in the common effort to build a democratic Nation and ostracize outmoded privileges, let us present to the outside world the united front of a Nation thinking for itself, knowing its own mind and speaking its own point of view.

Let us take our stand in the international family on the basic principles of international rectitude. When our time comes to vote, let it always be a vote for freedom and against slavery, for self-determination and against external control, for integration and against division.

Democracy at home and abroad, the symbol of it is our Parliament. Remember fellow citizens, we now have a Parliament, we no longer have the colonial assemblies which did not have the full rights of a Parliament of a sovereign country. The very name “Parliament” testifies to our new Independent status. By the same token, however, we at once become the object of comparison with other Parliamentary countries, inside and outside the Commonwealth.

This is a consideration which involves not only the Members of Parliament but also the individual citizen. The Members of Parliament have the traditional Parliamentary privileges guaranteed in the Constitution. The Speaker, the symbol of the power of Parliament, has his status guaranteed in the Order of Precedence. We shall soon have a Privileges Bill protecting and prescribing the powers of Parliament itself. Measures are being taken to establish the responsibility of Parliament in the field of external relations.

The Constitution recognises the position of the Leader of the Opposition and the normal parliamentary convention of consultation between Government and Opposition are being steadily developed and expanded. The Constitution itself, Independence itself, represent the agreement of the two political parties on the fundamental question of national unity. The ordinary citizen must recognise the role of the Parliament in our democracy and must learn to differentiate between a Member of Parliament, whom he may like or dislike, and the respect that must be accorded to that same Member of Parliament ex-officio.

I call on all citizens from now on to accord the highest respect our Parliamentary system and institutions and to our Parliament itself.

Democracy, finally, rests on a higher power than Parliament. It rests on an informed and cultivated and alert public opinion. The Members of Parliament are only representatives of the citizens. They cannot represent apathy and indifference. They can play the part allotted to them only if they represent intelligence and public spiritness.

Nothing has so demonstrated in the past six years the capacity of the People of Trinidad and Tobago than their remarkable interest in the public affairs. The development and expansion of that interest is the joint responsibility of the Government, the Parliament, the political parties and relevant civic organisations.

Those, fellow citizens, are the thoughts which, on my first day as Prime Minister, I wish to express to you on Independence Day. Your success in organising the Independence which you achieved will exercise a powerful influence on your neighbours with all of whom we are likely to have close associations in the next few years, the smallest and nearest, as part of our Independent Unitary State, the larger and more distant as part of the wider and integrated Caribbean community. Problems of difficulties there will be. These are always a challenge to a superior intelligence and to strength of character.

Whatever the challenge that faces you, from whatever quarter, place always first that national interest and the national cause. The strength of the Nation depends on the strength of its citizens. Our National Anthem invokes God’s blessings on our Nation, in response to those thousands of citizens of all faiths who demanded God’s protection in our Constitution. Let us then as a Nation so conduct ourselves as to be able always to say in those noblest and most inspiring words of St. Paul, “By the Grace of God we as people are what we are, and His Grace in us hath not been void.”

This speech was taken from: http://www.nalis.gov.tt/

The Ostensible Chronicles: From Freun To Barb

heartbreak

The Ostensible Chronicles is a RealTalk.BB comedic series shedding light on social issues facing various societies. We hope you enjoy. Remember to rate, comment and share. Thank you!

Dear Barb,

I am not sorry for being silent this past year. When you took me back last year you knew what you were getting. I am a man of seemingly big but surely silent words. I inherited you from my brother-in-arms. He wanted you but I never did. I never expected to have to provide for you or comfort you. Last year, after dragging things out I gave you a choice. You could have left me. You could have chosen another man or woman for all I cared but you stayed. I barely uttered two words and it appears as though you thought that would mean I would speak forever. I am not a man who often speaks. Stop trying to change me!

I need peace and quiet to think. If the children are hungry, need lunch money or tuition fees need to be paid do not ask me. There are other people in the family to lean on you know so ask them. Right now the Cabinet is bare so stop looking for miracles to come. I want some time to myself. I cannot think with you always complaining about Chikungunya and Ebola. I have other things to do.

I was told communication is the key to success in any relationship so I’m trying something new. This letter is my way of talking. Be happy with what you are getting now. You won’t hear my voice until these five years are over but at least you have my words. Are you happy? I am not using any big words. I am just talking to you about us and what we need to do. Well, what you need to do. You need to work harder. You need to put your back into it. You used to be on top but now you are at the bottom and you have me doing all of the work. I didn’t expect this and I don’t think I want it. There are others who may want a turn though so call Chris or Don but leave me out of it. I just want to live out these final years in tranquility and rest at home. I want a divorce! I am tired of you but I am stuck with you for a little while longer.

I should call the Men’s Educational Support Association and complain! This emotional abuse is too much. You won’t even try to be productive but you expect me to make things happen. You expect me to create miracles but am not God and I am not a magician. I did the worst thing by opening my mouth last year and I am not doing it again man. I fear my silver tongue is too sweet. If I open up you will surely want to be with me again and I can’t handle you. You are too much. Too demanding. You need someone else. You need someone who can handle your high maintenance. I am not your man.

My love for you is not what you think. Before you I had few things but I was happy. Now I have more but I cannot even enjoy them. What is a man to do with a big house, lovely bed and an unhappy bride ? I am frustrated in every way possible. We cannot possible co-exist for too long. Consummation feels more like taxation. You want more things from our relationship but I unable to give you! Stop asking me for the impossible. It is time you learned about me. I am a man without a plan but guess what? I am honest.

PLEASE find someone else. Here’s a list. There is Chris, Don, Arthur, Ron and Amor. It doesn’t matter which way you swing. Just choose one. Wait! I forgot Dave. He may even take you back to Africa. Wouldn’t that be exciting ? Don’t you want to go far, far, far away from me and see your people. I would not mind. I am an understanding man. I understand you have needs that I cannot satisfy.  My back is broad. I can take a horn. You can start horning me now until we divorce. There is no need to be sad. This was always a weird relationship mixed with funny emotions that made us do weird things like get together in the first place. We know we won’t last. We should call it quits and go our separate ways.

Yours Ostensibly,

Fruen DiBroad

The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow on Our “Mirror Image”

Errol Barrow Barbados

RealTalk.BB Presents – RealWORDS – our series highlighting the speeches, comments and quote-worthy word-craft that have shaped us all. Please enjoy, comment and share. 

What I wish to speak to you about very briefly here this evening is about you. About yourself.

I want to know what kind of mirror image do you have of yourself? Do you really like yourselves? There are too many people in Barbados who despise themselves and their dislike of themselves reflects itself in their dislike of other people.

Now what has bothered me in this society is that every time after elections, people expect certain things to take place. And although the law says that he that giveth is as much guilty of bribery and corruption under the Corrupt Practices Act as he that receiveth, we know that even on polling day, people were given envelopes with $100 bills in them.

So what kind of mirror image would you have of yourself? If there are corrupt ministers in Barbados tonight, you have made them corrupt.

I am not trying to make any excuses for you, but I realise what has happened in this society. I look around and see people who have not done an honest day’s work in their whole lives driving around in MP cars, having an ostentatious standard of living, unlike my poor families in St. John, who the Welfare Officer gives $50 to feed a family of ten for a whole week.

What kind of mirror image can you have of yourself?

You so much despair of this society that your greatest ambition is to try to prove to the people of the United States Consulate that you are only going up to visit your family….And you are surprised when the people at the United States Embassy tell you that you do not have a strong reason to return to Barbados. And you are the only person dishonest enough with yourself to realise that you do not have a strong reason to return to Barbados, because Barbados has nothing to offer you. You are not being honest with yourself, but you tell the man down there, ‘Oh yes, I’m returning.’

When I went to Mexico, I had to make a decision, and I returned. I had a strong reason. My reason is that I did not want to see my country go down the drain but you who are not in politics don’t have a strong reason.

Your ambition in life is to try and get away from this country. And we call ourselves an independent nation? When all we want to do is go and scrub somebody’s floors and run somebody’s elevator or work in somebody’s store or drive somebody’s taxi in a country where you catching your royal when the winter sets in?

What kind of mirror image do you have of yourself? Let me tell you what kind of mirror image I have of you. The Democratic Labour Party has an image that the people of Barbados would be able to run their own affairs, to pay for the cost of running their own country, to have an education system which is as good as what can be attained in any industrialised country, anywhere in the world.

In the state of Texas, the government of that state has asked to make the teachers pass an examination. To see if they can read and write! The gentleman of the Texas teachers’ union came on the news and he said that he was proud of the result because only eight per cent of the teachers couldn’t read and write!

If Reagan had to take the test, I wonder if he would pass. But this is the man that you all say how great he is for bombing the people in Libya and killing little children….This is the man that you all go up at the airport and put down a red carpet for, and he is the President of a country in which in one of the more advanced and biggest states eight per cent of the teachers cannot read and write, and he feels that they are better than we. And you feel that we should run up there and bow.

What kind of mirror image do you have of yourself? When a government steals from people in the way of consumption taxes and takes that money and spends it on their own high lifestyles, and unnecessary buildings, then that government not only has contempt for you, but what is most unfortunate, you have contempt for yourself, because you allow them to do it.

What kind of mirror image do you have of yourself when you allow the mothers of this nation to be beasts of burden in the sugarcane fields? In Mexico where people suffer under a lower standard of living than in Barbados, they use donkeys to freight canes out of the fields; in Antigua, they use a small railway; but here the mothers of the nation are used as beasts of burden. What kind of image do you have of yourself?

I was inspired by the work done by the late Mr. Ernest Bevin, who went to work at eight – I don’t mean 8 o’clock in the mornin, I mean eight years of age – and those dock workers in London used to turn up during the winter and summer from 5 o’clock in the morning waiting for a ship, and if a ship didn’t come in for three weeks or three months, they wouldn’t get any pay. And Ernest Bevin introduced the guaranteed week for dock workers. I set up a commission of enquiry into the sugar industry and made the examination of the guaranteed week for agricultural workers one of the terms of reference, and the commission reported that nobody gave any evidence before them in support of this recommendation.

What kind of mirror image do the people of the Workers’ Union have, either of you or themselves? I had to wait until there was a dispute in the sugar industry and say, well these will be the wages from next week and…I went into the House and introduced the guaranteed wages for agricultural workers. Why should only one man have a mirror image of you that you do not want to have of yourself? What kind of society are we striving for? There is no point in striving for Utopia, but you do not realise your potential.

I lived in a little country when I was young, the Virgin Islands. That is a small country. But there is another small country. That country has 210 square miles; it is 40 square miles bigger than Barbados. If you took the Parish of St. Philip and put it right in the little curve by Bathsheba that would be the size of the country of Singapore.

But you know the difference between Barbados and that country? First, Barbados has 250,000 people. You know how many people Singapore has on 40 more square miles? Over two-and-a-half-milion, on an island just a little larger than Barbados.

They don’t have sugar plantations; they don’t have enough land to plant more than a few orchids. They don’t have enough land to plant a breadfruit tree in the backyard and nearly every Barbadian have some kind of fruit tree in the backyard.

They have developed an education system but they are teaching people things that are relevant to the 21st century. They are not teaching people how to weed by the road. They are in the advance of the information age.

But you know the difference between you and them? They have got a mirror image of themselves. They are not looking to get on any plane to go to San Francisco. Too far away. The government does not encourage them to emigrate unless they are going to develop business for Singapore.

They have a mirror image of themselves. They have self-respect. They have a desire to move their country forward by their own devices. They are not waiting for anybody to come and give them handouts. And there is no unemployment.

Is that the mirror image that you have of yourselves?

Anyhow, ladies and gentlemen, I done.

 

Self or country? A second look

News_Feb_Brain-drain_feature

I read Derek Walcott’s “The Schooner Flight” the first time around with a mix of awe, admiration and amusement but also with a hint of resentment. Resentment – and disappointment too – because the departure depicted in this autobiographic poem was, of course, a real one. I translated it then, in my ignorance, not fully understanding the socio-economic and cultural background of the time-period to which the poem belongs as well as its true complexity, as a complete, real-life abandonment. Read More…

In Focus “Don Foster”

Man On A Mission.

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.