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

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.