Friday, April 12, 2024

Valery boys with a plan


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LOOKS CAN BE deceiving – and nowhere is this truer than at Woodstock. No, not the music festival but a block located in Valery, Brittons Hill, St Michael, mere feet from the high-rise construction going on in the area.
At first glance, men and women liming on a block look like people with nothing to do but hang around, use illegal drugs and cause chaos, but in this case, nothing could be farther from the truth.
“We are part of a collective group of people trying to get a food stall organized to serve the people working on the high rise.
“Right now it shut down, but we are working on having something to be able to provide food, drink, breakfast and any necessities so people wouldn’t have to go to a supermarket,” said Everton “Emmie” Smith.
As for Smith himself, he is a screen printer with his own T-shirt line called AfriFree 7 but he said he needed help to really get going.
 “I find small business people are not getting enough help from Government. They are forgetting the grass roots people,” he said.
Don “Shanghai” Coppin is an aspiring reggae artiste fed up with how little Barbados promoted the art form. So much so he was considering trying his skills abroad.
“Things slow because here don’t really produce reggae at that level.
I placed in the finals in Revodubolution and I have seven singles receiving limited airplay, but the truth is, if you don’t have money or you don’t know people, you’re like a flower coming from the rock,” he said.
As such, he said he was looking for greener pastures in England.
“No one is really pushing we. If Rihanna wasn’t discovered by Evans Rogers, no one would know who she is today,” he said.
Dwayne Elliott is a barber but he too has fallen on rough times.
He said he needed money to expand his business and buy more equipment. He spoke to Street Beat about his journey.
“In school I was studying architecture and then I did drafting at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic. From there, I focused on electrical installation, then plumbing and screen printing, but those things cost money and I didn’t want to burden my mum any more, so I looked to start working for myself and this is how I ended up,” he said.
Shaquille Harewood is seeking to be an accountant. He is studying accountancy as well as language with the University of the West Indies Open Campus and plans to earn an Associate degree, while Ramon Parris has a certificate in mechanics, buthe is unemployed.
The lone female among the group, Malissa Moore, said she did extensive studies at the Barbados Community College’s Hospitality Institute, but said it was more about who you know and not about qualifications.
“I did bartending, waitressing, first aid, housekeeping and more, but there are people who ain’t learn nothing who getting jobs – it’s all about who you know,” she said. (CA)


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