On Monday, Belize opposition leader Moses ‘Shyne’ Barrow and Saint Lucia’s Allen Chastanet visited Vieux Fort, which has recently seen a spurt in deadly gun violence, to offer ‘hope and inspiration’ to at-risk youth.
Barrow, a reformed former ‘bad boy rapper,’ served time in the United States after three people sustained injuries in a nightclub shooting in 1999 and was subsequently deported.
He wrote and performed on several multi-platinum albums, such as Usher’s Confessions, Lil Wayne’s Carter IV, and Notorious B.I.G.’s Born Again.
Now the leader of Belize’s opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), Barrow was the guest speaker at Sunday’s annual convention of Saint Lucia’s opposition United Workers Party (UWP).
UWP. leader Allen Chastanet said Barrow’s story of transformation is a testament to the potential for positive change in every individual.
Chastanet said on their visit to Vieux Fort, he and the Belize opposition leader had the privilege of hearing firsthand from residents about their daily challenges and hardships.
“One of our key priorities was to connect with at-risk youth and offer them a sense of hope and inspiration,” the former Saint Lucia Prime Minister wrote on Facebook.
For his part, Barrow sent a message to young people who see crime as the only opportunity for empowerment that they can do better.
“They can help themselves. They can escape poverty. They can find a way, and they have to believe that. They have to pray for that, and they have to work toward that,” he explained.
“If you are waiting for a politician to help you then you’ve already lost,” Barrow declared.
“But if you help yourself – if you empower yourself, then the politicians will have to perform their duties at a certain level because the collective society will no longer tolerate deplorable, mediocre performances,” the former rapper asserted.
He stated that young people involved in violent crime need alternatives provided by the government.
But Barrow also spoke of the need for deterrents.
“I believe it is a balance of social investment, but also the judiciary, the security forces need to be strengthened so that there is no corruption and so that there is accountability,” he said.
“You cannot think that you will be given the opportunity to have a productive life, and you will dismiss that opportunity and there will not be consequences,” Barrow told reporters.
He described himself as an advocate for opportunity and alternatives which the state should provide.
However, the Belize opposition leader said should people not access the opportunities, there must be consequences.
Headline photo courtesy Allen Chastanet’s Facebook page.
Ok so “ need alternatives provided by the government.” everybody says this everybody’s excited about this but no definite answers for these alternatives…. What are these alternatives that will attract the youth with learning disabilities, adhd and disciplinary issues or lack or discipline? The man on Street vibes, Thanks John Daniels suggested female defense classes…. Great suggestion! So what’s the alternatives that’s feasible and has quick turnover for the youth of vieux fort and the island!?…? Jawahir?……?
FIRE !!!! Look how long they had these shootings in VF and it’s a DEFUNCT CELEBRITY that had you to show your face and voice your concerns…. let’s pretend you care (wink wink). Celebrities he love.so…….who could forget the rosacea the clown had all day long when he met Amy Whineout at jazz. The Most Honorable PJP is out of town so they run come here. Nobody carrrrrrrrrrrres go awwwwwwwwwwway.
Ahwha Shyne you really lost your shine. That’s pure baytese. Is me they call Bob Margee, not you 🙂 🙂
Reading the other comments really opened my eyes to how ignorant persons are to the issue at hand. These crimes have been occurring for some time now and yet still I haven’t heard of the prime minister visiting residents and listening to their concerns.. have you? Furthermore, Mr.Barrow made a clear point, that can’t be ignored. How much longer must we be at the mercy of politicians and not act on our own for own betterment. St. Lucian’s need to wake up and stop playing at the hands of politicians, where we’re against each other because of “party”. Unfortunately, the ignorant will continue to be ignorant but I say to you all, Rise Up St.Lucia, it’s time this nonsense ceased completely.
Lots of good intentions by the Two opposition leaders, but, They haven’t touched the main obstacle in St Lucians working poor class, we should open our minds and eyes to understand why the working poor needs better wages,ie prices are very high to make end’s meet for 99% of all St Lucians and out of the 99% some will create criminal activities to survive and that’s why we should have a minimum living wage system of $10+ per hour to combat and reduce the criminal activities, we should also ask the hotel’s to share the wealth of the island with the workers and their Families,, We must combat hardship through Commonsense and visions..
We should demand employment for the political parties, jobs with a minimum living wage and not unnecessary meetings to keep the people backwards
This should have been a visit with the present administration and the police. You guys have no reason making such a fake debut..distributing balls when people are fearful. This is not a matter of political gain..i still say you guys shudda unite and come when the others went to vf. Saint Lucian’s would have seen how serious yall are for change.
Also all this convention and bickering should not have been. Now is not the time to bite people’s heads..come together rather rather than start campaigning.
Poverty rarely has a single cause-there are several issues such as dysfunction in the home, lack of education, low self-esteem, envy, lack of work, etc. etc. etc. the list goes on and on.
HOWEVER, we need to do everything within our power to get up and rise above poverty should we find ourselves in such predicament. I believe that in each of us there is an ability to do something legally – be it academically, acquiring a skill, working with our hands etc etc.
We cannot expect the government to house us, cloth us and feed us —this is certainly not realistic thinking.
I am St. Lucian who lives abroad and I can tell you from personal experience. I grew up in a consolidated household in St. Lucia with many siblings (ten) – we had bunk beds. My grandmother was a learned woman who used her creativity and opened up a little booth on the wharf where she made arts and crafts, dolls etc. and sold for tourist. If fact, they also shared with the neighbors. My mother used to work with her – they were self-employed and made do with the little that they had. They also ensured that we were reared in the proper environment. We could not bring anything to the house that did not belong to us – we could not borrow from anyone. We were told NEVER FOLLOW bad company because they will ultimately cause your DOWNFALL – we took heed. My grandmother used to say “Show me your company and I will tell you who you are” – in St. Lucia they attribute that to being “fresh” —- that girl think she is this and that boy think he is that – that was perfectly alright with us.
As children, we were assigned to go the beach early in the morning on weekends to gather many seashells and pierce holes in them (to thread necklaces) for my grandmother and my mother’s booth items. In addition, we had our chores in the home – cleaning the yard, washing the dishes, washing clothes etc. etc.
We did not envy anyone – we went to school, respected our teachers, and did out homework. Today, I can honestly say I am forever GRATEFUL for this experience. I have taught my children the very same working values. You see this present day ENTITLEMENT /PARENTAL DEMANDS was never in our vocabulary.
Today, I can certainly thank GOD for the elders in the neighborhood who put us in quick check if they saw any of us attempting to go off course-we did not dare talk back at our elders-we respected them 100 percent. Ex: Good morning Ms. Jane Doe and or good afternoon Mr. John Doe. I am so thankful that we have all done well due to this upbringing – some of us are in the healthcare industry, real-estate brokers, engineers, welders, financial analyst etc. etc. we have also deposited this same upbringing into our children and they too are depositing into theirs.
I share this because there is hope and possibility for each of us – no one should just sit lament, and expect opportunity to fall in their lap – it is not realistic thinking. You also do not have to engage in illegal activity. You have to make a definitive choice because you and your family will suffer the tremendous consequences of the choices that you make (be it good or bad) and that is the reality. If you play with fire, you will get burn whether or not you believe fire burns – the fact is it BURNS. If you love seclf and family you WILL DO the RIGHT THING. Where there is life there is always HOPE. Amen
I am disappointed to see Chas did not bring Shyne on one of the 23 islands he had Aking to build.
Chas shame on you.