Age and self-worth


Dear Editor,
ON the 14th day of November, 15 years ago, I was born to a nurse and a policeman, a “bouncing baby boy” a common sight everyone may have thought, but none knew the upcoming future. At age five I was labelled “intelligent” so, my parents tried their best to continue the good name. In my primary years I attended The St.John-the-Baptist Primary School, I was placed into Spelling Bees, Essay Writings, Debates, the School Choir and Science Fairs. I became well-known for these curricular activities in the blink of an eye. I wrote The National Grade Six Assessment and placed fifth in the Top 10 Of Region Seven, off to President’s College and back to Three Miles Secondary School.
I found a penchant for politics in the First Form and locally campaigned for the APNU+AFC Government; then, I was known as a vibrant speaker, my spotlight shone more brightly in the Second Form, where I found myself a motivator. Her name was Ms Dasica Holder, she said to me, “Mr President, always remember people expect better from you and they see opportunity in you, so don’t mess up your personal browser (the brain)” and I jumped into overload and wrote novels, mini-books and songs. I tried publishing them, but I was turned down due to age, they told me, I moved on, started experiments which were never recorded or ever yet tried by scientists, chemists or even herbalists. I went to the Science Fair but lost,and I was on the verge of giving up until I took part in a J.O.F Haynes Debate saying to myself, “I will show those “big boys” how it’s done,” but my heart did not “skip a beat” until Advisor To The President On The Environment, Mr Gary Best, said: “And our Best Speaker is O’shea Mingo” I looked left then right at every camera that was surrounding me, I jumped up feeling excited waiting anxiously to hear my prize, “An award from His Excellency President David Granger at the Bartica Town Day Celebration.” Tears filled my eyes and proudness covered my heart as I collected my trophy from the President; he then asked me a question, “How old are you now?” I answered proudly saying “13 years old Your Excellency.” I then became a “Bartician Mogul” but with success comes enemies: from that day onward, I was never featured for anything productive, my seniors would find someone or something to put in my space, so that I can’t get fame or fortune for my hard work. So, a whole year passed and I had nothing recent to show or add to my achievements, I then touched the Third Form as unknown, forgotten and uncrowned until Speaker Of The National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland, visited my school, even though I wasn’t told about the visit I still somehow found out and some words said by The Late John F Kennedy came to mind saying, “It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Prior to that, I marched with my Prefect’s badge directly to the forbidden auditorium and upon my arrival there, stood near The Speaker with my enemies; then I remembered the Bible saying, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” I intruded the moment and asked the Speaker to accompany me to my class, “forgetting all the rules I was breaking, just thinking about the betterment of my colleagues and my hometown.” Mr Scotland then agreed, he and his entire media team and security followed, I introduced him to my class and he asked questions and they asked questions. I walked him to his car. In the presence of Madame Pauline Sukhai I made a proposal about The Rehabilitation Of Our Resource Centre; they both smiled and said, “How old are you?” at the synchronised minute I answered by saying “Age is just a number and so is VAT.” We all shared a hearty laugh and they left. And I take this wonderful opportunity to tell all readers, my purpose of writing this letter wasn’t to be noticed, but to encourage other youths about self-worth.
O’shea Mingo