By Neil Primus
Godfrey Carl Yhap, aka Nasty Man, popularly known as Piggy, is now sixty years. He walks with difficulty, assisted by a walking stick. He is also forced to use a wheelchair for journeys outside the home.
A year ago he had a stroke which changed his life.
Godfrey presently resides in Albouystown with his reputed wife Geza Baksh who has been his soul mate and the mother of four of his six children. This year (2016) marks 30 years of living together. His two eldest kids – Dane and Sherwin- are products of a previous relationship. They both live elsewhere and do not make regular contact with him. The children from his present relationship are: Diandra, Denzel, Cole and Dion. All of them live with him.
Godfrey attended the Dolphin Government School and later South Georgetown Secondary followed by Tutorial High School. He recalls moving from one location to another during his childhood. He grew up in Albouystown. The family moved to Charlestown, then re-located to Festival City. Finally they moved back to Albouystown where he has lived ever since.
Godfrey told me of a chilling encounter he had when he lived in Charlestown. One night he spotted a man walking into his garage. He ran after the person only to discover that the man was headless. Seriously traumatized he dashed inside to tell everyone of his bizarre encounter. His mother had always suspected that he was born with a veil over his eyes (caul). This condition causes one to see spirits when everyone else cannot.
The next day she called him into the kitchen and held the struggling lad’s face over a steaming pot of rice being cooked. He claims that he never saw spirits again. Today he has had to undergo surgery to one eye to clear cataract and is blind in the other.
As a child he loved sports; primarily table tennis. He participated in many tournaments and competitions at the junior level and was very successful because of his skills. He was rewarded with a number of prizes and trophies for his achievements.
He played tennis at school, club and national levels. Although he loved the sport, when he started working he found less and less time to train and play. For a short period he played for his company Booker Shipping. During these competitions he remembers playing against players like Sydney Christophe and Brian Chu Hen.
The next game he began playing was pools. He was an excellent player but the lack of scope saw this game being one of recreation only. He spent 20 years on the waterfront as a Forklift/Crane Operator. These were enjoyable years for him and he still holds fond memories of those times. He then resigned from Booker and became self-employed. He did buying and selling for a while then settled for a fixed business on La Penitence Public Road.
Thus the All Fung Dominoes Club was born. This small business included the sale of beers, cigarettes and beverages. There was food for sale and some amount of gambling. He later branched off to also sell on the Meadow Bank Wharf early every morning. Business there was poor so he decided to concentrate on the club because that business was popular and well patronized. Then the government of the day demolished his small business and put him on the breadline.
His friends and family all refer to him as a generous and kind man. He likes to joke around and is always making those around him laugh. Being disabled has curtailed his movement. He now only leaves the house to go to the clinic.
At home he loves to play music and watch TV and movies; that was before the onset of his eye troubles. This now prevents him from watching TV so re resorts to music. He loves to debate and correct others but is usually a jovial and approachable fellow.
He has two guardian angels; granddaughters Shemayne and Sarafena, ten and two respectively. They are always ready to help him with tasks he experiences difficulty in completing. They administer thrice daily eye drops and twice daily medication. They feed him when necessary, guide him around the house and keep his company. He is regularly entertained with songs including the ABC melody.
A TYPICAL DAY IN HIS LIFE GOES AS FOLLOWS
. Awake at 530am
. Basil Bradshaw’s Morning Show
. Siesta (morning)
. Siesta (afternoon)
. Club 700
. Judge Judy
. CNN News
.Channel 9 News
. Dinner (during news)
. Channel 28 News
. Channel 65 News
“I remember working on the docks just after leaving school. It was tough but I enjoyed it. I learned to operate the Forklift and later the Crane. It was there that I learned to drive anything. At one point I was one of the best operators. Whenever there was an out of town project I would be one of the first to be assigned to that job. I met sailors and ship employees from all over the world. Once I was able to meet the star of Home Alone 1 & 2. He was on a Cruise Ship that docked in GT. I will never forget those days.”
Godfrey has reduced his activities drastically and even his partner of 30 years finds it difficult to persuade him to venture out onto the street. He has sadly resorted to sitting around or lying in bed.
“Godfrey get reluctant now. He don’t want to go out. The only time I can get him to leave the house is to go to clinic. This same man used to work every day, 24×7 at his club. He would sell and entertain patrons day and night. On weekends he cooked for everyone. He was hardworking and a busybody. One disappointment is when he backslide some years ago. He don’t go to church anymore,” his reputed wife explained.
Growing up in a household with both parents, two brothers and six sisters and later having six kids of his own, has ensured that he kept active. Now he is trying to grapple with the reality of vastly reduced eyesight and mobility – an Achilles Heel for a man such as Godfrey Nasty Man Yhap.