My name is Hakeem Marcus Bryan; those three choices available are on many occasions not chosen when referring to me. The names that are used as substitutes are ‘Uncle’ and ‘Kheemy’. Uncle is derived from the timeless wisdom I offer plus the maturity that is embedded in my face. Kheemy on the other hand is a shortened version of Hakeem, with the letter H in the name reminding people that my name is ‘Hakeem’ not ‘Akeem’. I am twenty one years of age, might not look it but I assure you, I am. My hobbies including: writing, reading, watching movies, listening music and seizing opportunities. That last hobby was, until recently, just a dying promise to me. 2016 provided me with the equipment and mindset to breathe life into that promise. I finally turned that promise into action and have been acting upon it. I prefer calling it ‘2016 Get There’.
One of my most memorable moments of ‘2016 Get There’ was getting chosen to be a part of Talk Up Yout, a program with magnitude and focus that I have never been a part of. It allowed for me to make sense of my thoughts and to put them into structured content. My thoughts were a jumbled mass of nonsense and brilliance but it allowed me to realign everything. It also gives me a medium to share many of my experiences and zealousness. My experiences are broken down into trials, needs and struggles. My zealousness is broken down into passions, my mission for myself and vision for Jamaica.
Trials - Procrastination, Laziness and Lack of motivation, were all trials I have faced. These trials had jurors who were skeptical of me and leaning toward the verdict of guilty. The prosecution had an overwhelming case file filled with one conclusive finding “smart but underachieving time waster who won’t amount to anything in life”. This backed up with witnesses; teachers from high school plus relatives. It was a sure conviction for me. My attorneys-at-law, Confidence and Self-esteem were waning as the trial went out. It wasn’t until a surprise witness by the name of Talent took the stand, that my trial changed. Talent showed me all the things I can and will do with just effort. My attorneys, Confidence and Self-Esteem grew exponentially and I got a not guilty verdict. It wasn’t until I found my talent, that I realized I could conquer the world.
Needs - The only thing I need is a ‘buss’ not a bus but a ‘BUSS’. I just need opportunities to ‘leggo my career’. Talk Up Yout was one of those opportunities and I am very grateful for it, but I need more chances like this to publicize my brand and my skill sets in order to shape my country and my region in a positive light. Opportunities and proper advice are tools that every industrious youth needs to have in his toolkit. I don’t have both, just bits and pieces but I am still grateful for that because I know they will assist me to ‘leggo my career’.
Struggles - The hardships I face are no different from other trying youths. The hardships are: motivation, encouragement, positive ‘vybz’. These struggles leech on you and will bring you down if you let it. These struggles are needed, because you have to stub your toe many times in life before you achieve something big.
Passion: I talk with a lot of fervour when expressing my goals. My goals will be scored, as I am a top striker. My passions in this life are my writing and my brand. My written works will be the awe of the Caribbean as I aim to achieve and surpass great Caribbean authors before me. I’m indebted to my writing as it was the only thing I can say that assisted me in coming out of that dark place which I resided for many years. My writing and in the offspring of that which is my brand will be a force to reckon with, because I believe that my career will get leggo. This will be done with guile, hard work and making the right connections needed.
Mission Statement: “Leggo Career”
Definition - Achieving monumental success.
Vision for Jamaica: Jamaica is the land of my birth, the land that I have fallen in and out of love with during my twenty one years of life. Jamaica is on the rise but on a slow movement. This can be easily accelerated with a boost in positivity within the mindsets of our people. Jamaica will achieve that positive mindset only by seeing positive young people. Talk Up Yout must be partnered with by many other governmental agencies and corporate entities to showcase that positive image towards our people.
Talk Up Yout is vital to the development of Jamaica, as it showcases the different issues that plague our youths. Issues that have been swept under the rug or not highlighted enough or just issues that have been dealt with meekly and not boldly. Talk Up Yout is the shock factor for the Jamaican society. It is a building platform for the confidence of young people that have been on the show and for young people that have watched the program. It allows for a sense of comfortability and trust. Talk Up Yout needs to be broadcasted on a much wider platform, even regionally as this will assist our young people as a region. Talk Up Yout is great and I appreciate everything it has done for me and others.
Mhm a it.
It's funny how I can easily write about the stories of others but as it pertains to me, I feel hesitant - not in terms of unwillingness but hesitant in terms of what should I say? My name is Kenloy Smith and for the 18 years that I have lived, my journey has had some #topshelf moments and some not so top-shelf moments.
I am a Christian, and also a nurturing individual. I think I'm one of the few guys who tried to save a frog from being squashed by vehicles simply because I hate seeing pain, no matter how small or how great. At first I didn't like myself because of how "un-cool" everyone else made me feel. Coming from a church family where manners and happiness is a norm and, having both parents present and just being spoiled by love - I had (and still have) a very optimistic approach to life and school in general. However our society seems to shun that in males.
All of my strengths seem useless when compared to the expected reality or perception of "MEN". I'm emotionally stronger, more in tune with nature, prefer female company, prefer a pet over a vehicle, etc. But it seemed to me growing up that you had to be forceful, loud, demanding, dominant, egotistical and prideful to “BE A MAN”.
I guess Jamaica on a whole, has this stigma against guys. I've seen parents raise their male child "rougher" or "with less care" than their female children. That shouldn't be the case because not everyone is the same. There are girls out there who aren't as "girly-girly" out there in the world, and they are treated fine or with less disrespect, but you look at a guy who is gentler and is effeminate and immediately there's a riot.
I struggled for so many years, TRYING to be a "MAN" that in the midst of all the confusion, I questioned what a “MAN?” is. I had to hide my goals and interests in the presence of these guys because they wouldn’t think it was "straight". Dealing with that by myself was my worst struggle. I felt unloved, hurt, lonely, unwanted and depressed inside. I remember one day while I was inside my house alone I heard cheers and laughter, and when I peeped through the window there was this group of guys just playing football. I watched them for minutes like a caged bird looking at those in the open. "Why can't I be like them?"
In my senior years of high school, I learned that I am special and just as important as everyone else. I've made some friends who helped me so much, just by even talking to me or walking with me in public. It was almost like there were two different sides of society, the one I knew was only the negative side, but there’s the positive side, the educated, the ones who have fears but face them or equip themselves to handle them, the ones who knew the different types of LOVE, the ones who cared about emotions, goals, aspirations and most importantly the ones who didn't care about others’ opinion once they knew who they were and that they have a strong foundation.
That's my vision for Jamaica, that we have more of those persons in society who learn the essence of words like "TOLERANCE, ACCEPTANCE, PATIENCE, LOVE, TRUTH, OPTIONS and UNITY." If we are "Out of Many One People" then we need to cater to the different needs of everyone rather than trying to force ideals on them. Yes! Rules are important and without some level of ideas and force, people will stray and do whatever they want but ultimately; just like God, let's give our youth FREE-WILL. Of course you are going to teach them bad from good but leave them up to their own self-respect and consciousness. I wish that no one or no child has to argue and say that "You made me to this! I was so unhappy! etc".
I could have been told "You're gay, so just be yourself." but that just didn't feel right to me, my personality isn’t sexual, (and that's what everyone or most saw it as,) but being spiritually inclined. And then meeting males (MY DAD for e.g) who shows me love and acceptance (not saying that I don't get dirty, or perform my duties as a male but that he knows that I am better at other things) and then friends and fans who supported me and just looking myself in the mirror and saying that "I love you!" You are Handsome! You are Special" made everything tranquil.
In closing, as I move from Rural to Urban and as I sit around this laptop at U.W.I as a freshman / freshers, I realize the importance of a solid foundation. Things will get shaky but if you are truly rooted and grounded (can't over emphasize the importance of spirituality) then you'll be great. Talk up Yout is important because "TALKING UP" allows you to release stress, to express yourself, to be heard and most importantly to be responded to. After meeting this team (Season 6) I realized how blessed I was and how my problems were not rare. But if you never try, you'll never know. If we want to reach that 2030 goal then "TALKING UP!” And “TALKING AGAINST!” negative and unproductive behaviors must be a rule. Don't sweep it under the broom! EXPOSE IT! BRING IT TO THE LIGHT! I can only imagine the youths who WISHED they had our privileges, those who died, and those who suffer from rape, drug abuse, mental problems, and even those who just want to feel loved. That's why I am being the best me, so that when others hear my story it can inspire positive change and hope.
#Talkupyout #youthstories #Givingtheyouthavoice
My name is Deja Gennelle Campbell. I was born in Linstead, St. Catherine Jamaica. I did most of my schooling here in Jamaica, but I traveled back and forth from the US. After completing high school I moved to Canada then I later returned to my country to pursue a career in music. I started off dancing and then I learned how to sing and act while dancing through my brief Musical Theatre studies in Canada and while dancing with the Beam Dance Company.
Being a victim of bullying, I often struggle with being overwhelmingly shy and having terrible social anxiety as well as an inability to function normally when suffering any amount of emotional trauma, however as I learn more about myself and my inner strengths, I also learn how to handle these situations, through music and through meditation, both of which increase my ability to be calm and rational. It's not the easiest thing being a 'misfit' in a world full of 'robots', but I do find the rewards of standing out in a crowd to be much greater than the trials and in that I find great motivation to be who I am at all cost.
I have an incredible need to find like-minded individuals in this world, those who share a common vision, not afraid to be the black sheep as it is no secret this fight can get lonely, those who stand for what's right and stand for what they believe, those who fight for those who have nothing to give in return and those who give a voice to the voiceless, because only those who believe they can change the world will!
I am most passionate about music, dance, film and overall art, for example: drawing and poetry. The ability to create an alternate reality for others to experience, the ability to tell stories untold, to show people the world that exist out there, to touch people's heart without ever meeting or knowing them, share another's pain for one to understand, to create magic and push the boundaries of people's imagination, stimulate their minds with what ifs and whys and who? And the most magnificent of it all? To show the world in live and living sound and colour, what goes on in a beautiful mind, one of the most God-like talents, it's as though God has loaned you her paintbrush and canvas and says 'go forth and paint the world!' and so I paint!
My youth vision is to see a much calmer, more empathic generation, a generation which uses the arts to its advantage, one which would rather dance instead of fight and sing instead of argue, a generation that understands the pain and struggles of another, a youth strong in morals who wouldn't dare hurt and betray the ones who love them, leave a man hungry or dying, turn a blind eye to the plight of children and elders or steal, cheat or lie. A youth who values knowledge and seek it and believe in something greater than themselves, a generation longing for greatness and disciplined enough to work to achieve their goals and most of all a generation truly full of Love.
My vision for Jamaica is to see growth and development in all aspects, especially the justice system, education and youth, arts and culture. If we don't invest in ourselves chances are no one will. If you won't even bet on your own horse to win, why would I? Until we begin to value our country and it's ever growing potential, we will remain just that...full of potential but no growth. Let's fund that upcoming filmmaker, let's help send some kids to college, let's upgrade the documentation system in our police stations, let's grow together!
Talk Up Yout is important to Jamaica and to me, as it provides a platform by which youth may voice their trials and pool great ideas. Having a voice is the first step to youth development. Talk Up Yout has done its part by giving the youth a chance to tell their side, the youth have done their part by making use of the opportunity and now it's Jamaica’s turn to listen, understand and implement the solutions the youth have suggested. Talk Up Yout! Listen up Jamaica! #TalkUpYout #NationalPride
Youth, ages 14 - 26, from all over the world, talking up. #TalkUpYout