NASSAU, BAHAMAS — An unemployed father of fourteen yesterday questioned whether there is a reason to celebrate the country’s 50th anniversary despite feeling ignored by the government.
While there were residents in Bain Town who expressed similar views, Eyewitness News spoke to others within the community who reflected a more optimistic view of the July 10th observance.
Spoiler, 44, of Finlayson Street, said that he wants to see a better Bahamas for his children and called upon the government to aid in that initiative. The father said that the country’s state is serious.
“They call us ghetto people, we have a bunch of children, we have to feed them, and when they start crying day and night that freaks us right out.”
“We are hurting that’s why you see so much of us smoking dope, drinking rum, whatever. Stressed,” he said.
The resident said that The Bahamas is not independent because the government neglects its own since most residents in Bain town lack a decent job.
“The big people don’t listen to the small people, if you don’t have that money, they ain’t listening to you,” Spoiler said.
Another resident, McGuiver, 49, who lived in Bain Town his whole life, believes the country has nothing to celebrate when taking into consideration the struggles average Bahamians face and how hard things have become in the last decade.
“What have we gained since our independence? Nothing. We still in debt and until we get away from party politics I don’t think we will ever be able to celebrate Independence properly,” he said.
Although McGuiver professed love for his country, he indicated that Bahamians have few reasons to stay in The Bahamas. He said NIB was the greatest fraud of all. The retired resident stated that he was told to claim disability due to a prior accident but has yet to receive the compensation he was promised.
“We as a people used to look out for one another and we don’t do that much as Bahamians anymore. It’s ridiculous, but this is the country we live in. What is there to be proud of,” said McGuiver.
The father of two continued to voice his concerns about the lack of opportunity afforded to young Bahamians. He stated that when individuals attain higher education they are seen as overqualified in their own country which leaves many to either seek employment abroad or not receive their worth.
Some residents embraced the Road to 50 while sharing why the occasion was worth celebrating.
Karon Deton, 62, a retired Atlantis employee, stated while the country is not at its best, the people are still striving to better the future and to him, that is worth celebrating.
“Although it’s hard, we can still put ourselves in a place to celebrate our country. We always have to be grateful for what we have,” he said.
While things are working against the country, Deton asserted that Bahamians must put their heads together to sustain The Bahamas.
“If we were to pass down the wisdom to the next generation, they would know how to live with one another, and we could have more unity. We can’t depend on the government to do everything for us. So, we have to learn how to do things for ourselves,” he said.
A retired electrician, 78, reflected on the progression of the country in terms of education and healthcare and credited Sir Lynden Pindling for those improvements.
“In my day, it was kind of tough. Now, you could go to the shop and buy anything. In those days you couldn’t get anything,” the electrician said.
According to him, there is much to celebrate.