It was no surprise that Ife Alleyne was crowned the winner of the 2014 National Calypso Queen competition which took place on January 19 at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.
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Not a hustler, due to circumstances
My name is Errol Remy and I have a special role in the front office of an international courier service.
Although I’m originally from Morvant, I say I come from Arima. I’ve been living there for the past 18 years. Is a woman took me to Arima.
My son, Roberto, is nine, my daughter Julissa is seven and then there’s Shemaiah. I’m on my second marriage, to Melissa. But she wasn’t the one I followed to Arima.
Morvant, for some, is a place to stay away from but, for me, it’s where I learnt everything: how to be a man; how to provide; how to hustle. In Mon Repos, you have hills full of mangoes so we get into the green-mango hustle. After mango, I get the hustling bug: I sell pies; oranges; cotton candy; nut cake. With a job, you have a steady salary. With hustling, you have to push. If you not lazy, you will make.
The only reason I left the hustle is my first wife told me she wanted me to have something more secure. I regret that move. If I had stick with the hustle, I would have built something I would have for myself that was mine.
Don’t give up, no matter what, just don’t give up. I learn that in Morvant.
It’s crazy to say Morvant is a place where you either lock up inside your house or you get lock up if you go outside. As anywhere else in Trinidad, once you roll with the wrong company, you get in problems. Malabar is a quiet place, but it hot right now. Due to circumstances.
I started off as a Catholic but I’m now Evangelist.
From small, I was big, all, in primary and secondary. I was always short and stocky. I only got my height after secondary school.
Me and my pardners used to put two stone in the road and kick ball; now children playing football on computer. Children don’t grow up feeling free any more.
Back in the day, I used to throw money on my bed, pull in the door, and I gone! Me ent locking no door. Now you have to put burglar-proof everywhere you could think to put it.
I enjoyed school. I ain’t no Einstein. But I tried.
After the Bible, Seabiscuit is my favourite book. Although I never read much books. Reading does put me to sleep. But I have an A1 distinction in English.
I used to take part in Carnival when I was much younger. Like, much younger: playing with Nelson Street Boys.
Work hard for what you want. My grandmother taught me that.
I love watching movies but I don’t go cinema: home is my thing. I could rock back home. Inception is a very good movie but some people wouldn’t get it.
With my job, you must know public relations, a little bit of psychology, you must know how to speak properly. And you have to be honest and on the ball all the time.
You deal with difficult people. But the customer is always right. So you must be patient. But there’s a line drawn: if they start to get abusive or use obscene language, they have to leave the compound. Either you leave voluntarily or I physically move you. Such situations are very few and far between. If we get once for the year, we get plenty.
Fake is something I just can’t do. Is take too much energy to pretend. You don’t like me? Come to me real and tell me. I will respect you for that.
We have to keep an eye out for suspicious people who will try anything to get their stuff out; and they will try to use us.
The best part about the job is interacting with people. I wouldn’t say there’s a bad part, I’d just say that, as in the Bible, where Paul was given a thorn in his side, to buffet him and keep him humble, I have a thorn in my side.
A Trini is diverse in everything and can fit in everywhere.
T&T means warmth, home, life and family to me. No matter how bad things get, you could still come out on a Friday and drink a beer. But I will drink mines home.
Read a longer version of this feature at www.BCRaw.com