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Plight of young men in VI of concern – Sowande Uhuru

Social commentator Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru has suggested that something needs to be done in the Territory to avoid similar incidents as the murder of Melbourne Francis. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – After offering his condolences on the recent passing of murder victim, Melbourne Francis, social commentator Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru suggested something needed to be done in the Territory to avoid similar incidents, especially with young men.

During the 3D Show radio programme on May 10, 2013, Sowande also remarked on the previous murder attempt on Francis’ life and his stint in protective custody.

“[Francis] was murdered around where… Keri Harrigan was murdered, and it would seem as though that’s a spot that deserves some attention,” Sowande suggested.

He added that the vicinity was also a location where many young men usually congregate. “It seems as though there’s a sizeable portion of young men who are not working, or are hustling for work or not in steady employment” he said.

Sowande believed that there were concerning trends among the Territory’s young men. “We have some trends that we need to pay attention to with our young men,” he said.

He related an anecdote about the death of a child he had taught at primary school before he left to pursue studies abroad. “By the time I made it back to the BVI, that young man was dead,” Sowande said.

“It brought to mind something that has been troubling me since I returned to this island of Tortola away from school,” he said. He explained that young men become disinterested in video games and similar activities as they grew older. “They start hanging out in the communities and you wonder whether they are being productive,” he said, “they’re hanging out, not doing anything really in particular and start to experience problems in school.”

He noted that young men also seemed disinterested in getting jobs as well.

“We are failing as a society to seize those young men before they get on this negative trend,” Sowande said, “and then they get on this negative trend and quite a few of them end up in Balsum Ghut (prison).”

He felt that blaming parents would not help the situation if the young men end up stealing from homes or assaulting persons in society. “If the young person ends up taking your life or that young person’s life ends up being taken away, it won’t help to complain about the parents,” Sowande stated.

The social commentator said the question remained about a solution for the issue and added that the traditional societal structure of the Virgin Islands has changed. “It’s no longer the close knit society that we used to have, it’s no longer a society where you’re your brother’s keeper…”

Sowande opined that community leaders, government and representatives have to take a more assertive role in addressing social and societal problems.

He also remarked that there was no intervention programme within the Territory to ensure that disillusioned young persons were steered in the right direction.

The commentator also remarked about the Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) that was initiated by himself and another person. “We noticed something happening in the community and we suggested that,” he said.

He felt the society’s response though, must be much more extensive than this as this (YEP) institution could only take a limited amount of persons. “It has to be a policy of government and it has to be seen as important.”

10 Responses to “Plight of young men in VI of concern – Sowande Uhuru”

  • boyz in the hood (13/05/2013, 09:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Opportunist..needs to take care of his domestic duties before he come talk to us.
  • ccc (13/05/2013, 09:22) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now these are the real issues he should be addressing not some photo…get with the program my brother be a leader not a follower
  • lil man (13/05/2013, 09:25) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    they do not care about our young men only about lawyers, bankers, politicians, accountants, in other words the big ones
    • Yours (13/05/2013, 22:28) Like (0) Dislike (8) Reply
      Really it is your job to train up your young men... It is not the role of the government. The government does not get children. The government did not train the bankers, accountants, politicians. Their parents raised and trained them. Now they are making a contribution to their country. You people are sick. You fail to do your job now you want blame the government. You need to change this ill man mentally and live up to you responsibility. I am sure you did not consider yourself to be too lil to get them now you too ill o train them. Smh.

  • --------------- (13/05/2013, 09:33) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    My only prayer is that a change comes to my country fast
    • mother hen (13/05/2013, 12:36) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
      change who tell ayo to vote NDP? dem should leave us in our ignorance.

  • CARE TAKER (13/05/2013, 23:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    they even do not care about the old charging dem for medication how the hell would the same ppl care about the young men?

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