The refreshing honesty of Ackaisha Green

Jean Lowrie-Chin

Monday, May 20, 2019

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Who says good news doesn't sell? We just can't get enough of the praise being heaped on the humble Ackaisha Green for her honesty. It was the Jamaica Observer, which broke the story on May 6, recounting Ackaisha's actions when she found a bag stacked with $5,000 and $1,000 bills.

“On my way coming out with it I saw two police officers,” the Observer reporter quoted her as saying, “and mi say, 'Sir, I found a bag of money and I don't know what to do with it'.”

This from a woman who that very morning, had to ask her mother to lend her $200. As the story spread there was an outpouring of support for Ackaisha. Businessman Douglas Halsall announced on social media that he had started an account for her, Digicel presented her with a phone and gift items, and Wray & Nephew gave a million-dollar scholarship and $200,000 cash.

Last Friday, she was lauded by the Senate. The opposite sides of the Upper House may differ on many issues, but on the subject of Ackaisha Green they were of one voice. “We want to thank you for the inspiration that you are for a lot of young people who look for direction in their lives... We thank you for making the right choice; for demonstrating that honesty pays,” said Leader of Government Business Senator Kamina Johnson Smith.

“Miss Green, you are an inspiration,” declared Leader of Opposition Business Senator Donna Scott Mottley. “Your… decision is the pathway to having all of your dreams realised. Jamaica is behind you.”

Ackaisha Green has demonstrated to Jamaican scammers that honesty is indeed the best policy. While some of them were being arrested last week, Ackaisha was being applauded and assisted. May God continue to order the steps of this good woman.


Reggae Girlz making Jamaica proud

Reggae Girl striker Khadija “Bunny” Shaw described the hard journey of the team on the road to their historic World Cup campaign in France and promised “to make Jamaica proud” at last week's press conference. We want to assure her that they have already made us proud. Imagine, they were two goals down in Haiti and managed to come back with a draw to move forward.

Observer writer Dwayne Richards quotes her: “A year ago today we were in Haiti, and I am sure many of you guys would not have known what we have been through in this whole process of qualifying for the World Cup. We dealt with a lot of adversities... It was tough, we managed to go through the first round and we played against the US… the game didn't go as what we wanted, but we knew that we had another game in hand. Then we played against Panama… We knew that we had to go out there and win this game; we had to give it our all. [And] you can tell by our celebrations in the locker room how proud we are to represent the country and to give it our best effort.”

Khadija's dedication to her education is also exemplary. Recently, she completed studies for her degree at University of Tennessee, as she takes the long view of life: “I knew what I wanted, and I knew at the end of the day my knees are going to get old and my muscles are going to get weary, but my brain won't leave me, so at the end of the day I just wanted to graduate and say when I walk across that stage I gave it my best effort.”

Congratulations to Khadija on being named a brand ambassador for Puma. They have chosen well. Bonne chance, Reggae Girlz!


Save our precious girls

When we consider the heights which our precious Jamaican girls can reach, we mourn Jamaica's loss with the parents of Shantae Skyers, Trisha Morris, and Stefika Smith. Five days after seven-year-old Shantae was reported missing her body was found on April 16, in Sterling Castle Heights, Red Hills. On April 30, the body of 11-year-old Trisha Morris was found in her community of Woodland, Hanover, and on May 13, the body of 17-year-old Stefika Smith was found in Four Paths, Clarendon.

On Saturday evening, a CVM newscast carried a report of the attempted abduction of a schoolgirl in central Jamaica. Her mother said the child was lured to a car by a woman offering her a gift. As she looked in the car she saw a man with a knife and ran screaming for her life. The mother says the child is traumatised.

Dr Mearle Barrett, president of the Business and Professional Women's Club of St Andrew (BPW St Andrew) has expressed “alarm and concern at the recent spate of abuse and killings of young children, in particular, young girls… We call upon the authorities to vigorously investigate each incident and bring the perpetrators to justice. In addition, the need for more attention to be paid to the support services required to improve the family structure and parenting skills, must be recognised”.

The parents of Stefika Smith led a march in Clarendon, last Friday, demanding greater protection for our children. We must respond to the anguished cry of Stefika's mother and the many heartbroken parents throughout Jamaica. Our children must be saved from these heartless criminals.


True respect for LGBTs

J-FLAG marked the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia with a round-table discussion and a presentation of findings from a recent survey on the attitude of Jamaicans towards members of the LGBT community. The results were encouraging, but still cast Jamaica, including employers and politicians, as being ambivalent about the rights of these, our fellow citizens.

Support for change to the 'buggery law' showed that the majority remains against it, though there was slightly better support for the teaching of tolerance of LGBT individuals.

Ambassador of Mexico to Jamaica Juan Jose González Mijares noted that his country decided that it was not choice, but an obligation, to legislate against discrimination. He said that his country faced similar sociological issues as Jamaica, but passed a federal law against every kind of discrimination and established a National Council Against Discrimination. This upholds respect for all, regardless of race, creed, gender, age, or sexual orientation. Such laws would foster a more harmonious Jamaican society. Let us honour the “true respect for all” that we sing out in our national anthem.

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