Mark Wignall: Bequeathing a Wreck to our Youth

Jamaica News, March 6, 2018 – Bequeathing a Wreck to our Youth

It is typical in Jamaican uptown suburbs that whenever a child comes of age or does especially well in academic achievement, he or she is gifted with a car.

If the head of the household is rolling in cash, the car will be spanking new. For most others, it will be a ‘brand new secondhand,’ a deportee from an Asian capital. Parents do that because they love their children, are proud of them, and want to give them adequate social tools to make their lives better.

More importantly, responsible parents want their children to carry on the best of their legacy. At the heart of it though, even if the parents are not thinking directly of it, it is all about nation building and our children being that link to a greater Jamaica.

No responsible parent who can afford better, saddles his or her child with a broken down, old wreck of a car. As a proud set of people, knowing that the Jamaican footprint has an outsized influence on the global stage, we know that collectively, our country is still far from attaining the best it could have had.

So, collectively we know that the country’s failures are many and that brand new car we wish to give to our child is looking more like a burnt-out husk and a big weight hanging from his or her neck.

The socially aware householder whose monthly income hovers around J$450,000 per month and can easily handle the regular mortgage requirements, knows that in his daily interactions, most of those he comes across at street level would be overjoyed to be taking home J$45,000 every month.

In sheer miles, it may be no more than say, five but in terms of social power and economic viability and strength, there is a cosmic gap between the haves and the have-nots in Jamaica.

Although we have come a far way from that independence date in 1962 — illiteracy-60%, homes with no electricity, 90%; internal plumbing, 85% to, now high 80% in literacy and the vast majority of houses with internal plumbing and electric power in 2018, we have drifted as a nation even as social and income inequities continue to grow.

I can remember as a child there was an icebox in the house, a huge chest-like box sealed at the base and half filled with sawdust to keep the ice my mother or father bought from the man with the roving ice cart. Our children only knew of this because we told them so. At no stage did we want them to experience that or use some stinking latrine out through the coffee walk.

Bequeathing a Wreck to our Youth

In many inner-city pockets, there are small rooms with beds holding, in some cases, three to a sleeping spot. As uptowners wake up in their air-conditioned space, many of those most vulnerable 800,000 men, women and children estimated to be living below the poverty line wake up with anger issues. Bedroom stinks, bed stinks, the place is steaming hot even with a fan in place. Many leave the house thinking, ‘Touch me and I am likely to stab you.’

With too many children packed into too many tight spaces, it is the rare father who does not sometimes think to just get up and abandon the nest. Many in fact do. For those children, their future begins in pain and the legacy that they envision is nothing more than a burnt-out wreck.

The reality of that young boy waking up from the hell and the cramp and the stale, steamy air of an innercity bedroom must be daily pressures on him, to link up with gunmen his age whose lives are mobile wrecks.

Many of them know that when a father is absent, that child is solely responsible to create his own legacy. No fancy, shiny new 2018 car. Just another burnt out wreck.

Please send us your Feedback, News Item, Confession, gossip or Dear Mckoy, Photos and/or Videos to our WhatsApp Number 1-876-353-1389 or Email [email protected]

Recently Published

Hanover man Charge with Lottery Scamming

Hanover man Charge with Lottery Scamming

Crime: Hanover man Charge with Lottery Scamming – At about 2:30 pm on the 15 of October 2019, Robert Bowen age 30, Laborer of Cocoon was charged with Lottery scamming by the members of the lottery Scamming Task Force Area One Head Quarters. He was arrested for allegedly having possession of identity information of other […]

Nyyear Frank - Mckoy's News (6)

PJ Patterson hospitalized

Jamaica News: Former Prime Minister, PJ Patterson, is now a patient at the Tony Thwaites Wing of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) in St Andrew. Patterson, 84, was rushed to the medical facility following a motor vehicle accident at his St Andrew residence about 7:45 on Monday evening. Dear McKoy: Promiscuous Married […]


Agriculture Minister Expects Increase In Cocoa Yield

Jamaica News: Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says he expects an increase in the yield of cocoa for the fall crop, in areas where the Frosty Pod Rot disease management programme has been implemented. Speaking at a recent media briefing on the management of the disease, at the Ministry, Hope Gardens, […]


PHOTOS: KSAMC World Homeless Day Health Fair

Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) Inspector of Poor, Mavis Farquharson (left), speaks to Managing Director of the National Council on Drug Abuse, Michael Tucker (third left); Director of Kingston City Run, Maurice Bryan (second left) and Councillor Alvin Francis (right), about the newly constructed walk-in shower for the homeless at the Poor Relief […]


New Confucius Institute Handed Over To Gov’t

Jamaica News: The Caribbean’s newest and largest Confucius Institute, which was built by the People’s Republic of China at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Kingston, was officially handed over to the Jamaican Government on Monday (October 14). The facility, which was constructed at a cost of US$5 million and is situated at […]


Global Leadership Summit Slated For Kingston And Montego Bay

Jamaica News: President of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), Gloria Henry, says the upcoming Global Leadership Summit (GLS) will be critical in stimulating the growth of the country’s Global Services Sector (GSS). The GLS, which is slated for Hope Fellowship Church in Kingston on October 23, and the Montego Bay Convention Centre […]

Scroll to Top