Shamar, Khadija prove that nothing is impossibleMonday, June 14, 2021
I write to you today about two enterprising young patriotic Jamaicans that I have had the pleasure to be associated with. I call them my son and my daughter. I own them even though they are not biologically mine. But in heart and soul these two individuals are worthy of being my blood.
Their journeys are ones filled with obstacles and the grim reality of a mean, cold world. Born and bred in inner-city communities in which survival of the fittest is the only way to exist. Raised in communities dominated by the scourge of violence, where sometimes without proper guidance it is so easy to take ruthless and illegal paths, which sometimes makes it so hard for teenagers to grow into adults. If luck favours you, you might survive to 16.
One lost his father as a young teenager to gun violence in his own community. Not able to come to grips with his fathers demise, he pondered on whether to exact revenge. But the football field became his option to channel his hurt and frustration. He focused and stuck to the task to become a national team player and professional footballer. He started playing National Premier League football at the age 17 and matriculated from the junior national team to the senior national team. He now plays professionally in one of the top leagues in Europe.
The other, a beautiful and bubbly young lady who has been to hell and back. She, too, experienced violence and despair as a teenager growing up in her own community. She lost several of her brothers and other relatives to gun violence. In spite of all that, the young lady persevered and endured. She, too, used football as the tool to forget her sorrows and express herself in a positive way. She, too, made the football field her theatre of dreams. She matriculated through high school playing for her country at every age group competition until, as fate would have it, she got a football scholarship to a university in the United States. But it didn't stop there. She graduated with a bachelor's degree from her school after completing her college career. She led her national team to its historic qualification to the 2019 World Cup. She is now a professional football player on the cusp of a major transfer to a big European Champions League Club.
Yes, those two individuals of whom I speak are Shamar Nicholson and Khadija Shaw more affectionately know as “Boza” and “Bunny”. Yes, these two young people are the living testimony that good can triumph over evil. They say sometimes sorrows teach a lesson well. But with a good family support system the right choices can be made to succeed in life.
For every young boy or girl you dares to dream these two proved that nothing is impossible. In your hour of darkness, you can do one of the two things; you can curse the darkness or light a candle. These two Jamaican young people chose to light the candle and fight on.
Shamar and Khadija represent the fact that hope springs eternal with the right conviction and perseverance. Continue to inspire young people and be the great ambassadors that you both are for your family, community, and country. Thank you, Boza and Bunny, please continue to inspire and influence young people. In the meantime, I will live for the Sundays when my son and daughter score for the club and country on the same day. By the way, this has happening quite often lately. Keep the fire burning you two. Manners and Respect.
Andrew Price has served as coach and technical director in the sport of football. Send comments to the Jamaica Observer or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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