I am her. Do you remember me?

I don’t know how old she is, but she is pregnant now. Girls are at risk from being pregnant.

i don’t know how she remembered me but she did. she came to say hi. Pregnant bored and young.

Chilling out in Manor Park Plaza. She tells me the baby father is in Canada. He has to work so he can’t come till December. The baby is due next month. She is going to make a better life because she is going to go Canada.  When the baby is 3 months she is going back to school and going to try to get a job at the same time. she told the baby father that she wants to go back to school and he says okay.

I heard that the GRAND GALA cost millions this year to put on. The Independence village at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre must cost a lot. It must cost a lot to do things for Emancipation and Independence, but the director of Culture says it is worth it cause it employs people too. What happen to Karen? The director of Culture before this? ooh and Sydney Bartley? we have forgotten him.

Lisa. Minister Lisa Hanna would be the lady to talk to. She is in charge of youth and culture. So she has the budget for Emancipation and the development of programmes for youth. Yesterday we got a new highway. At last we have an alternative to the Flat bridge, 4 lanes to Ocho Rios.

Seems like there is always something to catch you here. And always something that makes you look for opportunities outside. I am sure she could go to the Social Development Commission , to the youth development officer for the area and tell them she wants to do something. She is pregnant alone and bored. She could tell them that. But they don’t know she exists and they are not looking for her. Somebody should have a job looking for pregnant lonely and bored girls.

I am eating ice-cream while she talks to me. Filling in little bits and pieces about the details of her family. Her grandmother hates her. her mother is overseas, her sister is working somewhere in town and her aunty lives down the road from her. Her mother says she is not getting in between her grandmother and her. The last time i saw here before now she was running away from her grand mother. She ran away to be pregnant bored and alone. She shows me pictures.

I talk but sometimes keep repeating that i hope she gets to go to Canada. Lisa’s budget won’t be enough to do much for her and her daughter right now. i wonder why i have to be having this conversation. Somethings you can’t hide from in Jamaica. Not even in Manor Park at a ice-cream spot on Independence day.

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About afifa

dj. artist. creative director and co-founder of the SO((U))L HQ and DI Institute for Social Leadership. I make ritual spaces.

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