I always want to celebrate those niches in society that highlight the magnificence of youth and that of women. Today I highlight the Belada Magazine and Bembe Vision!
Belada Magazine comes out of Belada Caribe, a firm ran by a husband and wife, Abdul and Diafra Nunez. On November 9th, 2018, they launch the issue of their year-old magazine which highlights young people from all over Belize and I got a sneak peek of the great stories of the young Belizean stars. The names of young people I know and work with are highlighted. Names like Adriana Avilez from Punta Gorda Town; Her Excellency Kylah Ciego from Dangriga Town, Belize’s CARICOM Youth Ambassador; and Kristin Marin, originally from Belize City but working out of San Pedro Town and leading the Belize’s chapter of the international organization Projects Abroad.
I myself was pleasantly surprised with the stories of young athletes James Bregal and Justin Williams, the amazing talent of Tiffanie Mossiah that takes the body and turns it into a canvas, and the great advice from self-made mechanic Darnel Dawson.
The fourth issue of Belada will carry the inspiring stories of the impact of twenty young Belizeans who, despite the odds faced, are still trodding forward and contributing their verse to the great Belizean ballad.
Next, I give a resounding round of applause for the production of Bembe Vision: “Leadership Notes for The Belizean Classroom.” This book is exactly what I needed to read at this point in my life, exactly the perfect reassurance. The book brings to the fore fourteen strong Belizean women, all from different backgrounds from across the 8867. It memorializes women like Yaya Marin-Coleman, the queen of the street beat; the strict but caring volleyball coach Lupita Quan. I remember her coaching me for a very short time while I attended St. Catherine Academy. Ms. Lupita’s volleyball queendom proved to be too much for the 15-year-old Dominique, but I still do have her token of “I believe in you.” A pair of knee pads that my mother could not then afford to buy for me. The “beautiful tragedy” that is Briheda Haylock and the unapologetically indomitable Cricel Castillo. These are the women I look to when I myself fall in the trap that poet Warsan Shire so palpably wrote:
“[So you] closed your mouth more,
Tried to be softer,
Less volatile, less awake.”
I tell myself if they can be themselves in a Belizean society that still nurtures the nuances of the “she” to be less respected than the “he”, then I have no excuse, in fact, I have a duty to remain untamed.
To my readers, BElieve in YOUrself and as always, Stay curious!