Barbadians have to start believing in themselves and at the same time get rid of the shackles of the “slave mentality that is stifling us”.
That was the essence of entertainer Mac Fingall’s message to persons attending the NIFCA awardees on Sunday.
The former teacher, who gave the feature address at the awards ceremony held at Ilaro Court, said “we live in the same world as everybody else” and should concentrate on doing and being the best.
“I continue to hear that Gabby is one of the best singers in Barbados and sometimes the Caribbean. I continue to hear that Plastic Bag is one of the best song writers in this country and sometimes the Caribbean. Let me tell you something, Gabby is one of the best singers in the world. Plastic Bag is one of the best song writers in the world. Rihanna is one of the best song writers in the world.
“We live in the same world as the rest and that is what we have to believe. We have to believe we belong in the world like everybody else. We accept that America, that everything they do is one of the best in the world. We accept that of China but we don’t know.
“One day I got on the radio and said that Wilan Louis is the fastest 14-year-old in the world and a man called and asked me how I could say that. All I tell he was bring the man that’s faster than he,” he said.
Fingall said that at that age, the athlete who ran the 400 metres, was running 48.1 when no one else was, but “we couldn’t accept that we are one of the best in the world” and that was the “problem we had”.
“A lot of Bajans like to be the best, but you can be the best and no good if the rest are worst than you. You can come first with 50 per cent. There [was] a woman at The Lodge School … who said she would motivate the children. She wrote something on their chests: First in form, second in form and third in form and gave those people something to wear and that changed their walk.
“They used to walk normal and from the time they got it they started to walk different. They wanted you see they were first in form so I asked the boy how much percentage you get and he said ’45 Sir’ and I said, ‘Boy I would rather come last with 80 per cent than come first with 50’, and it confused him and he asked if I was serious. I said, ‘Yes, I would rather come last with 80 per cent’. He thought that coming first was important. It is not about being first, and being the best — it is about doing your best. That is what you must strive to do all the time, your best and nothing else but your best,” Fingall asserted.
He also made the point that people were not the same and were not supposed to be.
“We’re not all the same intellect. If we were all the same intellect everybody would want to be the prime minister… Every job has to be done so God made us this way so that some people would catch fish, some people would pick up garbage and some people would bury the dead, some would build houses, some would do computers, some would fix roads and fix cars. That’s how God made it. He knows what He’s doing; all you’ve got to do is your best,” the entertainer said. (DS)