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Sunday 26 May 2019
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The salt (nuts) of the Earth

AS TOLD TO BC PIRES

My name is the Honourable Prophet Andy and I am a Bobo Shanti nuts vendor on the road.

I’m from the Bobo Shanti order. Which I’m a man keep my Sabbath. Work six days, rest holy unto the Lord.

I’m from Laventille, born on top the Hill, which part I had all my boy days. But recently I’m living Maracas St Joseph.

Laventille people used to live as one. I coulda eat by you, you coulda eat by me. It was just a love. Until the 80s, when the guns and the gangs start to come in.

Laventille still nice. It’s just a certain bad seed does spoil the whole great bunch.

Photos by Mark Lyndersay

I went Our Lady of Fatima. I liked school, used to do my homework and thing and, in the earlies, I was really picking up. But when you come up with a mother alone, is a hard thing for your schooling. Through my father not around, it was a distress and disturbance in my life.

I never went secondary school.

My father was just a worthless fella. If he was a worthless fella, I can’t say he was good. I not lying. Is only the truth could set you free.

I am in a relationship with a very nice woman, a productive woman, a woman a man could depend. Her name is Samantha. She is a person I see I could make it in life with.

I have four good-looking and lovely children which I love and which I know love me and which I will work hard for them. I try my best to don’t do them what my father do me!

My first daughter, Okisa Campbell, is 22. My son Shem Campbell going on 21. My next daughter, Abioma Campbell, is 18. My last daughter, Vanna, is 15 going on 16 years.

I believe in honesty and I believe in working hard. The only way I could enjoy my food in the night is if I work for it.

If I take something from you, I can’t go home and enjoy it! I go be studying, “Boy, I take that food from that man, I wonder if he have children at home to eat that food too?”

As a youth I grew up around plenty Rastas. I had a brother was a Rasta. From the age of 13 years, I liked Rasta. I stopped eating flesh and turn a vegetarian. Right now, I’m 53, so you see I live most of my life as a vegetarian and as a Bobo Shanti.

I’m a tradesman. I do upholstery. I could do joining and painting. I could do most things.

But I choose to sell nuts. Because is less stress. Because I don’t have to wait for people to pay me!

I used to sell drinks on the highway in El Socorro. I was the original “Cold-in-the-Ice” by the traffic light!

If a man come by me with a dollar and want a pack of nuts, I give him, because I know is a customer I gain.

All these Christianity, these fellas only on money. A fella go and preach in church for me to come and put my hard-earned dollar which I work for? He robbing me! He is a bandit and a crook! He telling me he want to see blue bills today so I have to put my blue note? He don’t know how much children I have who want to eat.

But he want to dress up in a jacket-and-tie and drive a nice car off of me? That is unfair!

He said, “By the sweat of they brow man shall eat bread.”

He never said to go up on a altar and preach. God never sold his Word. All God’s Word is always free.

I buy my nuts wholesale, I bake them, I bag them out and I come out on the road to make a dollar. I try to give people the best baked nuts in the whole of Trinidad. Because I want everybody to come back and look for me!

My relaxation is to stay home. I had enough of liming before I turn Bobo Shanti. And I turn Bobo Shanti at the age of 21 – so you see how much years I ent lime!

And I don’t miss it. I have a life and I living happy.

The best parts of selling nuts on the road is meeting and communicating with people.

People does say selling nuts is a hustle but this is a business for me. I’m not hustling, I’m working! Because I put out money to buy nuts. I never pick up nuts on the ground free or pick from a tree. I invest in a business, not a hustle!

Too much people picking up on politics, which mashing up the native of the country. Them talk-show hosts, when you really listen, is pure bacchanal and confusion! These people could cause stress, they could cause uprising, they could cause anything! Through they mouth! They have to think! A lot of traitors (on the radio shows), betraying one another daily. Now you riding with me today, tomorrow you riding with somebody else. You’s a traitor! Because you have no stable place.

A Trini is a person who like confusion and bacchanal and have to see anything that going on. You hear a gunshot and you running to peep before you run and hide! That is a Trini, the most funniest people in the world. Everybody else hear gunshot, run to hide – Trini running to see! What you going and see? A bullet in your head? Then you wouldn’t see!

TT means a lot to me. Is a place I incarnate and is a place I really like, too. But, what you go do? You can’t change it. Is only God could change it and bring it back as how the people want it.

Read the full version of this feature on Wednesday at wwwBCPires.com

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