She is fighting for a better TT with better governance, and for politicians to realise that the people of TT are the government. Her gender has nothing to do with it.
Speaking to Sunday Newsday, social media personality turned activist, Kia Hosein, stressed that her initial protest at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, where Venezuelans had lined up to register on the evening of June 13 was not anti-migrant but anti-government. On June 21 she took the protest to Tobago opposite the Scarborough port where the group chanted “Rowley must go.”
“For far too long the Cabinet believed they are the government, when the people of TT who elected them, we are the government. They are making decisions that we don’t want. They have to respect us and our decisions. What we want is what they are supposed to do. And when we call for an election, be it before the usual five years or not, they are supposed to call an election. We must be able to remove them when they are not working. Every Cabinet must know that.”
Therefore, she said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and the People’s National Movement (PNM) must go. “They all thiefing money but one party did stuff for the poor people of this country. Meanwhile the other party did absolutely nothing but dictated us. There is a better of the two evils.”
She said citizens had several issues with the PNM including the closure of Petrotrin, and the removal of programmes that helped people including free school textbooks, laptops for Form One students, food cards, and more. However, she said the migrant issue was the straw that broke the camel’s back and what motivated her to public activism. She chose the Venezuelan Migrant Registration Centre because she felt it was the best platform at the time to get her voice heard.
“I never said send them (Venezuelans) back. At no point did we target Venezuelans. We asked for our boarders to be closed, which is our right. We want to stop more from coming because our country is not ready for large amount of migrants.”
She said the country is already going through an economic crisis, some schools have been closed for years, the Children’s Hospital in Couva is not functional, companies are closing down, thousands of jobs were lost in the past few years, there is a lack of medication at public health facilities, and many more issues.
“How is it possible to help an overload of migrants? That is adding extra strain on an economy that is already strained by its own people. We are losing jobs under this administration. Now they are looking for jobs, where would they find employment that would pay them a salary like they had in addition to being on the market fighting for jobs with migrants that will work for less? It doesn’t make sense.”
Hosein said as a social media personality she always spoke about issues that affected TT. People would comment on her posts and point out they were all talking but no one was doing anything about it. With the following she had, she felt she was in a position to do something, so she did.
“Everybody was saying we need a voice so I went and I did it. It was successful and I felt like the cries of the country fell on my shoulders. People are saying, ‘You already started, please don’t give up on me,’ and it wasn’t one or two persons, it was plenty, and I realised I couldn’t give up on them. If it led me to being an activist then so be it. I need to be selfless.”
GENDER IS NOT THE ISSUE
Hosein said it was her personal choice to identify as a woman and what people thought about that choice does not affect her. She said after life, the greatest gift God gave people was the choice to be whatever they want. She is appreciative of that gift and the fact that she had never been discriminated against or abused in person, although it was rampant on social media.
“I never felt that should distance me from being fearless for fighting for my country and saying what I think is right. People question my gender but that is their choice if they want to make my gender more important than the issues that affect them.
“My gender does not affect anyone’s personal life or the betterment of the country so that doesn’t hold me back.”
Hosein lived in the UK for one year but always kept up-to-date with what was going on in her country of birth. She said when she returned to TT almost three years ago she realised that, under the current administration, her dreams and the dreams of other citizens would not be possible because of the state of the country and the decisions made by the ruling politicians. She felt enough was enough.
She said she can adapt to any situation in order to live the life she wants but even if she put all that she could in place, the actions and decisions of the current administration will hold her back.
“Given the state of the economy, with its lack of versatility and opportunities, I realised no matter how I adapted I wouldn’t be able to achieve my dreams.
“I don’t want to have to fly back to someone else’s country to try to make my dreams into reality. I want to live my dreams where I born and grow!”
Hosein owns a food business and is working towards owning a house, a car, travelling abroad, and better living conditions, but she will also like to be an actress. She said since her new-found activism her personal life has been put on hold but she feels it is the time for her to be selfless. Therefore, she will continue fighting for her country and standing up for the people who did not have a platform to be heard.
“Wherever it takes me, God knows, I will try to make the best decisions, not only for me but for the people of TT that are supporting the stand that I’ve made. For now I continue to stand, I continue to fight. I’m not going to stop that part of my life.”