An interview with Ras’ Deniro Thompson, a young man from the Bahamas with a passion for positive change.
Where in The Bahamas are you from?
I was born, and grew up in the capital city of Nassau, on The Island of New Providence in the Bahamas.
Can you describe the community you grew up in?
I grew up in a very quiet, and peaceful community.
What do you think are your three best qualities? You three best worst?
My three best qualities are my honesty, my humility and my good work ethics. The only worst quality about myself that I can think of is that I sometimes lack confidence in myself, and this sometimes leads to me being taken advantage of.
Which do you think you have the most of: talent, intelligence, education or
persistence? How has it helped you?
I believe that I have an equal amount of talent, intelligence, education and persistence.
I believe that the Almighty God has blessed me with a number of talents and that he wants me to use to positively to impact the lives of persons around me. I was able to be afforded with a quality and wholesome education from St. Augustine’s College, one of the top high schools in the Bahamas.
In a small island nation such as The Bahamas, opportunities to pursue your dreams and aspirations are sometimes non existent, so you would have to push yourself a bit more to achieve what is is your want to achieve in life.
I have been able to use my talent,intelligence, education and persistence not only to ensure that my future is successful, but I have used it to change the lives of persons around me and in the various communities around The Bahamas.
What do you think has stayed the same about you throughout your life? What
do you think has changed?
Throughout my entire life, I’ve always been a very quiet and sheltered individual, I’ve never kept company or kept many friends, but as I grew older, and started to network and socialize, my circle of friends has increased. Also, my confidence in myself has increased, but most importantly throughout my entire life, my loyalty and commitment to God has remained the same.
List three misconceptions that people often have about you (and, if none,
Persons sometimes think that I am cocky, that I have a bad attitude or that I am an unapproachable person, and that’s definitely not the case at all.
Name one thing about yourself that most people don’t know
Most people don’t know that I’m a very skilled and talented rapper, it was a talent that I discovered while I was in High School, as I performed during many talent shows.
Has there been a defining moment in your life that made you decide to take
the direction in life that you did?
Yes, one day I was sitting down with my dad as he was showing me his collection of photos. In the photos were him along with world leaders, and other influential public figures.
He told me that he had left a legacy behind, and that he wanted me to continue his legacy, and from that day I was inspired to do what he do, and continue his legacy as he told me to. That moment right there, made me decide to take the direction in which I am taking right now in my life.
What have been the most influential experiences in your life?
I’ve had many influential experiences in my life, whether they were meeting my favorite celebrities or delivering well received speeches in front of my peers, all of those moments were influential in my eyes, but perhaps my most influential experiences were those moments when young people would come up to me and tell me how much I inspired them or motivated them.
Those moments were priceless!
Describe a person or situation from your childhood that had a profound
effect on the way you look at life.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents home. During my time there, they would share stories about their life growing up in the Bahamas during the time when colored persons were discriminated against.
They would tell me how because of their skin color, they were not allowed to go into certain stores. My grandmother would tell me how she would march and protest with civil rights activist to agitate for change in the Bahamas.
These stories made me feel proud to be a Bahamian. In addition, it made me more appreciative of the civil liberties that I now enjoy in my life. Furthermore, I was inspired to also be a change maker in my country, and do my part to bringing about positive changes in my community.
What, if anything , would you have done differently in your life? What do
you know now that you wish you’d known when you were younger?
There is nothing that I would’ve done differently in life, however, when I was younger, I wish I had known how difficult adult life would be, if I had known, I would’ve better prepared myself to face the challenges of adult life.
What are the most critical problems facing Bahamian youth today? How do
you think these problems should be handled?
The most critical problems facing Bahamian Youth today is crime,unemployment and a failing educational system. It’s a vicious cycle, our educational system is not catering to the needs of every student, thus resulting in an increased school dropout rate and/ or poor national exam results.
When students leave high school, they are not sufficiently resourced or properly equipped for the world ahead of them.This scenario will lead to a whole lot of social problems, including a high rate of crime.
To tackle these issues, we must first create a wholesome educational system that caters to the individual, if you have a functional educational system that is producing productive citizens, you won’t have such a high rate of crime and other social ills.
What’s the one misconception about Bahamas that you would like to
Many persons outside The Bahamas view our country as one that lacks resources or technological advances. They think that it’s just a tourist destination that boost Sun, Sand and Sea. But, the Bahamas is a very resourceful country, and our most valuable resource is our people.
We have produced world class athletes, award winning musicians and actors, and even three Rhode Scholars. Our people are brilliant, talented,and meaningful contributors to humanity. In April, 2016 -the United Nations International Telecommunications Unit declared New Providence, where the capital of the Bahamas is located, a ‘smart island’, which is evident that we are keeping up with technological advances in the wider world.
What’s your vision of Bahamas in the next 50 years?
In the next 50 years, I wish to see a much more stronger and prosperous Bahamas ; a Bahamas that is crime free and a Bahamas where young persons are afforded with equal opportunities to pursue their dreams and aspirations.
Do you have advice to offer young people from the Caribbean aspiring to
be as successful as you?
Yes, I do have advice to offer young people from the Caribbean aspiring to be as successful as me. My advice to them is that they should always possess a positive attitude, they ought to be respectful to those around them and to everyone they meet.
They should not let the negative words of others deter them from reaching their goals, dreams and aspirations. But my most important advice to them is that they should always put God first in every single thing that they do, because when they have God first in their lives, everything else will fall into place for them.