by Sharifa Medford

IzaXBajanXImageX2In just 103 days, Barbados will celebrate its 50th anniversary of Independence. Celebrations are ongoing across the island and throughout the Diaspora to highlight the developments which the island has made since its ‘break-away’ from Britain in 1966.

In his letter to the nation, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart encouraged Barbadians to take the lead in shaping their future. He noted that the future of our country depends on “how hard we are prepared to work; what sacrifices we are prepared to make; what standards we are prepared to set; and to what core values we are prepared to subscribe”.

We can only imagine that it was this mentality that drove the efforts made by outstanding Barbadians such as the late Right Excellent Sir Frank Walcott, The Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers, the late Right Excellent Errol Barrow and the late Dame Nita Barrow, in the development of our island’s health care, education, social and political systems.

And, while we acknowledge those notable contributions, we must also place the spotlight on the equally important strides made by those persons working within the service industries – the fisherfolk, farmers, hotel workers, IzaXBajanXImageteachers, entrepreneurs, taxi and PSV operators, and health care officials.

These individuals, who we see traversing past our homes and offices daily, unaware of the significant input they have made, deserve to be acknowledged for the groundwork which they have laid.

To this end, the 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations Secretariat will feature a number of Barbadians in a series entitled ‘I’za Bajan’. The stories will delve into their lives, and showcase the heroes among us who may be hidden behind the persona of an ‘ordinary’ Bajan.