‘A voice for dis­abil­ity’

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA - Ru­ral@glean­erjm.com ru­ral@glean­erjm.com

MAY PEN, Claren­don: OR JOEL Cham­bers, life is art and his art mir­rors life. The 36-year-old Cen­tral Vil­lage na­tive por­trays him­self as a holis­tic artist who does not be­lieve in only paint­ing spe­cial ob­jects.

“I paint any and ev­ery­thing. I do land­scape, wa­ter­scape, still life and ab­stract paint­ings. I’m just a nat­u­rally in­tu­itive artist,” he said.

Al­though Cham­bers did not get much out of school, it did help him to de­velop his artis­tic tal­ent, hav­ing learnt art on a level he could not have done on his own. “After I left all-age school, I couldn’t fur­ther my ed­u­ca­tion be­cause I couldn’t af­ford it, so when I started get­ting chil­dren and know­ing I have to take care of them, I started sell­ing belts in the streets. Then one day the po­lice took them away, and not hav­ing any money, I de­cided to try paint­ing, and that’s how I ac­tu­ally started cre­at­ing such beau­ti­ful art­work,” he told Ru­ral Xpress, adding that his ul­ti­mate aim is to go to the Edna Man­ley Col­lege of the Vis­ual and Per­form­ing Arts.

“I al­ways had this mind­set that if I don’t go to Edna Man­ley, I’m not an artist. I al­ways thought I was just a painter, but an en­counter with an­other artist who did a dif­fer­ent type of art­work from mine helped to change that mind­set,” said Cham­bers.

So tal­ented is he that the mo­ment he sat down to do his very first paint­ing, a lady saw the un­fin­ished work and or­dered it im­me­di­ately.

“After me sell her the paint­ing, it was a joy fi see her a walk down the road with it, look­ing at it and mar­vel­ling at my work, so that’s when this thing trig­ger off in my head like the Big Bang The­ory,” he re­called.

With sup­port stream­ing in, Cham­bers took the ini­tia­tive and reg­is­tered his business now known as Joel Cham­bers Fam­ily En­ter­prise, and be­came a sole trader two years ago.

The mul­ti­tal­ented and overly en­thu­si­as­tic Cham­bers also has a pas­sion for mu­sic. “I al­ways wanted to do mu­sic, but I re­alised it was

Fre­ally dif­fi­cult to break into that in­dus­try, so I de­cided to work with the tal­ent that I can con­trol and man­age on my own,” he said. Cham­bers said not hav­ing any qual­i­fi­ca­tion at the Caribbean Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Cer­tifi­cate level did not stop him from learn­ing all he could and so he de­vel­oped a habit of read­ing, which he did con­stantly with his dic­tionary by his side.

THE WIDER WORLD

“I got a read off a book called Mar­cus Gar­vey Phi­los­o­phy (The Phi­los­o­phy & Opin­ions of Mar­cus Gar­vey) and that boosted my knowl­edge base and fur­ther fu­elled my in­ter­est in read­ing. I read and un­der­stood that ed­u­ca­tion is good and is avail­able in and out of the class­room, so the more I read Mar­cus Gar­vey’s writ­ings, the more I val­ued my­self and be­came more in tune with what’s hap­pen­ing around me and what a gwaan in the wider world,” he ex­plained.

“My in­spi­ra­tion has no lim­i­ta­tion, it just flows with the cos­mos. I don’t have to be in the mood or have to plan to paint. My paint­ing is like a way of life,” he boasted, not­ing that on av­er­age, some paint­ings take hours, de­pend­ing on the type, size and the in­tri­cate de­tails.

“I’m the big­gest fan of my paint­ings; I’m at­tached to ev­ery piece I cre­ate.” Cham­bers said what sets him apart from all the other artists is the per­son be­yond the paint­ing. “My paint­ings are very unique; I’m a philoso­pher, a ge­nius, a teacher and just a nat­u­rally cre­ative per­son, and all that comes out in the paint­ings.”

“I didn’t just hap­pen overnight. I took time to de­velop and I had the willpower and mind­set that caused me to reach this far.”

Cham­bers has since recorded five songs and is hop­ing the pos­i­tive lyrics will earn him some amount of airplay.

His paint­ings are be­ing sold by Things Ja­maica and he now aims to have his art­work dis­played in the Na­tional Gallery.

Per­sons want­ing to or­der paint­ings can con­tact Joel Cham­bers at 367-8141. Foster’s business plan for Ven­tura Tech. MAN­DEV­ILLE, Manch­ester: SOME MAY re­mem­ber Roshane Foster from a pre­vi­ous Gleaner ar­ti­cle as the young man who, though born with cere­bral palsy, was set­ting trends and mak­ing strides: be­com­ing the first Ro­taract mem­ber with spe­cial needs, suc­cess­fully com­plet­ing a level II course in business ad­min­is­tra­tion at HEART Trust/NTA and later en­rolling at the North­ern Caribbean Uni­ver­sity while work­ing there through the Na­tional Youth Ser­vice Pro­gramme.

To­day, 24-year-old Foster is a suc­cess­ful grad­u­ate of North­ern Caribbean Uni­ver­sity who wants to start a business, hav­ing com­pleted a two-year cer­tifi­cate course in in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy.

“Now I want to start my own business. I want a com­puter shop that will of­fer com­put­ers and com­puter ac­ces­sories for sale, print­ing ser­vices and re­pairs, and it will be called ‘Ven­tura Tech’... I did my in­tern­ship at Smart­box and this has given me a lot more ex­pe­ri­ence to move ahead,” Foster told Ru­ral Xpress.

He has al­ready pre­pared a de­tailed business plan and has started of­fer­ing de­sign ser­vices to se­lect clients.

“I’ve al­ways told my teach­ers that I don’t want to work for any­body, I want to run my business. I didn’t know I would end up in this field, but I did, and my friends now say this is the right field for me,” Foster told Ru­ral Xpress.

As a re­sult of his con­di­tion, Foster was un­able to hold a pen­cil while at­tend­ing his spe­cial needs school and was in­tro­duced to a type­writer. He said he later got around to us­ing the com­puter and has not left it since.

“Tech­nol­ogy is evolv­ing ev­ery day and you have to move with it .... If one day passes and I’m not on it, my day doesn’t feel right. It is even eas­ier with a new mouse I re­ceived from some­one who saw my first ar­ti­cle,” Foster said.

This young man has his hopes set on open­ing a shop in Ven­tura Tech logo. Foster works on a de­sign in what he deems his home of­fice.

Man­dev­ille, then later branch­ing out to other par­ishes.

“To have one shop would be a start, but even­tu­ally, when I branch out to other par­ishes, then I would have com­pleted my pur­pose,” he noted.

Foster has al­ready sought to find his niche, of­fer­ing spe­cial ser­vices to his clients.

NEED HELP

“Right now I do de­sign, es­pe­cially cal­en­dars, and one takes me around 30 min­utes. I don’t of­fer print­ing, but hope­fully by next year I can start to do my own print­ing, but I need some help with start­ing up of­fi­cially. I need equip­ment and all of that,” he said.

Foster has been a source of in­spi­ra­tion to many he has made pre­sen­ta­tions to, stud­ied with and sim­ply been around.

“I live by three words: mo­ti­va­tion, de­ter­mi­na­tion and drive. Th­ese are what help me to be where I am to­day and will teach me for where I want to go ... from be­ing on my knees and not be­ing able to do any­thing, to

walk­ing and be­ing in­de­pen­dent. I tell peo­ple that if I were to tell them my story it would take two days or more,” Foster told Ru­ral Xpress.

That’s why Foster says in ad­di­tion to his business idea, he he will be com­plet­ing an au­to­bi­og­ra­phy as soon as pos­si­ble and launch­ing a foun­da­tion.

“I have a strong sup­port and I know when I start the business I will con­tinue to get the sup­port. My mother, Gen­nie Facey, has never left me and I al­ways tell peo­ple she is more than mother to me. Hadn’t it been for her, I don’t know how I could en­ter uni­ver­sity or start my book and be look­ing to start my foun­da­tion: ‘A voice for dis­abil­ity’.”

Foster says above all, he wants per­sons who are chal­lenged to know they can do any­thing they put their minds to.

He can be con­tacted via email at roshane40@gmail.com or call (876) 276-2910, face­book page: ‘A voice for dis­abil­ity’.

PHOTO BY SHANIQUE SA­MUELS

Joel Cham­bers dis­plays his art­work.

PHO­TOS BY TA­MARA BAI­LEY

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