‘Ras I’ keeps on sewing
March 31, 2006

‘Ras I’ keeps on sewing

His name is Montgomery Sam but the man who hails from Roseau, east of Capital City Kingstown, is more popularly known as Ras I. He is of medium height, neatly attired with a turban on his head, covering dreadlocks, which mark his new identity.

Ras I is a tailor. He learnt the trade through involvement in a family enterprise. {{more}}

“My family used to run a laundry business. Through the family encouraging me, I got interested in sewing,” he reflected.

His tutor was one St. Clair Johnson who had an establishment in Middle Street in Kingstown.

Ras I has been something of a part time tailor. He recounted, “It started off good,” but he declared, “As time go on, people stop buying clothes.”

He attributed the decline in the purchase of locally made clothing to the abundance of cheaper attire on the market.

Ras I is positive and practical. He is sufficiently aware of conditions around him.

If he gets a spot in Kingstown to ply his trade, things will be different.

“It’s been a while I have been trying to get a spot in the market,” he recounted.

“I never get that opportunity. If I get that spot, the business will be much advanced,” he said.

His skills as a tailor have already been proven. “People who know how I operate, they would come and give me a job,” Ras I remarked.

He is a versatile craftsman. You can get a three-piece suit made for $350.00 or a two-piece for $275. It costs $45 to make a pair of jeans.

He noted people’s pride in their heritage and observed that “clothing is a must.”

“In these days of nationalism, persons should be proud to wear their African garments as a black heart man/woman.”

Ras I thrives on his Rastafarian principles. He is conscious and flexible: “I get a smooth operation because of the way I communicate with people.” He takes a balanced view of life and noted that: “Everybody wouldn’t give you a bad face. Give thanks for the way things going still.”

One of practical orientation, Ras I observed: “Some people still fighting down Rasta. Some people think yo’ wasting time and yo’ on foolishness.”

He however justifies his stance and declared: “Righteousness is what black man has to really defend. That is what I stand for.”

Ras I is the typical African. He is not confined to one sphere. He is a farmer because as he stated: “I still need ital to eat.”

He played football and table tennis as a youngster. He has found the demands of making a living have cut back on his time for sport. He is an avid sport lover and follows the games with keen interest.

He thinks that the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) would contribute to the region’s development. He hopes that some productive and marketing measures would ensure his visibility and indeed sustainability.

Ras I advises: “Anyone interested in local garments, just check me. Let me fit you up and put you on the market.” His number is 455-3658.