by Jada Chambers
A 90-year-old woman is pleading for financial assistance for her grandson Edson Bobb, who has been living on the streets of Kingstown for 14 years.
Marjorie Bobb says she is saddened and heart-broken that after so many years, she is still unable to relieve her grandson from the terrors of living on the streets.
“…I know they treat him bad, and he has no place to lay his head… he don’t have nobody…”
Marjorie told SEARCHLIGHT that the young man’s state is particularly distressing because Edson is highly educated, and has even pursued studies in Canada.
“Something wrong with Edson, [but] Edson [is] not crazy… a person has 11 subjects, and still can’t even buy a bread to eat…something wrong with Edson, I does pray and ask God, remove any hindrance from him please, break the wickedness….Edson is an intelligent person, he really really bright, he got maths, he got English, he got biology, he got all them subjects…”
Despite his educational background, Edson has not been in the position where he can use it to support himself.
He spoke with SEARCHLIGHT about the reality of his life and his continuous efforts to maintain a positive attitude.
Edson spent his early childhood years in Montserrat with his mother, three siblings, and grandmother.
When he was only six years old, his mother died from cardiac arrest after falling and hitting her head. He said that he learnt that blood filled her lungs, and exploded.
“…It was a shocking moment, it was a gripping moment,” he said.
After his mother’s death, the family returned to St Vincent, where the children continued their education.
However when Edson was nine, his father murdered his stepmother at their residence, an experience he described it as one of the hardest moments of his life.
“One, I didn’t expect it to happen, and then there was blood all over the room…”
Edson said that losing two mothers taught him to become more responsible for himself and for others.
“It’s not easy to turn around, and then one day there’s an iron and it’s hot, and there’s my shirt, suppose I burn it; so you practise from there and when you start…getting compliments, ‘oh your school clothes look so neat and nice,’ it goes away and you become a new person.”
After graduating from secondary school at age 16, Edson went to Canada to further his studies. However, upon returning to St.Vincent at age 19, he found the house where he lived at Green Hill, Barrouallie burnt down.
As a result, Edson slept at a tuck shop at the former location of the Barrouallie Secondary School for one year and a half until he ordered to leave the premises.
He has been living on the streets of Kingstown ever since.
Edson is now 33 years old, and still fighting the struggle of being marginalised; an issue which he told SEARCHLIGHT is still a giant in his life today.
“I used to try very hard when I came here to progress in the capital city even though I’m homeless.
“I…still try but after four/five years and then being exposed to the sub-culture of the city: unfair wages, gossips, what ever it may be, being shot; it brings you back…and stops you to say probably you should just settle for what you see other people settling for…
“There’s a stigmatisation and marginalisation there and I figured that out in 2017, before I got hit with the brick across my face…there is a marginalisation that I need to break through; and I don’t know if I have broken through it or I’m still in the process of it, or if I’ve given up…”
Nevertheless, Edson said that he is proud of himself for remaining positive and will continue to do so despite the harsh circumstances.
“Being marginalised is something that you need to battle because if you accept it then you either be on one side of it: the inside or the outside. It’s like the walls of Jericho, you need to break down the wall, walk through the city.”
Edson said that he has done some teaching in the past, and his students motivate him to build a positive change in his life as he as found some difficulty in maintaining their intellectual and social respect.
“And it hasn’t hurt me that painfully as before, and I’m glad that it isn’t so any more, so that I can be free from the minor care of ‘look Edson some of these students, they look up to you, do something.’ I can say now, well I have to do this not only for myself, but also for the respect of my past students.”