Sun | Jan 17, 2021

Wayne Marshall’s father raised the bar

Published:Sunday | June 21, 2020 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle - Staff Reporter
Wayne Marshall and his parents.
Wayne Marshall’s father, Wycliffe Mitchell.
Wayne Marshall

The loss of a parent is usually magnified on special days one would use to celebrate them. Today, as the world observes Father’s Day, many will experience some bittersweet moments. While some will be able to dote on the man who helped to mould them into the men and women they are today, others simply do not have that luxury as that special man is no longer physically present. One such person is dancehall artiste, Wayne Marshall, (born Wayne Mitchell) who today, will be celebrating the second Father’s Day without his father, Wycliffe Mitchell.

In an interview with The Sunday Gleaner, the artiste admits that on days like these the loss is particularly painful, but he honours his memory by taking the time out to reminisce on the man that he was. “I used to see him everyday because he would come to visit us all the time and he and everybody had such great relationships. He was such a character that it was hard not to love him and so the past two years have really been rough. The loss of a loved one is never easy. It really takes time to heal and we really miss him,” Mitchell said. “On Father’s Day we would usually go for some lunch or brunch and my mother would usually organise that. He was definitely not the type to want no cards or gifts. He was easy-going like that but we would still try to get him little tokens of appreciation. Tami [Wayne’s wife] is the one who would normally jump around in getting something nice for him. They had a very good relationship.”


Mitchell, who is a father of four, told The Sunday Gleaner that although his family celebrates him on days like these, he usually would find some time in the midst of all the festivities, to be alone with the memories of his own father. “I accept the celebration but sometimes I just find some quiet time to just meditate on my father and the role he played in my life. I don’t really take it too deep because I know he’s not coming back and no mourning, no remorse that I have can bring him back so I always try to channel a positive vibration,” he said. “I think back to all the positive memories and great moments I had with him. I would probably dig up some pictures in my phone or the photo albums and just look back. I always try to keep him at the forefront of my mind, Father’s Day or not.”

Speaking of the timing of his father’s passing (a week before Father’s day), the entertainer says it makes honouring his memory that much easier. “The timing makes dealing with the loss so much better for me actually because I get to celebrate his memorial close to Father’s day and so it keeps everything in one little season and it really just puts the meditation on him and I can focus fully on the good times that brought us closer,” he said.

Describing the senior Mitchell as his source of inspiration, the entertainer says he has found himself wanting to be better in all aspects of his life. To him, watching his father in action has set a standard which he aspires towards. “I try to be as good as a father or even better than he was to try and keep his memory and legacy alive. He is my inspiration to be better. He always encourages me to learn and be handy. He was so much of a handy man that I never needed to do anything much around the house and a so comes now me start my journey as a handyman,” he said. “Me learning to do certain likkle things now is kind of in memory of him, a tribute to him. Knowing how proud he would be to see say me can fix a pipe or even if me can’t fix it me ago learn how to do it eventually, gives me a drive.”


He added, “He taught me to lead by example like he did. A lot of fathers talk the talk but dem don’t walk the walk. The most important thing for your kids is to see you being an example of the things you say to them . When they see you doing what you’re asking of them will make all the difference. My father taught me that,” he continued. “And when I really think about it, it is kinda pressuring but it really is for me to rise to the occasion so to where he left the bar, I’ve stopped being intimidated. I now see it as a standard that I must meet.”

Well aware that there are some people who are taking for granted the time they have with their loved ones, Mitchell pointed out that there is not a day that goes by that he doesn’t miss his father’s presence. He wants those who still have the luxury of communicating with their loved ones to cherish that time. “Don’t take time for granted, we affi know weh we a do. Treasure your loved ones and take as much from them while you have them because we never know what’s around the corner where life is concerned,” he said pointing out that he is saddened by the fact his father didn’t get to meet his youngest son, Oz. “What makes me most sad is that he didn’t get to see Oz and his grandchildren didn’t get to grow older and really get to know him and how great of a man he really was. And my younger brother as well, Alex who was still young when daddy passed and so him never get the full life experience with daddy turning from a boy to a man and getting to see him in all his stages.”