For more than 20 years, Donovan Gray, who is better known as 'Mama P' has been working at a tyre shop at Boundbrook in Portland. The shop is owned and operated by a close friend who allows him to take charge of changing and patching wheels for motor vehicles.
Gray, who boasts about his skill of manoeuvring and changing a tyre in record time, said that he is committed to his livelihood, which puts food on the table for his family and sends his children to school.
"I am the best at what I do," he added "Tyres have become a part of my life and it's a joy being around them. The changing and patching of tyres is a skill that one has to learn over time. It also requires patience and strength. There are also some basic safety regulations that are to be observed, so as to prevent damage to oneself or even loss of life. A tyre shop is a good investment, and at this shop, we also offer training to youngsters, who might be interested."
At the tyre shop, various types of machines and equipment are used to remove tyres from rims and to carry out cord patching.
According to Gray, tyres used by various vehicles including cars, buses, trucks, bulldozers, bikes, bicycle, and SUVs are either patched, replaced, or aligned on a daily basis in keeping with the various services offered at the shop.
Gray, who boasted about the passion he developed for his job, pointed out that he works full-time day in and day out, which basically operates a round-the-clock shift.
The tyre man noted that changing tyres is what he knows best, and that income from the business not only puts food on the table for his family, but also helps with paying utility bills and also allows him to save at the bank.
Continuing, Gray said, "I am just like the banana man; I will live and die a tyre man. It is not all about patching and changing tyres, but also ensuring that the best quality work is done, as the wheels have to be affixed to the vehicle properly, so as to ensure the safety of not only the driver, but also passengers."