Kemoy Bowen: man of value
Albert Einstein once said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather, try to become a man of value” and this is the aim of Kemoy Bowen, whose only dream is to be the best person and role model for his son.
Born in Mount Salem, St James, Bowen was the first of three children born to Indera Stone. However, he was raised in Hopewell, Hanover, by his mother for the majority of his life.
“I grew up with my mom in a single-parent household for most of my life, but I was with my grandparents at one point because my mother was away studying and working in another parish,” Bowen said.
His first contact with school was at the Hopewell Christian Deliverance Centre Basic School, after which he went to the Bethel Primary School in the parish. Bowen passed the Grade Six Achievement Test and attended Herbert Morrison Technical High School, where he attained eight Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate subjects, all with distinction, before moving on to sixth form, where he achieved distinctions and credits. University was next, and, as a result of his hard work, Bowen was accepted to study at Johns Hopkins University. However, he decided to attend The University of the West Indies (UWI) instead for financial reasons.
“I started my studies at The UWI in 2014, but I was given the offer to study at Johns Hopkins University on a half scholarship,” Bowen said. “But the other half of the scholarship would have run over J$2 million, and I was considerate of my single parent, so I opted to go to UWI.”
With help from Hanover Charities and his mother, he was able to pay for his first year at The UWI. It has been five years since Bowen started his studies, and he has completed his Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in human resource management and operations management. He started his master’s degree in logistics and supply chain management immediately after completing his undergraduate degree.
During his years at the university, Bowen had a son, and this baby changed his outlook on life.
“My son’s name is Khalid, and he is the reason I do what I do,” he said. “He motivates me to make good decisions and not take certain risks because I am not living for myself anymore.”
The now-three-year-old Khalid has caused his father to become more responsible.
“With Khalid, I have to think about having a job and not depending on my mother or other relatives for money. He also puts things into perspective and moves up plans that would have come into play later on in life,” Bowen said. “There is no more comfort zone because I have to establish my goals quicker than before so that I can start working towards his goals because they are now my responsibility.”
According to Bowen, having a child also means putting things on hold.
“I am a person who loves to travel, and I was thinking that after completing undergrad, I would go to Canada to do my master’s,” he said. “But I have to think about my son and try to be around so he can have a relationship with his father; something I did not have but plan to correct with Khalid,” Bowen said.
Bowen said that in an effort to become a man of value, the relationship between he and his father has improved over the years, and issues are being resolved.
“It is not that my father was non-existent; the issue was that he was not there enough. But now that we are older and have matured, we have had discussions, and past mistakes have been acknowledged so we can move forward,” Bowen stated.
The 23-year-old explained that his experiences have helped him to become the person he is, from growing up in Hopewell to his time living on hall while at The UWI and holding positions of leadership both on hall and on the Guild Council. The rich tradition of the hall he resided on created a nexus of inspiration for him to aspire towards certain successes.
“After completing my master’s, I hope to go into consultancy, in terms of logistics, so I am currently focused on gaining experience in that field,” he stated. “My long-term goal is to have my own business in consultancy for small farmers.”
Bowen’s five-year plans also include marriage and a family where Khalid can be surrounded by even more love and stability.