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Kemoy Lindsay: Not defined by his circumstances

Published:Friday | August 9, 2019 | 12:20 AMVanessa James/Gleaner Writer
Kemoy Lindsay
Kemoy Lindsay

Ask anybody, and they will agree that one’s experience shapes the person he/she becomes. You either become what you experience, or the total opposite happens. It becomes a driving force in your life to be more and do more. Kemoy Lindsay is a product of his experience, and, as a result, he is finding ways to give a helping hand to the youth.

Born in Spanish Town, like Chronixx, right on the train line, Lindsay had a life in which he did not always have much. But he made the most of what he had. He soon moved to Arnett Gardens, where he witnessed a murder for the first time. This helped to shape the person he is now.

“I witnessed a murder for the first time when I was about nine or 10 years old when my brother and I were carrying water from a standpipe across the road,” he said.

Lindsay admitted that this experience made him fearful, cautious, and apprehensive about even playing outside. As he got older, the fear and caution made him into a detail-oriented individual and very aware of his surroundings.

“Helping youths is my passion,” he said. “I did not grow up with much, but along the way, there was always someone who assisted me and was looking out for me, even when they did not have to,” he continued, noting that they, along with his mother, were instrumental in his progress.

Lindsay, the technical adviser to Pearnel Charles Jr, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, is also involved with the Youth Advisory Committee of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO.

“We target and assist at-risk youths using mentorship, school visits, and other programmes. We are also putting an initiative in place to instil civic responsibilities,” Lindsay said.


Added to this, he has a personal outreach project with friend Sujae Boswell called Educate for Peace, which uses education as a vehicle to create a more peaceful and inclusive Jamaica.

Although he moved from one inner city to the next, he used what was happening around him to create the kind of future that he wanted. It is from this that he created his philosophy:

“Life is not determined by the circumstances that you are in, it is determined by how you choose to experience these circumstances.”

He went on to explain that ­perspective and having a positive outlook are also very important when trying to make progress.

“I try to tell myself not to react to my situations but respond to them because responding takes deliberation and thought, while reacting is only reflex,” he stated. “And if we continuously react to our negative circumstances, we will always be in negative circumstances,” he continued.

This has motivated Lindsay to always aim for higher than his current state.

“I am never content where my ambition is concerned, especially when I can see where I can go higher,” he said. “ I will be content when I have actualised on all my potentials,” he stated, smiling.

Lindsay added that he is ­motivated by his mother’s strong work ethic as she had to do ­multiple jobs to ensure that he had what he needed. One of his goals is to ­create a life for her to enjoy because she has had to sacrifice so much.