Personality of the week: student Frederick S. Jay

MONROVIA-There are too many sighted, body men and women in streets corners doing little or nothing with their lives, but put it to waste by involving themselves in taking harmful chemical substances.

As the result, they have given for themselves names like zogoes or zogies, disadvantaged youth, street kids and so on.

Although they have eyes to see, they are not making use of it and they had big and one time healthy bodies which wasn’t used for the best reasons.

What you see most of them doing is walking from one community to the other looking for old irons or seeking for means to steal from someone in other to support their bad habits (taking of drugs).

But this visually impaired (sightless) fellow who has been struggling with his education sees their actions as being wasteful with what God has blessed them (disadvantaged youth) with.

This week, our Personality of the Week camera picked study Fredrick S. Jay; up walking with a megaphone.

As first, my thoughts were that he was using it for different reasons like raising concern about his health condition or seeking for handout from people.

My thinking about him was very wrong and I had to say sorry for having such thoughts about him knowing  very well that not everyone with some form of disabilities is street baggers or object of petty.

When I engaged him, he explained that he does minutes and data transfer, the latest empowerment program offer by GSM operators in Liberia (Orange Liberia and Lonestar).

I was left dumfounded and couldn’t believe what my ears heard, but two things came to mind and I was quick to ask him how he goes about doing the transferring of minutes.

You will get to know later in this reading but let me first introduce Student Jay.

Fredrick is a visually impaired student who is studying Mass Communication major and English minor at the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU).

He was not born with disability of sight.

How did he get here?

Student Jay came into his world with all of his five senses correct, he informed us.

When he was asked how he lost his sight, student Jay stopped for a while and said, “I was not born with this problem, but it came upon me when I was in elementary school.”

According to our personality of the Week, his misfortune started when he was a 4th grader in 1994.

He explained his bad experience as saying that it all started with redness of the eyes which later transferred into something different that has become a serious nightmare for him but was quick to  say,” but we give all to God and He knows why it happened.”

With all of those, our personality has not lost hope, rather has kept pushing for betterment of his life through different means by taking on challenges in life.

He praised the Church of Pentecost Liberia, an institution he said stood by him and helped him complete his high school.

“When it first started, my parents got frustrated and gave up because that was not the life they wanted for me, but the Church of Pentecost brought me from Nimba to Monrovia and sent me to school until I completed my High school,” Student Jay narrated his ordeal.

He said now that they have seen that a child with disability has a future, they have embraced him and are supporting him with his fees at that private run university-AMEU.

How Student Jay manages to transfer

I have always heard that those with some forms of disability have high levels of sensitivity.

It is proven that when one of the five senses is gone, the remaining  are very delicate.

This is the case with our Personality of the weak.

In an interview, Student Jay said he uses both touchscreen and button phones to do his transactions of transferring minutes and data to other contacts.

He has recorded a song on his megaphone to attract his buyers.

He starts by saying, “I selling, selling, selling Orange minute oh, I selling, selling, selling Lonestar minute here. Come buy your minute oh and call your relatives oh……”

Student Jay plays this walking along the streets during his leisure time and while making his way back home after class at AMUE.

According to him, he follows the same formats that are being used by sighted people.

When he was asked if he gets customers, he answered in the affirmative.

He said most people want to experiment and see how a visually impaired person does minutes and data transfer.

“Some of them will buy from me and when they tell their friends, that friend will want to see how I do it” he said with laughter.

Jay said because people want to see him transferring, at times on the spot, he gets four to five persons buying from him.

Our personality of the Week explained that he started his business with the amount of L$500.00 to help himself with transportation and other expenses a student needs.

He narrated that from that initial amount of L$500.00, he has improved in sales and is now capable of depositing over three to four thousand dollars on his cards hoping that business grows to empower others.

Our personality has not lost hope, but has promised to himself to keep on pushing to make life easy for him and other relatives

He said once a person is focus, he or she can do whatever they envisage.

Student Jay is also hopeful that people of goodwill will see his efforts and help improve his business to enable him help others.

Personality of the Week is a column produced by the New Republic Newspaper to recognize people who are positively impacting society with what they do by giving hope to others.

For any suggestion, below are our contacts:

By Mark N. Mengonfia- / 0776105060/0888105060


1 Comment
  1. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article!
    It is the little changes that produce the largest changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

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