By Sonia Walker-Russell

What is success to the average Bahamian?

"A job at the ship yard, a 2010 Honda with rims and a

blackberry? Or go to COB to study bio-chem for 2

years, to find out it's too hard, to switch to accounting

to work at an accounting firm or some bank where you

make safe and easy money? Typically to most

Bahamians that's success."

This according to Krishon Saunders, 22-year-old

aspiring film-maker and business owner, during the

Rotary Club of Freeport's weekly meeting.

 

"I find this hard to come to grips with," he said and

told those in attendance that if he could teach young

people anything, he would teach them to 'think'.

"I would teach young people to begin to "think".

We are not taught to think out of the box or that we can

go our own way and create a multi-million dollar

enterprise. We are taught that we need to get a job at

Atlantis and build that CEO's dream.

"But what if I don't want that? What if I want to live

off my own ideas. What if I want to own my very own

film company?"

The COB Media Journalism student explained that

the road to success - realizing of dreams and true

potential - for young people like himself is hindered by

a flawed system and a society that expects them to

follow a predetermined path.

"We are battling institutions of social and political

frame work that don't really support young dreamers.

Whenever I tell someone that I major in media

journalism, they ask me if I'm going to work for

ZNS or Freeport News or Cable 12. I can't blame

them because those are the expectations that society

has. We are groomed and taught to think in that

constrictive kind of way - that you get a degree,

work for somebody, get a good job and be stable."

Saunders said he has realized that in our

democracy not everyone has equal opportunity, that

some things actually do come harder for some

people because not everyone can afford it.

However this budding entrepreneur, who

is presently making documentaries and

commercials for different companies and

organizations, believes that young

Bahamians can do more.

"Before I graduated I decided that

I was going to start to build a

company. I know what I am

going to do with the

skills I developed from

pursuing my degree

and that is to start my own

film company that addresses

social issues from a journalistic

aspect," said the two time COB Film Festival and one

time Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival first

place winner.

"When I won the first film festival for my movie and

saw people's response to it, I said to myself 'I can

actually do this and make this work'."

With no film industry in The Bahamas Saunders has

come to grips with the fact that the opportunity he seeks

may not be available, but he believes that the

ingredients are there.

"Someone once said 'hey there's

no film industry in The Bahamas,

how are you going to make money

from that?' To make my dream

come true I just need to go out

there and create it because the

ingredients are there, the market is

ripe. And that's what I'm trying to

do, to look for myself and make

the opportunity.

"At no point in my life do I want

to work under somebody, and I'm

not gonna let society dictate to me

that that's not possible or tell me

'you have to start somewhere'. I

am starting somewhere. I'm

starting by building my own

enterprise, building and chasing

after my own dream and that's

what we need - dreamers - people

who can chase after their dream."

Saunders stated that young people, who are trying to

realize their dream and own a piece of their own land,

are battling a system that says 'in order to achieve the

greatness they are looking for, they have to have a

university level education. "But we don't have a

university," he said.

"We're battling a system that tells us that we need to

get a degree to work under somebody ... a flawed

system that now has a 45% graduation rate. Telling the

other 55% that they are not qualified to dream. And we

wonder why crime is up so high and youth

unemployment is up to 34%.

"I want to do so much for my country but there was so

little I could do because the opportunities were not

there. However as I actually started to pursue it, I found

that the ingredients are there, I

just have to make it happen."

H i s mo s t r e c e n t

documentary - "Saving A

Youth In Crisis" - was made

for the Ministry of Youth,

Sports and Culture who was

trying to inspire the

Government to implement a

national youth policy to teach

young people to think bigger.

"I produced it, shot it, edited

it. This job could not have

come at a more opportune

time. I took pride in this

because it was about the same

topic about which I felt

passionately. The national

youth policy can redirect the

country's focus to the road

ahead because all the negative

aspects of our society points to

a large amount of young people who have lost their

way.

"We need to be taught to think for ourselves.

Whatever your goals or dreams are, however it takes

to accomplish it, aspire to that. Get your kids, as

parents, to dream bigger so we can change this

structure, this system. The benefits will be reaped

when we actually teach our children that they can be

more than this and you don't have to work for

someone else."