In this installment of Our Stories, recording artiste, Alborto explains why he wants to be a better father than his dad. For many people, Jamaica is pictured as an island paradise – white sandy beaches, a beautiful and vivacious culture, rich and wholesome food, and attractive people. And while that image is not far from the truth, if the lens is focused on the inspirational stories of ordinary Jamaicans, you’d find a sharper, richer and truer image of the Jamaican experience…this is Our Stories!
Meet Alborto Green
He has started to mend a broken relationship with his father stemming from his father’s unwillingness to pay for his CSEC examinations. At that time, his father believed that was the best decision considering that Alborto did not display behaviour that was promising of a CSEC scholar. Despite his father’s doubt, Alborto had other plans. He had saved his weekly cash allowances so that he could pay for three CSEC subjects which he successfully passed.
Following his success in CSEC, Alborto’s father promised to pay for him to gain additional CSEC qualifications but Alborto turned down the offer and instead wrote a song about the poor decisions of his father.
1.Why did you turn down your father’s offer?
When my family saw that I got the three subjects, he (my father) had wanted me to repeat Grade 11 but I wasn’t comfortable with that. To me, repeating a class was like stepping back.
2. So which three subjects did you sit?
I chose English, Agriculture and Human and Social Biology. They came up to thirteen thousand something and when I went to the bank I had thirteen thousand five hundred.
3. Why did your father doubt your academic abilities at first?
When it came to CSEC time, everyone was telling my father not to pay for my CSEC subjects because I’m the type of person who did my school work yet still I was involved in gangs, as you may call it, because I’m a boy. And then my aunt told him I’m in a gang, I have a girlfriend and every evening when school over mi deh pan di road an idle so him think seh mi a go tun cruff. He didn’t pay for the subjects.
4. Okay, level with me. Do you think your behaviour at that time was convincing that you had genuine interest in your education?
Well, I told him that all he needed to do was to take a risk but I don’t know. Something wrong with him. My performance (in school) was good. Most of my high school teachers don’t talk to me now because they said I should have come to them and tell them the problem. They would have paid for the subjects.
5. Do you resent your father for doubting you?
Yes because that was the time I needed him the most.
6. You didn’t repeat Grade 11 so what did you do after you left high school?
I moved to Bog Walk and I started working.
7. Now, this incident actually inspired you to produce two songs. Tell me about the songs.
(In Falmouth) I did my first performance. I wrote my first two songs, the first one’ Good Father’. I performed it at William Knibb (high school) and they liked it because I was basically asking to be a good father because it is not normal for a man to want to be a good father… I spoke with my father the night before (I wrote the song) and then I was thinking about it after and I was saying, ‘I don’t want to be like him. I want to be better’.
(The feedback from the audience) inspired a part two to the song, My father…. and that song was about all the things he did up to that point. I wrote about it. (My father) could have done a better job.
8. Have you ever explained all of this to your father?
Yes! And he said that he regretted it and he is sorry and I told him I’m his son and nothing can change that. I’m giving him a chance. I wrote a song and I am copyrighting that song to him (so he gets all the royalties).
9. Apart from gifting that song, how is the relationship with your father?
It’s getting better.
I am happy to know that Alborto! Thank you for sharing your story.
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Our Stories is a feature which shares the other side of Jamaican entrepreneurs: their innermost thoughts, inspirations, and personal stories. Are you a Jamaican with a story to share? Contact us [email protected].