‘Gone too soon!’ Mother laments son’s recent murder. Bermuda’s Black community is being robbed of potential future leaders, fathers, husbands, social and economic contributors through senseless violence and anti-social activities, with the most recent extreme example of the behaviour having been demonstrated less than 10 days ago when 16-year-old Kanye Ford was murdered, following a party at Horseshoe Bay Beach.
TNN’s Trevor Lindsay spoke to Mr Ford’s still grieving mother, Nakeeba Ford, who lamented the harmful, disruptive behaviours cascading over the lives of many of the Island’s young people, particularly those of the Black community, often for reasons that would appear insignificant.
Ms Ford revealed how her son was stabbed to death on September 9 another man was also wounded as a result of confusion and subsequent anger caused by the alleged removal, loss or misplacement of a mobile phone that was either lost, stolen or misplaced.
In her lament, the mother of five exposed a tale of continuous conflict in the life of a confident young man, who was a keen, skilled football player harbouring dreams of a successful future in life, but one hindered by violence prior to the Horseshoe Bay event.
“To be honest, every day is different for me,” began Ms Ford, the heartbreak and dismay clear in her countenance and expression. “Today I’m struggling. Yesterday I was okay. The day before that I was okay. So, I have my days and some are better than others. I’m just trying to stay strong for my husband and daughter, but today I am really struggling with this.”
“I’m still puzzled and confused as to how and why I’ve lost my sixteen year old baby. He was always home with me and, everyday, would come and get into my bed with me, especially on my days off every. And I’m going to miss that, especially today because today’s my day off and he would have been in bed with me this morning.
“He would have got up and said, ‘Mom, what do you want for breakfast?’ And I would have said, ‘Nothing’, but he always made sure that I was okay.
“It’s terrible that they’ve done this to my 16-year-old child … he’s a baby.”
TNN was told of many struggles endured by Mr Ford during his tenure at Cedarbridge Academy, where he was noted to have be often “forced” into fights, purportedly against groups of fellow young people from ‘Town’.
The teenager eventually had to be withdrawn from the Prospect institution due to the various battles and he and his mother were in the process of finding alternative means of education at the time of his death.
“I had to pull him from his first year (at Cedarbridge), because he was getting threats and stuff from Town guys,” said Ms Ford, originally from the west end of the Island, but now living at the eastern end. “And one day the principal called my husband and myself to ask us to come and pick him up from school right away, because they had gotten word that those Town guys were coming after school to shoot him.
“They asked us to come and pick him up. But, it was, like, almost every day he was in a fight with someone from Town and my husband and I had had enough.
“So he hadn’t gone back for his second year. We were looking for an alternative school for him to get his GED, but he wanted to go away in order to be with one of my sons, one of which lives in England, and my son ended up having another baby, so it was, sort of, a wait for him to go.
“I had called a school regarding his football and he was going to be attending this school, because he’s (sic) a really good footballer and could use both feet.”
Ms Ford aid that she never foresaw Bermuda a place renowned for its familial closeness and overall friendly, hospitable nature devolving into one having persons exhibiting such disreputable levels of behavioural conduct, deportment and regard for the lives of each other.
He son’s death marked the eighth murder to have taken place this year, joining those of 49-year-old Daemon Bell, Laje Franklin (18), Che Jennings (24), Keith Gordon (70), Latrae Doeman (19), Keyoshe Robinson (22) and Marcus Wilson (30), with two alleged to have been stabbed, four apparently shot and the remainder having succumbed as a result of altercations involving methods of fatal infliction not clearly revealed.
“It’s crazy that my child couldn’t go Town or whatever, but Kanye had such a big personality that it didn’t matter and he still went where he wanted to go,” said Ms Ford. “But me and his dad always wanted to make sure that he was protected and would tell him, ‘Don’t go Town. Don’t go this place.’
“When he finally started to stay home, more or less, all the time, I was happy, because I knew where he was. And that night he went out he didn’t even say where he was going.
“He was in bed with me, then he later came and asked me if the socks he had put on looked all right and I told him he should change them, so he changed them and said, ‘Momma, I’m gone.
“I asked him to come to me for a minute, as he walked out the door, then I said, ‘Never mind, honey. I’ll talk to when you come home … I love you, see.’
“He said, ‘I love you too Mommy’, and rode off on his bike and that was the last time I saw my son (alive).
“But, yes, there is a crisis on this Island. At first I said it was only going to get worse, because I saw it heading this way and now we are in a serious crisis with these young men taking each others’ lives.
“It’s just terrible that they don’t understand that they are taking away potential husbands to our Black women. You guys are really destroying things. You’re destroying the way of life and really have to stop, because it might happen to you one day.
“The Government needs to sit down and talk about this, because this is a serious thing, especially now that they’ve taken my 16-year-old’s life This is serious and it has to be looked at, because ‘Who’s next?’ a 13-year-old, a 10-year-old, a nine-year-old, an eight-year-old.
“It’s going to get that young, because the things that are going on with people getting murdered, these young people want revenge, so the cycle never ends. And do you not think these little one’s are not going to get involved or don’t want to get involved? Especially if they’ve lost their daddy, their brother or something like that. It’s going to get younger.
“These guys fail to realise that there are young ones behind them seeing what’s going on they’re going to want revenge, so, if we don’t fix this, they’re going to be getting younger and younger, creating a terrible cycle for our young Black men, leaving our Black women husband-less.”
Regardless of the numerous stated instances of her son being involved in conflicts, Ms Ford was adamant that her child was not a member of any particular gang and had friends in various parishes and communities throughout the Island.
“No, Kanye went from Dockyard to St David’s,” she insisted. “He has friends here (in St David’s, friends in Smith’s, Devonshire, all over this Island, even friends in Town.
“He had one close friend, that was with him that night, who was the only boy I really saw come down here all the time.
“But Kanye wasn’t in any gang. He has older brothers, who would not allow that, so Kanye was not involved in any gang at all.
“He was a boy that would stand his ground. He had that personality, whereby he stood his ground and wasn’t a pushover and, if he believed he was right, stood firm and stood hard, and that’s what happened that night.”
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Eza Hart of Southampton recently appeared in Magistrates Court, having been charged with Mr Ford’s alleged murder, with the matter of the indictable offence having been sent to the Supreme Court for trial, with a mention date set for October 3.
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