“I am impressed with Drexel’s story because I know that someone was praying for him…” Bishop Dexter Rolle
How would you feel about interviewing the top gangster in your country? How about learning that he once put out an execution order on your life? Did I forget to mention, that this interview is being conducted while I was totally blind? As he relates what save my life on the night I was shot, it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up because what I did was so shamefully simple!
The year is 1995 and the largest street gang in The Bahamas is locked in a deadly internal war. As reality sets in its obvious, I bit off more than I can chew by shooting the leader of my gang. I was simply coming to the defense of another member, who was being beating up by other gang members. While the shooting catapulted me to the top in my gang, it also made me a prime target for revenge and the clock is slowly ticking down
I was born on July 3rd 1975 in Nassau, one of the natural gems of the Caribbean. I had a good childhood, that was before my father violently left home almost killing all of us in the process [my mother and two younger sisters.] Looking back I could see how my young life was dramatically changed forever. I lost all interest in education, I became withdrawn, quiet and grew into and angry teenager.
When parents split up it is always difficult on children, but when violence is brought in it’s even more damaging to a child. It left me feeling like an unwanted mistake, who was not loved by either parent. As a teenager my favorite song was ‘I’m nobody’s child.’ It is a song about an orphan blind boy whom no one wants to adopt because of his disability. Now, ironically today I am totally blind. No, I’m not blaming the song!
I stumbled into a life of crime, and eventually joining the most notorious street gang in my country. Looking back, it is clear to me that I was desperately seeking acceptance, a sense of belonging but more importantly love. The gang became a representation of the family I always wanted. Then one day without warning my gang exploded in a furious internal war.
I now found myself desperately fighting for my life against friends, and a leader who was not only more violent, ruthless, and brutal but strategically clever about the cold art of street warfare. He ordered a hit on my life, and was even there in person to witness my death. As bullets rained down around me I had a decision to make: should I scream or should I take my shots like a good street soldier. I am not a shame to admit it, on that night I was shot I screamed like a little girl.
Some eight years later the leader and I sat down for an interview, by this time I was totally blind after being shot four times in a foil arm robbery. During my interview of him he shared with me, “On the night you were shot, I saw when you fell down. If I wanted too, I could’ve gone back there to finish you off.” He wrapped his knuckles on the desk once, to indicate what he’s about to say is the truth. Then he said: “The reason why I didn’t go back there, because people were cutting their outside lights on and coming outside to see what was going on.”
I was motionless for a few seconds as those words sank deep into my being, and I felt the hair on my neck slowly rising up. If I had held on to my street pride by not screaming, I would’ve died on that night. As you know there’s nothing macho about screaming and sounding like a little girl. None-the-less, it beats dying as found in Proverbs 16: 18, “Pride goes before destruction…” NKJV.
My purpose & mission
“Mr. Deal, Thanks for reinforcing what allot of the kids are being taught by their parents and teachers. For others this may be the first time they are hearing it.” Mrs. Charisee Smith
I am happily married to Carolyn Victoria Deal, and the father of one child a son age 14. With God’s help, my mission and purpose is to prevent what happen to me, from happening to another young person. I believe in keeping it simple and practical when speaking with our youth. I have turned the lessons learn from my mistakes into captivating stories, that addresses issues confronting our youth daily.
While these stories are lively, funny and sometimes emotional: but the message they convey are compelling and transferable. As the principal of North Long Island High School Ms. Debra Bethel remarked: