I got the name Fines when I was ten. I was living at Ocean View at the time and used to play football (soccer) with some brethren on the beach. One day one of the guys said to me: “How every time wi caan si yuh, an more time yuh lock up in yuh house?” My mother was very strict; I couldn’t go out; I had to wait until she was gone about her business and then I would sneak out to play with the boys. When they asked me what I was doing in my house all day long I would say: “Mi deh in mi house a fry something man.”
“Yuh a fry everyday, so how yuh look so mawga (meager)?”
“Yuh know wi a go give yuh a nick-name.”
“Wha kind o’ nick-name unno a gi me?”
“Wi a go call him Fines man. Si how him mawga an fine.”
“Fines! Fines him name man. Him haffi have a nick-name.” And from that day until now everybody started to call me Fines. Over the years that name stuck to me.
This is my story of twenty plus years wasted in prison with ten of those precious years spent on death row. It is also the story of many young Jamaican boys, boys who have fallen through the cracks unseen and unheard; boys who have been used as pawns in a corrupt political system. It could be your child next unless someone does something to stem the flow of corruption. We can no longer say ‘them and us’, ‘downtown versus uptown’ because crime knows no borders and everyone of us bleed red.