Charlestown, Nevis-The profession of SPEECH THERAPIST, was hitherto pretty much unheard of, before 27 year old Zakiya Thompson, returned to Nevis, qualified in that unique field.
Since then, she has made waves, as she has assisted many individuals, from children to adults, who have had one form of speech disorder or another.
The evening of Thursday 27th September, saw the youthful entrepreneur, launch out into the deep, into her own business, officially dubbed SPEECH ROOM.
The ceremony took place at the NEPAC courtyard and was ably chaired by current Director of Youth, Miss Zahnela Claxton, who took pride in announcing that she taught Miss Thompson in form 2 and hailed her as a dedicated and hardworking individual.
Also giving brief remarks, was the Minister of Social Development et al, Hon. Eric Evelyn, who was proud to inform the gathering, that Miss Thompson was a constituent and noted that Gingerland has a habit of producing leaders.
He congratulated her on her bold move, noting that his administration would always support and encourage young people who want to commit to starting their own business.
Alson on hand for the important ceremony, was Zakiya’s ‘aunt’ Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams who pointed out a few pillars of note:
- She is a youth
- She is a woman
- She is an entrepreneur
She also praised her for choosing a career that is not the normal choice for persons going to University, who generally choose to be Lawyers, Doctors, etc.
She also saluted her ‘sister, Miss D. Michelle Liburd for raising Zakiya so well, as a single mom.
Another wonderful moment for the evening, was a personal testimony given by Mrs. Ladonna Guilbert, who testified as to the skills and patience of Miss Thompson, in getting her son, who has a speech disorder, to the point that he is now saying certain words, that he never did before and she indicated that, with the hope that Miss Thompson has given her family, she is now looking forward to her son having a normal school life and going on to university one of these days.
Also giving brief remarks, were Patrivia Williams, Zakiya’s best friend from childhood, who commended her friend for her hard work and sacrifices, which has gotten her to this stage in her life and vowed her continued assistance and support, as she moves forward.
One of Zakiya’s former primary school teachers, Mrs. Althea Liburd, in her short address spoke to the positive qualities she noticed in her, from her early years at the Prospect Primary School. She wished her every success in her endeavours.
Auntie Kim Singh, gave a comprehensive overview of the difficult childhood years of Zakiya, as she had to be raised by not only her Mom, but by herself and Uncle Mark and had to be between various homes and islands.
Through all this, the very determined and self-willed young lady, was successful in her exams from Primary School, through to sixth form and university, by dint of the hard work she has put in, to achieve her goals.
She opined that she will perform her duties with the same zeal, energy and skill and will become a success story.
For her part, the eloquent Zakiya, in giving thanks, thanked virtually everyone who had helped her from her formative years to adulthood.
These included her family members, her friends and especially her best friend; her teachers, Mr. Keith Glasgow; Sylvester Thompson and all others who had helped in making her dream a reality and even making the night’s ceremony possible.
She explained that she got interested in the profession, after her Uncle Mikey, suffered a stroke and she was able to watch the Speech Therapists in the USA, help him to recover to up to 80% of his normal self and she referred to them as miracle workers.
There and then she knew that she wanted to help people in a similar fashion and pursued studies in that regard.
Interspersed with the speeches were, the invocation by Pastor Dr. Davidson Morton; an inspirational poem by Mrs. Lornette Morton; a pan rendition by Mr. Garvin Patterson; Special video greetings from overseas; the blessing of the business and cutting of the ribbon (brought via video from a previous ceremony at the office located at the Liburd’s complex aka Boccane Ceramics) and the prayer of covering by Canon P. Allister Rawlins.
The evening closed out on a high note, with entertainment by the dynamic GHARLIC and the KASSANOVA band, along with refreshments