The news received via the call, informed that 15 year old Shante Claxton was apparently raped, then murdered. I could not believe what my ears were hearing. It was only a few hours earlier while attending a meeting on the island, that we discussed the need for more young women to aspire to, and assume leadership positions, and “like a rose trampled on the ground”, the life of this promising, precious, young leader Shante Claxton, was taken way, on her journey to church. She was deprived of the opportunity to further bloom into an “adult rose”, and a productive citizen of Nevis.
This news immediately forced me to have flashbacks of when many years ago, when I was a teenager myself, another Nevisian teenage girl suffered a similar unfortunate demise. I can recall reading about it the newspapers, and hearing it on the local news and feeling extremely terrified, as I was a young teenage girl myself. Today, I can imagine that there are children, as well as parents who are equally worried and scared.
I am yet to become mother, however, because of my extensive work with the youth, especially the females, and my unwavering concerns about opportunities for their growth and development, I feel as though, I have lost a daughter myself. In fact, I believe whether we are biological parents or not, each and every Kittitian and Nevisian, should at this time, feel as though they have lost a daughter, because Shante is one of our nation’s children, and we should care for them.
At a time, when we should all be in a celebratory mood, for the Independence Day celebrations, held under the theme, “ A Nation on the move, Celebrating our Progress”, this heinous act has been committed, and has inevitably dampened the spirits of all residents. In spite of this, we cannot allow this incident to hinder our progress, but we should now like a true nation on the move, come together as people, and as a Federation, and pray not only for the families and friends of this teenager, but pray for a safer and more peaceful St.Kitts and Nevis for all. We need to stand up now as a nation, and work along with the authorities, and work together, so that the perpetrators can be brought to swift justice, and we can all celebrate the progress the officers have made in this, and many other criminal cases, that still remain unsolved in the country.
If our beautiful twin island Federation is to continue moving forward progressively, each and every citizen must accept his/her responsibility, to demonstrate more love, concern and care for each other and be our brothers keeper. This nation belongs to all of us, and now more than ever, we need to put Country Above Self.
Finally, as the Caricom Youth Ambassador, for the Federation, I wish to condemn this vicious act committed against one of our nation’s youth, and extend my heartfelt condolences, to the family and friends of Ms.Shante Claxton.