… YEARS LATER HE IS NOW LEADING BY EXAMPLE
“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere”
After being constantly told during his childhood by persons who looked at him with scorn on their faces, that because of where he grew up, he would become a failure and would not make it, he has now made a difference and is currently one of the leading Public Relations Ranks, in the Guyana Police Force.
Born on February 28, 1996 to parents Reshma Allan and Kenrick Hakim. Asif Hakim who is currently a policeman is someone whom many looked up to as a person of encouragement and motivation.
At the age of 3, Hakim lost his mother who was only 18 years old at the time, she met her demise after she was confused about a pregnancy and committed suicide.
Hakim said that he recalled on that day, he was some five feet away from his mother who was in the final stage of her pregnancy when he saw she doused herself with kerosene oil and lit a fire.
After seeing that, because of his age he could not have done anything but ran and scream until his father who was close by came and render some assistance but by that time she was already burned and was laying on the floor.
“All that was left for my father to do is to prevent the house from burning, which he did since my sister who was only 2 years old was sleeping in a room” Hakim said.
He said that after a couple of minutes, his mother who still had life in her body was stuttering and what he heard was “Son you are blessed and please make mommy proud” something of which motivated and encouraged him to date.
“Those words are words of strength, they keep me going and pushing to be on top and yes with my strength I know that someday I will become a person who many will look up too” he noted.
After his mother died and things cool down, he said that he lived with a few families who would from time to time leave him and his little sister alone but because of the added burden on those family members they decided to take him and his sister to an Orphanage.
He was taken to the Shaheed’s Boys Orphanage in Kitty, Georgetown and his sister was taken to the Girls arm of the said institution located in Oleander Gardens, East Coast Demerara. His mother was also a product of the said Girls Orphanage.
He said he recalled vividly that when he arrived at the Orphanage there were over 60 other orphans from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. “It was a place that embrace all walks of life, all ethnicity and respect everyone regardless of where they came from but the only difference is that you had to become a Muslim” Hakim proudly said.
During his time at the Orphanage, he said that he learned a lot, from cooking to cleaning and being self-dependent, something of which he credits the caretaker for.
“We had our recreational time, we had our bad times, we had our good times, we had happy moments, we had sad moments but one thing that I always learn in that Orphanage is to be your brother’s keeper, imagine if we playing Cricket and a window glass broke, nobody never know is who did it regardless of if they know or not nobody never say anything and we all will have to be punished, thinking of that now all I can do is smile” he said.
“I remember that at once I was the teacher for the Orphanage and every afternoon and weekends I used to have to teach the boys both English and Arabic classes, most of them were bigger than me but because of the potential the caretakers saw in me I had to do it, at age 14 I started cooking for the boys to take to school lunch and that alone has help me to date, you use to have to cook and do your daily chores before you can go to school, it’s not because the caretakers don’t want you to go but because they simply want you to manage your time good”.
He said the sad part is that when you walk the road to go to school, persons would be looking at you and say all sorts of negative things, even at the school when something goes wrong, they blame you because of where you come from.
Hakim said he grew up in the boy’s orphanage with many struggles and pains, sometimes he would be in a corner just crying all day. “You know, persons cry not because they are weak, it how their body reacts when their mouth can’t explain the pain they feel”.
“I used to tell myself that I have to make it in life, and I won’t lie even though the orphanage showed me the right way it wasn’t all nice there, it was very hard but as the struggles came, I continued to fight my way out”.
After spending many years at the Shaheed’s Boys Orphanage, in 2011 at the age of 15 Hakim chose to ran away from the Orphanage and went to live with a friend, Hakim said that deep down inside he knew that he had to make it so he decided to start seek occupation for a job and he also went back to school.
Hakim said that in 2012 he found employment at a carwash service and he also went to classes in the afternoon. Hakim said the money he earned at the carwash was used to pay for his classes and also paid for him to write CXC, after spending his money for a chance to write CXC Hakim said to himself “I have to be successful” so he knew he owed it to himself to give it his all and not let himself down.
He is a CSEC graduate but will love to continue studying. He said that he lived with 7 different friends before he went on his own in 2014, “All of them treated me very well, but the reason why I lived with 7 different friends is because when you live with people for a period of time, eventually things change, so once those changes occurred I knew it was time for me to leave, because I never wanted to burden them with my situation”
After gaining his CSEC passes he went on to seek higher employment, with the help of one of his colleagues, he eventually got employed at the Guyana Chronicle by the Editor – in – Chief Mark Ramotar as a Reporter.
He is currently employed at the Guyana Police Force and is stationed at the Public Relations Department where he is responsible for updating and monitoring the Police Facebook Page. He is also the Liaison Subordinate Officer to the Public Relations and Press Officer and is required to apprise the PRO on a regular basis of all the upcoming/concluded Crime Prevention Programs or other Police/Community related activities in the seven Policing Division in Guyana and is also tasked with covering Force Activities as well as to prepare and edit articles for the police periodicals. Prior to his transfer to that Department, Hakim who is a Lance Corporal of Police had performed duties at Moleson Creek Police Outpost, Springlands Police Station, Criminal Investigation Department Berbice, ‘B’ Division Headquarters and was also a Classroom Instructor at the Felix Austin Police College, Adventure, Berbice.
When asked how he came about living on his own, he said that he moved into an apartment with a kero stove and a mattress on the ground before developing himself and buying all that was required for the house, and that he also has a lot more to do and a long way to go and he continues to give thanks and praises to the All Mighty along the way.
Hakim was reunited with his sister and they are regularly in contact with each other and often see one another, to him she is the only family left for him on this Earth, Hakim said.
“One thing I always tell people that this life isn’t hard, they just need to know how to live it because if I could make it others could also, If I have to get anything in life and there is something or someone standing in my way, I will fight positively to make sure I get that something” Hakim said.
His advice to the younger folks who might not be fortunate enough to gain certain qualifications, is to keep pushing, be smart, be discipline, don’t give up, pray and always remembers that “some people might not have academic certificates to show that they are brilliant but naturally they are, at the age of 10 I started thinking like an adult so you can imagine”
His favourite quotes are “Aspired to be inspired” and also one that he himself made which reads “live to love and love to live, what the hearts desire you can achieve”.