Marvo content with life in Barbados
LIFE isn’t the same as in your 20s, but it can still be satisfying. For Marvo Manning, she has learned the meaning of that statement.
She has watched the close-knit community that she grew up in change with the times. In fact, she candidly tells you about the contentment she has with herself and her journey in life.
“When I get up every day I thank God for my life and I have no regrets.”
That proud declaration is coming from the former broadcaster and actress, Marvo, as she sat down with EASY Magazine in the living room of her St Michael home.
“You all are fortunate to have these open windows because these are usually closed tight,” she said about the windows. “I can’t take the lizards or creepy crawlies so if you see any lizards, you have to deal with them,” she added laughing.
The tastefully-decorated home which once served as a family home for her mother and father and four siblings, she now resides in alone since the death of her mother four years ago.
“I grew up in a very happy household,” she said of her family life. “My mum never worked, she was a strict disciplinarian, but there was still that love. You could get away with my father, but not with her.”
Her love of family is shown through the family photos that are throughout the house, which still boasts cane-bottom armchairs now cherished as antiques, that Marvo told us were made by former furniture maker Roy Griffith.
In the seats of certain chairs, stuffed animals which Marvo revealed her adoration for, take up prominence.
“I absolutely love stuffed animals,” she said. “I wasn’t really into dolls but stuffed animals always got me. I had an Esso tiger I called Mr. Lucky that used to go with me whenever I travelled, but after an immigration official told me they could cut it open, I stopped travelling with him.”
Marvo Manning, the highly touted beauty queen and former journalist that rose to prominence in Barbados in the late 1970s and early 80s, is leading a much more serene and reserved life at 73.
“There was a stage in my life when I loved to go out to the fetes and events, but I find that I’ve gotten more reserved as I got older,” she said. “My mother used to say to me ‘Marvo, you have all these invitations why don’t you go out more’. At first I didn’t feel like accepting the invitations, but I just didn’t want to be part of a group. Plus I see too much pretense around me and I can’t stand that.”
While it is evident that she still retains the beauty of her early years, her once upswept long, black hair has been prominently replaced with stately grey, showing signs of maturity and the gracefulness of aging.
“I never thought about getting older,” she said candidly. “I’m grateful for life because I never thought I’d make 70.”
In her 73 years, Marvo has accomplished a lot professionally. From her years as a broadcasting pioneer at CBC, to her travel and work with the British Broadcasting Corporation, her time at Scotia Bank and her early years climbing through the ranks at the post office, Marvo loved every opportunity to make her mark.
“You know I never went looking for a job,” she said. “I left Queen’s College and a family friend asked me what I was doing after I left school and told me they were looking for postal assistants at the post office and I went to work there. I was even post mistress at Black Rock and Oistins for a while.”
While she admits to be a little fuzzy on the details of her transition to CBC after leaving Scotia Bank, she sees it as a milestone in her professional life.
“I had to set a standard for myself at CBC,” she said.
Marvo is very clear on the importance of setting standards. That is something she has spent the last few years trying to impart to young girls during her lectures and work with them especially as they are about to transition to the world of work. While she will tell you he loves working with children, she harbours no regrets for not having any of her own.
“I never wanted children and I’m not sure why,” she said. “Every woman isn’t cut out to be a mother and I can’t stand it when children talk back to their parents. If I had children they would probably be like little soldiers.”
While not being a mother is a path she accepted, so too was her decision not to marry.
“I did have my proposals but I never got married,” she said. “My ex who passed on, I think he was the great love of my life.”
Even though she has watched her siblings travel and live overseas, and admits to having doted on her brother’s sons, she remains content with the life she carved out for herself in Barbados.
“I could have been living in England or Canada, but I think that what God had for me manifested itself,” she said. “I believe I may have fulfilled my purpose.”