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MONDAY MAN: ‘Sammy’ finally following dreams


KIMBERLEY CUMMINS

MONDAY MAN: ‘Sammy’ finally following dreams

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ERSKINE “SAMMY” HUSBANDS is a man who proves that it is never too late to follow your dreams.

While his life could have been considered a relatively good one, Husbands wasn’t happy.

Sure, he wasn’t old, unhealthy or unemployed, but the 32-year-old still felt something was missing.  It would take a knock to the head in 2009 to turn his life in the direction he so long desired.

In fact, it would also take a knock to the chin, back, stomach, feet and some soft tissue injuries, literally, for him to decide to take the leap to pursue his passion for music and Chinese martial arts.

“I fell off the roof of a two-storey building and when I came down I hit a guard wall. I catch myself, got up and tossed my car keys in my work colleague’s hand and he rushed me to casualty.  All that time I’m thinking I was given another chance at life . . . . ‘I’m done with all this foolishness, I have do the stuff that I love’,” Husbands recounted during an interview at a training session in Clapham, St Michael.

Raised in Bayfield, St Philip, in his early years, Husbands and his family later moved to Weston, St James. After secondary school he attended the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic where he was trained in block laying and concrete as well as plumbing – which later became his career.

Throughout his 12 years in plumbing he would have done a lot within the trade in terms of maintenance, installation, construction plumbing, water storage and solar systems. But he decided to give that all up to attend the music programme at the Barbados Community College (BCC).

Classically trained in piano, shortly after the accident Husbands returned to music but opted for the guitar instead, although he had no experience on it. With the help of his mentor Paul Ignatius Springer, he practised and practised even more to learn about the construction of chords, moods, finger style, among other things.

Then just a year shy of the first anniversary of his accident, he was on the path to fulfil his dreams as a new student of the BCC.

However, the process wasn’t as smooth as he envisaged.

“For me it was very challenging. [Never] mind that I did it years ago, I was very new to music. Hearing music was difficult for me because I never practised that kind of music and being back at school and you see these kids skilfully and effortlessly playing instruments all over the place, it can be very intimidating; but I used that to inspire me to catch up with them,” he said.

During that transitionary period Husbands used his training in martial arts, which  he has been practising since 1999, to improve his personal balance, focus, memory and his physical well-being.

He went to compose, arrange, produce and perform his own material under the sobriquet “Alistaire”. At the same time, he is working on producing a fitness programme.

All this has happened in under five years and though things have been hard and money tight on occasions, Husbands said he did not regret the day he decided to put his passion first.

“In July I completed a Level 1 coaching course by Canada’s National Coaching Certification Programme through the Barbados Olympic Association. And I just finished the Level 1 coaching course from the United World Wrestling coaches course which I’m just awaiting the resulting for,” he said.

“A couple months after [I started BCC] I came to realise that I still needed some means of finance so I still had to do a little plumbing on the side, but I didn’t go in-depth to stray from my goal. But one of these days when I have the choice, I will give up plumbing completely. In Barbados, to be honest, it is very hard for some musicians to survive just on only music and you have to find some other ways and means to source income to survive.

“Martial arts is a passion to me and music, I love it. There is no age limit to determine the things you do. Stuff sometimes pops up that you wanted to do when you were younger, but maybe it wasn’t that right time for you.

“But if there is a next opportunity, don’t let it pass; take advantage of it. Life always has a beautiful way of working things out; you just have to look at it from a different angle,” he added. (SDB Media)

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