Kevin Johnson

For the community of Enterprise, the horrific headlines were all too familiar. The violence and crime that plagued the community were often plastered on newspaper pages for all to see. What was once a quiet and peaceful village in the heart of the Chaguanas East constituency had become a war zone.

For Kevin Johnson, it was all too real when he became a victim himself six years ago.

Johnson, who was born and raised at Bhagaloo Street Extension, told Guardian Media of the faithful day he almost took his last breath.

He said one day he ventured to Enterprise Street–which was considered enemy territory for anyone living in opposing streets–to visit his father.

“I was attacked, a gunman walked up to me and pelt seven bullets behind me. I picked up all, but I am here to tell the story today.”

The shots were taken at close range as Johnson tried desperately to escape. However, he would not and, as he lay on the roadway, he could only think the worst.

“To be honest, I thought I was going and dead.”

But, that day had not come just yet. “The almighty saved me,” he said.

To this day, there are still five of those bullets lodged in his body.

Unfortunately, on a separate occasion, his brother Amos Dick was not so lucky and was killed under similar circumstances.

In light of his circumstances and grieving over the loss of his brother, Johnson contemplated leaving the place he called home on several occasions but feared it would be an exercise in futility.

“At the point in time when I thinking I could have left and gone from here a next community has that same thing, the same crime situation, so it would come like you jumping from the pot into the fire.”

What bothers him most is that the community wasn’t always like this.

“The back here was always love.”

As children, they used to cook, play in the savannah, hunt and take part in other innocent activities.

That is until “rogue elements” came around and brought in drugs.

“When drugs come into a community the place develops a different type of energy. There will be hate, envious people, people will start to fight each other.”

Soon, he said, there was the introduction of gangs and the warfare that accompanied them.

Bodies started to drop and Enterprise had lost the peace it always knew.

Now, there seems to be light seeping through towards the end of the tunnel.

In recent times the violence has somewhat dissipated and for this Johnson credits the police. Going forward he has hope. “I would like the community to come back how it was.”

It is, of course, general election season and candidates are going to be seeking his, as well as other residents’ votes.

So what would he tell the prospective MP?

“Implement certain things for the youths, occupy the youths, they will have to make a choice.”

With this strategy in mind, there would be less idle hands for the Devil’s workshop.