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From being told he wouldn’t become anything in life – Shemar Alleyne continues to defy the odds


MTV News Update Assistant Editor Shemar Alleyne

Childhood is one of the most beautiful phases of life, or at least it should be, right? A time of innocence, infinite possibilities, and endless adventures.


However, this was not the case for Shemar Alleyne, whose childhood was filled with what he describes as “bumpy roads.” It all started with a conversation with his father, which drove him almost in the other direction.


“I would prove him wrong,” he said when he was told he would not become anything in life by his father. What followed was a fierce fight to make his dreams and goals a reality.


For Shemar, this did not come without drive, determination, many setbacks, and hard work. He was still a baby when his parents separated, leaving his mother to provide and care for him and his sister.


Reflecting on his life living in a single-parent home, Shemar shared, “Many mornings, my mother would leave for work without having breakfast, but she always ensured that my sister and I were well taken care of. Sometimes, I went to school with transportation fees alone and snacks, and some days I had both. I used to feel a way when I saw other children had everything, but I was always contented because I knew better was ahead.”


Now 21-year-old, Shemar has always had an interest in current affairs and would never miss a glimpse of the various newscasts shown on local television. This led him to pursue a career in journalism.

Shemar, during his internship at SafeTv2 Headline News

“I used to watch the anchors and the reporters and say, ‘one day that would be me.’ When my teachers asked me what I wanted to be, I said one day you would hear or see me on TV,” he said.


After successfully completing high school, Shemar started an internship at SafeTV Headline News, after which he worked at several media houses and currently sits in the chair at MTV News Update as the Assistant Editor.

Shemar is photographed overseeing the nightly newscast

However, growing up with a tongue-tie did not make it easier for him. “When I started NCN, I could hardly pronounce my words properly, but my Editor-in-Chief Leeron Brummell would call me in his office to rehearse my news script in front of him. I had Onicka Jones, who did not spare any effort in disseminating her knowledge to me.”


The 21-year-old is labelled by many as the ‘resignation boss.’ When asked about this, he said, “Unfortunately, I would have changed several jobs because the environment was very toxic, and my mental health is very fragile.”


The Assistant Editor, who considers himself a hard worker says, “I love showing up and showing out. One of my work ethics is a conducive working environment. Unfortunately, in Guyana, this is something you rarely find now.”


At the tender age of 19, Shemar took up the position of Marketing Manager at a well-known medical facility in the capital city. During his time there, he recounted success and many challenges too.


He would later join a medical laboratory as the company’s Sales and Marketing Manager. There, he was awarded top sales manager during his first month of employment after raking in the highest sale for that month.


“Several factors forced my resignation, including being severely depressed. Resigning was a difficult task. I had already told myself that this was the organisation I would settle at. I always had seen myself with the company for years, but that was short-lived.”


“After resigning, I stayed home for a month to decide what I wanted to do. I then realised that journalism is where I truly belong. I can offer my marketing service on a consultant basis, but journalism is where I belong. Even when I was a Manager, I was still freelancing for some media houses,” he added.


Mental Health

Shemar’s mental health issues date back to his childhood, “Since I have known myself, I always had anxiety.” To make matters worse, his anxiety took a deep plunge five years ago when bandits broke into his mother’s home. “I woke up to loud screams from my mother, ‘thief, thief! It was traumatizing, and the situation was compounded by the fact that items my mother worked hard to earn went away within a blink of an eye.’’


Shemar said he struggled to speak openly about his issues. “I never trust anyone to confide in, and bottling up my feelings over the years made me depressed,” he added.


Now, by speaking out, he hopes his story can inspire others to seek help if they are struggling. “Too often, we have men with mental health issues, but because of how society has labelled us, we are afraid to talk about how we are feeling.”


The pressures of everyday life can have an overwhelming effect, and for Shemar, he is currently seeing a Therapist. He believes that conversations around mental health must not remain taboo. “I would urge people struggling with mental health issues to seek professional help.”


He is currently reading for a Bachelors in Business Administration and Marketing at the Jain University, India. He also intends to pursue studies in journalism with hopes of becoming an Editor-in-Chief.


Despite multiple setbacks, Shemar, a Christian, believes in Ecclesiastes 9:10. ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.’ “I believe that when you put your all into something, you will see great results. Even if you don’t achieve your intended goal, you won’t fall far from there.’’


He believes humans were born to make a difference and attributed his willpower and perseverance to his mother, who he says did not fail to mould him into the very ambitious young man he is today.

“Your dreams are never too big to achieve. Once you put your mind to it with sheer determination, you can achieve anything you put your mind to,” he concluded.


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