We almost never get to see the people behind the news on a daily basis. Yes, we are competitors, but believe it or not, we are also friends. A good story never gets in the way of the friendship and camaraderie we share doing this unique job of bringing the world to you our viewers on a nightly basis. So it is unfortunate that this story does not come to you at a happier time, and especially that it is about a young man with his life ahead of him, a life now viciously cut short. With the journalistic details out of the way, we come together to remember and celebrate a short, but successful journalistic life. Our remembrances of Kareem Clarke start with those who knew him best – KREM Radio and Television News Editor Marisol Amaya and reporters Sharon Marin-Lewis and Orson Picart.
“I was in disbelief hearing this morning that, you know, he had been killed. When they called me and told me that, I was dismissive about the information. I wanted to believe that it is one of those random instances when this particular source is wrong about his information. We will really really really miss him, I don’t think words can explain how much he was an outstanding journalist,. Like I said, he wrote beautifully and he was always always always willing to show up. that is how I will remember him, just someone who was always willing to show up and was never afraid of the work before him.”
“As a matter of fact, as Marisol mentioned, he was the go to guy. He would go to places where some of us were not inclined to, and he did so several times.. bring back the images along with the camera person and I get to write the story. I always found that he made it quite easy for me as to write the questions.”
“I don’t know Kareem as Kareem Clark, I know Kareem as Superman. That’s kind of funny because talking to somebody this morning that the reason I called Kareem Superman is because he worked for a newspaper and his last name is Clark but the real Superman is Clark Kent. So people always wonder why I call Kareem Superman. Apart from that kind of similarity, the reason why I call Kareem Superman is because Kareem is willing to take on any task That was the type of person he was. He was willing to help.”
Our own Geovannie Brackett interacted with Kareem on two fronts in both journalism and activism. He speaks about Kareem’s winning attitude.
“Kareem did touch a lot of our lives. Kareem to me was a friend, a neighbour—because he lived on Freetown, I live on Pickstock—he was a member of our organization, COLA and he was like a brother to all of us; I can’t even remember ever seeing him unhappy. And I wondered where he got that. And this morning, after interviewing his mother, having lost her only son—yet she had a smile on her face. And when we were leaving, shaking my hand and to say stay strong. I was the one who was supposed to be saying that to her. And I wondered how and where he got that attitude to have that sun shining in his smile. He got it from his mom.”
Channel 7’s news director Jules Vasquez announced that in our small token of appreciation, a Facebook page has been started, titled “We Remember Remo” – his nickname – where remembrances may be posted. He shared his own thoughts.
“Selfishly, I will miss his smile in the media but I think on a real level, Sharon had said it earlier while we were speaking, that we lost an exemplary young man; a man with a gift which is rare. The gift of language in a post linguistic society. Also a young black man who was a major part of the media; who was represented on so many levels, so many formats. Anything name a camera, he could work with it. It is just a special rare guy that we lost; just like a point zero one percent human being. And so, the lost is indescribable. The space… it is such a small unassuming guy but the psychic and spiritual space that Kareem occupied will leave all of us with a big hole. ”
There are more remembrances from the rest of our media colleagues.
“We had this kind of kinship. He was always someone I can go to, depend on and return the favor for him whenever he needed anything. I always use to like meeting him at events. It was fun being at events with him. He has a sense of humor that I gravitated towards. I think it is a great last for the media in Belize that he is gone now. He is a young man who had a bright future. “
Hipolito Novelo – Colleague, Love TV
“Fortunately I got to know Kareem about two years ago when I arrived at Love and unfortunate he is dead today. I don’t think anybody has anything bad to say about Kareem because he always had a smile on his face. He was a very humble guy, hard-working, very dedicated as his colleague said. He was not just a media colleague, he had become part of the media family. And we will miss him, we will miss seeing him around, covering the murders, interviewing he prime minister and the other ministers here and there. He was a great friend.”
“I think the first time I met Kareem, it was at E.P York. He had an assignment that we had to do and one of the first things that you find is that he a very humble person. He doesn’t think that he is better than anybody else. He understands and he wants to learn. I remember talking to him after this B.T.B mix that they had the other day amd he told me, ‘Duane, I struggle to get where I am you know’. He did not wantr to be a victim of circumstance and where he came from. he worked hard for it. Hard to make that difference.”
Shane Williams – Colleague, The Guardian
“One thing I noticed about Kareem that I can relate to him. We have similar backgrounds. We came from the hood. Every time I would go on an assignment and I would meet Kareem, Kareem would say, ‘Shane, we will make it.’ If there ever was a guy that was dedicated to change the stars, Kareem was the hardest working member of the media that I know. He was one of the most productive. If there was ever a person to change their life and change their family life, Karem was that person.
May Kareem Jabbor Clarke rest in peace.