Yesterday during the Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations in Danriga, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the Government of Belize would make a substantial contribution to the outstanding payment price for the TV Ramos bust sculpted by Stephen Okeke. While the amount has yet to be disclosed to him, Okeke today told us he is happy to hear the news
Stephen Okeke, Belizean Artisan: It was a little bit of a relief for me that we’re here now. I don’t know how much it will be but the fact that the Prime Minister himself said that we all, you too, KREM, Sharron, Louis Wade, you know everybody who have been working with this thing so long, almost 2 years right now, that we have been doing the right thing all along that the Prime Minister validated that this is good and we should pay for it. That’s all I needed, that’s all that means so much to me. My ambition for Belize was to make Belize the prier of the Caribbean but things do not always work the way you plan it and I thank God I have been able to carry this thing for 20 years and I’m exhausted. And I need to give up.
Reporter: So that means no more busts of National Heroes without them being commissioned first by an entity?
Stephen Okeke, Belizean Artist: I don’t think I really want to do anymore because this one really took the life and motivation and inspiration out of me.
Okeke says that instead, he will focus on doing regional and international tours for several books he has written.