News day / “Too often the media features those who have made the wrong choice in Laventille.

For those who make the wrong choice and live to tell the tale we can only hope that they learn from their mistakes,” Mrs Rowley urged yesterday, indirectly addressing the murders of residents in Laventille, labelled in law enforcement as a crime hotspot.

“Those who adorn our front pages are in the minority. There are so many people in Laventille who abide by principles of honesty and integrity, who abide by our nation’s watch words of discipline, production and tolerance and who know what it is to be your brother’s keeper,” Mrs Rowley vouched, calling for a celebration of “persons who have made the right choice”.

Mrs Rowley got personal sharing the choices she made, and were offered by her mother, as a child. These lessons began not in law but in the world of fashion.

She told of her love affair with fashion which began at age four, when like most girls she would dress up in her mother’s clothes and wore her mother’s makeup.

Her mother, a public servant, also sewed her own clothes, and so too did young Sharon who made her first pair of red cigarette pants when she was 13.

“My mother was a public servant.

She made her own clothes, she made may clothes and my sisters’ clothes. She had no choice. She could not afford to buy ready-made clothes for all of us.

“She taught me to sew because she understood the importance of being able to sew. In fact my wedding gift from my parents was a sewing machine,” Mrs Rowley related. And she never stopped sewing, designing her own dresses and making the clothes of her two daughters, Tonya and Sonel, when they were toddlers.

Being a self-taught seamstress meant she had two career choices: fashion or law. She chose law.

“My mother had provided me with a choice. If for some reason I could not practise as an attorney I had an alternative,” Mrs Rowley, shared with fellow fashionistas at i95.5FM’s Laventille Nights series’ Threads that Unite, A Fashion Experience at Witco Desperadoes Pan Theatre in Laventille.

The event showcased African- themed designs in observance of Emancipation Day, which the nation celebrates as a public holiday tomorrow.

Mrs Rowley celebrated the varying choices that can be made careers, saying not everyone can be a lawyer, like her.

“The designers here today show us all that we don’t have to choose a career as a doctor, a lawyer or an accountant to make a living. You can be fashion designers, seamstresses and much more.” She hailed the works of celebrated designers Heather Jones, Mark Eastman, Afrika and Nebala, all who came from Laventille.


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