Bahamianese And The New Bahamian
I visited Freedom Park on Sunday, July 14, 2013 to hail some old friends. While sitting on the roundabout I asked about the Jungle Club, which had a new sign on it called the New Jungle Club.
I was advised that the Chinese are now renting the space and that they had the area “on lock”.
My long-time friend had operated the Jungle Club for a few years, but the sluggish economy and the increasing energy prices had finally caught up with him. He closed several weeks ago.
I was not stunned by his closure, but just saddened because another Bahamian lost the battle with operating a small business. I was extremely surprised when I heard the Chinese are now renting the Jungle Club, which is so rich in history and which sits on an area of land that has been designated as an historical site.
My schoolmate told me that the Chinese are selling alcohol at unheard of prices and that most of the other wholesale bars on Bernard Road are in trouble. He told me that residents from Johnson Road are now driving to Fox Hill Park to buy alcohol because of the cheap prices and the fact that the bar is always stocked. He said that he has never seen as many trailers stacked with alcohol as he has seen in recent days and he likened it to the popular Kirkie’s bar which operates out of Bain Town.
I was bothered by this scenario because I continue to believe the Chinese are on a mission to take over our little country.
They have a stronghold on the convenience store market, as shoppers happily bypass Bahamian-owned stores and rush to the Chinese-owned stores to buy grocery. I know of at least five stores in the Carmichael area that have closed or are hanging on for dear life because of the invasion of Chinese grocery stores.
The Chinese have also made a dent in the fast food market and everywhere you look, you can see a Chinese restaurant, many of which also sell alcoholic beverages. Their servings are relatively cheap when compared to Bahamian-owned businesses.
Additionally, the Chinese have entered the local gambling scene, and they are selling numbers. I heard that they pay out more than the traditional numbers houses. More recently, they have entered the hardware market and are selling construction and home supplies.
Furthermore, everyone should be aware of the fact that they are buying real estate in record quantities. They are truly on their way to becoming a super power in The Bahamas.
I believe that for our 50th independence, we may well see a Chinese member of Parliament or a senator in the House of Assembly. In the next 40 years, will our names be changed to Bahamianese because of the powerful Chinese influence? They have successfully infiltrated super power economies like the United States, so you think they believe The Bahamas poses a challenge?
The Chinese have adopted a business model, which involves selling their products cheap with the hope of achieving a fast turnover. This is working better than perfection. You think the Bahamian entrepreneur is a dying breed in The Bahamas now? In another 10 years, the Chinese would have infiltrated every aspect of business in our country.
Sadly, for Bahamians we can’t see it or won’t admit that we have a responsibility to ourselves first. History tells us that we won’t try to take action until it is too late, and the effect of Chinese entrepreneurship has become deeply embedded in our culture. Our laissez-faire attitude, which got a boost from political parties just giving out handouts, has come back to get us. We expect the government to do everything for us when the power is in our hands to make the desired changes we want to see. We can save our businesses only if we want to.
The Chinese model is at play and the economic inferiority that we experience now will be a joke to what we will experience if this trend continues. Did I say Bahamianese in 2053? Sleeping Bahamians better wake up.
By Dehavilland MossBahamas, Chinese, Letter to the Editor, Nassau Guardian, opinions