Magano on the Road to Stardom Part 3
Third of a seven-part series.
At Vere Technical High School.
Vere Technical High School has built a reputation over the years as a sprint factory. The Clarendon-based institution has produced athletes, including Olympians Merlene Ottey, Albert Lawrence, and Michael Blackwood. Magano wouldn’t be one to follow that trail. But, she was very happy to be seen in that green tunic and lilly white blouse.
“My first day at Vere Technical was great. There were a number of students from my Clarendon parish there that I had known before. I even saw them on the same bus on which I travelled to and from school.”
“It was indeed a privilege to be at Vere Tech (short for Technical) because so many others wanted to be there and just didn’t, for one reason or another.”
“My dad was still living in Marverly, Kingston, so he would come down to Portland Cottage on Sundays, every two weeks, and left our school money.”
“I really loved Dad for that very much, because I knew it wasn’t easy on him. He had to give money to my big brother who was also going to Vere Tech.”
“But there came a time when father just couldn’t dip his hand in his pockets and came up with that money.”
“You know, sometimes there is a dry spell. Well, it did happen to Dad. And, my big brother said, ‘Polly (my nickname), you don’t seem to be quite happy’. I had told him the truth, that I had no money. And, he said, ‘Come on now, you go to school, I will stay home. Get your education ’cause you need it(education) more than I do. I really loved my brother for that and showed my gratitude ever since.”
Magano was very active at Vere Tech. She explored the different clubs, including Red Cross and 4-H, because she thought there was so much to gain.
“I saw Red Cross important for dealing with, not only the awareness of good health but life in general”.
Her favourite subject was Clothing and Textile. She also played netball and her favourite teacher was Mrs.Ottey, who taught Food and Nutrition.
” She (Mrs. Ottey) loved children and one could tell by the way she greeted us on a daily basis. We used to love her class and I still correspond with her.”
“She could bring out the best in any student and was the organiser of the Talent and Pageant contest which I entered at the school. Christopher “Johnny” Daley (from Lime Tree Lane fame) hosted the pageant.”
“Then I did have the nerves to enter the audition of the Tastee Talent Contest which ‘Bagga Brown’ emcee. It was my friends who pushed me to do so. But, I don’t think I was that ready as I heard boos but this only made me stronger in life.”
“That same teacher (Mrs.Ottey) was the one who had helped me with my community pageant which I organised a few years after leaving Vere Tech. I remember she took down Johnny, Sammy Question, and Freeman to perform.”
During graduation in 1996, Magano copped three prizes. These were for Outstanding SBA (School Based Assessment) for Clothing and Textile, Good Attendance, and an overall A student. She graduated with five subjects.
“It was a bitter-sweet experience as the reality of leaving was clear in our minds. We had made more than friends at Vere Tech. It was a family separating for the first time.”
Be sure to read, Magano: Back-up singer for Warrior King, Mykal Rose, and Bunny Wailer. Only on the Reggae-Vibes site.
(Photos by MARCO 151 & Magano)