I have worked in service for more than 30 years; be it in service of journalism providing news and thought provoking insights to communities, or in service of companies and organizations for whom I provided communications consultancy services or in service of the community as I ran educational support activities and other social programs.
I was born in the disadvantaged neighborhood of Ramgoelam in Suriname. Growing up with close to nothing made me understand and loath from early on the systems that have kept neighborhoods like this disadvantaged.
I believed from the get-go that journalism was not just a mechanism for news; my goal, thus, has always been to bring the story behind the news.
I focused on matters of development, reporting on other disadvantaged communities in Suriname; I won awards with articles I wrote about endeavors to prevent mass tourism from taking over in the Caribbean islands and with articles that looked at how immigration tactics were creating a generation of undereducated migrant children; I started a media platform (DevSur) to write the untold stories of Suriname in English which would bring them to an international audience; I launched a media platform AFRO Magazine that solely focused on telling the underreported stories and opinions of Black communities in the Netherlands and Europe.
I believed from the get-go that journalism could be a mechanism for change and development, so I have reported on other disadvantaged communities in Suriname; I have won awards with articles about endeavors to keep the Caribbean pristine, with articles about how colonist driven immigration tactics were creating a generation of undereducated migrant children in the Caribbean and with articles about people initiating their own development projects in their communities; I started DevSur to write the untold stories of Suriname in English for an international audience; I launched AFRO Magazine.nl that tells the underreported stories and opinions of Black communities in the Netherlands and Europe.
For the past ten years I have managed Weekend College. I have taught diversity and I am a frequent speaker on inclusion in education and journalism. I have written countless opinion pieces about these matters as well, in a fullhearted bid to share my views and influence people.
In 2020 I launched foundation Bigi Bon, which means Big Tree in English, in honor of the ancestors; they watch over us all, just like every Big Tree provides shade, food, protection and housing to beings it towers over and just like the current generation should provide protection and care and guidance to the next.
That is the Bigi Bon mission.
Dream enormous, achieve big
With Bigi Bon I have carried out the summerschool OZOSchool, educational activities at Weekend College, a Book Club for children of Amsterdam, a journalism writing contest on AFRO Magazine and currently Project Memre through which we scour archives for untold stories in the history of people of African descent from Suriname. Similar projects in Suriname and the Caribbean are forthcoming. Breaking news from the past.
Bigi Bon has also launched the initiative for an Afrocentric School in Amsterdam.
I believe that it is my task to leave earth a better place than I found it. And not wait for anyone to do what I can do myself to achieve that goal. My next project through Bigi Bon, called “Quality of Life” will bring all my life’s work in service together.