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Jan 11, 2023

Belizean American Inventor Andre Gray is Handed the Key to the City of Belize

Today, at City Hall, the Key to the City of Belize was presented to Andre Gray. If you are wondering who that person is and why he is being given this honor that’s because Gray, a Belizean/American, is being identified as a Belizean treasure. Born and raised in the Jewel, Gray migrated to the U.S. at age fifteen and became successful, so much so that the Washington Mail named him the 2021 Person of the Year. Gray is said to be the number one inventor in the world for over three decades. The fifty-six-year-old invented ringtones and ringbacks back in 1994 which are now on over fifteen billion mobile phones, and the list goes on. The Washington Mail says that Gray is often cited as being responsible for eighty percent of how smart phones work. Today, before families and friends Mayor Bernard Wagner presented the Key to the City of Belize to Gray.


Andre Gray, Inventor

Andre Gray

“I was very surprised and at the same time very humble because Belize is my birth country. It’s a great honor. I have won many awards before, over a hundred. This one is especially unique and dear to my heart because it is the first award that I have received from my country of Belize, so it means everything to me. In terms of my feelings, [it’s] very humbling and very appreciative coming from my birth country.”


Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“Very symbolic. Andre like I said in the meeting there, he is a national treasure recognised worldwide. Washington Mail, London Defender, One Hundred Most Influential Person, Person of the Year and he is a born and bred Belizean. Belizean American, noh American Belizean and his work, his innovation, his technology-driven activities is what got this, the telephone that you are using, this technology that we are using – he is responsible for it. So we have to be able, as a nation, to acknowledge this national treasure and that is the genesis of this whole event here.”


Andre Gray

“Do not allow anyone to impose their own self-limitations upon you. People have the tendency to say well if I can’t do it, what makes you think you can do it. And sometimes they try to drive that home and force it down people’s throats. It kills ambitions, it kills dreams and that’s not right. Instead of saying to someone you can only go so far, be encouraging and let that person find their own path.”


An inspiration to many, the goal is to get Gray to speak at schools. Mayor Wagner says that he is planning a Ted Talk along with Gray to drive technology and innovation among Belizeans.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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