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Nov 2, 2009

Shyne visits Wesley College and talks about education

Story PictureMoses Michael Leviy aka Shyne was deported last Wednesday back to the Jewel after spending close to ten years in prison in the US. Since then he has moved out of the Radisson Fort George and has kept away from public eye. That brief hiatus was broken today as he begins to rebuild his image after prison life. He made his first public appearance at his old stomping ground and at least for now, he will remain in Belize. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was at the school when the rapper addressed the students.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
Shyne, his uncle Michael Finnegan, and the rapper’s lead attorney Charles Ogletree, visited Wesley College this morning.

The musician did not rap or rhyme, but his message on the need for education reached the entire student body.

Moses Michael Leviy AKA Shyne
“I came up on the streets you know with guys who were gang banging and into criminal activity and those tools never worked. You either end up spending the rest of your life in prison or sleeping in a grave for the rest of your life. But with the tools you are getting here, as far as education is concerned, that’s the ultimate tool and definitely you can transcend any situation. I’m just like you. I grew up on Curassow Street you know. When I was coming up we didn’t even have toilets. And one of the things my uncle Finnegan and my father Prime Minister Barrow implored upon me was an education, education, education. I didn’t really get that. I was like yeah alright education, whatever. But as I came up, my music being Shyne, being able to go from Curassow Street to United States and sell millions of records, the only way I was able to do that is because I used to be at my Uncle Dennis’ house and read the dictionary in a corner. You dig I would fail all my class but English. You know I would pay attention. And if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t never any records and be able to call Jay Z on my iPhone. And I wouldn’t be able to live the life that I live.”

Professor Charles Ogletree, was a mentor to U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama while they were his students at Harvard. Ogletree, an author that has written extensively about the African diaspora, is also Shyne’s mentor.

Moses Michael Leviy AKA Shyne
“he only way our relationship endured because he grew fond of me cause I used to write my own emotions and send them to him. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I didn’t go to school, if I didn’t graduate high school, if didn’t spend a semester in college, I wouldn’t’ have this man as my mentor cause I can’t impress him. I can’t say Lil’ Wayne is my homeboy professor so can I roll with you. He’s like I got president Obama on my speed dial but character and integrity and education; these are things are invaluable.”

Charles Ogletree Jr., Harvard Law Professor
“I’m honored to represent Moses Leviy, who you know as Shyne, he has come to this same school, taught by these same teachers, molded by the same principal when he was here in 1993. He stumbled up and down and look at him now. Now he can call anybody in the world because education made it important. Shyne’s not my first client; Tupac Shakur was my client as well, these are young people who not only felt education was important but also realized that giving back was important as well. Can the young people of Belize, the young people of Wesley College make a difference in Belize and the world? The answer is yes we can.”

The dream of Martin Luther King Jr. became reality with Barack Obama. And the youth of Belize hope that their dreams can also be realized like Shyne. Jose Sanchez, reporting for News Five.

Before leaving for the U.S. this afternoon, Professor Ogletree donated several of his books to the Wesley College Library. He said he would return in two weeks.

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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