‘Dadz’ the donkey, doing its masters’ work
Last Sunday when Oneil Powell and Junior Terrelonge rode around sections of St Andrew, selling their jelly coconuts, they turned a lot of heads. It wasn't because of the dozens of drupe fruit that they were selling, but their mode of transportation.
Their 'driver', a donkey name Dadz, strutted along the asphalted roadway, dragging along his masters and a cart laden with coconuts.
Powell, 19, said he has grown accustomed to the stares from onlookers since he and Terrelonge have been riding around for years, conducting business. He stated that his parents and grandparents are coconut farmers, so it was only natural for him to carry on the trade.
"We are not bothered by the stares or anything. I have been doing this for years and, right now, I live with my woman and three-month-old daughter, and I have to be responsible and take care of them. Everyone's hustle is different - some will do a regular nine-to-five job but I choose to sell my coconuts, and it pays the bills," Powell said.
The former Jonathan Grant High student, who hails from Ferry, St Catherine, said the animal has not only transported them to Kingston, but various sections of St Catherine.
"Dadz has been carrying us around for about eight years. People will usually stop and tell us that they haven't seen a cart like this in years, especially in Kingston. We still have to take care of the donkey, so it cost us, but not as much as it would if we did a use a car. We don't have to buy gas or anything, and we always reach weh we a guh safely," he said.
Dadz helps Powell and Terrelonge deliver approximately 450 coconuts to customers on weekends. However, this is sometimes a difficult task, especially with the Mandela Highway, which they often traverse, now upgraded to a dual-carriage way. Powell said that some motorists are often unkind to them.
"Sometime dem seh, 'Unno come off ah di people dem road with unno old cart, unno a pay licence fi it?" Powell said, while adding that they ignore persons who would rather not see Dadz going about his business.