I am able: Real V.I. living his dream despite disability
Fifteen years ago Cosmo Watson’s life was changed forever when gunmen’s bullets sent him into a wheelchair.
However, this major setback did not prevent the 41-year-old from living his dream. The entertainer, who goes by the stage name Real V.I., has revisited the incident through a song called Angels Watching Over Me. He also told THE WEEKEND STAR that he is also promoting a host of singles, including Life Lessons, which encourages listeners to be grateful for the smallest of blessings.
“I am also part of the school tour where we go around and, not only perform, but speak to students about abstinence and offer words of encouragement. I have visited several schools across the island, while recording a host of singles. There are days when I don’t feel like getting out of bed, but I know I have to focus on my career. There are times when my mind wants to do things, but my body gives me a hard time,” he said.
Reflecting on the 2004 shooting, Real V.I. said he started the morning like any other day in his Seaview Gardens community in the Corporate Area.
“I got up and was sweeping my yard and went next door to borrow my neighbour’s rake. After entering, I realised that there were masked gunmen hiding out on his premises. I guess they were as startled as I was, so they fired at me. I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” he recalled.
Real V.I. said that the bullets pierced his neck and spinal chord.
However, the journey to recovery has not been an easy one.
“Thank God for the staff at KPH (Kingston Public Hospital) who took really great care of me. The way to get back fully in society has not been easy, as it has been a struggle every day. Just imagine knowing that you weren’t born into a situation, and you now have to conform to a different way of living completely. Jamaica is not really set up in a way where I can get in and out of places easily. When you are sitting in a wheelchair, you are prone to a lot of stuff, including poor circulation of blood and even bed sores,” he said.
He told THE WEEKEND STAR that he is imploring the public to be more compassionate towards the disabled community.
“I give God thanks every day that I am not bedridden. I can remember feeding others from my wheelchair, and I feel good to know that despite my circumstances, I can make a difference. Jamaican people need to have their minds reprogrammed as it relates to dealing with persons who have a disabilities. I have gone to places where persons screw up their faces when they see me. I remember going to a MoneyGram, and people literally skipped me to get served. All I am asking is that persons be more compassionate towards us,” he said.
Meanwhile, in addition to promoting his singles, Real V.I. is also preparing for upcoming shows locally and in the United States.
“I was also in a few cities in the United States to promote my music. Being in a wheelchair may slow me up a bit, but it will not stop me from living my dreams,” he said.