National press conference announced as Prime Minister speaks live on Cabinet decisions on rising cost of living – Magnetic Media
By Shanieka Smith and Deandrea Hamilton
#TheBahamas, March 12, 2022 – His life demonstrated that “you start in the pit, but you don’t have to end in the pit”.
Bahamian-born Cynthia Mother Pratt, better known as Mother Pratt, who grew up in a downtown area called Coconut Grove, came from extreme poverty, but rose modestly through the ranks to become Deputy Prime Minister and the first female Minister of Defense of the Bahamas.
His target with this inaugural book is young people, and his message is that their beginning does not determine their end.
A gated community, money or privileges were not the easy way out of the pit for Mother Pratt. It was his inner desires, his hard work, his discipline, his humility and his determination. It was not until the age of 34 that Mother Pratt went to college; she sat, learned and graduated with 17 and 18 year old students.
“Nevertheless, I wanted to achieve my goal,” she said.
Back when Mother Pratt went to school, students had to leave at 14 if their parents couldn’t afford the fees. She said she grew up in the lower class; that then and now is a major discouragement for people in similar situations. This is where the inspiration for one of his three literary contributions, From the Pit to the Palace, came from.
“I want the masses to know, the world to know, that there’s a woman that God took out of the pit, out of the gutter, so to speak, and came out way up on top. If this happened to me , it can happen for them,” she said passionately.
From the Pit to the Palace, an autobiography of Mother Pratt was published in January 2022. According to Mother Pratt, the book is for everyone, young and old.
“You have a lot of adults who tend to give up on life because things haven’t worked out for them. They believe they are a failure, and that’s why the book is going to explain, and encourage, and improve, uplift, to tell them there is hope,” she expressed.
To reinforce the humble nature and soulful message of Mother Pratt in her autobiography: she still resides in a city center after all she has accomplished.
And Dr. Cynthia Mother Pratt has accomplished a lot. While her first term of service to the people was in the teaching profession and as a sports coach, Mother Pratt and her growing popularity drew leaders into the political arena.
“They almost had to force me to get involved in politics first, period, I was never interested; never been to a meeting. But what happened at the time, I was in college in the Bahamas, I was assisting the principal and there with student activities – part-time lecturer, and I got a message from the incumbent Prime Minister that he would like to meet me,” she said.
An invitation was extended and suffice it to say there was a big ‘no’ at first, but the Progressive Liberal Party and Perry Gladstone Christie wouldn’t take a no for an answer. Perseverance paid off for Christie and an attempt, doomed from Mother Pratt’s perspective, turned into a 10-year career in politics, from 2002 until her retirement in 2012.
A deputy party leader, the first for a woman in the Bahamas; a Deputy Prime Minister who would continue to serve as Prime Minister during a period of illness for Mr Christie and many other sensational accolades. Yet none seemed to change his heart, which was first and foremost for God, then for family.
Mother Pratt has six children: three boys, an adopted son, now deceased, and a biological daughter. She also has eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Pratt’s husband, Joseph Benjamin also died.
“They [my children] called me back the other day, they said, mom, we never really had you as our mother because you were always taking care of someone else. And at one point I had six kids in my house until at some point my husband got to the point where he said Cynthia, don’t bring another one here,” laughs- her reminiscing.
Global awards were also not unusual for Mother Pratt, but the one presented to her in 2019 is truly cherished as it bears the name of one of the most valiant freedom fighters in history. In a ceremony at her church, Prayer and Praise Assembly in Coconut Grove, the granddaughter of ‘the Grove’ received the Nelson Mandela Award for her lifelong commitment to community development, and it cemented that a book to chronicle this achievement must be parked. And so it was.
“The problem with my childhood is that I was never satisfied with where I was. I always wanted to belong and when I say belong: belong to those who try to move on to another level I was not satisfied with one thing when I got that I was never satisfied because I knew there was something better And so I knew then that there there was something that made me say you can do it, you can do it, says Mother Pratt, adding that she was never afraid to fail.
It was on her porch that she shared these fascinating nuggets and precious memories with us; his porch in the grove. An area she served and represented in parliament, and an area though often seen as a shady side of the city of Nassau, is cherished as her launching pad, a springboard, and the birthplace of her desire to be. more.
“Downtown is where we live, but we have to make it what it is. The community does not build us; we build the community,” she said.
Dr Pratt, who is admittedly shy on social media, adds that “if you really want to do something with your life, you have to dig deep, pull up your boots and know that if Mother Pratt could do it, so can I. . ”
This former sports coach, who earned the name because she became such a positive force for young people, made it clear that few opportunities arose and it was normal for young people to seize them. The first step, she says, is to believe in yourself.
“[Opportunities] are there, but you have to go out and get it. And in other words, God would give them manna from heaven, but they had to go get the manna. And that’s how you’re going to get there because you have to want to change.
I can’t force you to do it, but you have to want it from within and then take the opportunities when they arise because they may not be there tomorrow.
From the Pit to the Palace is available now on Amazon for $20. It can also be found in Bahamas-based bookstores.
Undoubtedly, as one would expect, the book written by Mother Pratt will be a raw, real, humorous and inspiring account of a life that continues to be well lived.