Monday, 5 October 2015

GOING PLACES: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce reflects on her alma mater, honouring the icons, and her Namibian getaway

MISS SAFARI: Fraser-Pryce ventures where the wild things are. (Inset) with Douglas Orane at Wolmer's Boys on Friday.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce travels the world for work – Zurich, Sydney, Beijing, you name it – and though her heart belongs to Jamrock, she readily confesses to having a soft spot for Africa. As it turns out, the petite speedster recently got back from an odyssey in Namibia, where she found an overabundance of breathtaking landscapes, gorgeous wildlife, and powerful life lessons.

“What I appreciate most about that experience was the opportunity to actually learn about the country,” she tells TALLAWAH. “Sometimes when you go on vacation you get so caught up with the shopping and the food that you forget to appreciate some of the more important things like the people and the culture and the history. This was a life-changing experience for me but a very enjoyable one.”

Fraser-Pryce, who spent a whole week in Namibia and has shared photo highlights from her trip with fans on social media, says a repeat visit to the African territory could be in the cards. “Definitely. There is so much to see and learn there. We went to several different parts of the country, and everywhere you go there’s some amazing knowledge to appreciate. I had a great time.”

Back on home soil, the golden girl slipped into celebration mode this past weekend (looking stunning in a form-fitting cocoa-coloured dress) to help her alma mater unveil the new Douglas Orane Auditorium on the Wolmer’s Boys campus and honour living legends Edward Seaga and Sybil Eloise Francis, who were inducted into the newly launched Wolmer’s Hall of Fame. “I feel honoured to be able to share in such an occasion and to give back to a school that has contributed so significantly to my development,” Fraser-Pryce says. “It is important to pay tribute to those who have done so much for us, the new generation, by paving the way.”

So what were her Wolmer’s Girls years like? She laughs. “My years at Wolmer’s were very different. I was a little troublemaker. But not in a bad, out-of-hand way. We knew how to have a good time and still get the work done.” By all appearances, the World’s Fastest Woman still does. Then she adds this: “My Wolmer’s teachers like Mrs. Harrison and Mrs. Montague gave me hope and encouraged me to aspire to greater things in life. And because of them I was able to step into that boldness.”

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