I met Prince on the beach at Betsy Bay. He was not The Artist Formerly Known as Prince but a native Bahamian. He stood about 6’ tall and wore a San Francisco 49ers baseball cap. It drew attention to his right ear, notched at the top as though his mother had pinched it too hard as a child. I asked if the NFL football team was “his” team.
“I stopped following all dat [referring to professional sports teams], because it took me away from God,” he replied, pointing upward.
“So you didn’t want anything to come between you and God?”
“Yes, ma’am, that’s right.”
Prince was born on the island of Mayaguana and left it for Nassau to attend school. He worked there several years and returned in 2007 or 2008–he couldn’t recall which–to earn a living.
“There are too many people in Nassau. There’s too much competition [for work.] I came back, because Mayaguana is growing.”
The optimistic Prince is positioning himself for future economic opportunities. The island’s population 10 years ago? 400. The island’s current population? Less than 400.
As with most natives, Prince smiled with every word he spoke. He wished my family and me a good time. Then he shoved my dinghy into the surf and remained standing on the shore until I waved farewell and slipped out of sight.