Dwight Newell overcomes Covid roadblock to start business

Keithisha Cudjoe

Dwight Newell overcomes Covid roadblock to start business

Life has dealt Dwight Newell, 49, some cruel blows, but his strong resolve and belief in God has seen him successfully navigate every hurdle.

Today, he operates his Sunshine Detailing and Auto Repair shop in Sanguinetti, Clarendon, a business he started last September after COVID-19 forced him to change course in 2020. Newell shared that he was working as a public transport operator when the pandemic hit and business slowed. He turned his attention to farming but that, too, wasn’t working out.

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He was recommended to the JDI group, which trains engineers and other professionals for the workforce. Newell went to Kingston and did mechanic work. But initially, he was unsure if that was what he wanted.

“It was while training that I got fully interested, now I am a full auto mechanic and electrical engineer, so I work on all types of high-end vehicles,” he shared.

Newell has come a long way from the little boy who grew up without his parents. At just seven months old, he was ‘adopted’ by a woman named Ethel Hines. She took him under her wings along with three other children, becoming their foster mother. A Christian, she made sure she raised him in the fear of the Lord. But Hines died when Newell was 16, and once again, he said life became a struggle. After ‘bouncing around’ for a while having to fend for himself by finding clothes and meals, he eventually found his father. Although he didn’t give him much support, Newell said that he still loves him. He met his mother when he was 22 and that was the turning point for him as he came to Clarendon, where she lived, and discovered other relatives who lovingly embraced him.

One of them is his grandaunt June Carnegie, who invited him to stay with her. Carnegie, who Newell describes as a second mom, proudly stood by his side during part of the interview. She said that her confidence in him has not been misplaced, as she instinctively knew he was a good person.

“When he was working in Kingston and things weren’t going good for him, I say to him, ‘Come home’. He was in Spalding and struggling. I say to him ‘You have the potential, you can do your business’. I back him 100 per cent,” she said.

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Newell has now taken an 11-year-old under his wings, feeding his skills to his eager young mind. He said that the youngster, Victor Johnson, reminds him of himself when he was young.

“The most I can do is pass on the levity of learning to him, because he is willing to learn,” Newell said. Looking ahead, Newell said his number one goal is to make a great impact on someone else’s life as life has given him some hard knocks. But it has also taught him never to give up. He sees the pandemic as a chance for people to get out of their comfort zones and do new things.

Mechanic overcomes early struggles to start own business  Jamaica Star Online


Dean Nestor

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