TODAY’S FITC is a man after my own heart because he does something that is high up on the scales of admirable.
Living up to the symbol of his name and birth date (February 14), 49 year old Valentine James also known as Super Sexy, who is a local chef, reaches into his heart to feed the lowly and down trodden on a daily basis…just because he enjoys it and believes that it is the right thing to do.
The Faux a Chaud resident said his friendly and generous nature has always made him popular and he doesn’t mind because he is a loving person who loves people in general.
James opened a restaurant in The Castries Market eight years ago and since then, he has dedicated his time, effort and resources to helping the people who can’t afford one of life’s essentials…food.
The chef prides himself for taking such actions with a clear mind as he has not consumed alcohol or smoked in 31 years.
His popularity was evident whilst I conducted this interview as hungry patrons began to get antsy while they waited for the interview to come to an end. So whilst I had to keep it brief, the message that I did get was SUPER inspiring (pun intended).
The VOICE: Before we go any further, where does the name Super Sexy come from?
Super: I got the name Super from Saint Lucia but I got the name Sexy in Barbados because I’m an artiste. If you look at old newspapers, you will see that I used to represent Saint Lucia in toasting competitions. I represented Saint Lucia about three times and I won OECS once.
The VOICE: You’re in the restaurant business but you run this business…differently, tell me about it.
Super: From 1978 I worked at a bakery and all my life was about baking etc. But right now I’m in the restaurant business and for a long time I’ve liked giving back to people. If a whole day goes by and I sell but I haven’t given anything away, I don’t feel good…when I give, I feel great. I know many people have their restaurants and their meals priced at $12, $14, $15, so I stood up and said “No, wait! I’m a poor man and I like helping the poor people” So I priced my meals at $5 and $6. If somebody comes with $4, I still give them food. If you come and you have no money but you want food, don’t ask me for rum, don’t ask me for cigarettes, don’t ask me for money but if you want food, I’ll give you food, no problem…that’s just the kind of man that I am.
The Voice: You mentioned to me that you help the stranded Lambirds students as well. How did this happen?
Super: I give all of them, about 45-60 of them. I give all of them food because they didn’t call for their situation. I heard the news on the radio about how they needed help and shelter so I knew that I could help with the food section so I made the call and told them that I could cook for them.
The VOICE: Where did you get the inspiration to do this?
Super: I got that from my mother who was my queen. She died about 16 years ago but before she died at the hospital, she told me; “My boy, anybody who wants help and you can help, help them. Your little sister and brothers, you can help them so help them.” So then I decided that since my mother died and she left that message for me, then I’d do it. Also, I like to meet people and I like to reach people so if there are poor people out there and they need help when it comes to food, including parents who need to feed their children, they can come and check me and I can do that for them. God sent me to do what I’m doing there so I don’t want to give up.
The VOICE: How often do you do this giving away of food?
Super: I do it every day, Monday to Monday
The VOICE: Roughly, how many people come to you for help daily?
Super: For the day, including the Lambirds students, I’d say about 80 something every day.
The VOICE: Do you suffer from serious losses?
Super: Trust me, I don’t study the profits and losses. To me, God sent me to do what I’m doing so what I lose, I lose. Anything I lose, God will give it back to me.
The VOICE: How are you able to fund this business then? Do you receive any help?
Super: Nobody helps me. Nobody gives me anything. Like I said, God gives me the strength, I buy what I buy and God gives it away. I pay my bills and everything. The only one who helps me is God but no, I have no one sponsoring or helping me.
The VOICE: Finally, seeing that you are able to do this and you are only a small businessman, what message do you have to all the other organisations that have the power to help out similarly?
Super: Who can help, try your best to help. You mustn’t be greedy because the little that you give, God will give it back. So don’t act like if somebody wants a plate of food that costs $12 and they’re missing $2, you’re going to tell them no…nooo. Even though they only have $5 and the food costs $12, still give it to them because sometimes in the long run, you might lose more. Remember with me, don’t ask me for rum, cigarettes or money but ask me for food and you MUST get that.