Saturday 15 December, 2018

Birthday Big Up: Bonnie's interpretation of love is family

Bonnie Leonce can speak with her hands.

Bonnie Leonce can speak with her hands.

Her signature is her signing.

But Bonnie Leonce is more than an interpreter, she's a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend.

Today Bonnie turns 43 years old and by her beauty, there's no doubt that she's got that black girl magic.

Loop wanted to surprise one of Barbados' most hardworking interpreters with a birthday feature and her husband Ricardo, affectionately called 'Ricky' by her, was all in. 

Seemingly like they were together forever, especially in this day and age when marriages don't last as long as a snocone in the hot sun outside the new River Van Stand, it was a breath of fresh air to hear him say, "We met when I was 11; she was 13, so it is now 30 years that we have known each other and been married, December will be 20."

Wow! Black love and black girl magic, Bonnie's blessed is all we were thinking.

Keen to chat about his better half, he helped shed a little light on Bonnie beyond what people see in the little box in the bottom right of their television screens. He shared with us five things that many people may not know about his wife.

Counting them off on his fingers, he said, "(1) Hates mediocrity. (2) Loves cou cou and salt fish. (3) Loves a good pudding and souse. (4) Very protective of family and close friends. (5) Loves music especially a good bass line."

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Bonnie is the brains behind Signature Interpretations, constantly advocating for 'Equality...through the power of language'. She has taught hundreds of persons to sign over the years and she's a very fun and interactive teacher. This led Loop to ask how is Bonnie at home. What are some of the lessons she is teaching their three children - Gabrielle is almost 18, Alex is 16 and Brandon is 14?

With a smile, he said that he's happy she has taught their daughter and sons, "To consider other people's situations, to be mannerly and polite, to try to always have a good attitude, and to be thankful in all things."

And Bonnie has been like a mother to many in Barbados' deaf community - when they cut she bleeds, when they win, she wins; she feels their pain and she celebrates their joys. Bonnie's family is comprised of her blood relatives and her extended non-hearing family. The way she interacts with many of the deaf adults, it's like she's grown with them from young.

Bonnie is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fighting for the rights of the deaf in Barbados, and if she has her way, she'll fight and be victorious not only for the deaf here at home, but throughout the Caribbean in the not too distant future too.

Happy Birthday, Bonnie!

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