May 6, 2017
By: Charles Hyatt
If you ever want to meet your long lost sister, check out Heneka Watkis-Porter. Talk about a real “Pardie” as we say in Jamaican dialect – Patois! With this article, we are going to try to “sum up” this wonderful woman’s passions, her life experiences, and her dreams. Mission impossible? Well, the impossible can only be completed after first trying, so here we go.
Heneka Watkis-Porter is a young Jamaican lady from Highgate in the parish of St. Mary. Her actual district is Cromwell Land. Most people from that district “naturally endowed environment”, as Heneka put it, have a colorful lifestyle which is the envy of city slickers. Heneka remembers her first entrepreneurial venture happened just as she entered high school in Highgate. She had a pet goat which she would “tie out” every morning to graze while she went to school. Well, as she was now in high school, she was way too cool to have to manage any goat so she asked her grandfather, who gave her the goat for being successful in her common entrance, to sell it and its kids. She also remembers her neighbor having a luscious apple tree. Whenever the tree would bear, Heneka would pick the apples and sell them, right next door to where they were picked. She was obviously on to something big as she made these decisions with no effort and enjoyed the ‘fruits’ of her decisions.
Heneka explains she had a near death experience one day when playing at the river with her friends. She recalls it to be a very traumatic but adventurous event. For her, the moral of the story, “Don’t leave the house when your grandmother tells you not to.” Her stories continue, some not so happy, but one thing was sure, it was obvious that this young lady was put here for a specific purpose. There were higher powers protecting and watching over her throughout. She remembers living in a tenement yard, in a house with a porous ‘roof’ during the category 3 hurricane Gilbert of 1988. She recalls that the roof was so bad that during regular rain the family had to “set pan” to catch rain water inside the house. Well, with Gilbert imminent, Heneka, a young girl at the time, became very excited to see what would happen to the roof and thus the house. To her surprise, the hurricane came, did lots of damage all around her, left Jamaica devastated with over US$4 billion in damages, but left the house, and the roof, intact. Talk about protection.
Fast forward a good amount of years and we find Heneka living in St. Catherine with her husband, ‘Porter’, while working at a stressful job. As is customary for people who are obedient to their calling, Heneka found herself having to resign from that job so that divinity could open another door for her to learn the art of international shipping and business and many more traits that she utilizes even now. It was during a time of rest that Heneka was jolted out of bed to begin writing the plans for what was once called Patwa Apparel and is now called Patwa Culcha International International Limited (PCIL). The epiphany came at a perfect time. Heneka, being so down to earth, wanted to make sure that she sent “bigups” to one of the fashion originals so, why not hear it in her own words;
This lady Heneka is so amazing. listen to some things she is doing with her time after creating clothing and apparel, hosting podcasts, traveling, etc. Patwa Culcha International International Limited (PCIL), as Heneka states is a group of companies that commemorate and celebrate Jamaican culture world wide. It’s no wonder Good News Jamaica and PCIL have partnered to add Heneka’s podcast series called The Entrepreneurial You to our site in the very near future. If you are thinking you want to give owning a business a try, make sure to tune into the podcasts to hear from those who are doing well at it.
With that, we close on the amazing time we had ‘reasoning’ with Heneka Watkis-Porter. There is so much to this powerhouse of a human being. We could have spent hours finding out more but we decided to leave it to the podcasts and future partnerships with PCIL. Thank you Mrs. Watkis-Porter for sharing your journey. You are a true inspiration.