I’m running for The City, so what!
With that public declaration, this island’s best known prostitute threw her hat into the political ring, as Barbadians anxiously await the announcement of a date for the next general election.
When Prime Minister Freundel Stuart rings the election bell, Natalie Natlee Harewood, whose “office” is said to be located in the red light district of Bush Hill, St Michael, will be contesting the City of Bridgetown seat as an independent.
Natlee, who is best known here for her song Dirty Harry in which she took apart a client whom she said had wanted a relationship when she was only interested in conducting a business transaction with him, is set to make a significant shift in career from prostitute to politician.
When contacted today for comment on the turn of events, Natlee, who created a stir nearly a year ago when she delivered what was deemed to be an outrageous and publicly offensive performance at Reggae on The Beach, said: “I have nothing to say to Barbados TODAY or any journalist.”
However, she confirmed the news on her Instagram page, which has over 38 thousand followers. With a portrait of herself and the words, “Vote For Natalie” plastered on the image, she issued what she said was her political mission statement.
“I want to help people, especially the poor, and I’m not coming to be fake, I’m coming real. Vote for me Natalie Harewood, City of Bridgetown.”
She also promised that if elected, she would do her best on behalf of her constituents.
“I’m going to put my best foot forward and that is a promise,” the prostitute, who calls herself a “night jobber”, said.
Barbados TODAY understands the candidate also ventured into Bridgetown yesterday in an attempt to sway members of the electorate and to announce herself as a prospective candidate.
On social media Natlee has already been getting some much-needed support from her followers.
One Instagramer said: “Got my vote, well done Nat! Please place the x in the box properly. Don’t let it touch the lines. Let’s do this for Nat. I sorry she isn’t running for St Philip West. Let’s go there.”
Another commented: “Go Nat, you have my support, you have my vote.”
However, at least one person opposed the prostitute’s decision.
“You’re going to have a hard time getting people to really and truly support you,” the poster said, with prostitution currently illegal in Barbados, despite its known existence in the informal sector.
It is understood that Harewood is a single parent who was forced into her current lifestyle in order to support her offspring, having failed in her attempts to find conventional employment.
When contacted, Barbados Labour Party candidate Jeffrey Bostic, who represented The City in the last Parliament which was dissolved earlier this month, told Barbados TODAY he saw no problem with Harewood challenging him at the polls.
“I really don’t have a problem with it. If Natalie satisfies the criteria, there is nothing wrong. It is in her rights if she wants to contest the seat. I don’t have an issue with it at all,” Bostic said, adding: “I don’t focus on any of my opponents. I don’t judge them. I respect whoever comes up against me, but I just focus on myself and what I have to do. That is what I have been doing and I will continue to do that. That is my focus at the moment.”
In fact, despite Natlee’s popularity, Bostic said he did not feel threatened, and was upbeat about his chances at the polls, as well as those of the Mia Mottley-led BLP.
“I am confident in what I am doing. I am not arrogant or overconfident in terms of being re-elected, but I think I have done quite a bit of work in the City of Bridgetown and it is up to the people to make that determination as to whether they think I am deserving of re-election. I believe I am, but the decision rests with the people.
“I am very confident in the ability of my party and that we will be returned to run the affairs of this country,” Bostic said.
The other candidates in the race are newcomer Henderson Williams of the incumbent Democratic Labour Party and Lynette Eastmond of the United Progressive Party.
To qualify as a candidate, all that is required from an eligible Barbadian is a $250 deposit on Nomination Day, and to be proposed and seconded by two people.
The Prime Minister is yet to fix the dates for either the poll or the nominations, which must take place before June, with a record number of political aspirants expected on the 2018 ballot.