|Eulogy for Keith Kevin Swift|
|Written by Administrator|
|Thursday, 29 April 2010 00:00|
Delivered by Indira Craig
He started his formal schooling at Belmopan Community Preschool, Belmopan Infant and Junior Schools. He then went on to the Belmopan Comprehensive School where he obtained a Diploma in Academic Studies. Keith would always boast about his Belmopan credentials, that he was a central site boy, though he did leave the Garden City to attend St. John’s Junior College.
When the BCB was dismantled in late 1998 - and all the professionals there had to find work elsewhere - each media house was encouraged to take in a few of the staffers. Based on the hearty and un-reserved recommendation of his former news director, Keith was picked up by Channel 7. We were told that he was a writing machine. Karla marveled that he could write the same story five different ways - each of them uniquely engaging - for her five daily newscasts. And lucky that she did give such a glowing recommendation, because Keith never had much to say for himself.
Still, Jules Vasquez took her word and decided to recruit the skinny kid from Belmopan who didn't say much. But like we say: breeze blow pilikin right weh ih wahn goh...And that was Keith. What Jules didn't know was that in about 1992 - while working on KREM Radio, Keith Swift then just a primary schooler but already with a deep desire to be in the media started sending me what were the cutest fan mail letters, via post, as a listener in Belmopan....who was not one bit shy about his affection for me and his plan to have me come to Belmopan and show the whole school who his personal radio buddy was...
So imagine my surprise when I met him for the first time as this shy, unremarkable new recruit to the 7 News team; the same little boy who so many years earlier wrote me those unforgettable fan mails. It was the first insight I had into the contrast between the bold public persona and the private reticence that would define Keith entirely as an adult...And as our friendship grew, so did my tremendous admiration for his craft, respect for his amazing talent and love for him as a dear friend and brother. Little did he know that positions would change and that I would be his biggest fan.
At Channel 7, his writing chops were immediately apparent, and as Keith came into the fore with two other young reporters--Dawn Sampson and Alfonso Noble--they both acknowledged his uncanny, unmatched speed at putting a story together and his ability to expertly navigate through any piece of writing. He never had writer's block.
And while he started out writing, his ambition was to be on camera. Keith shadowed the background, silently watching his on-air colleagues, knowing that what they were doing, he could do. At 19, at the start of his on air career, no one would have thought then that he would end up doing it better and for longer.
From very early on, Keith defined for himself a style that was playful, but engaged and always open to what the story gave him; always able to surrender to where the story took him.
In 2001, after a brief stint as News Director at KREM and a return to 7 News where he made a name for himself as mostly a features reporter, that yearning for the story led him to Florida International University.
With his friends, Keith was always laughing and loved a good, harmless tease; he was such a funny guy, with a completely off, random sense of humour. And, don't ask how much he loved a good shoosh....".
Keith would greet almost everyone with his disarming style, big-timing them. Whenever he met anyone familiar, he almost announced them, making the person's name sound like a brand name, I can hear him now: "Craig...!"
Imagine, a purveyor of stories and yet a guarder of his own....
When he did open up, we saw his sensitivity, his vulnerability and that he sought solace in our support.... these are, after all, the normal human frailties - just that when you're living most of your life on TV, the cuts can be a little close to the bone...
But, he rose above it every time and used it as fuel to make him that much more determined to succeed and exceed; Keith worked like he had something to prove; in the end, he was so relentless, he never gave us a choice, we all had to love him; Keith delivered: he was the most prolific, the most worthy and the most humble with a microphone and a camera.....
Not much more needs to be said for Keith Swift, Channel 7 Star Reporter that he did not say for himself--every night, in our living rooms or online, from the flood ravaged south to the frontlines of civil unrest, from back a town, to Houston. The awards will forever tell the story of Keith's love for journalism, his passion for unearthing and telling the story that hasn't been told....
I end with a quote from William Penn, his poem, "Some Fruits of Solitude".
"And this is the Comfort of the Good,
They that love beyond the World, cannot be separated by it.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 29 April 2010 13:31|