As he celebrates his first twenty five years on the planet, Cochese Tyler Dennie is peering far into the distant future for channels through which he can navigate both his business endeavors and his life in the creation of a wholesome future for himself, his community and his country.
As a young child who “liked to drive”, the enterprising Tyler with a personal push to be always “better”, first found himself organizing a group of boys with pails, soap water and rags into a car-wash business in the east Port of Spain “ghetto” community where he was born.
The lad who mentally pole-vaulted out of the community by grabbing a place in one the country’s “prestige” secondary schools way outside his neighborhood, had already grown to cope with adversity by getting accustomed to the sounds of gunshots shattering the silence of his room where he studied at night.
Ironically, his business is located smack in the constituency of TT’s National Security Minister Stuart Young who was called upon by senior persons in the industry to probe young Tyler’s unorthodox business modus operandi.
The cry for Dennie’s head increased when a social media post portrayed TT Prime Minister Keith Rowley posing in the open hearse in the dead man’s pose and costume as if defying citizens to move him from the land of the living dead.
Much to the bemused dismay of many teachers, Tyler emerged among the highest in his graduating class and was awarded the responsibility of College Valedictorian on Graduation Day.
It was no surprise therefore that Tyler steered away from the traditional options for a secondary school leaver in Trinidad and accelerated into the world of the alternative-taxi business by “pulling bull” or “driving PH” with his uncle’s car.
It was on the night that he wrapped the old car around a tree and found himself at 18 having to to pay back his uncle in the draconian world of the ghetto environment, that Tyler started growing up faster in a country where youths are dying a dime a dozen by their own hands in a world of self-hate and black lives not mattering.
Being already so close to the dead, Tyler came to hitch his wagon to the star of a village undertaker who used him to drive the hearse, a task he found he especially enjoyed. This was perhaps because of his fondness of the company of silent corpses in whom he found comfort in the face of what he saw as his dead-beat absent father and single mother-grand-mother both fighting it out on the TT battlefield of hope.
The rest is history. The “Trinity school boy from Belmont Valley Road” began employing his strong energy to influence to make friends and people turn into grieving customers who began calling on him personally for their funeral needs.
It was a shoo- in to the business for Tyler who bought an old hearse and start transporting his own people after receiving his undertaker’s license to operate on the hill where he lived and which could kill many a customer who trekked up there to see their dead at peace in his new freezer.
The young man who was published in Newsday for giving out free masks to the public and who made tv6 for portraying a dead man posing as if in real life in his open-backed hearse, is making waves in the funeral industry, riding his chariot of prosperity and leadership while still pursuing studies in business management.
Today, after just two short years in business, Tyler commands four hearses and has constructed his own building on the hill in Manila lane where he grew up hearing gun shots in the night.
With an immediate staff of five young people, including relatives, Tyler plans to take Dennie’s Funeral on a long ride to success as TT goes through these testing times where many a young entrepreneur will do or die in the exciting battlefield of life in “sweet T+T”.