Whether rain fall or sun shine, during the month of November, Barbadians can always find Hopey De Clown decked in his ultramarine and yellow.
Christened Adrian Hinds, for over two decades, Hopey has been a familiar face at all national celebrations across Barbados.
In December, it is all about red and green and during the Crop Over season he is a kaleidoscope – but one thing is certain wherever he goes, he brings laughter, wonderment and cheer.
When Loop spotted Hopey this November, he expressed that he was happy to hear about the Government’s suspension of Barbados National Day.
The proud Bajan hailing from Silver Hill, Christ Church, was one among the thousands who was upset about the suggested change to Independence Day.
“I was so glad they put a pause on the Barbados National Day. I come along with the Independence and I ain’t see no reason to change the name of it.”
A lover of all things Barbadian – from conkies with raisins to the music of cultural icons Red Plastic Bag and Gabby – Hopey said that he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world. He professed that he gets homesick quickly and within two weeks, he is eager to be on a flight heading back home.
“I love my country. I don’t like cold countries to start with. When Barbados get too cold, I get offset. When I go to air-conditioned places I does be offset.”
Hopey is arguably a national personality, his balloon animals leave little kids amazed and his down-to-earth humour evokes a chuckle from the adults.
Speaking to Loop, Hopey shared that he started ‘clowning around’ back in 1989.
“I saw some guys doing it in ’89 at Sheraton – some guys that went to school at Lodge [School] – but I was a shy guy. I didn’t have the heart to do it but then one day I was at the calypso tent and I went up on stage with Mac Fingall and Kevin Hinds and I said, ‘You know something, let me tell my mom bring back a clown suit for me and try it out’.
“I found out later it was a lucrative thing. I didn’t even know how to price a job. A youngster showed me how to make the balloons and from then, it was all over from there.”
Hopey’s Delights isn’t just a business, but he finds joy in bringing smiles to people’s faces.
“It is a job you do for fun and also get paid,” he said while also sharing anecdotes of how everyone doesn’t like clowns, and where children would do the darnedest things.
As Barbados celebrates its 56th anniversary of Independence, Hopey’s wish for the nation is for a cessation of the gun violence.
“Keep away from all the shooting. I would love for the killings to ease up. I would love for people to be safe, take precaution and have a safe end to 2022 and a prosperous 2023.”