‘Garrison mechanic’ makes car magic without hands
Naquanne Harrison may not have hands, but when it comes to cars, he's pretty 'hands-on'.
The 34-year-old mechanic was born without hands, but this did not stop him from pursuing his passion.
And his genius when it comes to fixing cars has earned him the nickname, 'The mechanic of the garrison', at his base at Lincoln Cresent, St Andrew.
"They call me the number one genius, the mechanic of the garrison," he told THE WEEKEND STAR, laughing.
Harrison said he grew up with a very supportive family, and this made him confident, despite his disability.
"I'm very friendly and sociable with everyone so people look beyond my hands," he said.
Harrison said he was introduced to mechanical engineering in high school, but under the mentorship of a mechanic in his community, he was able to hone his skills.
"One day I went to his garage just to get something welded, and he asked me if I liked motor vehicles. He said I'll be your number one sponsor in anything you want, and from there I start deh round him until I start to get in touch with the guys dem at the garage, and we basically become a family from there," he said.
That was 15 years ago. Now Harrison said he works from three different garages in the Corporate Area and has clientele as far as MoBay.
And even if potential customers are a bit sceptical of his abilities at first, he is confident that his work would speak for him.
"Even recently, I was talking with a customer, and him introduce me to a client and him ask: 'Is this your mechanic?' And him seh 'Yes'. And he was speechless, couldn't say anything. And he gave me a task and say he wanted me to drive the car and feel something on the car. I did it and he was shocked and from that, he introduced me to more clients," he said.
The father of two said he doesn't let his disability prevent him from living a full life.
"I really don't make it be a problem; they call it disable but I don't see it as that. I really work fine with it, I accept it as is, and I basically have to do what I have to do," he said. "I don't have any challenges. Sometimes wi get the help because wi tired, but that's it."
He said he also spends time passing on his skills to anyone who is interested.
"I get the knowledge and if I can bring it on to someone else, why not? It's a great work," he said.
For Harrison, his only disability is his inability to get a licence, and being a mechanic, that hinders him to an extent.
"I tried about 10 times. Mi went Swallowfield (depot), mi went Spanish Town, mi try a lot. The other day a friend of mine said I should try again, but mi fed up," he said. "The driving test was passed, the written test was passed, and they give me a talk seh I must get something for the steering because of the disability, and I did get it, but it's still a task. The work that I do I have to drive. But life is a challenge, and ya fi get up and face the challenge weh ya get, but mi nuh feel no way."