Strong women battle it out to be hosts
Oprah, Star Jones and Tyra Banks — Lamone Woods and Amir X are hoping to find powerful voices in Bermuda to match these luminaries.
The planned vehicle is an upcoming talk show, The T.
Ten finalists will go head to head in front of a live studio audience on Saturday for one of four host positions.
“We wanted to do something that represented our voices,” said Amir, creative director of the Gino Group.
The show, which will air when Channel 82 relaunches in the autumn, will focus on “topics that are avoided by mainstream media”. The name refers to the expression What’s the Tea?, a popular way of asking for the lowdown or the scoop.
“From healthy eating to taboo subjects like how many people should be in the bed. Let’s have some fun,” Amir said.
“In Bermuda, we are taught to be conservative, but are we?”
Lamone, the owner of Crimson Multimedia, said Channel 82’s relaunch, after a year-and-a-half off the air, provided an opportunity for a raft of strong content. His hope with The T is to give the island a prominent standing on the world’s stage while connecting with viewers in the Caribbean.
“Our population is only so big. How do you get to a million viewers? In order to scale we need somewhere else to go. The logical place is the Caribbean.
“They look like us, they think like us in some ways. Some of our ancestors came from there. It’s really reconnecting us with the diaspora. It’s putting Bermuda back into the mix, bridging the gap.”
Saturday’s contenders are playwrights Patricia Pogson-Nesbit and Patrice Frith Hayward; entrepreneurs Sharlene Sousa, Gina Payne-Scott and Kristin White; Bermuda College lecturer Teneika Eve; Jamaican Association president Marlene Juliet Flynn; make-up artist Serena Brangman; stay-at-home mom Aziza Furbert and singer-songwriter Cami Bean-Caines.
• Patricia Pogson-Nesbit wanted to be an actress from the age of 13 but, at Howard University, learnt there is a lot more to performing arts. She returned to Bermuda determined to give entertainers the opportunity to perform — and get paid for it.
“It’s very important for my children to see that when opportunity presents itself you take it,” said the 58-year-old who toured America as vice-president of theatre company the Howard Players.
“The T is everything that an artist like myself is looking for — the hope to become global; to know the world will have the opportunity to hear what we have to say and to be able to connect with our Caribbean brothers and sisters as well.”
• Sharlene Sousa, owner of Fast Forward Fitness, thinks the programme will show just how well people listen.
“I talk a lot,” said the 44-year-old Jamaican. “I really do. But that’s the problem in our society; we tend to talk a lot and we don’t really listen to what other people are saying.
“This talk show gives us a chance to see us having a conversation, not talking around each other, not shouting at each other. We’re going to be discussing things that are serious and things that are not so serious. We’re also going to get a chance to give our own perspective and share our own experiences. That’s unique.”
• Aziza Furbert, a Muslim, believes her temperament could prove useful to the talk show panel.
“I’m more of a listener,” the 32-year-old said.
“I think it provides a bit of balance because we have a lot of big personalities in the room.
“Diversity is really important to me. Being of a minority religion as well informs that as does being a stay-at-home mom, which, as a millennial, there are not that many of us around.”
• Teneika Eve hopes to get across the message that people “can be and do” whatever they want.
“Don’t limit yourself; I’m a walking breathing example of that,” the 43-year-old said.
“I teach culinary arts, I’m auditioning for a talk show, I’m pursuing a PhD in educational psychology — not to mention I’m voluptuous and I have a comedic banter in my approach.
“For me, The T is a groundbreaking movement. To turn on the television and see a woman with natural hair like myself, thick lips like myself, different shades of blackness — this is exciting.”
• Serena Brangman hopes the experience she gained as an intern with The Wendy Williams Show will give her an edge.
“I can say that this is no different,” the 29-year-old said. “The talent is way above the line.
“I was always searching magazines and television for someone that looked like me. There was Oprah, of course, and Queen Latifah, but there was no young person. I feel honoured to be that for some young, chubby plus-size girl that’s searching for their image to be reflected in the media.”
• Marlene Juliet Flynn hopes that by bringing her views to a wider audience she will give a platform to those who share them.
“Here we are, powerful brown women all different shades and sizes but beautiful inside and outside,” said the former Fresh TV presenter, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica.
“I’m a church girl and so I bring a different set of ideas, but I’m also a church girl that doesn’t believe in being behind the walls.
“I like what [New York Times bestseller] Marianne Williamson said: ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. You are a child of God and you playing small does not serve the world ... By letting our own light shine we unconsciously give others permission to shine.”
Finalists for The T will face off before a live audience at the Berkeley Institute on Saturday at 6pm. Tickets start at $65 and are available at www.ptix.bm For more information visit TheTTalkShow.com
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