Vanessa James is a vibrant and vivacious female powerhouse. A visit to her website and you immediately get an idea about her passion - travel, music, lifestyle and culture. James, a Miami-based voiceover actor, started from humble beginnings from the south of Trinidad and through the will of her parents seeking a better life, she championed and conquered many feats throughout her career, still she never forgot her roots and embraces them every day. She currently owns Vanessa James Media and possesses a wealth of experience in media, radio, television and entrepreneurship. James is also a creator; a visionary who believes in heading down the road less travelled and paving new paths not just for herself but her community.Jamess debut in the media was that of a college sportscaster. It wasnt too long after that she realised the job had no future. One of my mentors, Gene Deckerhoff, told me that I was a bit too short for TV, but that I should give radio a try, she told one online magazine.I was devastated, as you can imagine, but he was right! You could barely see me on the screen interviewing 6-foot-5 football players! So I took his advice, ventured into the direction of radio and never looked back.She worked as a programme director in Tallahassee at a radio station for Clear Channel and worked her way to Miami as a popular midday host for the top urband station. I really gained an appreciation for being able to captivate an audience with my voice. I took that step in 2010 to create my own company Vanessa James Media, which now proudly houses all of my talents under one umbrella. It includes voiceover, on-camera work, social media, brand synergies, marketing and most recently producing. I now also proudly collaborate with brand like JetBlue, Barbados Tourism Board, IHeartMedia, Cox Media Group, BET and more.James believes that she was able to make the transition to businesswoman because she never lost her vision. She encourages women to always have a plan.Lock in on that plan and dont let go. Its really easy to get off course, really easy to believe in the naysayers and the doubters who dont believe in you. But if you can be steadfast in your vision and your mission you will accomplish it.Of course everyone has had disappointments. James is no exeption.I think for me disappointment career wise was when my radio station flipped formats in 2010. I had a choice to move to San Francisco or Chicago for another job opportunity; but I took a leap of faith and started my own company. To this date that has been my biggest accomplishment. I now work with incredible brands like General Motors, Cadillac, and JetBlue and voice over for 25 radio stations globally.My path has definitely been steered by my family and my community. As I mentioned, my parents came from very humble beginnings in Trinidad. They worked incredibly hard to provide a life for me that both they and I could be proud of. My mother in particular made it very clear early on that I was going to make the most out of this life. I think I can safely say that Ive made her proud thus far.James recently moved closer to the ocean and said she definitely draws inspiration from it daily. It is there she finds time to spiritually connect to God. Last year, James went to Oprah Winfreys Life you want tour in Miami and she was enriched by the nuggets passed down by the billionaire.At the end of the day people just want to know that they matter. That was my AHA! moment and I realised that my brand, my business should always strive to make people feel like they matter. Its important to make people feel like they count and that their contributions how be it small, are counted. I now live by that mantra and practise it daily by showing gratitude and appreciation to everyone that comes in my path.


When Elon Musk’s Tesla became the biggest name to reveal it had added bitcoin to its coffers…

International Women’s Day has become a date to celebrate how far women have come in society and in their various fields. It is a day of celebration and reflection on all the progress women have made and to raise awareness against bias and take action for equality. But while there has been progress, there are still major obstacles that women continue to face.

“It’s a small world after all, it’s a small, small world.” Popular song and as truthful as night leads to day.

Having a chat with master guitarist Joey Ng Wai two nights ago, we realised just how far back our encounters with one another go. I asked him if he was in any other bands before Frantic. He told me he was actually part of a band called, Zoom and the Band when he was 13 years old.

A monthly round-up of news about Caribbean books and writers, presented by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest. Welcome to the latest instalment of the Bocas Book Bulletin, a monthly round-up of Caribbean literary news, curated by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, Trinidad and Tobago’s annual literary festival, and published in the Sunday Express.

When he plays one finds oneself not only enthralled by his music, but also mesmerised by his dexterity.

Enrico “Gittarman” Camejo is one of the most skilled and versatile guitarists on the island. From classical to jazz, parang to soca and rock, Camejo plays it all with consummate ease. He’s also one of the most amiable, genuinely loving people you’ll ever encounter.

“When I’m feeling a little low I put on my favourite heels to stand a little taller…” — Dolly Parton

Meril Young walks confidently along the busy street in Morvant six feet tall in her favourite shoes. She is on route to the hospital. The usual street crowd of early morning limers and roadside workers watch her stride. We are talking via mobile phone as she paints the picture of her morning. “It’s a beautiful, sunny morning, I’m a bit tired from my last shift but God is good!”