Everyone has benchmarks for themselves, and aspirations they develop as their career grows. For me as a young teenage writer living in Trinidad, I wanted to write books and I wanted to write for magazines. I decided early on two of them I wanted to contribute to – Rolling Stone and Caribbean Beat. Rolling Stone being Rolling Stone, and Caribbean Beat being the official airline magazine of Trinidad and Tobago, the magazine in every back pocket of a BWIA (which is now Caribbean Airlines) plane seat.
I wanted to write for Caribbean Beat because the best known writers of the diaspora contributed to its pages and their articles were always engaging and great. It’s like the best writers of the Caribbean writing about the most significant Caribbean luminaries and experts in their respective fields. But despite my efforts, it never happened – maybe because I don’t live in Trinidad anymore, and I wasn’t there to make the right connections? My e mails never seemed to land in the right inbox, or never got any meaningful response. Through the years, I pitched one or two stories there but my career has taken me in a different direction. I began to focus less on pitching to print and more on building my name and reputation online. And now, instead of writing FOR Caribbean Beat, I’ve found myself being written ABOUT in the pages of Caribbean Beat. Which is a wonderful turn of events indeed.
This story has been in the works for a WHILE now – the brilliant writer, Kari Cobham, has been working on this for a minute, but various Caribbean magazines hadn’t yet heard about me or didn’t express significant interest. And finally, here we are – entirely thanks to Kari’s believing in me and my story. I’m SO EXCITED to see this in PRINT!
For the article she interviewed my dear friends Felicia Leatherwood and Kim Coles, both of whom said such amazing things about me that I really need to take them both out for dinner and drinks ASAP, LOVE these women!! My sisters from other misters! AND she interviewed my parents! Mama and Papa Bella could be a whole article by themselves, I know – Kari did such a great job of putting it all together. When I first read it, I cried. I did. Because it means so much to me to be recognized in my own country, by my own people. If you’re flying on Caribbean Airlines in May to June, you’ll get to see it. OR you can click here to read it online!
The accompanying photos were by Chuck Olu-Alabi – we did a shoot at my apartment just for the occasion! I kept it very Trini for my outfit. I’m wearing:
Necklace by Eloquii – their accessories are great quality!
Cocktail ring by Max and Chloe.
Dress and sleeveless cardigan M Squared by renowned Trinidadian designer Meiling – this is her affordable line that’s available at Micles stores in Trinidad. I bought these at Westmall The Falls on my last visit home.
Other photos in the issue are by Krystle Rowry of KrissDidIt.com!
Thank you, Kari and thank you Caribbean Beat for making this dream come true! Next stop, Rolling Stone!