Friday 19 October, 2018

Celebrating women: Kerra Denel turns passion into platform for women

Kerra Denel

Kerra Denel

If you Google jet-setter, Kerra Denel’s image may just pop up.

The red-haired businesswoman is constantly on the go, one minute winging her way across the Caribbean and the next somewhere in the United States.

If you work in the Caribbean entertainment industry or are familiar with its players, Denel would surely be known to you. The Trinidad-born Canadian citizen works as an event manager, artist liaison, public relations specialist and voice artist in various countries, especially on the Carnival circuit. 

“I live a nomad life,” she told Loop.

The former Holy Faith Convent student left T&T in Form Two to migrate to Canada with her parents where she lived up until two years ago. These days she calls Miami her home, though she practically lives out of her suitcase.

Despite her hectic schedule, Denel is finding time to dedicate to one of her passions, creating a platform for Caribbean women to network and empower each other.

Back in May, she held her first Caribbean Women’s Power Lunch in Toronto, the first of many. She plans to hold another such event in August and has Miami and T&T on her radar for future events.

“The aim is to create a positive platform for Caribbean women to come together, to unite, to learn, to be inspired and empowered and to feel supported by other Caribbean women. I felt it was needed. There is so much going on with a party and carnival happening every weekend but there is not a lot of togetherness when it comes to the Caribbean so I wanted to do something to bring people together outside of that to better themselves,” she explained.

Denel said as a businesswoman in the Caribbean market she always felt loved, welcomed and supported but always got more support from men than women.

She said she realised there was no support system in place in the Caribbean community for women and decided to create a platform.

“For each Caribbean woman, I wanted her take away to be that she is powerful, she could do what she wants, she has sisters who have her back,” Denel said.

The busy bee pulled together the event in three and a half weeks with only social media marketing.

“It was very well received. I catered for about 30 people and about 80 came. Everybody was on time which was really shocking. At 12.55 pm ladies were dressed and ready to go. It was a very diverse crowd from the 26 to 40 age range,” she said.

The event featured six speakers who spoke on topics ranging from mental health to yoga. 

The event drew overwhelming sponsorship from Bermuda Heroes Weekend, 365 Carnival, Team Soca, Uber Soca Cruise, Julians Promo, Oxygen Mas, My World Entertainment, Carnival Luxe, Vincy Mas, Kafi Gonsalves Makeup, Integrity Mortgages, Regal Plumbing Group, LW Consults, The Avenue Restaurant, Pops Punch, Boozy Goodies, Xaymaca, Carnival Make Up Kits, Curls and Confidence, Amanda Narain Art, Kujah, Style Prolix, Nikki D Makeup, Up North Naturals, Chic Signs, Sunny Rae, Deviant Media, On Elle's Plate, Carnivalista, Island Style Restaurant, Honey Fig, London Ivy, Boozy Goodies, Events By Whim, Red Mango Food, The Real Jerk restaurant and Hourglass Workout.

Denel said bringing people together is her passion.

“I have been working on my own for about five years. I worked in entertainment for 12 years but was always working for other people. I was doing volunteer work for a local steelband and someone said to me 'you are really good at this and you should explore this'. It helps when you have other people endorsing your skills and from that, the ongoing responses from people were that I am good at organising, I am a people person,” she said.

Her company KD Entertainment does events in New York and Toronto. Denel works as the artist liaison for Bermuda Heroes Weekend, handles event management for various brands and works in various capacities for soca artists. She is also the founder of the non-profit organisation "Kerra Loves Kids" and is also the voice for Uber Soca Cruise and St Vincent’s Miss SVG commercials.

To keep up with Denel, check out her new website: www.kerradenel.com

Photo credits: 

Photographer: Shani,  photographer and videographer Teesha Mercedes