Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 2nd 2013 Contents Whether it's her beautiful sunshine smile or
her earnestness that comes through your tel-
evision screen as the host of CNC3's popular
Early Morning Show, there's no faking it.
What you see is what you get.
And soon, Trinbagonians are going to get a
little more on mornings as CNC3's morning
programme is evolving into something new,
and Hema could not contain her excitement.
"The Morning Brew is the next chapter of
the Early Morning show," Hema explained,
smiling broadly. "It's basically the Morning
Show, but its faster, better, more interactive...
it caters to a wider audience and we're reach-
ing a lot more people, but it's something
that's really going to fill an essential compo-
nent of your morning. It's your news, your cur-
rent affairs, your lifestyles, your current
entertainment, your comedy... it's literally your
morning cup of coffee."
Listening to Hema speak, you soon realise
that she's not your typical TV personality. For
one thing, she is grounded in reality and her
roots are tightly tied to her own sense of spir-
ituality and growing up in a strict yet tight-
knit family where she is the eldest of three
girls. She joked about how she was the one
that 'got the most licks' because she was al-
ways questioning things and asking 'why'.
"It's just funny that I ended up in a career
where you question everything. I think that
was God's gift to me. God said, 'Hey. That's
your talent; monetize it,'" Hema laughed.
Her skills would have probably gone un-
known were it not for a chance encounter one
night with the head of a local media house
when, fresh out of UWI and employed at one
of the nation's banks, she stood enjoying an
The owner of a media house met me and
said 'You should try out to be on TV'," she
recalled. "This was when I was about 21
or 22, just finished UWI... don't laugh, but
I tend to lose track of the timelines
sometimes. So, I tried out and I actu-
ally became a beat reporter for radio
97. My media career started there.
Then I moved to television, back and
forth, back and forth, and when I
was about 24 or 25, I actually
started working at CNC3 on The
Morning Show. Then, I left to take
a break for a while and I've been
back as of 2011."
Now here's a woman that
truly loves what she does and
always gives credit where it's
due. She spoke with pride of
her friends that keep her
grounded and her co-work-
ers at CNC3, who are her
other family. "We're very
helpful; everybody helps
everybody. I have a lot of
love for what I do be-
cause of the people I
When asked what mis-
conceptions people have
about someone being on tel-
evision day in and day out,
she was quick to point out that
the general school of thought
was that television equalled
glamour. Far from it. Hema is also
a producer on the show and has
other duties to perform, but for her
it's all about telling people's tales. She
truly enjoys being that medium and giv-
ing people a voice.
"I'm really just a conduit for stories. It's
never really about me. It's about
the people that come on the show
and give their stories and their
views. With this new show there
will be softer stories about people
(she counted off on her fingers) what they
do, their everyday lives, real conflicts and real
issues. So it's not only about the high pow-
ered attorneys and the politicians. It's really
about people like you and me and how they
deal with everyday issues and how they can
get information that can make their lives bet-
ter and richer in some way."
You'd also be surprised to know that Hema
jealously guards her family life and is very pri-
vate. "Though I walk a very thin line with
sharing my life and being on the air, I am
grateful for it every day," she admitted. "So
when people come up to me, it's always a lit-
tle heartening... like... 'youtalkingboutme'?
(Laughter.) Like when people say 'I look at
you every day,' I still don't think it's me they're
talking about. I really just see myself as a
medium for telling other's stories."
And there have been many stories through-
out her career that have (a) excited her, (like
interviewing former Attourney General and
Criminal Court Judge Karl Hudson-Phillips,
who was at the time a very hard subject to
get on air) (b) intrigued her (such as the in-
terview with a group of 21 year old UWI stu-
dents that started their own company and
said 'they didn't go to UWI to work for other
people), and (c) touched her deeply (like the
time she interviewed a 14 year old girl who
battled with cancer and fought her way back
from the disease.
"Another story that impacted on me was
one I did last Saturday about a man who was
in prison for years and is changing his life
around," she added.
"You know, it's very easy to be jaded in this
business and become cynical and whatever,
but people don't know that I live in hope. I be-
lieve the best in people; I'm a hopeless roman-
tic. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm always
Currently, Hema is also close to finishing
her MBA and has taken a semester off to
take care of family business and will return to
school in September. However, the self-con-
fessed optimist acknowledged that when it
comes to fun, she loves running the most.
She also loves movies and recently saw The
Great Gatsby. And yes, she knows her way
around the kitchen and "can cook a mean
pelau and a macaroni pie 'blindfolded'." But
when the subject of marriage came up, the
ever smiling 31 year old said, "It's funny. You
either become the career woman or you be-
come the family woman. Balancing that inde-
pendent career woman and family woman
isn't easy. But I've learnt in life to not rule any-
thing out. Like, I've started to read a lot of
spiritual books and I try to live in the moment.
I no longer plan my life ten years down the
line. I'm single, I have my professional goals,
but personally I think that every day I walk
through life I'm blessed to learn what I can
learn and whatever comes out, comes out."
And to those who may be looking at a pos-
sible media career, Hema advised them to fol-
low their dreams.
"Sometimes life isn't always about a bunch
of opportunities that present themselves, but
once one does, take it. You never really know
what can happen. I left a stable job in the
bank to take a career chance and found a job
that I am happy with. Even when I'm having
the worst day ever, I could do an interview
and think, 'you know, I'm really blessed to
have had the opportunity to have an inter-
view with this person.' It all comes back to
being part of a wonderful team and being
able to understand that I am never bigger
than that story. The show isn't really about
me. It's really about people. I'm never bigger
than the story."
The Morning Brew can be seen on week-
also be aired on 730 radio.
Hema Ramkissoon truly embodies the descriptor, 'morning
person', both figuratively and literally.
June 2, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
say 'I look at you
every day,' I still
don't think it's
I really just
Photography: Bertrand De Peaza
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