Solaine Anderson in ‘live and living colours’: the journey to stardom and coping with mental illness

Social media sensation, Solaine Anderson

Social media sensation, Solaine Anderson is loved for her eccentric style and uncensored wit. Self-aware, naturally funny, and spurting wisdom that juxtaposed her usual antics online, Anderson opened up about her struggles with mental illness and shared some of the new developments on her rise to social media fame.  

A proclaimed Christian, who “doesn’t leave out the Lord’, Anderson revealed that her mental issues started 21 years ago after she had a vision of her daughter being molested. 

“I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat because you know when something happen to your kids. So right away the lady that I was working with, she carry me to Bellevue [psychiatric hospital], and from there I keep on taking my medication,” she said. 

So for more than two decades, Anderson said she’s been diligently taking her medication and doing regular checkups. Although it’s not something that she enjoys doing, she knows it’s something she has to do. 

Mental health stigma

“If I don’t tek it, den I will make noise, some people won’t understand so they will want to treat mi bad, because mental ill people hard fi deal with sometimes, but I have control now not to hurt myself or my kids,” she said. 

Despite the stigma that is associated mental illness, Anderson is determined to combat it by living life to the fullest. This is one of the reasons why she decided to host her own nine-night on March 4th.  A nine-night is usually held after someone has passed away. But according to an ecstatic Anderson, she wanted to be alive to experience hers.  And she did, breaking multiple COVID-19 protocols. 

“Mi just come up wid it. Mi seh mi ago mek the people dem have something to think bout and talk about, because mi wah see how mi nine-night ago look. Mi nuh wah when mi dead everybody a eat and a drink and a celebrate,” she said. 

Unfortunately, her celebration resulted in her being arrested and charged due to her massive event breaching multiple COVID-19 restrictions under the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA). 

Her friend and fellow social media personality, Donna Gowie, known as “Aunty Donna” tried to assist her, but it resulted in the two having a fallout.

“Memba dem di lock mi up fi di nine-night weh mi keep and she get some money and mi now greedy when mi hear how much money she get, and wah lady call mi a foreign and seh ‘you suppose to get $80,000 for yourself, and $120,000 to pay mi go down deh and ask her fi it. Mi seh ‘please if yuh can give mi di $80,000’, she seh ‘no money nuh deh ya fi yuh’, mi seh alright give mi thousand, give mi $5000, give mi ten, she still a stiff, she give mi $5000 because mi hungry, she nuh gi mi. Mi just cuss ya man,” Anderson explained. 

Thankfully, since then the two have mended fences 

YouTube series, ‘Balla’

“Mi hear seh she drop a church and mi go visit her, she know seh mi nuh vex wid har. Every Live [Instagram Live] mi go pon mi talk bout her, because she’s been so good to mi.” 

Now, Anderson’s focus is on the soon-to-hit YouTube series, ‘Balla’ in which she co- stars with entertainer, Romario ‘Laa Lee’ Ricketts. The series is produced by youth theatre production company Barracks Entertainment, and explores teenage sexuality. It will be released on June 25.  

Laa Lee live | Big Yard | 1Xtra Jamaica 2020 - YouTube
Entertainer, Romario ‘Laa Lee’ Ricketts stars in Balla with Anderson

Anderson plays the miserable grandmother of Laa Lee, and it’s a role she thoroughly enjoys, and finds to be very relatable. 

“A mi first time acting, but dem always a trouble mi, and mi always a cuss dem out suh nothing nuh different. The young girl dem trouble mi, the old people dem troble mi, the mad people dem trouble mi, so mi just use it, everything just come same way,” she beamed.