BUZZ is highlighting the young movers, shakers and leaders in Caribbean culture with its new Carnival Game Changers Series. From music to mas and everything in between, these are the BUZZworthy Carnival players to watch as they bring new experiences to the Carnival scene!
As one of the most respected and highest subscribed event management brands in the Caribbean and the diaspora, CAESAR’S ARMY is no stranger to immense success forged from the love of revolution.
The company, which was founded by Jules Sobion and Hasani Lesedi Wattley over a decade ago, has dominated the Carnival circuit with its unique party experiences that span various islands and territories – including Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, New York, Miami and, of course, its home base, Trinidad and Tobago.
As one of the top officials in the organization, Darcel Kajim-Roach is seemingly always on the clock.
“After I finished 6th form, I was very uncertain for quite some time about which career path I wanted to take. I can’t remember how I discovered advertising, but I remember that I was drawn to the glitz and glamour that it seemed to showcase. I got a job at an ad agency and barely lasted there a month,” she explains with a laugh as we sit on a Sunday evening ice-cream date with her 6-year-old son, Tyler.
“I’m the kind of person that when I get into a brand, I go all in. I liked using my creativity and innovation to help grow brands.”
It was this kind of dedication and passion that caught the eye of Sobion and Wattley, who noticed Darcel’s appetite for brand development. Intrigued by the teachings of consumer behaviour and marketing, her passionate work ethic earned her a full-time job offer within the company and the respect of the Generals.
Her General Manager responsibilities include a myriad of tasks, including liaising with vendors, co-ordinating rollouts of CA events in international cities, approving budgets and training office staff – largely made up of women – for day-to-day assignments.
“There are so many nuances – it’s definitely not your average corporate space. It’s been a lot of adaptation and understanding how to groom a team of people to a standard of professionalism that reflects well on the CAESAR’S ARMY brand.”
The transition from a corporate environment to an entertainment one wasn’t easy, but Kajim-Roach felt that joining the CAESAR’S ARMY family was the best decision that would help her balance her home life and work demands. She glances lovingly at her son as he remains engrossed in his iPad.
“We’ve always taken a stand that if we believe in the potential of a product, we’ll go after it.”
“The flexibility is really an amazing benefit for me. With this General Manager role, I know how passionate I am about work and the long hours that it involves, but I also need the quality time with my husband and to take care of my son.”
The environment at CAESAR’S ARMY, she goes on to explain, is made up of three mainstay elements: the ability to take risks, the sense of community among the committees and the unique vibe at their events.
“We’ve always taken a stand that if we believe in the potential of a product, we’ll go after it. That’s how AMBush and Bacchanal Road were born – from a desire to bring something different for patrons who have long supported our entertainment vision.
“Many committee members have also expressed that they always feel like their voice is heard, and it’s not just about selling tickets. We pride ourselves in creating a family environment for everyone involved,” she states.
“We have to keep pushing for better all the time, but we also have to be feasible with our offerings.”
Celebrating its 15th year on the circuit, the company now leads the industry with signature events, such as AMBush and Bacchanalia – a 3-day festival which includes Roadblock, Bacchanal Road LED and Bacchanal Road.
With new Trinidad Carnival Band, “ROGUE” also under its belt in collaboration with TRIBE Carnival as of 2018, Kajim-Roach is confident about the future of the CAESAR’S ARMY brand.
“We have to keep pushing for better all the time, but we also have to be feasible with our offerings. Balancing the demand with quality is a top priority, and as we continue to grow as a company and a brand, we understand that this is the nature of the business.
Regardless of the challenges that may come, CAESAR’S ARMY will always embrace evolution and revolution.”