As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, many are left feeling broken in spirit and in pockets given the uncertainty of the times.
However, one media professional has decided to use her platform to spread positivity, hope and encouragement. Tamara McKayle, a communication specialist, television presenter and producer, has realigned her television pilot series ‘The Trailblazers with Tamara McKayle’ to now air episodes on YouTube, with shorter videos shared to Facebook and Instagram.
‘Trailblazers’ has grown steadily over the past month, featuring guests such as 26-year-old Jamaican computational biologist, Camir Ricketts, who is studying in New York and worked with a team to develop an app that shows people their most relevant and closest COVID-19 test locations.
Other guests include Devon Harris, former bobsledder and member of the historic Jamaican bobsled team which inspired the Disney film ‘Cool Runnings’ and, most recently, a stage 4 cancer survivor and Barack Obama awardee, Dr Eddie Connor Jr, who has appeared on The Steve Harvey Show and on TD Jakes’ ‘Megafest.’
McKayles said “I think what people love about all the guests to date is just hearing their stories of how they overcame and are overcoming various obstacles and setbacks to become not only a success in terms of materially but are giving back to their communities and the world at large,” adding “Plus, they are sharing some key strategies we can take to win at life.”
McKayle, who started her decade-long television career at 20, has worked at CVM TV, JIS, and CEEN Caribbean TV/SportsMax.
“My passion has always been using media as a tool for inspiration, transformation and hope. I shot the pilot episode for ‘The Trailblazers’ from last year to be a possible television series but had a few setbacks and delayed awhile.
“However, my intuition was pushing me to just start and after being encouraged by my mom and a close friend, I decided to begin doing some virtual episodes since I cannot go out to shoot anyway due to COVID-19. I’m now glad I decided to because going online has allowed me to have a wider reach and engagement plus of course it’s easier to feature guests living overseas.
“The positive response also from viewers has encouraged me. This is something I just love doing so whether it’s 1000 viewers or one million, once the message is going out, I’m happy, ” said McKayle, who is currently a communication specialist at the Office of the National Security Advisor within the Office of the Cabinet.
She notes that the virtual episodes are a work in progress as without no crew or editors, she’s had to take on all production roles an enjoyable experience which has pushed her to relearning and grow.
You can view the McKayle’s programme on her Youtube ‘The Trailblazers with Tamara McKayle’.