Purple Hazing – She was born to do this!

By Faye-Chantelle Mondesir

Purple Haze; it may sound like a weather descriptive, but it’s a name which sprung forth in representation of the embodiment of 29-year-young Chela Mendes. The young, dynamic and aspiring media personality, currently host and producer of DBS’s morning show is many more shades beyond purple. A singer and Socacize instructor, we just could not withstand the irresistible urge to make her this week’s In The SpotLyght Magazine’s feature creative.

In The SpotLyght Magazine: Chela, you started off as an agent with Unique Vacations; tell the readers about your journey into the media and what inspired you to make the transition.

Chela: I was an agent there for the longest while, however prior to this, my journey with the media began in 2008 when I entered a competition. CHOICE was looking for a co-host for the Vybe with CJ. I entered and ever since seeing Empress Jeanille on TEMPO I thought this lady reminded me of myself. I loved her energy and her biography stated she did Mass Communications, so I googled it to find out what Mass Communications was. I thought this was something I could actually do as a career and this is where the seed was implanted from seeing someone I admired as a role model on TEMPO. I was a bit intimidated because so many auditioned as a co-host and I saw so many popular faces; I was an unknown person and I thought they were cooler than I was. I did it, made it to the final two and finally in 2008 I had my first stint at being a television host. That was when I realised I really loved doing this. Roads led me back into the hotel industry because the show ended after Carnival and I was at Unique Vacations. In my heart I always felt I wanted to get back into media and television and funny enough last year I met with Jeanille and we conversed. Two days after, it was the opening of Jazz and the next day I was singing back ups with Barbera Cadette in Soufriere, where she asked if I wanted to do a Man on The Street Interview for her. I thought it was my ten seconds to get noticed; I did it and they liked it and I was mentored by her from that point onward. It was an amazing experience which helped me grow and nurture my skills and this is what led me to where I am today. Carnival High Mass allowed me an opportunity to work with the media, after which an opportunity opened up with NEXUS Networks and now I am the host and producer for This Morning, DBS’S morning show. When opportunity knocks I usually bite at it (she chuckled).

In The SpotLyght Magazine: Who is Chela Mendes; what drives you and what are you most passionate about?

Chela: This is a question I keep asking myself; it is a continuous journey for me and I think we as individuals are always growing and evolving. I also suffer from chronic Talk-titis (she laughs); I love to talk! This is my gift and God has blessed me with the ability to connect with people; also the gift of speech to communicate. My personality is my strength, you cannot buy the authenticity of someone’s personality; no two people are exactly alike. I am very outgoing and an extrovert, love life and living every moment, fun-loving, warm, love meeting people; these are some of my top strengths I wish to highlight. I love music, dancing, I’m a dance instructor, a mom and a television host and producer.

In The SpotLyght Magazine: What do you consider your strengths in life; what would you like to improve?

Chela: This links into my latest movement I started in 2014, it’s the Purple Haze movement. I have gone through the purple, blue hair phases. It stems from my hair colour. I love the fact that people could never pin down my hair colour; didn’t know what it was and couldn’t understand it. People were fascinated by it and this is how I got the name so I kept it and started a Facebook page. Purple Hazing is now like my brand which represents how I want to live. I don’t want people to pin me down as just one thing. This is just about being real to who you are and true to yourself; it’s what’s going to make you happy. Its all about uplifting people also; its why I started Socacize to help people get fit.

In The SpotLyght Magazine: What do you consider your strengths in life; what would you like to improve?

Chela: I would say organisation! You know how they say creative people are usually not the most brilliant when it comes to organising, my workspace would usually be messy. Every now and then I tidy up but through it back into a mess again. It’s something I am working on and also implementing structure especially as a mom. With creativity you want to be free and go with the flow; but you still want to have structure. It’s something I am working on. I think I am a little eccentric and this reflects in the way I style my hair and cut down on my talking, especially meeting new friends.

In The SpotLyght Magazine: How are you enjoying media as your current career and what are your views on local media as opposed to international media?

Chela: I do not regret my transition; it is two different environments and more flexibility. I go out on the field and meet new, interesting people. Every day on the job doesn’t feel like a job. For example my morning show, I meet so many different creatives and the beautiful souls and creative minds we have. I love it and am having fun. I love our local media because of our island authenticity; I filter that in with my show. There is a lot of slandering and dirt digging with international media but local media is not about slandering. We have that small island feel. We don’t aim to make people look bad we are just interested in what they do and I love that!

In The SpotLyght Magazine: What do you hope changes within the local media and how do you see yourself contributing toward that target?

Chela: I would like to see the quality progress in terms of production. I hope it catches up to the international market; we are on our way there, but I want to see the progression. I would like to contribute by continuing to put out quality programming which is genuine with my delivery; this is my strength. With so much negativity being put out there my aim is to keep putting out more positivity and good vibrations through my programming and the work I do here at DBS.

In The SpotLyght Magazine: Who have been your icons from a girl up till this point and why have they been?

Chela: I want to single out Jeanille Bonterre and Linda Daher for helping me get back into media and giving me this opportunity; this is me now trying to live out my dreams.

In The SpotLyght Magazine: What are your biggest aspirations in life?

Chela: I wish to be the best mom I can be to my son and a role model to him so he can see that no matter how difficult something is not give up. I want to become the best version of myself. Alot of what I do is geared toward growing myself. I want to look back and say that I have accomplished all I set out to do, especially the things I was most fearful of.

In The SpotLyght Magazine: If tomorrow you wake up with the power to change one thing in the world what would it be?

Chela: I would change people’s mentalities and their hearts. I think people need to be more caring and more considerate of each other. Alot of the misunderstandings which lead to wars and disagreements is because of misunderstanding and people not taking time to understand each other, respect, love each other and show a little more kindness. People would smile more, be more friendly and happy. People need to be more chilled, positive, mindful and loving. It starts with an attitude change!

In The SpotLyght Magazine: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Chela: Fake people! That irritates me to the max. I like to call them the snakes and fakes.. For a person to betray is just not nice, so I would say look out for the counterfeit people and the snakes and fakes.

In The SpotLyght Magazine: Are there any other things you wish to dip your feet into?

Chela: I just want to take the world by storm! I want to develop my dancing. I am currently doing Kizomba. Anything I feel moved by I usually want to get really good at it. Anything that’s exciting and new I usually want to get into.

In The SpotLyght Magazine: How young are you?

Chela: I am 29 in heart and spirit and would like to see myself grow more in media as a television personality and build my brand so people know me, know my face and associate me with great programming. Doing the morning show has really given me great production skills; I used to host but never had experience in production.

In The SpotLyght Magazine:  How do you spend your free time; what are your hobbies?

Chela: I am a mermaid. I have recently given priority for a pause on a Saturday or Sunday for an hour. Having time to de-stress is important! I always find time for the beach, scuba diving, dancing and singing, spending time with my son and involving him in what I am doing so we have some mummy and son time. I always make me time, which is important to me.

In The SpotLyght Magazine: So I understand you sing, what genres do you do and how did you first dip your feet into the music industry?⁠⁠⁠⁠

Chela: This is the only aspect I am shy about. In being true to Purple Hazing and living what I am sharing through my page and being true to myself it’s something I am developing. I have loved singing since I was a girl; since I could remember my first Disney movie when I got my first Little Mermaid. I could sing in tune and my mom’s sister had a piano, so I used to sing along with her. I said I would be a singer when I grew up. I always sing my heart out but had an experience where someone didn’t give me an opportunity and I felt I wasn’t good enough so that sort of crippled me. Being true to Purple Hazing I am just going for it; any opportunity I get. I always loved Soca so maybe one day I will do a groovy Soca; that too is on the hit list! (she smiled in closing)

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