By Sueann Wickham
Kaieteur News – Over the past few weeks, a local podcast hosted by three powerful young women has been making waves on Guyanese social media.
Balancing the BARS is an initiative by Jamicia McCalman, a vibrant and outgoing local youth figure, perhaps best known for her 2018 initiative Orange the Runway. McCalman is 23 years old and has been dedicated to making a difference for most of her life. She is a television producer and founder of the Heart to Art Foundation and was also a semi-finalist in the Miss World Guyana 2020 Pageant where she launched the ‘Project See, Save, Eliminate and Educate’ initiative to save victims of abuse and raise awareness. She is also a communications expert.
In an interview with Sunday Kaieteur News, McCalman shared that she believes that a lot of the customs that were instilled in society by older generations are expired and stressed that many of them do not fit this generation. But while teaching folks to unlearn these practices she also hopes to provide new information to those in need through her podcast. McCalman’s main objective was to help Guyanese “learn and unlearn”.
Instead of hosting a one-woman show, McCalman decided to seek collaboration with two friends who are no strangers to arts. She said that after sharing the initiative with the two women she described to be very influential; Arian Dahlia Richmond and Abeena Gomes who later became her co-hosts. She expressed that the two women were not hesitant to come on board which saw the beginning of something great.
Arian Dahlia Richmond is 21 years old and is no stranger to local media. She is the reigning Miss Guyana Culture, former Miss Bartica Regatta 2018 and recently placed Second runner up in the Miss Emerald International Pageant 2020. For many years her advocacy has been noticed and honored by many- including top government officials. She has organized many projects for Guyanese youth and is very passionate about leaving her mark in society. She is also the Chief Executive Officer Dahlia Artista, a local beauty enterprise and a very popular makeup artist.
Abeena Gomes is also 21 years old and is the founder of the ‘Shine Your Light’ initiative, a project aiming to empower and help persons discover their inner qualities while providing them with the necessary resources. She is a marketing specialist, a graphic designer, a lover of fashion and has modeled for different modeling agencies where she met and befriended both Richmond and McCalman.
In giving her objectives for the show McCalman said, “My earnest desire is to ensure that after every episode someone takes away something that they can apply to their lives.”
The acronym ‘BARS’ in the title stands for Business, Arts, Relationships and Social issues, all of which the trio aims to provide intense and informative discussions on. The young women believe that the podcast lives up to its name “Balancing the BARS” because a plethora of topics have so far been and will be continuously explored.
McCalman shared that starting up the podcast was a very difficult task for the trio. Many persons were hesitant in committing to the project but they used their skills and bartered resources until the work was done. Despite the challenges encountered, McCalman noted that with the experiences gained after each episode “we will get better”.
The trio hopes that in the long term their podcast can be internationally recognized so that they will be able to influence people all across the world. She did disclose that since releasing the first few episodes many local entities have been expressing interest in their content, which is a major stepping stone for where they would like to be.
The podcast is for all genders, all ages, all ethnicities and people from different walks of life. The young women are extremely proud that they managed to produce one of Guyana’s first podcast series, which will pave the way for other local creators. There are currently three episodes of the podcast which can be found on their YouTube channel “Balancing The BARS”, on Apple Podcast and Anchor FM.
You can also keep up to date by following them on all social media platforms @balancingthebars
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