When the 32nd season of American reality television show Amazing Race is aired on CBS before the end of the year, Trinidadians will have to pay closer attention.
This is because it will feature Tobago’s natural beauty, unique culture and warm, friendly people in its reproduction, thanks to Caswtara’s LaToya Williams, who operated as the show’s locations manager when it shot segments here in T&T.
Williams, a seasoned hand at all things involving video production, displays humility and excitement when she talks about working on the show.
Of course, her airtight non-disclosure contract prevents her from giving much-needed juicy details.
Nonetheless, she was able to say the experience humbled her.
“At first I was nervous because of the size of the production. However, I love challenges. It was a humbling, eye-opening experience that will teach you time and commitment are two main things within the film industry.”
She said she was eternally grateful to people like Lorraine O’Connor, Princess Donelan and Leslie Ann Canton for trusting her to do the job.
She also feels proud that Tobago, where she was born and grew up, will be part of an American production.
The CEO of Krave Entertainment Productions, a Tobago-based company, has done it all. When regional, international and national artistes need someone or something in Tobago, she is their go-to girl.
Williams has an impressive resume, having worked on many videos, documentaries and television commercials. Her major jobs include Bazodee—The movie, the MTV series ‘Girl Trip’ and some of Chef Ainsley Harriott’s cooking shows on BBC.
She also works with several local and regional soca stars, including Sekon Sta, Erphaan Alves, Naila Blackman and Ricardo Drue. She also co-hosts a segment on Boston FM every Wednesday and was just recruited by international booking agency Riddimstream.
Williams does all of this while holding down a day job at the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development.
Williams started in the production business while working for veteran cultural artiste Rawle Titus. She then worked at Tobago Channel 5 from 2003-2011, hosting a music show and working in the production department.
Her experiences in both jobs are a far cry from being teased and bullied at school because she came from Castara.
“I was always bullied because in my introduction, at school, I always said I was from the fishing village Castara,” she recalled.
But she now credits that village life and her family’s matriarchal structure for her hard work and dedication.
“Granny used to say let your work speak for itself and never underestimate yourself. I learned a lot from mom too,” she said.
It’s the same village she began giving back to when she left school, including opening computer school and teaching computer skills for free at her granny’s house. She continues giving back and has taken her niece Nikoya Sebro under her wings and showing her explore her culinary skills. Sebro has won many local culinary competitions.
As Williams forges ahead in her career moves, she advises up-and-coming aspirants in her field, “Have the proper mindset, drive and willpower and believe in God. With those beliefs, nothing can stop you.”