DOUBLE TAKE: Cuffe, photographed at the Wyndham, New Kingston.
In the second part of our cover exclusive with man-about-town and new Uncensored co-host Michael Cuffe, we get him to share his thoughts on the universal themes of happiness and friendship – and the perks of being married to super-songstress Tessanne Chin.
TALLAWAH: What’s the main quality that you look for in a friend?
Cuffe: Honesty. Even if it’s insulting, I need to know I can trust you enough to tell me the truth. I have a wide spectrum of friends – loud ones, quiet ones, smart ones. At the end of the day, if I take you to my house, I need to be able to trust that you’re not gonna be telling people about all the things that you see and hear. That for me is key; I don’t care what colour you are, how old you are, or whatever. I need to feel that I can trust you. If not, then we’re gonna have a problem.
What is your definition of true happiness?
For me, happiness is just finding that inner peace. Some people would say God is happiness, but when you think about it deep down, coming to a point in your life where regardless of the circumstances you’re in or what could be happening, you still manage to find a place where nobody can touch you. True happiness, I believe, is having that kind of inner contentment.
In what way(s) would you say your wife, Tessanne, has helped you become a better man?
I know this might sound clichéd, but in every single way she has helped me become a better man. I was always a very competitive person when it comes to my fitness, and Tessie is always pushing me, always encouraging me. Because she was my best friend before we got married she’s not afraid to say, ‘Cuffe that’s stupid, get up and do it’ or ‘Stop making excuses.’ I was battling a couple of things near the end of last year and she wasn’t cuddling me. Sometimes she was very stern with me, and it hurts to hear, but I value honesty. She’s very, very straightforward with me.
So what was her response when you mentioned your desire to record a carnival tune?
She said, ‘Gwaan, do it. Mek your tune. Get it out of your system.’ If Tess sees me doing something that’s good or bad, she’s gonna say so. She is always telling me how talented I am. She calls me her Mighty Man (Laughs). So in every single way that girl pushes me. When she is down, I tend to be her crutch, and when I’m down, she’s my crutch.
How did you come to the realization that she is The One?
I don’t plan on marrying again. So I had to be absolutely sure that this is the woman that I wanted to marry. She was, she is and continues to be The One. We have our ups and downs. To be honest, we had our moments leading up to the wedding where we would bicker about certain things, and we eventually came to the realization that this is it. It was over a fight, one of our worst moments, and we decided that even at our worst, this is the person I want to be with. That’s how we knew. So no matter what, she is the girl I want to be with. And she gonna give me some nice kids, too.
>> PART I: Cuffe on his life-changing weight loss, criticism, and setting new goals