Tuesday, 6 March 2018

THE GIRLS ARE TALKING: Yaneek Page, Renée McDonald and Keneea Linton-George dish about their fabulous lives and overcoming challenges

Some of our favourite homegirls made Flair’s 25 Distinguished Women of Substance roundup, celebrating sisterhood and success, on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Of course, we eavesdropped on the conversations:

STRENGTH: Ace choreographer Renée McDonald is the first to admit that she’s had her quiet personal struggles, but she refused to let the internal turmoil keep her from going after what she really wanted out of life. “The truth is, I struggled with an inferiority complex for years when it came to performing. I felt inadequate because I did not look like other dancers and I was not as flexible,” she fesses up to the magazine. “I eventually realized that my negative thoughts and insecurity were taking a toll on my mental health.” Look at her now! These days, the lawyer-in-training insists on living her life like its super-golden. “It’s okay to have dreams – plural,” she reflects. “Tackle your short-term goals before your permanent missions and do not live your life based on the expectations of others.”

COURAGE: Fashion lovers, rejoice! Executive producer Keneea Linton-George is gearing up to launch the sixth season of the hit reality TV series Mission Catwalk, which returns to the small screen in September. It’s about time. And the superbusy fashion designer and businesswoman is also working on a documentary in tribute to the life and legacy of her dearly departed husband Brian George. Linton-George has come a long way, with her share of lessons and challenges – both personal and professional. “Thirteen years in the business, I have grown and learnt a lot, and I still have a lot of growing to do. And I’m trying to mentor more young designers,” she says, still passionate about pushing Caribbean fashion forward. “When I started there wasn’t any guidance. I saw a need to grow the industry. [You can] be vibrant and impact people’s lives and they won’t be taking away your customer base and your business from you. Everyone has their space and their own clientele.” Surely, life has not been a walk in the park for this go-getter since her husband’s death. But Keneea is finding comfort and strength in simple pleasures. “Life is unpredictable,” she admits. “I’m spending more time with my family, creating memories and trying to enjoy life.”

WISDOM: Some people are skilled at turning life’s hard knocks into empowerment for future endeavours. People like uber-successful boss lady (Future Services International) and TV personality (The Innovators) Yaneek Page, who has never shied away from discussing a terrible ordeal that could have broken her spirit but has only made her more determined. “Looking back, I think the Lord made me go through that horrific experience to be able to testify about what it means to be injured because of someone’s carelessness but not compensated because of ignorance and others’ greed,” she says now. As the ample evidence attests, she’s bounced back admirably, building an empire that now has a global reach. But though a superwoman at heart, Page (a mother of two sons) says she is grateful for the support she’s been getting on her very rewarding journey. She tells the magazine, “I have an amazing husband [Kevin] who supports me, cheers me on and gives me so much strength.”

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