Yendi's Odyssey

Yendi's Odyssey

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

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Yendi Philipps is adding yet another facet to her brand.

The model, beauty queen, entrepreneur, and mother recently launched a new show available on her YouTube platform.

Odyssey with Yendi: Untold journeys, premiered on Phillipps's channel a few days ago and seeks to have dialogue with guests whom, in their own way, are making a name for themselves.

“I always wanted to create content that was of a high quality and impactful,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

“I've wanted to do a TV show for years, but it was always a struggle. I didn't want anything that was absolutely localised, as I believe I, and indeed we all in Jamaica, have so much more to offer to the world. So I then decided on YouTube. As you know the platform does not limit demographics; so it was perfect.”

The programme offers light yet meaningful conversations with guests Phillipps deems “shape-shifters, game-changers, and people with something to share. It was a product in development for some time, but in January Phillipps had had enough of her own roadblocks and excuses and decided it was time.

She got together with her production team, Ikon Productions, and hatched out the plans for the show.

“In January, before this whole coronavirus issue, I just got a surge of motivation and thought 2020 is my year, and I'm going for this project. I was like, forget set, forget budget, forget all those things that were preventing me from moving forward with this thing.”

Phillipps has already shot four episodes which will be released on her channel every other week.

She described the conversations as relatable and honest, which is something that she said is missing in a lot of the content currently available.

“The guests are sharing how they failed, the fact they quit, the fact that they are far from perfect, but they still overcame... showing us how to build outside the cookie cutter conventions,” Phillipps shared.

Her first guest was singer, entrepreneur, turned radio personality Tami Chin, who shares her truths on life, love, and motherhood on the programme.

The guests on the three following programmes already filmed are politician Lisa Hanna, TV personality and football coach Neville “Bertis” Bell, and radio DJ Bambino.

For Phillipps, there were great takeaways from each guest. “From Tami I learnt that, 'You are enough!' It doesn't mean you can't strive for what you want, it simply means accepting that you do not lack anything.

“From Lisa I learnt that her stoicism is authentically her, and that staying the course, despite all the things that would have deterred the average person, is truly remarkable.”

“Bambino perhaps gave me one of the greatest takeaways, as he shared being comfortable to carve out a space, despite criticism, based on his background and his chosen profession.

“From Neville, it was how much God is at the centre of everything he does. I was also struck by how much of a father figure he is to the boys he coaches.”

Her vision for Odyssey with Yendi is global. She looks to taking it to international streaming platforms such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.

“This is not just a local programme. I want local conversations, Caribbean conversations, as well as North American, African and European conversations. I just want to have these great conversations in an easy, relaxed, comfortable space,” said Phillipps.


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