Written by Priya Balakumar
Naomi Senwasane is a Digital Media Specialist who is breaking down barriers in the entertainment industry.
Naomi’s parents immigrated from Guyana to Canada and worked to raise their kids with a strong cultural and family oriented upbringing. Naomi comes from a family of mixed religions and grew up experiencing Catholic, Muslim and Hindu traditions.
“I love that part about my family because it has taught me to be open, welcoming and respectful to so many people around me. I feel like it is such a blessing to experience Guyanese culture in so many different ways and perspectives, it's truly amazing,” she said.
Naomi was lucky to grow up with a big family that raised her to embrace her culture and identity. When asked about what being Indo-Caribbean means to her, Naomi said, “To me, Indo-Caribbean means being me and embracing my family, traditions and culture. To put it simply, it means to celebrate my culture and embrace all others in the Caribbean community.”
As a Digital Media Specialist, Naomi aims to empower young woman and be a mentor in a field that is mainly male dominated.
Similar to other male dominated industries, women of colour feel like they need to prove themselves as the industry often underestimates what we can do. For Naomi who specializes in video, the industry is heavily dominated by men and many people often see her work and assume that it was done by a male.
“When they realize I'm a girl it's surprising, but also a brown girl, 5'1, lugging around camera equipment - then they're truly surprised.”
Being in a non traditional field, means that you often need to stand up for yourself and believe in yourself before others will. One piece of advice that Naomi shared with us is to be more open and share your ideas and what you are most proud of. This tactic helps you to become more confident in your work and my abilities. Naomi shared “I became proud of all my work and accomplishments. I think being open and vocal with others is more about building self confidence than anything else, because even when I wasn’t doing any projects and someone asked me how work was I’d say something like “I haven’t been working on anything new, but I would like to learn this new program.” Whereas before I might say something like “I haven’t been doing much, just here, trying to find work.”
Having a voice is key to success in any industry.
Like all our Brown Girl Bosses, Naomi tries to use her network and platform to teach and empower others. Opportunities to teach, learn and empower those around me. She explains, “The music industry/entertainment industry is not always welcoming and can also be very competitive, and so I try my best to make these individuals feel welcome and especially valued. I believe that’s important to empower creatives so that they are more confident in voicing their own opinion and knowing that they are knowledgeable too.”
We love a Brown Girl Boss that looks out for others, and helps them reach their goals. Naomi herself, has big dreams, and her five year goal is to be running a production company that helps young creatives grow in whatever their discipline is. She wants to host seminars to help young women navigate around this industry but also give them a space to speak about certain experiences and how to go about them.
Naomi’s passion for building up woman in the entertainment industry and her strong leadership skills, makes her a very appreciated and valued member of the Indo-Caribbean community.
Before we ended our interview, we asked Naomi what piece of advice would she give young Indo-Caribbean women today who want to enter the Digital Media field.
“Start! Start small, start big, just start! One step is better than no steps and it doesn't even have to be for anyone else. Art is very therapeutic, so, I’d say to start with whatever form of art makes you happy and everything else will work it’s way to what is meant to be,” Naomi said.
There is a demand growing in the digital field, whether it be in media, design or marketing— more woman are starting to explore it. Never let your gender or ethnicity get in your way of taking the chances that will help you launch your dreams. Aim high and always believe I yourself, we can do anything we put our minds to!