Ernest Kanjo / Sunday, 16 February 2014 03:03


melissa TTSThis interviewer, then a budding reporter could hardly reason beyond what he did, years back, when a renowned culture critic mentioned that actors were not just talented people, but were also amazingly intelligent. Later observations revealed this. Since their tasks as performers most often require them to get out of themselves and literally become other people, actors have learned to wear many faces. Switching roles, just as shuttling from one personality to the other has thus become a logical tendency for these screen icons. That Merlisa Determined can equally performed so wonderfully on TV as she does in movies is no surprise. That she can easily rise in this other role and excel is also expected. And that she can be named the best in this art, closely related to movie acting is just a confirmation of the critic’s assertion that multi-discipline and dynamism is their thing – actors! The international actress’ performance easily charms, in movies just like on TV, at least for what viewers of some of cuts of the Houston Caribbean Festival show have savoured on YouTube. Merlisa (starred in two Cameroonian movies), has therefore began what would certainly be a sweet ride in this bright TV career of hers with a befitting recent recognition earned at the 2014 Caribbean Achievements Awards (CAA). The screen heroine emerged as the best TV hostess for 2013. CAA 2014 was a big event, but by some twist in fate, the news of the TV hostess’ victory got to her while the indefatigable artist was expressing her innate skills in another domain that has catapulted her to fame – acting. Shortly after the news filtered to us, TIPTOPSTARS hooked up with Merlisa on a Maryland film location and she was quick to respond. In a chat with Editor, Ernest Kanjo, the current CAA best TV hostess began by explaining the circumstances through which she got hint of the latest happening in her career. Merlisa Determined (MD): I was deep in action on a Maryland set filming Brides War X 3 when my sisters Pearline and Marilyn rang me to announce that I was the Caribbean Achievement Awards best TV hostess of the year. With profuse joy in their voices, they told me I had just won the award. Initially, I didn't believe them, but their rising excitement was enough to settle me that they were telling the truth. Then, from background noises, I could hear other family members congratulating and cheering me up. That’s when I immediately began to glorify God and give Him praise.

IMG 20140126 031710Merlisa’s sister, Pearline and Marilyn display winner artist’s CAA trophyErnest Kanjo (EK): Did you expect this victory?

MD: Honestly I didn't! There were several other talented TV presenters who have been doing a great job nominated in my category and I knew it was going to be really competitive. I was simply glad and thankful that mine was distinguished and recognized.

EK: What do you think attracted the jury about your performance? MD: Well, Ernest, the show is interesting, thanks to the incredible experience living the Houston Caribbean Festival live with a magnificent display of music, dance, costumes and other elements of the rich culture of the people from the Islands. So, it is this kind of inspiration that makes it tick, but I must say it is not Merlisa alone. It is the collective effort of an entire team that works diligently to ensure that the show is a successful piece of art. This team is also hugely credited for contributing enormously to make the HCF fastest growing Festival in North America. 

EK: How would you rate the other contestants in the category? MD: It was a great feeling to be nominated in the same category with friends and well-known entertainers such as DJ Supa Neil, radio host of KTSU 90.9 and DJ Fatta Carey CEO of Nexx Level Entertainment. I’ve learned so much from watching them as well as other renowned TV personalities. You know, learning is endless.

What is the future of your TV career – just where do you intend to take it to?

MD: I aspire to become a great personality on a major TV network that beams to the rest of the world while forging ahead with my acting career.

EK: To whom do you dedicate the trophy?

MD: First, I must thank God for his favour in my life. I’m dedicating this trophy to my amazing family that lifts me up daily and encourages me to keep living my dream. I thank Patrick and the entire Houston Caribbean Festival for the great work. I’m also giving this out to my fans and everyone who voted for me. I wouldn't have been victorious if I didn't benefit from their love and support - so I’m thanking them from the bottom of my heart. In fact, God, my family and fans did the trick.

EK: Merlisa, we thank you for taking off time from your busy shooting schedule to talk to us. Once again congrats!

MD: Thanks Ernest, do have a great time! melissa TIPTOPSTARS


Last Updated on Monday, 17 February 2014 18:26


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