My how has 20 years flew by so fast!!!! I thank The Almighty God, that he has carried me this far!!! Since my early 20's, I have always been exposed to the entertainment business in some form or fashion. I was always intrigued by the mechanisms of the industry. I always knew that there was a place for me but in my 20's I was still trying to find myself. Everyones footsteps in this journey of life are ordered by God, so as I look back I now understand why I was born into the family I have and why certain encounters and bonds with people particularly artists and musicians in this industry entered in my life.
Everything manifested so clearly around early 1994. I met Mr. John Harrison who was the Executive producer of a local public affairs/talk format television show entitled "Harrison's Journal" . "Harrison's Journal" aired on CAN TV. He was looking for a guest host to interview and he also needed ideas on any interesting people who were doing positive things in the community to feature on an episode. I did not believe that I could help him with finding a host, but I advised him to spotlight Ras. Issiah Ferguson (aka Chuckie) . A Jamaican Rastafarian who was a successful entrepreneur in the south side of Chicago and organized (at that time), the biggest Afrocentric cultural event, The Annual Emperor Haile Selassie Earthday Celebrations in Chicago's Washington Park. John had faith that not only I could book Chuckie, but was confident that I can interview him also. John assured me that we assist me and he did.
I was impressed that there was a local cable station like CAN TV. A station that provides training and the facilities for Chicago area residents to air a plethora of orginal programing reflecting most of Chicago's diverse ethinc communities. However, the Caribbean culture, history, special events and Reggae did not have a format. So I obeyed God and took classes in television studio production and became certified in May 1995. The very first episode aired in July 1995 and was a 30 min. in studio talk show format with me interviewing Ras. Elder Gabriel who was a spokesman for the Rastafarian community in this city. During the mid 90's there were a lot of image misrepresentations in the media concerning not only Rastas but also Black Jamaican youths in most urban comunities in the U.S. during the government so called "war on drugs" campaign. The movie "Mark for Death" which was partly filmed in Chicago was released that same year deciepted a band of drug dealers, killers etc., who were Jamaican and wearing the locks, style and symbols of Rasta. Ras. Elder Gabriel and I decided that we will eradicate the negative narrative and to enlighten the viewers to the truth about our lifestyle and culture.
God answered me almost immediately when I pondered on what would be the next episode for this new TV show Mystic Vibes. I went on faith when I listened to God again and set my sights on Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers. Loved ones laughed at me. They said that Ziggy Marley did not do television interviews. But I belived that the same roadblocks that were put in place to surpress positive music by positive Hip Hop artists were certainly put in place for Reggae and definatley for the children for the Hon. Robert Nesta Marley. In addition I presumed that Ziggy did not do television interviews because no one asked. So the second objective for the show's format was accomplished when Ziggy Marley became the first artist interviewed and music regulalry featured on Mystic Vibes. I want to take the time to thank the entire Marley family who not knowing helped to popularize the show. And still do to this day. I thank God for you all.
There were times when I struggled with the direction of the show. God will always send people in your life to encourage and help you to remain focus. Judy Mowatt, I can not express enough gratitude for you always advising and ministering to me. The song you wrote, "Many are called few are chosen." makes me believe that God knew we were to meet each other and he inspired you to 'write that song for Zezel'.
Bridgette Stephenson you are my spiritual sister. You are the very few who did not hang around me because you can get a backstage pass to see your favourite singer or to exploit your association with me to raid my networking contacts. As a matter of fact Mystic Vibes was on the air for over 13years before you assisted me backstage as one of the crew. That's a sincere friend. you also pray and encourge me. Love you Sis. In this business people try to come in your life with hidden agendas.
I want to thank my brother Headley McKenzie who had the strongest faith in my family in the vision and helped me out tremendously behind the scenes out in the field in the early years when road managers & gatekeepers did not take the credentials of a dreadloock Black Woman seriously ( eventhough me and these gatkeepers belong to the same culture). Headley was the longest running host/interviewer and the most popular on Mystic Vibes.
I also thank my daughter Clarrissa McBee for her assistance.
There are many changes coming during this 20th year. There will be a new opening and new theme music soon. The current CAN TV studio facility at 322 S. Green Chicago, IL. is closing Sept 19 2015. I am greatful to the management and staff at CAN TV for your years in assisting me and looking forward to the next 20 years in the new state of the art television studio at the new location at 1309 S. Wood Street.
To the viewers please be advised that Mystic Vibes TV may be airing a lot of rerun episodes while the station is going through it's transisition. I will keep you informed of any updates concerning CAN TV and Mystic Vibes TV as soon as there are any. Thank you for watching and please continue to do so. Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
Mystic Vibes TV