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Callender: Entertainer, craftsman... politician?
In the entertainment world he is known as SuperJigga TC—the deejay and soca artiste. But believe or not, as a young man entertainment was nowhere on Terrin Callender’s agenda, career wise. He was more interested in the profession of barbering.
It all began with a late 80s haircut called the spoiler—a wave cut (one that uses brushing techniques that will result in the resemblance of “oceanic waves” in the hair), with two slanted lines shaved into the back of the head.
Callender and his godbrother Keston, who lived with the singer’s family at the time, immediately fell in love with the look—it was “fresh, hip and cool,” as he described it. But being the son of a reverend, getting the cut was absolutely out of the question.
“We weren’t allowed to do any of that. My mom used to drop me by the neighbourhood barber Mr Trevor, who was located in the San Juan market, and he would just give you a regular haircut,” said Callender.
Callender and Keston eventually decided they were going to defy Callender’s parents’ wishes and give the spoiler a try. They bought a razor blade and Callender demonstrated his first try at hair art, creating the slanted lines at the back of Keston’s head.
Word soon got around the neighbourhood that 11-year-old Callender was responsible for Keston’s great looking stripes. Little by little all his peers would fill his gallery waiting to get striped up.
“My parents weren’t really taking it on at first because it was a usual thing for all the boys to come over to play video games or watch television at my house. But I guess one day it really became obvious when there were about 18 to 20 boys in her gallery.
He said one Saturday as his mother carried out her usual chores she found his tools hidden in the corner of the gallery.
“She asked me what I was doing and when I told her, she said it was getting out of hand and that I needed to get somewhere,” he said.
Now with the green light, Callender thought he needed to hone his skills by actually hanging around barbershops.
He would often beg his elder sister Cabrielle to take him to a barbershop called the Boys Club located on Frederick Street in Port-of-Spain.
“There was this barber called Scientist. He was real good, so I would just hang out there all day watching him and the other barbers do their thing,” he said.
By 14, while attending Barataria Secondary School, Callender’s father bought him some barbering tools and allowed him to work at the now defunct Jean’s Barber Shop in Curepe.
He took with him his already existing clientele and gained more as he went along. Enthusiastic about the opportunity, Callender would be the first at the shop and sometimes the last to leave.
“I used to get the bulk of the work because the big names would come in late, by that time I already got the early birds,” said Callender.
As fate would have it, the student became the master.
Because of some problems, Jean’s owner was about to close down the shop when Callender’s father stepped in and offered to buy it.
The property was leased to him and Callendar owned his first barber shop.
He kept in business for almost ten years before deciding to return to school at the age of 20.
Changing the full time barbering career to part time, Callendar began working with the Gillette Group as a sales representative at Open Telecom.
He left the company as the Distribution Manager.
The seed for Callendar’s love of entertainment was also planted while at the company.
“I had done a presentation for the company. We were pitching some new products to the corporate sector when I met Kwesi “Hoppy” Hopkinson’s mother. She called me two days after and told me how impressed she was with my presentation, she wanted me to meet Hoppy who at the time was already a deejay with the Sound System Radio Active,” said Callendar.
He soon joined the deejay group and with no formal training, began his career as a deejay/ on air announcer at 96.1 WEFM. Always wanting to get better at his craft, Callendar sought training with veteran broadcaster Edison Carr.
Today he has made a name for himself as a television producer/ presenter/host and a singer/songwriter. He was the face of Synergy Soca Stars as the host.
He has sung alongside major soca acts like Destra Garcia and fellow deejay/ announcer and soca artiste Shal Marshall and continues to travel the globe to do what he loves most—entertaining.
So what about that barbering gift? Callendar still does it, but only for close friends.
“Physically I just don’t have the time to do it full time anymore,” he noted.
Some of his recent clients have included Project Runway winner Anya Ayoung-Chee, Bunji Garlin and Shal Marshall.
What’s next for this go-getter?—Politics. The 36-year-old is serious about getting into the field.
He said the country is in such a rotten state currently and it is all because we have lost values and moved away from focusing on the basics like good family life.
“I would like to offer my services in the area of social development. I think any country needs to pay particular attention to that area because it deals directly with the social ills of a society and finding solutions to fix them.”
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