For the first time in nine seasons, a Trinbagonian is a cast member of 90 Day Fiancé, a reality TV show on American cable television channel TLC that follows couples who have applied for or received the K-1 non-immigrant visa for the foreign-citizen fiancé of a United States citizen.
She is Shaeeda Sween, a 37-year-old yoga enthusiast and she appears on the show with her American fiancé Bilal Hazziez.
It all began when Sween’s friend challenged her to message Hazziez on Instagram.
“I went out for my 35th birthday with my girlfriend. I took out my phone and I showed her Bilal and she was like ‘you have to do something for me later on tonight.’
“I said what, she said when you go home promise me that you’re going to send him a message and ask if he’s seeing anyone and take it from there, I said hell no,” she said.
Sween swallowed her pride, messaged Hazziez and so their story began.
After speaking for a while, Hazziez visited Trinidad where he spent one week with Sween.
“He came off the plane with this bouquet of flowers, he looked so attractive, so dapper, I was like he looked ten times better than his picture,” she said.
As the days went by, Sween fell for more than his appearance, a feeling that was mutual because Hazziez proposed before he left.
“My one and one moment with him, it felt like I had a connection with him we started to talk you know it was so nice,” she blushed.
The couple’s intention was to wed in July/August of 2020 on the beach in Tobago, but COVID-19 changed those plans.
Hazziez could not return because this country’s borders were closed, so his lawyer advised Sween to apply for a K1 Visa.
“Around that time. March 2020, I think everybody was tuned into television because the whole world was in quarantine and I started to like watch 90 Day Fiancé, the show,” she explained.
Sween asked Hazziez to consider joining the show but he was reluctant at first because he said he was a private person.
Eventually, he gave in and they applied.
“When it comes to the cameras it took me a while to adjust to it. I never had like cameras in my face but I was like ignore the camera and focus on my story with Bilal,” she said.
Episode four of season 9 aired Sunday and showed when Sween met Hazziez’s two children for the first time.
The first three episodes focused on when they met in America for the first time in approximately two years.
Hazziez, a realtor, hid his finances from Sween and picked her up in an old vehicle, and took her to his childhood house.
“I was in complete shock…I’m thinking would Bilal would have done this to an American woman or a European woman I’m thinking is it because I’m from the Caribbean he wants to put me through this test think oh you’re from the Caribbean you should know about this struggling life so I got defensive,” she explained.
She said when Hazziez came to Trinidad she rolled out the red carpet for him.
Some viewers bashed him for house phishing but others did not agree with Sween’s reaction.
“He’s so worried she’ll only like him for his money it’s almost as if that’s all he thinks he has to offer,” one person commented.
“It’s not okay to experiment with people’s emotions and experiences,” another person wrote.
Sween said Hazziez is a wonderful person and that’s why she gave up her life in Trinidad to be with him.
“There is going to be a rollercoaster of emotions between us and it’s real and authentic,” she said.
Just like her representation of her country on the show, Sween said she wants to make Trinidad and Tobago proud.
“My house is like mini Trinidad. I try to teach him things about the culture and our food. We tried to make roti it was a complete mess,” she said.
In the first episode, both Sween and Hazziez wore T&T’s national colours.
“I’ve always been proud of where I come from,” she said.