Women in Pan: Candice Andrews-Brumant, first lady of BP Renegades

In recognition of International Women’s Day and Panorama’s 60th anniversary, we are celebrating women in pan this month. First up is BP Renegades Caption Candice Andrews-Burmant.

As a child, Candice Andrews-Brumant stood by the gates of the Renegades pan yard and listened to the band rehearse.

Growing up next door to the panyard with her grandmother, she saw her uncles play with the band and longed to follow in their footsteps.

At the age of 15, she was allowed to join.

Andrews-Brumant ascended from a junior player with the band to Captain, a position she has held for the last 11 years.

She is the first woman to hold the title and the only person to serve the longest in that position.

“When I joined I was always a helpful person so people would give me stuff to do and then they put me on committees, then I ended up as assistant secretary, secretary, board member, Vice-Captain and Captain,” she said, revealing that she was offered the captaincy twice before but refused.

“I don’t believe in just shutting out somebody if they not doing a good job, I believe in helping to solve a problem. So if the captain at that time not doing a good job, put me on his team so I could help him be a better captain. It worked a little but it wasn’t enough so I realised I had to jump in and save the day,” she told Loop News.

Leading with empathy is the way Andrews-Brumant prefers to approach situations.

Stating that she is not into naming and shaming, she said she puts herself in other people’s shoes to understand where they are coming from to find a solution to an issue.

“So there are players in this band who I see oppose captains, fight captains, all kind of different unruly behaviours and with me, it was never like that and I thank God for that because I don’t know how I would have dealt a situation like that but I find ways to deal with every situation. I wasn’t always like this but along the way, from being in the band, I learn to deal with situations and find solutions,” she explained.

Candice Andrews-Burmant

She said she doesn’t lead with the thought that she is a woman first.

“I am driven by what I believe in. I believe that whatever a man could do women could do. Someone could come and tile my kitchen floor and I would tile my bedroom floor after that person leave. I am always willing to learn something. The only thing I don’t tamper with is electricity but if a pipe burst in my house I could fix it until sometimes I feel as though my husband might be a bit uncomfortable or challenged by that but I grew up with the mentality of not depending on people, on getting your own,” she explained.

Her position in the band, however, has inspired other young women, something that Andrews-Brumant does not take lightly.

She said when the band won in 2018, her alma mater Woodbrook Secondary put up a banner with herself, and calypsonians Myron B and Helon Francis who also went to the school and excelled that year, and she was asked to talk to the girls in the school.

“I told the girls don’t be ashamed if you are not a doctor or a dentist, you could be an entrepreneur, you could be a hairdresser or a nail tech,’ said Andrews-Brumant, who runs three businesses with her husband who she met in the pan yard.

They own Soca Mallets, a company that produces pan sticks and other pan accessories, a transportation business and a maintenance company.

The key to getting through her day is balance, she said, something she needs especially during the Carnival season when the band gears up for Panorama.

Stating that she is very passionate about Renegades, Andrews-Brumant said she works hard for the band.

Under her stewardship, BP Renegades has earned three Panorama titles, the latest being this year.

She said it was she who brought in winning arranger Duvone Stewart, a former player with the band, to arrange for them in 2012, the same year she assumed the captaincy. She also encouraged current president Colin Greaves to take up that position. Under him, she said, the band and its operations have been transformed.

As captain, she said, her job is to create an environment for the Arranger to function.

“I am Duvone’s support system as well as the board of directors so we make sure Duvone is comfortable here, we make that linen for him to lie down, and once he is comfortable that energy filters down the players. We maintain discipline, make sure the players are fed and refreshed and everything to make them comfortable and that is the key to winning,” she said.

She also oversees the technical aspects of the band’s business, ensuring among other things, that there is succession planning with the pan tuners.

Anyone who has been to Renegades pan yard knows the band is run like a business. They have their own bar and gift shop, among other things and Andrews-Burmant foresees a future where the band is so self-sufficient and financially successful that they would no longer require a sponsor.

“In the next 10 years, I would like to see Renegades as a band not entering competitions but doing shows, touring locally and internationally, selling that brand, doing seminars, and teaching others. It has to be a business,” she said.

 Revealing that she, like many others in the band, was able to purchase a car and build their homes from money earned from touring, she encouraged others to go after the millions, not the dollar.

She said: “It will happen, you have to put in the work and it will come.”


This article was originally published on Loop News (https://tt.loopnews.com/content/women-pan-candice-andrews-brumant-first-lady-bp-renegades)

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