I am Donavan Monerville, known to all as Devonte. Why Devonte? Because I am divine – beautiful, mouth watering, heavenly, sensational. Yes, that’s me.
You know the saying “strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle”. I can attest.
From a very tender age, I was different. I was gifted with a keen eye for detail. So oftentimes I would be alone, quietly observing and making notes of things around me. This has served me well throughout my entire life.
My love for fashion is also something that grew with me. My mom knew early enough that she should not select what I wear and how I wear it but this was only after many scolding. My ultra sense of fashion was not one to be reckoned with.
My difference off course was not welcomed by many and one of the contributing reasons to me always being alone was the harsh reality of the homophobic culture around me. The burning desire in me to be expressive in flamboyance, was always the hive of ridicule, insults and yes, beatings. This did not stop me for being who I was but it did reward me with a lot of alone time which I used to empower myself. I developed a love for reading, and makeup, and stage performance so oftentimes I would be doing one simple – yet grand thing in my own world.
I attended the Richfond Combined School and then advanced to the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School. All this time being subject to ridicule and insults. It got as low as bus drivers denying me the right to travel on their vehicle because of my sexuality. These incidents didnt change me but rather empowered me with a strength and resilience to grow.
My love for fashion landed me a perfect opportunity, and as soon as I completed my studies got employed with the Sandals Hotel. Was I in my element. It was there I developed the confidence to interraction that has since served me well.
4 years ago, I decided that the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason and with that in mind took the daring road of abandoning everything I knew and grew up with. I left my island of birth Saint Lucia to seek better opportunity for myself. In my mind, I knew within me was a volcano of talent ready to erupt but the subliminal of small culture and the homophobic mentality that dominated my Island was overwhelming. I was drained. I needed better. I felt stifled but at the same time I knew there was hope. And I knew that growth spurts from healthy soil so I took a major leap into the unknown.
New York City. The city that never sleeps. The city full of life, variance, culture, dynamics. The city where I could boldly step out in flamboyance with no fear or reservation. Even the air felt better because I was no longer dealing with issue of acceptance.
Like all things in life, obstacles come. They come in all shapes, forms, sizes, most times when you least expect them. New York City, my obstacle was housing. In as much as I was comfortable being me, having a roof over your head is pivotal. That became one of my biggest obstacles when my relationship with my aunt went sour. I was homeless. Spent many nights sleeping on the train. Hungry. Unemployed. Nowhere to go. Thankfully this lady took me in and helped me get back on my feet. The journey was rough but life’s lessons are harsh and life changing. For me I seek the good in hardship so plentiful for me comes very humble.
While in New York, I started my live Facebook videos for fun. It was something to pass the time away and simultaneously me giving back to my followers. My live videos dealt with current issuesffecting the youth. I focused on highlighting the problems and then providing a host of resolutions. Off course in between I would flavor up with some spicy humor. I also did makeup tutorials because makeup and fashion is my first love. Before I knew it I could no longer accept friends because I had reached the maximum number of friends allowed by facebook. Many looked forward to my live videos. This really boosted my ego and I felt the zeal to keep going.
Currently, I am in the process of launching my line of cosmetics – “Belle Blend Cosmetics”. This is something I have dreamed of my whole life and worked silently and arduously. The journey has been rough but is now embellished with this unveiling.
This is my silent appeal to keep a watchful eye as more information will be circulated. Please support me in my venture. I believe we are all beautiful and with a dash of the right makeup we can be “pretty powerful”. Belle Blend Cosmetics is the right makeup.
One last appeal to you out there, the road may rough. Obstacles may come to hinder you but stay true to yourself. “The strongest factor for success is self esteem: believing you can do it, believing you deserve it, believing you can get it.”
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