Rarely will you meet someone from Metro Vancouver who doesn’t know who Tarannum Thind is. Tarannum is a versatile broadcaster who has hosted news reports, entertainment stories and lifestyle segments both on television and radio. Tarannum brings her dedication, experience, charisma, and her love for storytelling to her most recent role as the host of the Dupaher Wala Show on 91.5 Connect FM. A veteran broadcaster with over 18 years under her belt, Tarannum is also a devoted wife and mother of two. 

Tell us about your journey?

When I moved to Canada from India at the age of seventeen, I always knew I wanted to work in the Performing Arts. I hated attention, yet I loved being on stage. Growing up, I saw my Mom and Dad always performing on the stage, but I didn’t know what career path I would take. Now looking back, there were so many signs. When I was at my grandparents house, I would lock myself in my room and practice being on television. I didn’t have a lot of experience, yet I knew it was something I wanted to do. I had enlisted in the broadcasting program at BCIT, however I was on the waitlist. While on the waitlist, I decided to take a computer course and work in retail. Then one day I saw an advertisement, that a south asian show was looking for a new host. I took a leap of faith and did the audition. A few days later I got the call-back, and that’s how Jawani started back in 2003. Jawani was a punjabi music show produced by Music Waves. Contrary to what you may believe, I wasn’t exposed to punjabi music while growing up. I worked hard and studied the music, it’s origins and the artists as my primary role on Jawani was to promote punjabi music.


What is the hardest challenge you have come up against in your personal/professional life? 

My greatest challenge is not being able to say, ‘No’. This is a work in progress. Looking back, there were times where I should have said no to certain opportunities, or people and I’m much better at that now. At times, like many others, I battle with self-doubt. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I can feel like I’m not enough and that can be a challenge at times, but I’m working on it.


What advice would you give young South Asian women wanting to do what you do?

I think you need to do what you love for the right reasons. I went into broadcasting because I’m passionate about story-telling. Don’t try to be a broadcaster because you think you’ll be famous. To be good at what you love, you have to start from the bottom because you’re not going to get results right away. Your hard work will soon speak for itself. If you’re not willing to put the work in, you won’t last in this industry. As a broadcaster, you’re required to be prepared no matter what kind of day you’ve had. It’s a challenging industry, but when you’re true to your heart and give it your all, you’ll do well.

What do you do to help South Asian women/non-binary individuals feel empowered?

I strongly believe in being there for each other. Instead of putting each other down or trying to get ahead, put your insecurities aside and empathize with one another. There is enough space for everyone, and once we realize that we’re able to empower each other, incredible things happen. 


If you could tell your teenage self something, what would it be?

BE BRAVE.  I’ve been a little too careful in life and feel I didn’t take enough risks when I should have. I’m a creature of habit and I admit I’m not always good with change. At times, that may have held me back from perhaps doing more. I would also tell my teenage self to stop trying to please everyone around you. Live for yourself. It’s liberating once you stop thinking about what other people think. That came with years of experience and age. I have a much thicker skin now. 

What is your personal moto or mission statement?

Focus on yourself and your work. Block out the noise. There may be people who are ahead of you, who are better than you, but focus on your authentic self. Put your blinders on, so to speak, and don’t care about what others are doing. Sometimes to block out the noise I put the mute button on my Instagram account. 


Besides your work, what are you passionate about?

Being a mom. My kids enjoy spending time with my husband and myself. They love our road trips. I’m also passionate about music. Usually, I’ll have Coke Studio playing when I’m working, cooking or showering. And who doesn’t enjoy a night of Netflick and chill.

Where can one find you on your days off?

Usually I’m outdoors and enjoying a trail walk, or I’m watching an episode of Modern Family cuddled up in bed with my family.

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How do you balance work, life, family?

I’ve learned over the years, you can’t do it alone. I am so thankful for all the support I have. I went back to work when my daughter, Ziya was 5-months old. I love my work, and I’m thankful my husband, Riz, is extremely hands-on with our children. His parents have also been phenomenal in helping us raise our children. My children know how much my work means to me, and I have an amazing husband that has supported me being in the limelight. 

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