Photo: Tatyana Ali
Tatyana grew up in a household that spoke Spanish and fully embraced Panamanian culture, often indulging in the country’s food, music, and dance. However, Tatyana knew little of the family life her mom left behind. All she knew was that her grandmother, Estella, had fled Panama to escape an abusive marriage and relocated to America with her five children in tow.
Tatyana seemed to have it all. After landing the Fresh Prince role, starting a successful R&B career, and graduating from Harvard, she felt she was still missing something. Since childhood the 32-year-old actress had harbored a desire to re-connect with her family’s heritage, history and culture. “It’s much easier to know exactly where you’re going when you know where you come from,” shared Ali about her experiences on her life-changing trip to Panama.
In Pastport: Panama, Tatyana not only fills this long-held void in her life, but manages to fulfill a life long dream to sing in Spanish before a live audience with none other than celebrated reggaeton band Los Rabanes. With their mother serving as their personal tour guide, Tatyana and her younger sister, Anastasia, explore Panama and bring their heritage to life.
“Pastport strikes at the very essence of who we are as Latinos. Bi-Cultural Latinos like Tatyana and our viewers are constantly balancing the best of both worlds, and feel a deep-rooted need to keep their heritage alive,” said Maria Perez-Brown, nuvoTV’s senior vice president of programming. “Our audience gets to tap into the beauty and passion of our Latino culture as experienced by Latino celebrities. We make the dream of reconnecting with their past a reality.”
Pastport: Panama follows actress/singer Tatyana Ali, best known for her role as “Ashley Banks” on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, as she makes an emotional journey with her family to Panama. Add in a jam session with Latin Grammy winners Los Rabanes and a big family surprise and you get one of Pastport’s most inspired episodes. Pastport: Panama premieres Tuesday, November 8th at 10 p.m. ET.