T&T-native winner of Love Island UK 2023 Season nine winter, Sanam Harrinanan, returned to her country of birth to celebrate in a big way.

   The UK-based younger of two siblings born May 17, 1998 in the small South Trinidad village, Brasso, Penal, respected her roots and stayed in Penal by her aunt, Sharon Ramlogan, for the duration of her visit.

   Harrinanan, the first Indo-Caribbean and first Casa Amor (Love House) islander to win the series, visited from January 26 to February 5 with her counterpart and joint Love Island winner, Kai Fagan, to introduce him to T&T; celebrate the birthday of her mom, Gayatri Harrinanan and mom’s sister, Sally Bhim, both on January 27; to cherish family; to deeply acquaint herself with T&T; and most of all, the couple’s first anniversary as a Love Island couple, that comes up on March 13.

   The couple got the highest public vote and was also the first couple of colour to have won a series.   Sanam’s brother, Aakash Harrinanan and his friend Serena Liu, both China-based, also visited for the occasion.

Winners of UK reality love show, Love Island UK 2023 Series 9, Sanam Harrinanan and Kai Fagan having fun on Pigeon Point beach, Tobago.

Love Island is a British reality dating game show, and Casa Amor is an alternative villa used in Love Island that’s accommodated to test islanders’ loyalty to their partners. It involves separating the couples and sending either the girls or boys to Casa Amor whilst their partners remain in the main villa.

   Having found love, the couple’s parents visited the villa to get acquainted and meet their children together in love.

   The social media influencer, Reality Star, entrepreneur Sanam was a social worker, and Jamaican-lineage Manchester-born Kai, a science and PE teacher and semi-professional rugby player before signing up for Love Island.

   Sanam migrated at 17 days old to Curaçao with her mom where she resided for six years before heading to the UK, as her mom, now also UK-based, got better job opportunities. At 15, she received top award for one of her passions, drama, at Bedford Academy where she eventually graduated from, and further afield, graduated from The Universities of Northampton and Bedfordshire, with MSW.

   Sanam’s aunt Sharon said Sanam’s dad, Vishnu Harrinanan, always took Sanam to photoshoots. She fell in love with it, which inspired her to love modeling and acting, hence the reason she entered the competition; to get some good exposure.  Sanam is said to be a travel enthusiast with a penchant for visiting different countries.

Sanam, stooping second right, and Kai, back left, join Sanam's family in celebrating Sanam's mother and aunt's birthday on January 27, 2024.

  The 168cm-tall Sanam who is passionately referred to as bikini babe and Casa Amor bombshell, has 431.2 followers on her sanamiee Instagram account and 136.3 TikTok video followers. She entered the villa on Day 29 and won on Day 58.

   Sanam is said to have had a positive and infectious spirit that lit up the villa with joy and authenticity, reflecting the vibrancy and diversity of T&T.

   Among the many outings Sanam and Kai experienced on their short trip to T&T were Culture in the Park hosted by Caribbean Airlines, the Caroni Swamp boardwalk and boat tour, Maracas beach, Paramin, Balandra Basin, and Knollys tunnel, and in Tobago: The Esplanade, Scarborough where she fell in love with the gateway sign, Fort George, Fort James, a city tour, and a Nylon Pool Tour.

   Sanam, also a media face, said it’s the first time she visited Tobago, and it didn’t disappoint. While there, she yammed up curried crab and dumpling, and in Trinidad, the famous bake and shark, and as her aunt Sharon said:

“of course doubles, the famous Debe sheds’ bar-b-que, some nice soup, curried duck, dhalpuri, and other local culinary delights, but this pigging-out was fortunately only as she was on the visit, as she usually consumes menus that doctors say, serve better for good health.”

   Sanam said she and Kai share a deep common love for children, so upon their return to Britain, they have been in London working on a related project. “We come from jobs where we both work with children and I actually want to do something for those children.”

   Of her winning prize, Sanam said she will make sure that her mom gets some and some go to children. Since winning, she has gained the attention of many famous brands and high-profile events.

The Love Island 2023 winners' T&T host, Sanam's aunt Sharon Ramlogan, posing with Sanam and Kai at a relative's home in Penal upon arriving from Piarco Airport on January 26, before heading to her home.

  Photoshoots for Indian Bridal Wear companies in England such as Nikaza Asian Couture and Bridal Trunk; London Fashion Week in September of last year; modelling for ballroom designers showcasing dresses often worn on TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing; presenting awards at the National Diversity Function, UK, for UK celebrities, have kept Sanam busy. 

   She is currently a make-up brand ambassador for L’Oreal, Boots UK, Look Fantastic, Space NK, and also capitalizes upon her spare time.

“I now spend my spare time supporting charities within England as I’m still passionate about the work I did previously with children and families. Kai and I are currently supporting Action for Children by doing Skydive in May to raise funds for the charity,” revealed Sanam. “I have also supported homeless charities such as Shelter UK to raise awareness of their services and I plan on walking a marathon in May for CoppaFeel Breast Cancer Charity as a celebrity team captain, to raise funds for breast cancer,” she added.

   “Kai and I have been living together since we left the show. We have our own place and continue to enjoy spending time with each other.” Sanam also stated that she had a lot of fun in her native island while exploring it, and even more special was visiting her family.


Sanam’s journey to winning


Week 5

Day 29: Sanam entered the villa; won the Raunchy Races challenge alongside the rest of the main villa.

Day 32: Sanam accepted coupling with Kai.


Week 6

Day 36: Sanam left the villa to go on their first date.

Day 40: Sanam chose to recouple with Kai.


Week 7

Day 46: Sanam won the Sports Day Challenge (as part of the red team).


Week 8

Day 51: Sanam and Kai won the Cocktail Shake-Up Challenge

Day 54: Sanam left the villa with Kai to go on their final date.


Week 9

Day 58: Sanam and Kai were crowned winners of the 2023 season.