Busta’s Person of the Week: Mother and daughter go from Winston-Salem to Hollywood

Busta’s Person of the Week:  Mother and daughter go from Winston-Salem to Hollywood
May 12
12:45 2021

By Busta Brown

When I worked at WXII 12 News, I did a segment called “Busta’s Buddies.” One of my most adored buddies was then six-year-old Mychal-Bella Rayne Bowman. When I first met the now 11-year-old up-and-coming Hollywood star, she had already done two motion pictures, several stage plays, print and runway modeling, spoke Spanish, and supported philanthropy. 

I’ll never forget how impressed TV news legend Kimberly Van Scoy was after seeing the segment. “What have I done with my life?” joked Kimberly. “She is quite a remarkable little girl! She is beyond beautiful. Oh, my goodness.” said Kimberly. 

I knew then that Mychal-Bella was going to be a huge star, because my good friend Kimberly Van Scoy has met and interviewed some of the biggest stars in Hollywood. The Winston-Salem native is one of the most sought-after child actors in TV, film and stage. Mychal-Bella’s most recent project is set to be released May 14 on Amazon Prime. “It’s called ‘The Underground Railroad’ and we just wrapped up in 2020, and I’m so excited for it to come out,” she shared. 

Mycahl-Bella Rayne plays Grace in the highly anticipated series, directed by one of Hollywood’s heavyweights, Barry Jenkins. She’s also known for her appearances in Tyler Perry’s “Have and Have Nots” and HBO’s “Togetherness.” The young actress and model also appeared in primetime commercials such as Hertz, Disney, Nissan, Honda, Target, Walmart, H&M, LensCrafters, Mattel, Barbie, Champion, American Girl and Vans, to name a few. The amazing Mychal-Bella Rayne performed with 80s music icon Cyndi Lauper at the Hollywood Bowl and was featured in videos with mega superstars such as Beyonce’. “She is one of the sweetest and kindest people I’ve met, and so is Jay-Z. I was at an event and Beyonce’ accidently bumped into me and said, ‘Hi gorgeous beautiful.’ I’ll never forget that moment,” Mychal-Bella shared. “Tyler Perry was nice as well,” she added. 

Although Mychal-Bella Rayne Bowman is a child herself, she has a passion for youth. She’s an advocate for causes such as Say No to Bullying, autism, educational literacy, and the homeless. She was one of the speakers at the 4th annual So No to Bullying Festival in Los Angeles. At age three, she asked her mom, Ereka L. Scales, if she could donate her gently used items to kids that might need them more than she does. 

“Bella has always had a big heart. She got started in modeling through Kaplan in Winston-Salem, which advocates for literacy. She’s done so many interviews by now, so she can handle anything that she’s asked. I’m extremely proud of Bella,” said mom Ereka, as her superstar daughter smiles with admiration for her mom. 

I asked her when did she know Mychal-Bella had that “it” factor. “When she could make herself cry at a very early age, I knew she needed to be an actress. She’s definitely a natural. She’s a very good listener and retains information very quickly,” said mom.

Beyond her talents, Mychal-Bella Rayne Bowman is very intelligent, sweet, humble and respectful. She can walk into any room and stand out because Bella’s personality commands attention. 

Like mother, like daughter. Bella’s mom is a strong and brilliant lady with a very impressive resume as well. She graduated from Salem College with a BA in communications and minor in nonprofit management, with a concentration in marketing; Winston Salem State University with a degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing; and High Point University with a business administration degree and study abroad in international marketing. “At 19, I’d take my daughters to work with me and I believe watching their mom, allowing them to mimic and become self-made entrepreneurs or whatever they choose to be, I taught them to be confident within themselves. They saw me obtaining anything and everything I wanted, which motivated them to do the same. I am raising queens!” boasted Ereka.  

She launched MBI Management after successfully navigating and learning how to manage Mychal-Bella’s career. “It was by trust and error I decided to share my gems with potential industry parents with the hope of inspiring them all the more to tap into their inner gifts and soar,” said the West Forsyth graduate and honor student. 

There was so much I wanted to ask Mychal-Bella, so I decided to do a Q&A for the rest of the interview.

How did you get started in the industry? “Before we moved to Los Angeles, I remember my mom driving me to Georgia for auditions. It was a lot of traveling and a lot of work. But it’s been very extremely fun and worth it. I gained confidence speaking in front of people that I’ve never met before, and I realized I liked and wanted to continue doing it, so here I am.” 

What are a few advantages of having your mom as your manager? “She does great handling all of my business, and she also allows me to choose the roles I want to do. And she lets me know stuff that other managers wouldn’t. I feel safe with my mom by my side, because there’s nothing I want to have control of right now. 

What do you love most about acting? “I love getting glammed up, meeting all of the other actors, directors, and everything that comes with acting. I love it!”

What do you find most difficult about being a child actress? “When I have a 12-page script and only a three-day deadline, it can be tough. Because of school. I’ve learned to balance the two. Before I go to school, I study my lines. I also study my lines in the middle of the day and before I go to sleep. There’s a huge picture of me in the kid’s athletics department in the Target store in Los Angeles. So, when I got to school, they’ll say, ‘I saw your picture in Target yesterday.’ It’s a little embarrassing sometimes.” 

What are the three things you love most about yourself? “I’m still in school, because most kids that are acting are homeschooled. But I’m on campus, so I get to balance out my acting with my personal life. I stay humble and I don’t lose myself because of my fame, because my mom helps me stay focused and grounded and keep my confidence up.” 

What is your dream role and who would play alongside Mychal-Bella Rayne? “A superhero, sci-fi, horror movie with Zendaya and I as the heroes. I’ve always looked up  to her as an actress. She’s so amazing!”

What do you like to do in your downtime? “Before COVID-19, I used to do over ten auditions a month, go to events on the weekends. There have been times I didn’t want to go to an audition; instead, I’d rather hang out with my friends.” Two of Mychal Bella’s school friends are daughters of Oscar winner Viola Davis and singer and actress Christina Milian. “Both are very sweet, and I mentor Mrs. Davis’ daughter,” said Mychal-Bella. 

What is some advice you would give to anyone interested in getting into the industry? “Always stay confident in whatever you do. Always try your best. Always do what’s best for you and nobody else.” 

My phenomenal Mother and Daughter of the Week are Mychal-Bella Rayne Bowman and her mother, Ereka L. Scales. For more about Bella, visit, or @mychalbella, and MBI Management @mbimanagement.

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