What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
I have a few titles but they are all important to me. I’m a presenter, producer and currently add trainee journalist to the list. I will be excited in the new year when I qualify and will officially be a journalist/presenter!
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
When I was really little I wanted to be a nurse like my mum, but that was short lived when I realised I didn’t have the tolerance for blood. Although I hadn’t identified my favourite pastime as a career, I realised in retrospect, that all of the clues were there. My geekiness meant that I loved reading Ceefax as if I was a news reader (don’t ask) and did a bit of public speaking - essentially I was presenting.
What changed was that just over ten years ago, when I wasn’t presenting, I decided I had to take the leap and go for it!
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
I recently interviewed Jamelia Donaldson on my podcast Taking the LEAP and she introduced me to the concept that with 24 hours in the day, you have 8 hours to work, 8 hours to sleep and 8 hours to follow your passion be it creating/starting a business, fitness etc etc. This approach really resonated with me.
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
I am loving the fact that I am learning every day - it is a great environment to be in.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
Armed with my journalism accreditation, I see myself hosting a journalism skewed programme on mainstream TV which has consumer and social affairs at the heart of it.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
I think that ACLT are a fantastic charity. They are doing so much to raise the numbers of people from black and minority ethnic groups on the blood, donor and stem cell register which will in turn help those in need, have a fighting chance.
What drives you?
Representation, creativity, coffee and love!
Any final comments?
I think that we all have a passion within us and sometimes we are too afraid to entertain it. Often what stops us is a fear of being judged, or a fear of failure - either way the fear prevents us from tuning in to that little voice. My podcast Taking the LEAP is based on this; I came up with the concept LEAP, Listen, Equip, Action , Patience as I truly believe that with these steps we have the ability to tune in and fulfill our potential.
What does a normal day look like for you?
Ten years after starting out in media presenting on radio, online and following a successful time with Sky One show What’s Up TV, earlier this year, I decided to further invest in myself and am currently undertaking my journalism accreditation. As such a normal day is travelling to News Associates in Twickenham, doing lots of shorthand, studying media law and public affairs and finessing my writing.
On Friday’s I’m in at BBC Radio London assisting on the Drive Time show and I’ll be based at a local paper in a few months time, so it is an extremely busy but enjoyable period.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
I feel proud that I had the courage to follow my passion for presenting all of those years ago and creating a scenario that enabled me to go for it, despite it being a challenging landscape where the odds are stacked against me. Even if I hadn’t gotten as far as I have come, I would give myself credit for taking a chance on myself.
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
There are many women who inspire me. I am loving the rise of presenter Clara Amfo who is making such an impact as a host, cultural commentator and tastemaker.
My sister is a big inspiration, she is such a selfless person, a brilliant friend and amazing mum.
Across the pond, Shonda Rhimes is the ultimate boss. She is the creator of Grey’s Anatomy among others,, an author, mother and has her own production company Shondaland. She is responsible for some of the best TV and I salute her for that.
What was your biggest failure?
It’s really strange because life has by no means been host of highs, there have been many moments that haven’t gone my way. But I think I am lucky enough to have a really positive disposition and I don’t recognise those moments as failures, more lessons. I think the way we frame failure is really important in helping us to grow. I also think there is something in the saying my dad introduced me to, what’s for you won’t pass you. If I know I have done everything I could have done in a scenario, that expression helps me to accept the outcome if it hasn’t gone my way.
What do you like most about yourself?
I am patient with myself and with others and I am not afraid to speak out about things I feel are important.
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
This is such a big question - there is so much that needs to be done.
We need to not have people in the highest office making casual slurs against minority groups and getting away with it, effectively giving others permission to do the same.
In business we need to remove the structures that keep different factions down.
On a more localised level, I think that there is a lot of ownness put on minorities to solve the issues around inclusion. What’s sad is that when I have hosted or attended seminars or talks on inclusion and diversity, the room clears out and you often end up preaching to the choir. While people may not be directly affected by something, it doesn't mean that they should not be willing to learn about it.
I think that people who have privilege can become allies for those that don’t and use their privilege to ensure that those seated at the table with them and feel comfortable enough to be able to bring their different experiences and authentic selves.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
The ability to listen is such a key skill in media whether as a journalist, producer or presenter. Being able to listen, to understand who your audience is and to be able to communicate effectively as a result is absolutely paramount.