My 5 in 5 Interview on The Afropolitan Experience

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to do an interview with George Ukomadu, creator and host of 5in5Africa. The format of the show is 5 questions in 5 minutes featuring interesting people who are making Africa shine. Of course I was honored to be included in a group of people described as agents of Africa’s luminance, and it wasn’t until I went through a few of the videos this morning that I discovered HOW influential these people are. That is why I was horrified when I realized that THIS is the image that is going to confront people when George finally publishes the video.

Ugh.

That poor unsuspecting oaf.

The Afropolitan Experience features a number of very impressive people, from up-and-comers to the well established in the areas of politics, social good and the arts. I was particularly impressed with AiRis, a singer and song writer of mixed African ancestry and Yolanda Sangweni, a South African born writer and editor who is the founder of AfriPOP! and the entertainment editor for Essence.com. Both of these ladies were so poised and engaging during their interviews and I was left with a deep sense of failure when I reflected on my own taped conversation. When it airs, there are two things you are sure to notice: my enormous cowl neck and my enormous boobs.

With my friends I am gregarious and witty, and they all believe that this makes me “well spoken”. Everyone is well spoken in a comfortable setting, and what makes good public speakers great is their ability to create a comfortable atmosphere for themselves, no matter what the arena.

What only a few people  know is that I am deathly afraid of public speaking. There are a few things that come to mind that I’d rather be doing than addressing an audience of strangers. If you would be so kind, I’d like you to imagine me engaging in the following scenarios:

  1. Bungee jumping into the Zambezi
  2. Nursing sea sick sea lions
  3. Outrunning rabid coyotes

Given that I don’t live in close proximity to a lake, an ocean or forest, it would stand to reason that I have a better chance of being interviewed by a Nigerian (George) in another state than the above three possibilities. So there I sat in front of my camera, fumbling through my words and trying to organize my thoughts while willing my mouth to eschew the use of the word “umm”, at least for the next 5 minutes.

It turns out that I should have been more concerned about my wardrobe than my words. No one is going to be listening to what I’m saying. How could anyone concentrate with a pair of inflatable rafts in their face?! This is why God created stylists.

Have a great weekend everyone! Remember to do something special for someone.

Huh? Oh…yeah! Here is a link to The Afropolitan Experience channel on YouTube.  http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAfropolitanEXP/featured