Amanda Nothando CEO, writer and Executive producer of Monumental Arts Network and host of The Amanda Nothando Show narrates how she kept faith with her childhood dream to work in the creative industry
HAVE you ever wondered how many unsung heroes are out there around the world?
In a world obsessed with 24 hour roll on news on money, politics and celebrities of every description, ordinary everyday heroes who do so much to benefit society are hardly ever in the news.
Many of us remember a particular teacher or mentor who used to push us to the limit because he or she believed that we had the ability and potential to achieve significant goals in life.
Such motivators are for the most part selfless people who go through life seemingly unaware that they are a great gift to society. Most of them tend to shy away from being congratulated for the work they are doing in their communities or for providing crucial support to individuals who might otherwise struggle to turn their lives around after going through some misfortune.
My own life journey, from Zimbabwe where I was born, to Canada where I settled in 2011, is illustrative of how inspirational people can help mould the careers of others.
I can honestly say that I never dreamt I would ever be in a position to set up my own film production company, Monumental Arts Network, and also create the Amanda Nothando Talk Show which I host on a youtube channel – all within six years of settling in Canada.
But looking back now, I can see how my pathway into the creative and entertainment industry was helped to a great extent by the fortunate coincidence of associating with people who shared my vision and were prepared to support and point me in the right direction.
Needless to say, not all advice I received with regard to vocational choices, was always right for me.
For instance when I confided to a close friend that I wanted to train as an actress in Canada – because I had a passion for creative arts – and had tested success during my teen years in a plethora of pageants, her advice was that pursuing such a vacation, at my age, was a lost cause.
The received wisdom was that I needed to aim for a more formal vocation – such as training as a nurse!
Evidently my friend meant well. But she could never have understood that I wasn’t prepared to abandon my childhood dream to work in the creative industry and bask under the spotlight, looking glamorous and being the centre of attention!
I guess that seed was planted during my teen years in Zimbabwe when two friends and I formed a girl group called “The Misfits.” We fancied ourselves as a girl band with attitude. We composed and recorded our own music and dreamt of conquering the world with our outrageous songs and dance routines!
During my teen years I even wrote a film script, just for fun! Recently, when I retrieved the script from my junk of piled up papers I was rather pleased with the storyline so much that I’m seriously thinking of developing it into a feature film. So watch this space!
When people ask me what motivated me to start my Talk Show on youtube, I tell them that I wanted to showcase the tremendous impact that unsung heroes have on the lives of ordinary people, be they writers, teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs or even inventors.
It matters greatly to me that the unsung heroes in black communities across the world hardly ever get a mention in mainstream media. On the other hand there is no shortage of stories about dangerous black criminals, drug dealers etc.
I personally think it is the responsibility of black communities globally to showcase its own heroes. We need to identify those game changers who work quietly, and celebrate the efforts and energy they put to improve other people’s lives or communities in general.
As an African woman living in the diaspora I am daily astonished by the determination of our people to rebuild their lives wherever they have ended up – be it in Canada, Europe or other western countries. I’m always filled with pride when I meet or hear about an African who has accomplished great things in their new homeland, often against heavy odds.
I must confess, however, that the original idea to launch a Talk Show didn’t spring from my own deliberations. It came from friends, family and a fan base who enjoyed seeing me go Live on Facebook so much that they urged me to start my own Talk Show.
Given my “chatter box” personality and the fact that I naturally love socializing and enjoying laughter with people, I didn’t need much persuasion to launch the Talk Show.
In a nutshell, the Amanda Nothando Show specializes in introducing ordinary people who are involved in community oriented projects or in niche enterprises, face to face with an audience that cherishes inspirational stories.
My audience enjoys listening to go-getters who have succeeded against all odds or even those who are still in the process of trying to reach their goals.
Fundamentally, I think as human beings, we are drawn towards people who speak candidly and passionately about doing their best to achieve certain goals in life.
So I try as much as possible to tease out what drives my guests to dedicate themselves to whatever project they are involved in. Where relevant, I also ask them to advise listeners on how to go about setting up a business or transforming their lives when they feel they have reached a dead end.
We also have a bit of fun time on the show by way of getting my guests to introduce the audience to their favorite game from their childhood.
I specifically added this segment to teach the younger generation, most of whom are obsessed with electronic gadgets, that great fun and entertainment can be derived from simple group games or even from sharing folklore stories.
Lest we forget, every adult was once a child!
I’m eager and ready to interview Africans and people from other races and cultures on my Talk Show. So if you know anyone who fits the bill, don’t hesitate to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org