For a person who’s spent most of my creative career behind a screen not saying much, the idea of being seated in front of a room of people talking about what I do is somewhat petrifying.
I was invited to speak with a group of 5 other creatives including photographer/designer Azza Suliman, Bobby Nolla (Google), Marcus Knight (Adidas), and Shurwmin Beckford (Hey Buddy TV) as part of an initiative headed by Sade Salami of Google and Anika Allen of Flavour Mag which showcases top role models across industries including technology, law, marketing, PR, music and fashion, to help young people gain insight into career possibilities, learn key skills to get ahead and benefit from career wisdom from seasoned pros.
We rehearsed a few times, something that really made me appreciate the roles of those who you don’t see once the finished product is shown but who really are the people that make everything come together. After taking a few group shots with the other creatives it was show time. Having been at Google for a couple of hours prior trying to calm my nerves, the actual on air show flew past (not something I’m mad about lol).
To many of my friends’ annoyance I’m often accused of playing down my accomplishments. I’ve realised that I often forget that at one point in time I was in the exact same place as many of the people in the room who came to see myself and the other panelists speak.
Whilst I’ve never referred to myself as a ‘Black Designer’ I realised that this particular episode was unique because it’s not something you see or read about on a daily basis as was being a woman in a predominantly male dominated industry. I knew of Azza from her work with music platform ADTV and had been an avid watcher of MTV’s The Lick when I was still at secondary school, a show which was the brainchild of DJ Trevor Nelson and producer Shurwin Beckford. Although are roles were different we were able to connect our passions and also laugh about the challenges we faced on a daily basis.
Google’s Top Black Talent is a series that I would have loved to have attended when I was at university so being able to share a platform with other creatives who had similar paths to mine was an honour and something I’m glad I said yes to.
What makes a person ‘qualified’ isn’t always how many degrees they have or awards they’ve won but really from their experiences in life. Seeing that those I spoke to valued what I said really drove this home and really made me appreciate the accomplishments I’ve made not only in my professional career as a creative but also with Thenublk.
If you weren’t able to tune in and watch the live show last week, Check out the video below: