When you make a decision that aligns with your purpose the universe conspires with you to make it happen. I made South Africa my mission and things started lining up. People in my network started to mention it. Opportunities in the market were popping up and there were other signs that affirmed my intention. It was brought to my attention that BET was having it’s first ever festival in Johannesburg a few days after I was scheduled to land. After learning this, I stalked a few people on LinkedIn and emailed everyone that I’d ever met at the network (New York, Los Angeles, D.C.) reintroducing myself and inquiring about specific plans for the event. Included in the emails were links to my video reel, developed content, along with recaps digital and experiential campaigns that I had executed for previous clients.
Out of the 20+ emails that I sent, no one responded. No one.
I knew I had to be involved. I didn’t know how it was going to happen but I knew it had to. I obsess knowingly and unknowingly about the things that I want to happen until they take place. This time I was aware of my stubbornness with regard to the event and I would not be satisfied until I achieved my desired result.
By chance, a friend of mine (Tony B - he's more like a brother) at a communications agency in Chicago was visiting the BET offices in DC. He was posting pics on Instagram while he was there with an artist. I immediately messaged him and asked if he could find out who in the building was working on the BET Experience Africa. Tony B found Collins from the BET International group and connected us.
I forwarded my info to Collins with the hopes of getting more information on what was going to be happening in South Africa in order to figure out how I could participate. We exchanged emails and phone calls back and forth for a few months but nothing had developed. Finally, it was the week of the event and I was on my way to the airport. I received an email from Collins that he would be connecting me with an executive from BET International since he would no longer be attending. However, there was no guarantee that I’d be a part of the event. I had plenty of time during my 16-hour flight to worry about why this hadn’t worked out the way I wanted but I didn’t. I just knew that I had to be a part of it.
By the time I landed in Johannesburg I had been connected with the BET International exec and her assistant that were overseeing the Black Girls Rock activation. They informed me that they’d need assistance coordinating with the local talent. The next night I got my sleep and arrived at the venue early the following day because I knew it was game time.
There wasn’t any one else around from the team when I arrived so the partner radio station decided to interview me about the event. It was interesting because it hadn’t been 24 hours since I received an email with the specifics of the event I was going to be a part of. Nevertheless, I answered the call and talked to Mo-G on Kaya FM about the significance of the Black Girls Rock activation and the purpose of the first ever BET Experience on the continent. He kept calling it Black Girls Must Rock. In my head I'm thinking that's wrong but they must. Lol
During the event, I ran the point. It was as if I had been planning and managing with the team since day one. When the opportunity came I owned it. People I didn’t know vouched for me and I couldn’t disappoint them or myself. At the end of the event the BET exec gave me the ultimate compliment. She said, “Wow, we weren’t expecting you to work like this. What is your rate?” Til this day I still haven’t met Collins but I have no doubt he’d refer me again because I delivered.
I had the privilege to work with BET International Global Good Award winner and Ford model Millen Magese and two of South Africa’s top celebrities TV/Radio personality and Revlon Ambassador Bonang Matheba along with budding actress and Neutrogena Ambassador Nomzamo Mbatha. These ladies inspired the audiences with their accounts of hard work, sacrifice, and perseverance in order to get what they wanted out of life. Everyone involved was affected by the high energy and love that vibrated from that place during that time. The lesson I learned in the experience was Keep Going. You don’t have to figure it all out, just take the next step. Whatever the end result of following your heart is, you will be rewarded throughout your experience.