Thanks for coming to my TED talk!

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I can’t believe that I have been working at TED as the Editorial Director of The Audacious Project for almost a year now! It’s been an exhilarating ride figuring out ways to amplify the work of the extraordinary social impact organizations funded through this initiative.

Each year the announcement of the funded projects happens during the annual TED conference in Vancouver, and it’s always a much-anticipated highlight of the week. So when it became clear that due to COVID, we couldn’t have an in-person event, it was decided that we would pivot to an 8-week online experience. This was pretty daunting for the whole organization. Having to convert an event designed for the live stage (one of the most famous in the world) into a compelling online program is no joke!

Luckily for the Audacious team, we had some digital-friendly content already in the bag, because pre lockdowns I had traveled to Rwanda and Kenya to shoot two mini-documentaries highlighting the work of Audacious grantees. Both ended up being selected for the mainstage session at TED2020 held virtually in June!

One of the videos features SNHU’s GEM program, which provides access to Bachelor’s degrees to refugees.  Spending time with Saida, a refugee student from Kakuma camp in Kenya, and sharing her story and those of many other displaced communities was life-changing. 

The story is now up on TED.com, and I couldn’t be prouder to share it. Check it out here.

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Saida Aden Said, a SNHU student, living in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya

Springster series Hara Huru Dara featured at YoutubeFest

fanfestWe hooked up with Youtube to create a ten-episode web series for Springster Indonesia!

The show adapted some of our most popular on-site content into a fun, conversational format covering everything from a takedown of catcalling culture to tips on preparing for job interviews, to a light-hearted deconstruction of harmful period myths.

The series was hosted by an inspiring group of young female influencers including actress and pop sensation Sheryl Sheinafia.

Thanks to our incredible Indonesian creative team Percolate Galatic we were able to secure some of Asia’s coolest creative talent including award-winning director and filmmaker Lucky Kuswandi, and we even scored a jingle by rising 18-year-old Indonesian singer-songwriter Heidi Nasution!

 

Yes, I’m also a voice artist…

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My amazing friend and NYU classmate Claire Ward recently completed a documentary film about ColaLife, an innovative non-profit using the Coca-Cola distribution system in Zambia to distribute an anti-diarrhea kit, called Kit Yamoyo. 

I voiced the film and couldn’t be more proud of the end product, it’s so well made and such an important story that needed to be told!

In other news, I love doing voice work because it keeps me connected to my radio roots, so doccie-makers… call me!

 

We launched a pop-up radio station for the Oscar Pistorius trial

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I love working on projects that raise the game in innovation so I couldn’t be prouder of the online team’s contribution to Primedia’s groundbreaking coverage of the Oscar Pistorius trial, #OscarExtra, an online pop-up radio station running for the duration of the trial.

The idea came to us a way to run trial audio within all 4 of our station’s radio station apps and thanks to our team’s creative powers it quickly turned into an amazing full-service 12hr radio station. Sounds simple right? You optimize on the biggest media event of the year by providing dedicated coverage without cannibalizing on your regular radio programming, well yes… and no.

The operation of a live feed from the courtroom, a board operator, and a great radio presenter who did call-ins and commentary was pretty standard by radio standards and the online side of setting up a dedicated stream and quick turn around podcasts was one we already had waxed.  However, convincing all the station heads that it was better to do this cool groundbreaking content thing online only turned out to be the most challenging task of all.

You have to understand this in an environment where podcasts are still relatively new to our audience it looked like this massive risk…

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It’s a good thing I’m charming because our ‘launch it now and apologise later’ strategy… well, it could have gone sideways. But it didn’t because as it turned out radio listeners like to listen to things online too, especially when at work and the internet is easily accessible. Oscar Extra was one of our most popular online projects of the year with streams surpassing any of the numbers we had ever done in online audio before!

It was also really exciting to see the attention it got from the industry who thought it was groundbreaking too. 

UPDATE: #OscarExtra nominated for Bookmarks in the Integrated Multi-platform campaign category 

I love it when a calculated risk pays off!

Joburg Day goes live!

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Some new developments on the career front…

I’ve been working on digital strategy for Primedia Broadcasting over the last few months. They are the amazing media company behind brands like Radio 702, EWN, 94.7 Highveld Stereo, 567 CapeTalk, and LeadSA.

My portfolio of work spans all the brands at this stage which has been pretty intense but it’s also been some of the most fulfilling work of my career particularly because of the freedom I’ve been given to push boundaries!

One of my highlights has to be the live stream I produced for 94.7’s annual Joburg Day Concert.

My role was managing all the content elements which included, the website, social media and a 12 hour live stream.

Hosted on the Joburg Day site it broadcast the concert, behind the scenes live footage and prepackaged inserts to over 50 000 viewers!

The show was one of the most watched streams of the day on livestream.com globally, and the most viewed of the week on live music portal irocke.com. Joburg Day Bands Views

Being the no. 1 trending topic on twitter in Johannesburg on the day was a cherry on top!

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UPDATE: This is a great analysis of Joburg Day 2014…. which was a huge success!

My first NYTimes by-line!

So our final video pieces for our semester 1 writing and reporting class had to be about couples in the east village… of course my partner Laura and I found the cutest most adorable couple ever!

Despite some technical glitches and blind rookie mistakes plus this being the first ever piece of video where I got to play cameraman and editor  – it turned out super cute!

Fast forward to pre valentines day and lo and behold the NYtimes local east village blog decided to pick up on our class’ videos for a series in the run up to V-day – and today they posted ours…#whoop!

Add to that Veronica sending us a sweet email saying:

“This looks great!! You guys did an excellent job. Such a nice way to end a long week.”

This just made me smile…

check out the video and article here

The Real Goboza reel

One of the craziest and most fun challenges of my life was producing the first season of Real Goboza in 2007 which was hosted by Dineo Ranaka and Trevor Noah… and who can forget Lelo such a smart savvy woman – she cracked me up at every shoot!

I found this online…can’t believe just how groundbreaking doing celebrity gossip in prime time television was in those days…crazy that shows like Flash, Headline etc are now such a normal part of the scene in South Africa.

A snippet of the RGB report one of my favourite segments to produce because well it always got controversial…

And what would celebrity show be without red carpet reports… on this one I did the V/O too, yes because in the early days RGB was poooor!

And who didn’t love Lelo Boyana? She was SA’s first blogger turned tv personality, thanks to me because well I was obsessed with her blog and once I met her I knew she belonged on TV.  Writing scripts for her was always such a blast because she never held back…

This trip down memory lane has convinced me, it’s time to get back to making TV… one day soon.