My name is Abiola and I am 18 years old and I am from England (I’m half Nigerian). I’m interested in a lot of things such as film (consuming it, making it, talking about it), I like to read as this is where I get any inspiration from. I enjoy playing football, going to the cinema, meeting up with friends. I am extremely passionate about film and media and have been from a very young age, taking part in animation club at primary school to then making my own short films. I knew that I wanted to be in the film industry but I didn’t know what job role I wanted so I starting experimenting in different roles to see which one/s was right for me. This lead into me wanting to be a director/producer and screenwriter in Hollywood!
I heard about Babbasa through someone I knew working there and one day I was on their Instagram and decided to follow them. I saw all of the work they were doing to help young people get the careers they wanted so I then applied and the rest is history!
I felt that I faced a barrier in my race as there isn’t a lot of black people in film, media and tv. Those that were, were either not represented well and had stereotypes or they were not high in the executive decisions. After completing work experience with Silverback studios through Babbasa on their Placement Programme and going to Channel 4’s special recording at The Beacon Centre, I knew that Babbasa would help me to get the career I wanted so that I could change this. Another thing was my confidence. Before and at the start of Babbasa’s Challenge Programme I was very shy and I barely spoke to anyone. However, towards the end of the Challenge Programme I saw my confidence go up and I was talking to people more and I even spoke to the public which was something I would never have done before.
To help me overcome these barriers, Babbasa really pushed me. During the Challenge Programme we had to advertise the event to people and something that came with this was handing out leaflets. At first I wasn’t too sure because I felt that I couldn’t talk to the public, but I did it. This gave me the confidence boost I needed to talk to people and the public. In addition, during the Challenge Programme event I was the first speaker up so this further helped my confidence. The workshops during the Challenge Programme really helped too! For example there was one about talking to the public where we were given tips and advice on how to look and act confident – even if we didn’t think we were.
In the future I would like to be a director/producer and screenwriter in Hollywood because I am passionate about film and cinema. I think Hollywood still has barriers that need breaking down so I say Hollywood because I want to be part of that. My smaller goals are to hopefully make a feature film because I have never made one before and to enter my films into film festivals. With help from Babbasa I was able to get experience with a film studio which taught me how each role works and how a film company works.
My advice for young people is to not let anything hold you back from achieving what you want and to collaborate as much as possible. I say this because when you collaborate with people, you’re not only making work together but you are also gaining a contact, which can be useful in the future.
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