BLAK WAVE, spearheaded by Michael Jenkins and Dr Mena Fombo, will be the first of Bristol’s 140 TV production companies to be black owned.
The company’s mission is to create content from a fresh perspective, giving a voice to those who are underrepresented on our screens and telling stories that reflect and resonate with today’s TV audiences.
Dr Mena Fombo is a highly regarded equality and diversity campaigner in Bristol. She is credited with founding Black Girl Convention and has a background in filmmaking including heading up the creative production agency Eight at Knowle West Media Centre. Co-founder Michael Jenkins is an established filmmaker whose recent documentary about St Pauls Carnival received wide acclaim. As well as making content for the BBC, he has numerous credits for Channel 4 and a range of digital platforms.
Blak Wave is being incubated by DrummerTV, the award-winning production company making entertainment and factual programming for Channel 4, BBC1, BBC3, Channel 5, CBBC and British Sign Language Broadcast Television.
Commenting on the launch, co-founder Michael Jenkins said: “I’ve been a filmmaker for the past seven years and more often than not, when I enter a commissioning room, I’m the only black person in it. Blak Wave is a huge opportunity to invest in developing new narratives and tell untold stories that reflect the population”.
Dr Mena Fombo said: “You’ve heard of a rogue wave, well now a Blak Wave is coming, and we’re inviting everyone to jump on board and ride it, this is going to be great for the industry, particularly in the South West.”
Bristol is synonymous with award winning TV output. However, diversity and a lack of representation continues to be an issue in this sector just as it is at a national level.
Tamsin Summers and Rachel Drummond Hay, directors of Drummer TV said: “When Drummer started we were one of only a handful of production companies owned by women and now Blak Wave is paving the way for BAME-led TV in our region. We’re thrilled to be supporting them. There’s a misconception that the underrepresented want to make niche programming and Mike and Mena will prove this wrong with ideas that are broad, big and bold”.
Source: Voice Newspaper, 26th October
All successful people have one quality in common, and that is resilience. Resilience is having the capacity that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back at least as strong as before. Rather than letting difficulties or failures overcome them they find a way to rise from their adversities.
I am presently in Jamaica and following the inspiring stories regarding Tyler Perry's accomplishments moving from adversity to triumph to build the biggest film studios situated in 330-acres. His journey against the odds has made him the first African American to own a major film production studio of this magnitude.
Perry had a rough childhood. He was physically and sexually abused growing up, got kicked out of high school, and tried to commit suicide twice — once as a preteen and again at 22. At 23 he moved to Atlanta and took up odd jobs as he started working on his stage career. He failed many times in his career but he never quit.
This news had me thinking about how challenging it must have been for him with all his failures but he never give up on his dreams. In one of his interviews Perry says, "When a seed is planted in the ground, all you can do is water it, you cannot control the sunshine, you cannot control the weather, all you can do is plant your seed in the ground, water it and believe."
The most difficult thing for anyone with a dream is making the decision to overcome obstacles, endure hardship and keep calm under the challenges life brings. Pursuing your dream and successfully achieving it will require commitment and persistence and true belief in yourself. You will sometimes feel like you are going crazy, and those around you might agree with you at times. But the key thing is to NEVER give up.
Tyler Perry has proven that with hard work and commitment you can achieve your dreams against the odds. Hope this helps you win. Keep on keeping on.
A WOMAN who had a devastating stammer is going on a speaking tour across the United Kingdom to help more women get into business.
Chantel Sachanna, a business coach from Birmingham, spent decades battling with a stammer that was sometimes so severe she couldn’t say her own name.
Now Chantel, who overcame the stammer around three years ago using techniques she taught herself after seeing no results from conventional speech therapy, is carrying out speaking events in Birmingham, Manchester and London this year where she’ll be helping entrepreneurs to start and grow their own business.
Next year, she will carry out events in additional major cities across the country.
Chantel said: “I can’t believe how much my life has changed. Three years ago I was struggling to say my own name. Today I’m getting ready to speak in front of large groups of people all around the country!”
Chantel had a stammer ever since she was a child and it carried on until she was around 29.
She overcame the speech impediment by using techniques she taught herself and says: “After decades of not having a voice, I finally know how to speak confidently. And now I use my voice to help women get into business and to create a life that makes them feel proud of who they are.”
In the UK, it’s estimated that stammering affects around 1 in 100 adults, with men being around four times more likely to stammer than women.
Source: The Voice Newspaper - 26th September 2019
When life knocks you down, what do you do? Do you let it and give up or do you get back up and keep going?
How do you react when things do go as planned?
This quarter this is a topic I am thinking about - something that I am inviting you to think about as well.
"Embracing our resilience"
Why is that you may ask? I am presently in Jamaica and hearing the news regarding the collapse of Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest tour operator. This news had me thinking about how challenging it is to stay relevant in business with our goals and aspirations in today's market. What is the impact on the people who were stranded abroad? This company was started in 1841, meaning that its collapse ended 178 years of holiday-making. Lots to think about for anyone in business today.
Resilience isn’t about floating through life on a breeze, or skating by all of life’s many challenges unscathed; rather, it’s about experiencing all of the negative, difficult, and distressing events that life throws at you and staying on track optimistic, and high-functioning. Just imagine If we never ran into disappointment in the first place, we would never learn how to deal with it.
The story below demonstrate there is power in embracing change and our resilience - Bad luck? Good Luck? Who knows?
"There was once a farmer who used an old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills. When the farmer’s neighbours sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”
A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills. This time the neighbours congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”
Then when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this was very bad luck. The farmer’s reaction: “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”
Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg, they let him off. Was that Good luck or Bad luck? Who knows!
Who knows? Invite acceptance. Great leaders accept the idea that in chaos there is order, and that sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got, accept what happens, and move on. When it appears there are more questions than answers, more trouble than solutions, more failures than successes, more bad then good, to lead with greatness is to sometimes say, “Who knows!” When everything seems to be bad luck - it may just be good luck in disguise - and when not everything has an answer, and not everything can be figured out - that is when true leadership emerges.
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