A few years ago, a young lady from Northern Tanzania, a student/ immigrant in the United Kingdom, saw an opportunity and decided it was time to manifest her passion that was hidden within like a yolk in an eggshell. Her inquisitive mind and positive attitude walked her through. She dumped her own doubts and of her doubters and put her boots on. It was time to prove that with a dream and aspirations, success begins with a great idea.
As a result, we now have The Sporah Show. It’s a newer and comfortable home for people of color in the United Kingdom, on a globally televised Talk Show. It’s her place and our place to share views and ideas. Place to make things happen-for the better. If you want to turn your unproductive hours into time well spent, you are encouraged to tune in to The Sporah Show.
I recently caught up with Sporah Njau [founder and host The Sporah Show] for this candid interview;
BC: Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview with me. How are you doing?
SN: I am doing pretty good Jeff. Thanks for having me.
BC: Let’s start with a bit of history… your history. Where were you born and where did you grow up?
SN: I am a ‘God Fearing ‘Christian; I was born in Arusha to a middle class family. Coming from a humble background, I grew up believing that education is very important because it helps to shape life positively; I attended my primary level in Arusha and O level in Dar es Salaam. Then I went to Kampala for my A level and after that I moved to London, England where I graduated with BA at London Metropolitan University.
BC: When did you move to the United Kingdom?
SN: I moved to the UK in 2003, oh gosh, time fly.
BC: Now let’s talk about The Sporah Show. How did the idea come about and what were the challenges you encountered when trying to establish it?
SN: The idea came after watching different TV talk shows here in the UK, and the impact they have to the society. This made me realize how powerful TV is and how it can influence people’s lives. My motive was to motivate people’s lives especially the younger generation.
I was really into watching a lot of TV talk Shows back then. I really liked the idea of doing a talk show, but the tough inner question was always “How do I do that?”
So, I started doing a lot of research I got to know more about the Television Industry and how to seriously pursue an idea of a Talk Show. At that time we didn’t have any talk show for people of color in the UK if not Europe. I realized that the gap is there for someone to jump on! So I decided I was going to start a Talk show. I was excited about my idea; I rushed to tell my friends around me. Too many of them it was like “You can’t do that!” they all said. “Do you know how much money you need, how many Cameras you need and how are you going to get it on in the UK?
At that time language was part of my fear! Well it was my dream, my life, and my choice to live the dream or let my friends squash the vision right out of my head. I decided to stand up for myself. I found a website that listed all media and broadcasting courses and began part time studying.
Funny thing is, once people realized that I wasn’t going to give in, do you know what happened? They wanted to become part of the journey, too. I started hearing things like: “Hey, I know a friend that can get you on TV, and maybe my other friend can help you with this and that!
The point of all this is that it takes real courage to believe in yourself. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you absolutely must learn to stand up for what you believe in.
Challenges: First, I was a young black African woman from East Africa trying to do a TV Show!!! It was very… very hard to convince people. Second… I had a Language barrier, OMG! This wasn’t easy at all. And lastly… but not least, I was starting a TV show while in University. This too proved to be hard. It was like trying to pursue two degrees at one. But once I finished my degree course I felt like I was on the right track. The rest is history. Here we are.
BC: Growing up did you have a feeling that one day you are going to be where you are now?
SN: No. NEVER in a million years.
BC: What challenges are you and the entire production team facing now?
SN: Challenges: Seriously, I faced a lot of challenges. I am still facing them. But I always try to face them. Some of the few that I can remember… Just being a woman in an industry dominated by men is a challenge.
When it comes to being an African woman migrant in the UK, it’s even more challenging. However you’ve got to keep pushing towards your goal. I’ve had to learn to be ruthless or a “diva” because that is what it takes sometimes for people to take you serious.
On the other hand, when you have an audience and when people have put their faith and trust in you, expectations can asphyxiate the excitement you once had (Special THANKS to my fans, followers) it’s harder to take risks when people are watching. It’s hard to stay vulnerable, real, and honest. It’s easier to put on a show and act like everything is always amazing, but in the real world, it so, so difficult, you would be surprised at how much it takes to produce just one show.
Another challenge I must mention is, there are a lot of difficulties running a TV show, especially in western countries where everything has to be paid for; In addition to using professionals as a requirement in this industry and all have to be paid hourly. Not a joke!
I, however, must also mention that I have a wonderful team working behind the scenes. These guys work tirelessly to make it all possible. I am very grateful to have them. It’s an amazing team.
Sporah with Diamond on the show.BC: So far, a lot of shows have aired on The Sporah Show. It has been a place where people confess their “sins”, share secrets etc. When you look back, which episode do you consider to be outstanding?
SN: There is no magic; I guess it’s just how I talk to my guest and make them feel so safe and secure to the point that they open up their lives to me. Its funny most of the time, my guests asks, “I Don’t Know How I Open This Much To Sporah??” Hahaha I jokingly tell them because “Am Sporah” hihihi so funny.
I guess its about making your guests feel confortable and making sure you have enough information about them to make them feel like you’ve known each other before and the ability to control their emotion. I am a very easygoing person, funny and VERY serious when I need to be.
The episode I consider to be outstanding? I have many show I would consider as Outstanding and I could easily say all my shows so far have been amazing and outstanding. Each episode has taught my team and I something. I believe it is the same experience to people who have watched.
But if I can just look in 2013, my outstanding show in 2013 will have to be “Women Living with HIV” and Albino Killings in Tanzania. These shows made me realize how strong a person can be when needed. Everybody who knows me well know that Sporah cry, I mean I cry a lot. That’s who I am, and to my viewers, this is nothing new-I cry over a lots of things.
Now when we were doing these two shows my producer/team were begging me Sporah DON’T CRY. These people don’t need to see tears when they’re sharing their story. Trust me it was so difficult but eventually I did well. “Give Sporah a round of applause ”
BC: Your show will now be getting a new home at Clouds TV. Anything you want to share about moving from Star TV? How excited are you with the move to Clouds TV?
SN: Nothing much…really. I am just so excited am looking so forward to partner with Clouds TV. DON’T MISS OUT THE SPORAH SHOW EVERY THURSDAY 9:00PM AND SUNDAY 12:30 PM ON CLOUDS TV. www.sporah.com
BC: I am one of the people who follow you throughout your social networks. One thing I constantly see is that you believe and would like to see people thinking positive. Why do you think staying positive is important?
SN: I think for most people, it is easier to be negative than positive. Understandably, sometimes life can be hard and examples of everyday stressful events and occurrences are everywhere. But when you start trying to become a more positive person, you immediately appreciate all the little things in life.
Being positive will help motivate you to train and push yourself harder in your day-to-day life, and get more stuff accomplished during your day. It’s also healthy. Positive thinking can aid in stress management and even plays an important role in your overall health and well being, e.g.: Lower rates of depression. I therefore idolize the whole idea of thinking positive. I encourage everyone to do the same.
Sporah with Shilole on the show.BC: What is the best advice you have ever received about Life?
SN: It has to be what my Dad always told me; don’t lie, always tell the truth. It isn’t worth it to lie! Best advice I ever got.
BC: I am sure you follow a bit about Tanzanian politics (although we haven’t seen lots of politicians on your show). As the country is getting ready for 2015 Elections and a New Constitution, what advice would you give to the youth about involvement in political reforms and systems all the way to voting?
SN: Oh it’s very important. When you live in a democratic country you are born with the electro rights. You have a voice that means you have a say in who runs your country. And because of this, Tanzanians youth [those who have reached voting age] also have a privilege of having a say about how their country is governed.
So, to answer your question, “A BIG YES”. Tanzanian youth should vote so as to have a say in the biggest election issues, which often directly affects them. They should also vote to ensure that they get right leadership and leaders of their choice.
I think most young people who don’t vote are just lazy. That’s the bottom line. They’re used to always having the reason of “I’m not old enough” and they get stuck in that. So may be the government need to educate the youth on the important of voting and the effect it has in their future. It is their world and their future and they need to step up and make the decisions that will affect it. It’s very important.
BC: What are the immediate plans for The Sporah Show as you enter new heights through Clouds TV which is apparently about to reach even more millions of people in Far East?
SN: I don’t have any immediate plans. I am just going with the flow at the moment.
BC: If I don’t ask this question, I will be in trouble. You married or dating?
SN: Nope, I am still waiting for that Mr. Right.
BC: Thank you for your time Sporah. I wish you all the best in everything you do.
SN: Thanks Jeff.