Validated Dreams by Adenike O. Adebayo
Anything is possible. If your mind can conceive it, you can realize it. Read her story below;
I saw the audition notice for TLC Next Great Presenter and thought to myself, why not? This was after I had attended series of “failed” auditions. TLC (DSTV Channel 172) is a huge platform and the competition was opened to the whole of Africa! It seemed like an impossible task. I mean, what are the odds that my video would be chosen? But, I did it anyway. And boy, did God bless my I received the called at 7:00am on a Friday morning telling me that the judges loved my audition and I’d been selected to be one of the 12 semi-finalists of the competition. I was elated! Literally, I was walking on sunshine. It seemed unrealistic because there were over 1,500 entries. But here I was, being told that I could potentially be the first African presenter that TLC has ever had. I was as nervous as I was excited.
As a semifinalist, I was invited and flown to Johannesburg, South Africa to attend boot camp with the other semifinalists. We attended master classes on performance, media training, fashion etc. It was a learning experience with industries finest. By the end of the week, the 12 semifinalists had been narrowed down to 3. Unfortunately, I was not part of the 3 finalists. I was devastated, but only for a while.
With tears in my eyes, I began to count my blessings:
1. Out of 1,500 auditions from all over Africa, I was chosen to be one
of 12 semi-finalists
2. The only Nigerian chosen
3. Flown to South Africa and lodged at a 5 star hotel
4. Attended trainings led by professionals
5. Made connections, new friends
6. Had an experience of a lifetime etc.
Not only did I dry my tears, I bounced back with a bang. I enjoyed the rest of the trip and learned as much as I could. The judges was amazing in letting us realize that we all had something special, our dreams were validated on an international scale! But at the end of the day, there could only be one winner. But hey, we all already won, we made top 12!
And to ice the cake, I ran into one of the best presenters in Nigeria (Africa if I may), Ebuka Obi Uchendu, at OR Tambo international airport, on my way back to Lagos. He was kind, patient and attentive while I told him about my journey as a presenter. He even gave me a very useful tip. (wink)
Now that I’m back in Lagos, I’m going to pursue this dream of becoming a renowned TV presenter and producer like never before. I’ll keep going because forward is the only place to go. I’m confident that soon, my time will come and I will shine bright like a diamond. Get your sunglasses ready, because it’s going to get real bright pretty soon.
I decided to share my TLC journey with you in order to encourage someone who’s out there pursuing a dream; you’re too close to give up. Not every “no” is a set back. And as my good friend once said (Hi Bonolo), “God will sometimes take you around the block, just to bring you next door.” Don’t give up, keep going because some day, your time to shine will come. You don’t want to be found missing now, do you?