Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Emmanuel.
Elizabeth, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The Unconventional African Podcast got started as an outlet for me to encourage other Africans in the entire diaspora that are under-appreciated or acknowledged for their gifts, accomplishments, and drive to go against the grain and follow their passion. I wanted to create a safe place for unconventional Africans to be themselves and tell their story about how they were able to overcome cultural expectations and community judgment for not following the path of the golden four professions (law, engineering, nursing, and doctor of anything). It took almost two years to actually start the podcast because I needed to define who I was before I could encourage others to be proud of who they are and what they wanted or are pursuing. Once I redefined myself and stopped following other people’s dream for my life and started pursuing my own passion, I was ready to help and encourage others to do the same.
The Unconventional African started with one mic in one of the guest rooms of my family house and a program called recording studio on my hp laptop. It was not the best technology but I wanted too start and work my way up to better. Plus a wise person told me, “Done is better than perfect”. So I called my cousin we took pictures and got the word out that The Unconventional African Podcast was going to launch. Now we are on our second season of the podcast and we have won an award “Top 20 Rising Stars” in Houston from Professional Association of Young Africans, launch our YouTube channel, and started making merchandise for the podcast brand. The Unconventional African podcast is committed to being an honest, encouraging, fun safe place for Africans in the diaspora to continue to be celebrated.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth journey because I had no experience in media prior to starting the podcast. I literally watch hours and hours of YouTube videos before I got started and I still do till today. I also had to keep my head up in times when people would decline being a guest or stating things like, “I’ll listen to it first and see if it is something I want to be apart of”. Which I could not let that stop me, I had to keep my head up and move on to the next. My friends and family were super supportive in these times. I also had to invest a lot of money into the podcast and that was another struggle at times but I had to remember I am investing my passion. My biggest advice to other women, Africans, or anyone, “create your own narrative- define yourself” and “be willing to invest in yourself”.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Unconventional African story. Tell us more about the business.
I am most proud of the lives we have inspired through the podcast. We have people comment, send us dm, or approach us in public saying what an inspiration our podcast is and how we should continue to touch lives. We have incredible guest on our show and their stories powerful and encouraging. We are not your average podcast, we inform our guest to be open, honest and transparent about their journey to following their passion. We also provide the listeners with ways to contact our guest to get advice, ask questions, and follow up on each guest journey. We work extremely hard to make sure each episode is full of powerful encouragement for all of our listeners and myself (the host).
Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
My advice is to find someone with incredible work ethics and a passion for mentoring. I do not have a specific mentor, I have people that inspire me and I get advice along the way from people in media. I make it a point to ask questions to anyone I know doing well in media, production, YouTube, podcasting, etc. Most importantly, I attend as many events as I can to help me network with others no matter what field they are in.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @theunconventionalafrican
- Facebook: Elizabeth Emmanuel
- Twitter: @theunaf
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPO-Dim4seQEKMIt0vfVeTA?view_as=subscriber
The Media Block, Cast Sound Lab, Florence Emmanuel, Ugoeze Uhegwu