Unexpected gifts do exist and matches made in heaven are real. The DOM Podcast sees two best friends — Muriel and myself, Angela — hosting and creating the show. Now, our friendship story — in itself — is the answer to prayers and a divinely packaged gift worth writing about!
Back in early September 2021, during my spell as the Supervising Producer of a TV show for the French Embassy in Ghana, a Togolese lady reached out to me on a hectic Friday afternoon. I quickly glanced at the mail through my phone as the fiber connection at the office blocked C-panel URLs. I resorted to taking my time over the weekend, with my laptop and the wifi connection at home, to thoroughly check her message which had an attachment file.
The lady’s request to work with me on the TV show particularly caught my eye because, among all the applications I had ever received in over 12 years as a professional, none included a catchy creative portfolio like the one she had enclosed in her email. Now, all the roles on the project were filled and there was no budget for a digital marketer. It pained me a little that I had to respond to such an impressive professional with no good news but I made a mental note to plug her with any opportunity I may come across. I also proceeded to follow her on social media to keep in touch.
Two months went by and I opted to resume speaker engagement duties by honoring my eldest sister’s invitation for me to join her on the podium at the Female Leaders & Entrepreneurs Conference (FLEC 2021). The organizers handed out one free ticket per speaker. I opted to make a “first come first serve” giveaway post on my social media pages and two people immediately reached out to claim it — a man and a woman, but the latter was the fastest, leaving the former disappointed.
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I came to realize several months later in a conversation with Muriel that she was in fact that “fastest person”. This realization was mind-blowing and somewhat unsettling for me because whilst Muriel attended the event prepared, I did not even take note of her. In other words, you could be standing right in front of “your person” and miss out on them just because your mind is elsewhere. How scary! To anyone reading this, don’t ever let your person pass you by. Tune in. Always.
The fact is that my highly burnt-out brain at the time was too “fried”. My entire being was processing nine months of intense workplace stress. Besides, the reality is that I’ve always adopted a “help-and-go” approach when it comes to plugging people. More often than not, I do not even recall people’s names. I just plug. And I move on. I strongly believe that the point of plugging is to bless someone with opportunities they deserve, not to receive praises or to scheme a hidden agenda. In my humble opinion, Ghana and Africa’s societies would be better off if we all adopted a “help-and-go” attitude! But that’s a topic for another day.
Anyways, at the end of FLEC 2021, where I did a presentation on “SMEs Building Resilience as a Strategy”, I caught up with the one I viewed as “my guest” out of courtesy. We talked for a while about her job aspirations. I told her I was not hiring at TITA Productions but I refreshed the note in my head to recommend her once again for any good opportunity. We exchanged contacts and, early in the following year, I texted her once or twice with a job lead or two.
It was mid-February when we reconnected through Instagram. She had posted a story about her love for traveling and hiking. I replied stating that I’m up to be her Travel Buddy but that I’d be lounging while she hikes! We laughed and started talking. There was an instant connection. We chatted so much all day and navigated from deep topics to jokes seamlessly. I stalked her IG profile and stories one more time and observed her affinity for mental and physical wellness content. Keep in mind, that was two-and-half weeks after praying with my dad about finding the right person for my projects. At that point, it was clear she was a major candidate to be the co-host on The DOM Podcast.
Still, I wanted to check her voice and her accent in French because I could not remember it from the conference. So I sent her a voice note on Whatsapp and she responded – adorably giggling. She sounded good! I proceeded to present to her my idea for a podcast and my ambition to have her as the co-host. She was enthused. I was delighted. We booked a meet-up for the upcoming Saturday. I did not want to wait. If you know me, after tolerating time-wasters for a large chunk of my life, I don’t joke with time anymore. I move by “Yes? No? NEXT!” and “Don’t block the traffic: you’re in or you’re out”. *wink*
So Muriel and I met face to face and what was supposed to be a purely creative business meetup in a chic eatery in Cantonments, Accra turned into the most hilarious conversation I ever had whilst my iPad, prepared with the slides of my podcast presentation, remained closed throughout. We talked and laughed so hard my cheeks were hurting for the next three days. And just like that, it was like we had known each other for decades – even centuries.
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Muriel’s layered personality and creativity are exceptional. To me, she is up there with the world’s Top 5% creative marketing professionals. The fact that she can make wonders from minimal budgets says a lot.
For a whole three and half months, my friend and I actually did not touch much on the topic of the podcast’s creation as life was, well, “lifing”. Plus, I did not want any sort of pressure to kill her creative juices. In the meantime, we kept bonding incredibly fast and even worked on a couple of side gigs together. There was no doubt we were meant to cross paths and be in each other’s lives to conceive beautiful things together and share with the world. More on this in the must-read blog post, “How The DOM Podcast came into being“.