Irene Sporah Njau of the Sporah Show - African Women's Week 2010
Talking to Irene Sporah Njau of the London based Sporah Show.
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First published: August 26, 2010
You might have seen some of the video clips of their shows on YouTube… some Africans debating on all sorts of issues from cheating men to teens having sex. At times you will see them interviewing some African musicians while they are in London, or some East African young ladies contesting for Miss East Africa UK as they are hosted with the pageant’s founder, Pauline Long.
Mr and Mrs East Africa UK 2010
It’s the Sporah Show based in London. Its leading lady took time out of her hectic schedule to speak to us for African Women’s Week 2010.
Irene Sporah Njau.
Peter: Welcome to the UGPulse.com Sporah… How does it feel about being on the other end of an interview?
Sporah:Its pretty cool, but always feel like reversing the questions to the interviewer.
Peter: You wish…(laughs) Where does the name Sporah come from?
Sporah: Its my name. I was named after my nanny who was called Sporran. Its a Christian name coming from the Bible- from Old Testament EXODUS 2:21.
Peter: Surely you were not named by your nanny… So perhaps tell us your true full names.
Sporah: Sporah is my true name, I meant that I was given this name after my nanny Sporah… my full names are Irene Sporah Njau.
Peter: The last name is Njau. Where are you from?
Sporah: Yes my last name is Njau. Njau is originated from Kenya - Kikuyu and Tanzania - Chagga, I immigrated to the UK in 2003.
Peter: Well… we are extremely excited to finally have you here at last. Its been a pleasure to watch your show grow. You are sort of like UGPulse on television. For those of us who may not know what I am talking about… tell us about the Sporah show… it’s goals… it’s achievements and future… How big is your viewership right now and what is your target audience?
Sporah: The Sporah Show is a TV talk show aimed at the young generation. The show provides an excellent opportunity for young people to get together and speak out on different issues concerning life in general and showcase social activities involving them. The show discusses issues that affect the Black African community residing in UK and Europe and Africa as a whole.
Our viewership… The Sporah Show is shown weekly on SKY 184 every Monday at 9:30pm for one hour in Europe and one hour in East Africa. This we feel is essential as a programme. Statistically, we have over 250,000 weekly viewers from Europe of which the majority are of the Black ethnic minority community or background. And in East Africa, statistically, we have over 2 million weekly viewers on Fridays and Saturdays. We have a slot on Star TV in Tanzania aired every Friday at 18:00hrs and Saturdays at 13:00hrs. Star TV shows in over five countries in East Africa.
The Sporah Show.
Peter: When did the show begin? What was that first identifiable seed to the show?
Sporah: The Sporah Show started in July 2007 with the aim of informing, educating and entertaining, and has been operating since July 2007 in the UK and Europe. We branched out into East Africa in 2010.
What was that first identifiable seed to the show? Hmmmnn… Coming to Europe from a “Third” World country with my African background and seeing young women at a very young age with no parental guidance and allowing the societal norms to influence them against their culture and values made me realise that so many young women from black ethnic minority (BEM) grew up with low self esteems. This and other things made me think of doing something that can bring change and I thought this can only be achieved through media.
Peter: What other jobs did you try out at before you became fully involved in the Sporah Show?
Sporah: You’re right. The Sporah Show is my full time work. The other jobs I tried included care work, working with older people. This was one of those job that taught me to value life and appreciate everyday as it comes. Beautiful experience! Another job was TV presenting on a program called Deano On Ben. Another wonderful experience! Then I started selling women’s products on line, including hair extensions, traditional outfits and more. Finally I launched my new babe "The Sporah TV Show".
Irene Sporah Njau
Peter: What were your first hurdles in realizing such an ambitious show?
Sporah: After watching different TV talk shows, I realized how powerful TV was, and how it could influence or change people's lives… especially the young generation. So I thought… Yeah!! Something is missing in my society and somebody has to fix things… So I came with an idea of a Talk Show… It was not easy, but very possible. Thank God we are pioneers of African Talk Show in Europe.
What were some of the challenges?… I faced a lot of challenges, and am still facing them but I always try to face them. Some of the few that I can remember… First, I was a young black African woman from East Africa!! Trying to do a TV Show!!! It was very… very very hard to convince people.
Second… I had a Language barrier problem. This wasn't easy at all.
And lastly… but not least, was that I was starting a TV show while in University. This too was very 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.
Peter: How much support do you get from the Diaspora community? Do you feel that they can do more to support your show? And which country’s nationals support your show most and why?
Sporah: I think I am getting good support from Diaspora community, though I think they can do more to support the show. Honestly I have fans almost every African country, but I think now the numbers of East Africans is increasing tremendously because the show is aired in some of East African countries.
Peter: What was your most interesting interview to date?
Sporah: I must say, that is when we did the show about ONE NIGHT STANDs! It was hard to believe that there are women who prefer one night stands. It was very interesting- I must say this.
One Night Stand
Peter: And which one got the most viewers?
Sporah:I think MISS SOMALI UK. This is because of the fact that, it was the first Miss Somali EVER and Somali is a Muslim country. So it was something very new to their community.
Peter: How do you decide on a topic for your show?
Sporah:We don't decide a topic for ourselves. We normally leave people to suggest… I mean the fans. So people call during the program or they text… We have lot of fans from Facebook and Twitter plus Youtube. So people get in touch with us through all these social networks.
Peter: How does your family and kids take the success of the show?
Sporah: I don't have family yet… But people who are close to me are really proud of me.
Peter: You don’t have a family yet… Does that mean men out there still have a chance to connect with you? Some UGPulse fan might be looking you know… What qualities would you be looking for in a man?
Irene Sporak Njau
Sporah: Well the answer to this question can be easy and hard at the same time… as there are some very essential qualities which almost every woman demands in a man.
I’ll give you my Top 6 on the list then I can deal with the rest, as I believe it’s not easy to find a man with all the packages that I need. Otherwise...
- The most important to me is a sense of humor- This is the most common yet most essential demand that I want a man to have. I like to stay around a man who knows how to make me laugh and keep me amused. I believe no female likes very intense or boring males.
- Purpose in life.. To be honest, I like men who know what they want in life and have a strong path which they are following. We women always look for a man who has a vision and a strong desire to get somewhere in life.
- Honesty and decency… I like straight forward Men.. I believe women don't like being cheated on or lied to any more... So if you're a chew 'em up and spit 'em out type man, your life will be a string of one-night stands followed by a bitter spinsterhood. So… Its time for a change same as women… Lets us be honest and decent so that we will have a happy and health relationship.
- Mmhh.. A gentleman.. of course!!! I mean this is for all of us…Let me give a tip to my brothers out there… Women want a man who knows how to treat a lady well. I believe Women would not respect a man unless you know how to respect them. Therefore women prefer men who know how to pull chairs and open doors for them when needed. Yes… I like that.
- The next will be. I like a man who knows how to carry himself well.
- Last but very essential is… he has to be Romantic. This is one ingredient all women desperately want from their men.
Peter: Pointers from a very beautiful single lady… You know you are very beautiful… Given the fact that you feature many African pageants on the show… Where you ever involved directly in the Beauty industry? What do you think is the main issue holding back Africans in the Beauty industry that perhaps you feel the Sporah show helps bring to light when you do feature these contestants?
Sporah: Thank you very much for the compliment… I have never been a contestant for any beauty pageant but its something that I like and I believe its another way of promoting your county, cultures all all that comes with these pageants.
Irene Sporah Njau with Miss Uganda UK 2009.
I think what is missing from beauty industry is good preparation. We have beautiful girls… very intelligent but I guess there is not enough preparation. I also believe the world we are living nowadays is not only about beauty! Not anymore... So I think also the organizers need to make sure this girls are not just beautiful but intelligent, "Brain & Beauty” or “Beauty with Purpose"… and not just beautiful.
Peter: What do you do when you are not at the show… what are your favorite pass times?
Irene Sporah Njau
Sporah: I know this may sound funny but the truth is… I really don't have a pass time at all… I thought that when I finish University things will be better but its actually worse, because now we produce the Show for both Europe and Africa. So if am not on set recording, I will be in the office doing editing and all that is needed to finish up the show.
Peter: Lot of hard work… Has your show won any awards yet?
Sporah: Yes… we got one in 2010 for the contribution on the African Community.
Also The Sporah Show was nominated in 2009 on BEFFTA Award for the Best TV Show, and The Best TV Presenter. Unfortunately we did not grab the award, but this made me to work harder so that I can get it this year. We will see how it goes this year.
Peter: How come you have not asked us for an interview?(laughs) You could always interview our man Nick Nola you know… He is our Face on UGPulse.
Sporah: Ha, ha, ha… As I mentioned earlier… I don't look for guests on the show. Normally people call us. So I’ll suggest Nick Nola to give us a call and of course it will be good to have him on The Sporah Show.
Peter: Sporah… its been a pleasure talking to you.
Sporah: Thanks so much for having me on UGPulse.
Irene Sporah Njau.
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First published: August 26, 2010
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