|Wow-wee a lot can happen in a year. Here I am in a blissfully sunny Windsor at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wedding on the 19th May 2018. |
It’s hard to believe it was a year ago on this very day that I had the pleasure and great privilege of attending the Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan on behalf of Sky News and the BBC. It was one of the most surreal and humbling moments of my life. It was electric.
Up until this point, I had never been a Royal, given our colonial past and someone whose ancestors were slaves to the British Empire, much like patriotism, I felt conflicted by the British Monarchy.
But I remember being overcome by emotion that day acknowledging how historically significant and symbolic their union was and how openly this was celebrated in their ceremony. To witness that was quite profound.
It all started months before, in January 2018 when Sky News found an article I had written in November 2017 and contacted me to take part in a special documentary about race and Harry and Meghan (catch up here if you missed it) I got THAT unexpected and very welcome phone-call at the beginning of the year. I was in the garage and just received news that my car had packed up, I had barely any money, low to no bookings and feeling like a failure.
I was seriously considering giving up this work and going back to 9-5. ANY 9-5. And then I got the call from Sky News which was a catalyst for raising my profile as a media expert and speaker on this subject.
Then the BBC followed along with 15 media interviews from all over the world (including Australia and Germany) it was quite a turnaround. But with raising my profile came great reward and also trolling. You can’t have one without the other doing this work. I don’t get out unscathed, it smarts, it hurts and sometimes I need to take a break. But I keep going because of incredible people like you and also the Duchess and Duke of Sussex – who regardless of what you think of The Royals knew they would have to overcome hatred, perhaps on a daily basis because of the British Monarchy’s close links to slavery and racism.
Because there are still people that believe that people of colour are sub-human. Yet, they elegantly rise, they continue to elevate raise awareness of some brilliant equality driven and humanitarian causes close to their hearts.
What did I learn?
In the past year I learned that behind vulnerability is courage and that courage is inspiration and motivation to others. I nearly didn’t say yes to these incredible opportunities through fear of facing attack and not being liked.
But I decided to do it anyway.
But here’s the thing. I did experience attack and I did experience hate, but I outweighed the opportunity with the risk. And the love, no matter how corny this may sound, far outweighed any hate.
The RICH lessons?
Say yes to things that frighten you. Don’t hold yourself back from incredible opportunity because you are afraid of what others might say. This is YOUR life – not theirs.
Follow causes that make your heart sing.
Say yes to things that will take you on the other side of fear – because right on the other side of fear, or the other side of your comfort zone is a whole lot of magic.
PSSSST… If you would like to vote for me in the National Diversity Awards for all the work I have been doing to advocate for race equality this past year, you still have a chance to have your say and I would love your vote, nominations close on the 31st May