INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day, observed on March 8 annually pays tribute to the achievements of women, and shines the spotlight on the need for balance and equally in all aspects of life, particularly in the work place. In celebration of the day, we thought it fitting to feature a young woman who is excelling at her craft, and learning and growing to be the best version of herself. Meet Kalila Abubakr.
Tell us about your beginnings in the HTS production room?
Kalila: It was the summer of 2007. I was brought in to HTS for a summer job as a literal assistant in production. I was told what to do or perhaps roped in by production staff at the time and was made useful one way or another. When I returned to DTEMS for the terms that followed, I popped in at HTS every now and then to see staff. Then October of 2008 saw me being employed at HTS as a Junior Production Assistant.
What is your current job title?
Kalila: I am presently the Production Supervisor.
Is this where you always envisioned that you would be?
Kalila: I’ve always wanted to work with an international entity like BBC, CNN or Bravo.
What do you love about your current job?
Kalila: I love being able to express my creativity.
In what ways does your job make you feel empowered?
Kalila: Having my work disseminated via broadcast and reaching the eyes and ears of persons worldwide. Wow…thinking about it, that’s a little scary, all those critiques… Additionally, having a say in the look and feel of the channel, being given creative liberty for broadcast graphics and guiding others in the field makes every day interesting.
How to you balance mom/work life?
Kalila: Emotionally, it is tough, spending such a great portion of the day away from my daughter when she’s awake. At times I wonder whether she’s experiencing enough of me. When she was a newborn, once I returned home from work I’d devote my time to her completely, and once she fell asleep for the night then about 11 p.m. or midnight I’d start doing house chores. Now that she’s a toddler, once I’m home from work, I try to involve her in most of what I do or she involves herself. I must say though, that my partner who is my daughter’s dad has been a support like no other. Kudos to all the moms who do it on their own. Her Dad has been a literal Daddy Daycare and has filled the void from the time I returned to work after maternity leave.
Any advice to women about the benefits of hard work, and doing what you love?
Kalila: Consistently and repeatedly be good at what you do continuously. I know how repetitive that sentence was. I meant it. In all you do, do it well. Make persons want to inquire, who did that because they were positively-wowed and want to give praises about your work. Loving what you do makes it easier as you don’t have to force yourself or psych yourself up, you just have the zeal to get it done.
What do you enjoy doing outside the production room?
Kalila: I love spending time with people who make me look forward to living some more.
Speak a little about your love for graphic design and how you got into it.
Kalila: Throughout my life I kept looking at posters, cards or television ads and being fascinated by them. I started doing amateur photo edits in secondary school in Paint.net. At SALCC I designed posters for DJs for club parties. Then at HTS, I was introduced to Adobe Photoshop, and Premiere, shown the tools and how to do basic edits in there. That’s when my creative juices exploded. Having to actually do graphics to air on TV that would be vetted by Mrs. Valerie Albert-Fevrier, Kendall John and more recently ErnellSextius, I was able to learn what was pleasing to the eye. Now, I am versed in Premiere, Soundbooth, After Effects and I’m actually being asked to conduct training courses in film production and graphic design.
What makes you happy?
Kalila: Executing production tasks outstandingly and getting through challenging situations with a positive outcome.