#Article (Archive)

Interview with Fatou Camara

Feb 20, 2009, 5:41 AM | Article By: Isatou Dumbuya

In this issue of She She She - we introduce to you one of the country's prominent female personality in the communication industry. Please read on:

She She She: Welcome Fatou Camara to the She She She, please introduce yourself to the readers of this page.

Fatou Camara: I am a Gambian woman of middle age, married with three kids, and raising two step children. I am a career TV broadcaster and PR specialist.

She She She: How can you describe yourself as a woman?

Fatou Camara: I consider myself as a simple, modest and enterprising woman who wants to always work towards achieving something. I have had an interesting career in media, especially TV and now have a busy time running my company. I believe it could all not happen without hardwork, commitment and faith in God. These are my life principles. 

She She She: What inspired you into setting up I-Media?

Fatou Camara: Interesting question. After my relatively lengthy career in TV, and a three-year stint at the U.S Embassy as Protocol Assistant to the Ambassador, I felt I havehad a rare opportunity to widen my professional scope and contribute my quota to nation building. With a fair idea of the country's media landscape, I could also see a vacuum that I think I should fill. This is the ostensible absence of a service provider that caters for the growing demands in professional PR. And if you look at private operators in the industry, most of those handling the businesses are men. Knowing I have a clout in this area, I thought I could join my male counterparts in delivering the goods. To me, the only way we women can assert ourselves is by proving our abilities through industry. Then, the rest of the equation will practically take care of itself.       

She She She: You are a woman in the limelight, do you feel that you have no private life since people are bound to speculate about your life?

Fatou Camara: Of course I have a private life. Otherwise, all that I am telling you now would already have been public information. However, the divide between privacy and non-private matters for public figures is very narrow; simply because they are seen as role models or pace setters. I am not sure if I am so much of a celebrity but I know some people can overstretch this 'public monitoring' role and delve into grey zones.    

She She She: What brought about the Fatoushow?

Fatou Camara: Well, you must have known about my TV background, and I have an ardent interest in current social issues. So the show came out of a combination of the two.Actually it is to blend the triple traditional functions of programming, which is to inform, entertain and educate, with the broadest representation of the national audience.

She She She: What is your reaction to the fact that some people may have a different aversion to your show?

Fatou Camara: Let them continue, and provide alternative views about what is meant to be a programme designed to serve the audience. I think criticism is one thing that we should all encourage, as long as it is constructive. There is hardly any programme though, that can be perfect in outlook to its dissenting audience. After all, talk show is not the genre that will target one segment of the population. So, criticism; we welcome it to make the programme better. 

She She She: How would you like a layman in the streets to know about the show?

Fatou Camara: Let them just tune into GRTS Thursdays at 7:30pm or Saturdays at 5:00pm.

She She She: How do you answer to a strange person in the streets, in the supermarkets or in an office who you have never seen or known from Adam?

Fatou Camara: Well, I move with goodwill and an open mind. I try to be very receptive, approachable and modest, and receive all manner of people with the same amount of decorum - be they fans, or people who just try to be nice.

She She She: As a very busy woman who most definitely lives a very busy life, you must be sometimes stressed out. What do you do to relax during stress?

Fatou Camara: Stay with my family, who are a constant source of consolation for me. My husband, especially, is very supportive to me and my kids. So, having them around keeps me going too.

She She She: What would you recommend a woman with a broken heart to do in order to forget about the past?

Fatou Camara: To be steadfast and move on, knowing that life is also about challenges and disappointments. We all experience those things now and then but I know for a fact that there is no moment when life depends on a single issue to be lived. Remember Machiavelis: 'that which doesn't kill me, makes me stronger.'

She She She: What plans do you have for young people in the Gambia?

Fatou Camara: I admire young people with an ambition to achieve, because that is the first step towards making an impact. As a media person, my focus is on training programmes for the teeming mass of young people in the industry. This is what young journalists need, apart from their personal qualities, to practice well and excel in the trade. In the medium or long term, you could see our input in this area.

She She She: What would you advice a talented youth who dreams of nothing but success, but dosen't have the means to realize his/her dreams?

Fatou Camara: I am not sure if our understanding of talent is the same. But to me, the one who with talent already has something to offer and somewhere to begin. The rest is a question of self organisation, strategy and effort. It must be said though, that larger society has a role to play in helping young people show their potential - whether or not they ask for it.

She She She: Thank You.

Fatou Camara: You are Welcome.