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US-based Nigerian talk show host…‘Nigerian accent was my first challenge’

Can you tell us about this talk show you presently anchor and co-produce with M-Cube Productions in Los Angeles?Jubilee Gamaniel: It’s called Hot Talk and…

Can you tell us about this talk show you presently anchor and co-produce with M-Cube Productions in Los Angeles?
Jubilee Gamaniel: It’s called Hot Talk and is a great medium for addressing some of the issues and challenges of our society and personal life that are often ignored. We have a panel of guests from diverse walks of life, who answer questions sent in by our audience and fans of the show on topics ranging from issues of lifestyle, health, culture, music, entertainment, tradition to those involving relationships.
How were you able to achieve this?
Gamaniel: My manager presented me with the opportunity and my initial reaction was I’m not a host, I’m an actress and I don’t want to go into the talk show world. Few weeks in I got pitched the idea again and this time I looked at it with an open mind and fresh eyes. I loved it and thought it will be a great opportunity to showcase a different side of me that had nothing to do with acting or modelling. I quickly brought myself up to speed on how to be a talk-show host.
What does the show hope to achieve?
Gamaniel: We want it to gradually transform the flavour, face and indeed fashion of African TV and the world – total world domination if I might add.
What are the criteria for the guests you feature?
Gamaniel: The guests on the show have been truly impressive: from beauty queens, to health and fitness experts, Nobel Laureates, celebrities of every nature and regular everyday people who are doing extraordinary and not-so-everyday things. The producers usually pick whom to bring on the show and contact their managers or agents to get them on.
Target audience for the show?
Gamaniel: At first we had an 18-35 demographic of African women, but now the show has men and people from all around the globe sending in questions, wanting to be a part of it.
What determines the focus of your topics?
Gamaniel: Like I already said earlier it ranges from lifestyle, health, fitness, relationship and so on. Right now the producers take the questions and have them categorized according to the guests we have for the day. So if there is a relationship expert, we would make sure we have all the relationship questions on that episode. Producers on the show are amazing, by the way.
What was it like with Nigerian guests on the show?
Gamaniel: On our second episode we had Nigerian health and fitness experts Jennifer Oguzie , award winning Nollywood actress and fitness coach and Nsa Ntuk, who is an actress, MTN ambassador, Entrepreneur and founder of Proud journey. They talked about tips to stay healthy while eating Nigerian food. We had many people asking about ways to eat healthy and stay healthy in Nigeria and we knew we had to bring them on the show. It was such a great episode for me because I am a big foodie and I needed to learn about it. They also spoke about how to eat and stay healthy without losing all the African food in your diet. As we know a lot of Nigerians eat Crabs and so it was a great episode to learn how to regulate that and avoid gaining an unhealthy amount of weight. We have new episodes that will be featuring some great Nigerian guests and I can’t wait to showcase that. I really wish I could mention names but my producer will have me fired and I don’t want to become jobless.                                                      
What was your most thrilling moment while anchoring?
Gamaniel: When I had my very good friend, Jessica Garza, on the set. Mind you, I had seen her the night before and she never mentioned she was the guest for the next day. So when she came on set I went and hugged her and said “thanks for being here and supporting me”. Afterwards I looked through my schedule and there she was – the guest for that day. I later realized my producers did that on purpose. As if that wasn’t enough, she kept on bringing up stories that were so embarrassing, but it was great because it worked for the ambiance of the show. But working with her and my co-host, Kenneth Ortega, was amazing. it was a great shoot, I can tell you that much.
Your worst moment?
Gamaniel: When we had to shoot and the guest for that day (I won’t mention names) didn’t show up for almost two hours past the shoot time. I had a huge audition afterwards and so everything got disrupted and the shoot got so delayed. We had to reschedule and I was late for my audition. Overall, it was not my day, but again it comes with the territory – things that will go wrong, will go wrong. That wasn’t our best day on set.
How do you juggle between being a Nigerian actress, modelling and now the talk show in L.A.?
Gamaniel: I won’t deny it has been hectic because it’s extra work added to what I already have. But I have a great team – my manager, agents, assistant, they work so well to make sure everything doesn’t feel as overwhelming as it could be. Plus, I surround myself with positive people and so that keeps me recharged and in the right direction.
How do you hope to impact Nigeria and Africa in these areas?
Gamaniel: I just want to pass on the knowledge that has been passed on to me. I want to inspire young girls that they can take on jobs in the entertainment industry. This is something I remind myself everyday – “There is so much I want to say and so much I want to share with the world, the best part for me is becoming the change I wanted to see.”
What were your early or rough beginnings like?
Gamaniel:  Oh yes, that is true. At first it wasn’t easy but I was so determined and that’s what got me here. My accent was my first challenge. I needed to get the accent toned down, allowing me take on American roles. Then it became a problem of not booking jobs after auditioning, but again with time everything got better. Patience will get you experience and experience will get you jobs. God has been good to me.

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