ONE ON ONE: Amina Abdi Rabar

Sunday February 18 2018

Amina Abdi Rabar

Amina Abdi Rabar, host of The Trend on NTV. PHOTO | COURTESY 

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When were you informed about the possibly stepping in as ‘The Trend’ host?

About a week before Larry Madowo announced that he was leaving the show, I got a call from then producer, Kevin. He had wanted to work with me on a show for a long time and when the opportunity looked like it was here, he reached out. Unfortunately, we never got an opportunity to work together because I didn’t make up my mind until almost two months later, and by then he had got a scholarship to study in the UK.

Why did it take that long to make up your mind?

 It took me long because I enjoyed doing Alfajiri at K24 and I had an amazing and dynamic team that I was working with. My bosses were also very kind; giving me creative control of the show. I felt like I was  leaving a family. Sometimes, as human beings, we’re just unsure of taking on bigger roles because we’re comfortable in certain positions. I was very comfortable and happy, but I would come across stuff online that said “if you’re about to do something that you think is scary, you should just do it” or “try to challenge yourself; if you’re comfortable you’re not growing”. I guess the universe was trying to speak to me, so after two months I made up my mind.

What made you decide to join eventually?

I eventually joined because it was going to be a different job; different show with different timings to Alfajiri. I think just to take up the challenge of doing the show is what made up my mind to it. I went from doing ten hours a week of morning shows, to a five-hour Friday night show. Another plus is that it opened up time for me to be able to drop and pick up my son from school a lot more.

Did you feel  people would be comparing you to Larry Madowo?

Larry had been the host for more than four years and people were used to seeing him. Viewers would obviously need some time to adjust to seeing me, or anyone else, and getting used to my kind of delivery.

Was Larry Madowo part of the process of you settling in?

Larry has always been helpful. I respect the fact that he shoots straight and doesn’t really hold back because of what people might think of him. He critiques the show when he watches it and tells me what to do or not to do to improve it.

Did you feel pressure when you started?

There has been no pressure at all. Everyone has been very kind and supportive. I think the pressure has been internal because I’m such a big critic of myself. So far I don’t feel like I have executed any show to perfection. There’s always something I kick myself about at the end of every show. I believe the pressure should always come from yourself; be your own worst critic.

Was television always your target as the next step when you joined media?

No. I actually didn’t even envision me being in media to start with. I always wanted to study law or international relations then radio came as I was waiting to decide on what next to do. Then I got an opportunity to join television, and the rest is history.

How do you prepare for shows?

Generally, we plan shows  weeks in advance with my team. Because of the show’s title we can even change the theme days before, depending on the week’s trending topics. I set my Fridays aside just for the show. I like being alone for about five hours as I research on every person that will be coming on. I make sure I have everything I want to even the jokes and the punchlines.

What is the most memorable show you’ve had so far?

I haven’t done that many shows to have a memorable one. So far so good, but if I had to pick the most memorable one, my first show was very memorable because it was the start of this journey.

You left radio?

I didn’t quit radio, I just left the show that I was doing. I had done it for five years. Then I thought it was time for me to move to something else. I’m going to do a new show on a new time slot, still on Capital FM, that starts this March.

What’s your favourite pass time?

I love to cook and spend time with my son. It sounds crazy but when you’re a mum you’re a mum. When you’re not working it becomes the best thing to do to spend time with your family. It also sort of became a thing where my friends would come to my house and I have to cook. Even if that means they’re buying the ingredients or sending me money. My favourites include anything with shrimp, cheese, pasta, and I can whip up biriyani in no time.

Are you into sports?

Not really, but my husband is. I was, however, a runner back in primary school and even had medals from competitions. I started falling away from that as I progressed through high school.

Is that your talent?

My talent is singing. That I can do effortlessly and I love it.

What tickles you?

My husband. I told my friends that he joked his way into my heart.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for TV?

Riding a zip line and going on white water rafting.

So you’re an outdoor person?

I prefer being indoors but for my son, I now have to accommodate camping and other excursional experiences.