Tell us something about yourself.
I'm currently working at Channel i as their senior manager in the programming department. I've been working with them for twenty whole years now. People are always surprised when they learn this. I had started working for Channel i when I was still in college. So, the journey has been quite long.
How did you get in this line of work?
Bishwo Shahitto Kendro holds many college programmes, and in once such programme, I found myself there. Abdullah Abu Sayeed sir had asked me to arrange an event, Charupat. It was a production of Channel i. That's how I began working for them. I actually started as a presenter and gradually worked my way behind the camera. I've done stage dramas, plays, participated in a beauty pageant, but now I solely work behind the scenes.
Do you prefer working in front of the camera or behind?
I like both, if I'm being honest. Both of them need proper preparation. When I began working, Channel i had just been established. We had to do different programmes in our office almost regularly, so it sort of became second nature to be in front of the camera. But I also love working behind, as I get to meet new people everyday, or people I already know, but in a different light.
What was your first ever show?
I assisted in Charupat, but my first ever show was a documentary, Shurjer Shopno for Channel i. I was the presenter there. I then read the headlines for Songbad Potro Bangladesh. I also did plenty other shows.
Was there any show that posed to be extremely challenging?
I produced my first reality show, Campus Hero in 2010. University students from all over Bangladesh were supposed to do a good deed along with friends, without any monetary reward. I had to meet many students and travel to different universities in different districts. This posed to be quite difficult. The top seven contestants had many innovative ideas to help people and it was quite challenging working with those ideas. Another show is Taroka Kothon, Bangladesh's first celebrity live telephoning talkshow. As live shows go, you can never tell what will happen, so it was quite challenging as well.
What was the turning point in your career?
I'd say going to Bishwo Shahitto Kendro and meeting Sayeed sir was an important part. I was never a media person, as my family is quite conservative in the career sense. But Sayeed sir made me read different books and meet new people, which changed my outlook on life. Then Channel i happened and I got to meet even more people, each completely unique in their own ways. The past twenty years with the Channel i family have taught me a lot.
Could you talk about your educational background?
There's an interesting story regarding this. There are these two renowned schools in Chittagong, Krishna Kumari and Apornachoron. I used to walk by them and read the signboards. I was insistent on going to school, so my mother took an application form for the third grade. I took the admission test and was surprisingly selected. Believe it or not, my school life began with class three. I then went to Dhaka and changed schools a few more times. I took my SSCs from Bharateswari Homes School. That school has taught me lessons I won't ever forget. I completed my bachelors and masters, along with an MBA. I also finished a course in Dhaka University. Maybe I'll get a PhD someday.
Any special message for the readers?
I would like to ask everyone to be themselves and not aspire to be like anyone else. Everyone is different and unique and special. Everyone needs a mentor to recognise their talents and utilise them. Each of us has a purpose in this world, be it something revolutionary or something insignificant. Every action is significant in the grand scheme. Everyone has the potential of doing something good; they just have to have the desire.
By Amina Hossain