Here’s the scene, I’m sitting in my cubicle at work minding my own business and in comes Tony G. Yes, the Tony G.

He says to me, “Follow me to the studio.”

You can never be too sure so of course I asked why.

“You’re gonna record an advert,” he says.

I was already three days into my job so I leapt at the opportunity to finally use some of that top-of-the-line studio equipment.

Tony G and I

Tony Friday

We arrive at the studio, he says, “Here’s your script.”

Here’s my script? I was confused. I was ready to be on the technical side not on the microphone. For sure I could talk all day but when the mic was added to the mix, I was speechless. (Isn’t it ironic?)

I look over the script and it’s in Ndebele, at this point I’m thinking my best bet is to just pass out. I read it over and there are words in there that I had never heard in my entire life! I pull myself together and do what any Zulugirl would do: rise to the occasion. I put on the headphones and start.

From his body language, I’m messing up big time. I have never heard so many rules for just speaking. Not too fast. Not too slow. Remain constant. Why are you speaking loud? Stop sounding 16.

In my head I’m thinking, “I look 16 I can’t help how I sound.”

So after 10-15 tries, we nail the full advert. I’m so traumatised I’m thinking I may never speak again.

Moral of the story, just because you do something every day it doesn’t make you good at it. Once you find your talent, there’s still need to train at it, polish it and become a professional at it. Practice makes perfect so I’m going to keep going to the studio until I am articulate on air. His criticism is what will make me grow. He isn’t a hater by criticising me but he is the expert. Take it to the chin, learn and move on. Too much talent is dying in Zimbabwe because people don’t have a teachable spirit. Be willing to learn.

PS: The advert will be aired on ZIFM Stereo it’s about World AIDS Day. Tune in.