I guess last week Friday, the 3rd of August, at the Holiday Inn Hotel in the heart of Accra, will be noted in your dairy as ‘bad Friday’, where you were invited as the maiden recipient of the Showbiz Honours to share your experience with us.
Nadia, I love you, Ghanaians love you, and the world at large loves you. I cannot forget how you premiered on Ghanaian national television with the TV series Games People Play in late 2005, then your first major film Mummy’s Daughter followed, after which you stunned us with a beautiful performance in Beyonce.
You are an exceptional actress, an incomparable lady who understands the business of acting, so I will praise your prowess. I am not going to cast a stone at you for just being nervous on a big stage where your colleagues in the acting world from Yvonne Okoro, Kwaku Sintim Misa, Pascaline Edwards, Ekow Smith Asante, and the invited guest from Nigeria, et al, were all present. The journalists were watching, but that’s okay.
Before I give a tip of what happened on that night, I must note that stage fright is one scenario I will not even want to wish my greatest enemy to go through. Also, I must advise that proper rehearsals on speech delivery should be done by whosoever will be called upon to share a glimpse of what he or she has done before. Nadia Buari fell short of the night when she was asked to come up on stage and deliver a short speech in appraisal to what she benefited from her past reign; then all hell let loosed when our own dearest ‘Beyonce’ got tensed and fumbled. She started on a good note, and then a blip ended her speech.
I sometimes get nervous and comport myself, but my dear Nadia Buari failed to apply comportment, leaving all the faces in the building stunned as to what might have come over the same ‘star’ actress they see rattle lines in top notch movies. Then from where I was sitting, I must confess that I almost concluded that her ability in get this far may have been a fluke; but who am I to judge knowing full well that acting is certainly not the same as standing in front of live audience? We all fall short on the way and sometimes on bigger platform, but our ability to get up and continue the journey which she did, matters a lot. At least somehow she finished reading and then managed to find her way back to her sit.
What happened inside the hall was glaring, but what happened in the washroom wasn’t; here is what happened, out of disappointment, went to the washroom to shed tears. Then your manager tried consoling you before Pascaline Edward joined in the consolation. My dear, you are human so sobbing like the wailing wailers, to ease the pain of disappointing your fans, is just normal.
I will not want to say that the College who stood their grounds in awarding you last year did harm, because you have impressed us for over five years, you have had that public appeal, you are a great personality who has acquired the needed star power. Your professional nominations, awards and achievements both locally and internationally are a sign of your professionalism, dynamism and skill.
Before I drop, I will want to appeal to you, and all other celebrities that to overcome anxiety in public speaking, you must write out your speech word for word only if you think you need to; speak from the outline rather than reading the speech word for word. Practice! Practice! Practice! Please Nadia and other celebrities, practice your speech ahead of time, because we noticed that you had not rehearsed. Tolerate, and learn to live with, some degree of nervousness. Look just above your audience members’ heads. If making direct eye contact with your audience heightens your level of anxiety, then don’t do it. It’s as simple as ABC.
I have chosen to go this conventional in talking to you, telling the world of the ‘super star’ you are. So anyone who have not been nervous before, should throw the first stone, therefore, I feel they should understand that you are human and not spirit, so mistakes can occur. I will say kudos to Emklan Entertainment for the initiative of successfully putting up the second edition of the annual Showbiz Honours Festival, and as well for passing the baton to Stephen Appiah. ***