Ça c’est l’Afrique: The backstory #gyin

Young entrepreneurs from around the world have gathered in Cotonou, Benin to share knowledge and learn from each other’s experiences for a four-day event titled “Youth Entrepreneurs – Agents of Change.

Yesterday Canal 3, a private TV in Benin approached us and asked to interview Mohamed Beavougi, the director of West and Central Africa. We agreed to meet at the TV station at 7pm and to go on air live at 7:30pm.

We got there on time, met the journalist, got settled in the studio, did a test run and were all set to go. And three minutes before going on air, something does not work and a piece of equipment breaks!

The technician starts running around, goes out, comes back with some cables. It is now 7:29.... and the technician is still running around. What was most incredible is that no one panicked. It is now 7:32 and the journalist is casually chit chatting with Mohamed and says: “We have a technical problem, I am afraid we cannot go on air until we resolve the problem.”

I leave the studio and go to the adjacent room, where I find the technician literary inside the equipment. The room is dark, and I see the technicians using their cellphones as flash lights. I stood there in awe, looking at how these gentlemen solved the problem and fixed the broken equipment.

Twenty-three minutes later, we managed to go on air live. When the technician came back in the studio, he looked at us and said: “Ça c’est l’Afrique”.

I challenge all the high-tech and well-equipped TV studios around the world to solve the technical problems the way their African colleagues did!

And here is Mohamed’s interview.

P.S. Wonder what CNN's Michael Holmes has to say about this BackStory :)