Public Figure, MC and Talk Show Host, Joel Bajan DJ Khalid Manning is a 25-year-young man who is focused on empowering people by using his voice as his platform to inspire and motivate his peers and the wider society to do better.
He told Bajan Vibes that he is energetic about using his talent to influence change, “I’m passionate about speaking, whether it is motivational, hosting or being an MC. It is about using my voice the best I can to impact as many people as I can… My interest right now, strictly speaking, is being able to impact several lives.”
Joel added that even though he takes motivational speaking seriously, he’s an everyday kind of guy. “I enjoy watching crickets, sports on a whole and soca and carnival; that is a major part of my life, [I’m] just a regular human being seeking to be the best version of myself that I could be,” he said.
So how did he get started? According to Joel, the journey wasn’t by some divine intervention but started as a simple joke.
“I was messing around on my Snapchat one morning and I was calling it ‘motivational morning with Manning’ and I was making sport and dropping various quotes that I had written down. I realized that people were taking an interest and they appreciated the openness of them,” he explained.
His motto comes from the famous comedian Kevin Hart’s words – “The goal is being popular as a human-doing and not as a human-being.” So, it wasn’t long before Joel started to take his talent seriously.
“Speaking was definitely something that [was dominant] through my entire life. From preschool right through to sixth form at Queen’s College, I would always have ‘too talkative’ [written] on my report.”
Joel told Bajan Vibes that he launched his own TV show called Cross Talk because he wanted to utilize his creativity so that he could fully build on his brand.
Armed with only a dream and literally no budget, he launched the show. “Season 1 was an eye opener because I did not know how people would receive the show given that I was branching off on my own and I didn’t have the backing of a name. It was a pain but it was also rewarding. Given that nobody truly knew about it, I had to sell the concept hard,” he said.
“Cross Talk featured interesting individuals and [it was] about diving into the topics and being able to be myself because that is one the thing I found difficult in working for a company,” Joel said.
Due to the overwhelming success of the first season, he was able to secure a major sponsor for the second season and is he now planning for season three which he said will be coming very soon.
Joel had some advice to those who are at a crossroads education-wise, “The one thing I have found is that there is no one path, there is no one way and you do not have to figure it all out now. People think that by age 18/19 you need to know what you want to do in life; there are some people who can get that done and it works for them and [others] need to explore life.”
He pointed to his own self as an example because he is pursuing a master’s degree in Financial Management after doing a bachelors degree in Human Resource Management.
“There were some people who looked at me and said I seem to be all over the place and not knowing what I want to do. At one point in time that bothered me, but it doesn’t any more. I don’t mind being all over the place because my experiences contribute to who I am today,” Joel said.
In the short term, Motivational Manning is hoping to have more speaking opportunities, and to drive home the idea of improving your personal brand.
“I believe that, as it pertains to what’s next for me, I shall let life decide that one. Whatever opportunity presents itself, then that’s what I shall dive head first into and take it stride by stride from there.”