Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Black Arts/Black Power Babies 2.0: Muhammida El Muhajir

 Muhammida El Muhajir, producer of Black Arts/Black Power Babies Discussion; filmmaker: Hip Hop--the New World Order

From producing major events in both the US and internationally, filming a world-wide hip-hop documentary, and working on marketing for major brands, Muhammida has a vast and diverse portfolio of work.  Her ability to juggle it all along with motherhood makes it all the more inspiring. Always looking forward to the next project and her ability to remain ahead of the tide in her projects, is what makes her a hip, modern, and motivated individual.

 Mother Nisa Ra, Muhammida, father Marvin X (El Muhajir)

Muhammida’s parents were entrepreneurs so she innately had a business mind, since about 5 or 6 years of age.  Although she attended Howard University to study Microbiology, with the intent on going to medical school, she always had an interest in entertainment, even minoring in Radio, TV and Film.  After taking a year off before the MCAT’s, she worked on some film projects and found herself in NYC.  Her first real industry job was at the William Morris Agency, which was a great opportunity to learn about the business of entertainment- learning names, faces, and how to deal with celebrities.  Meeting great contacts and learning the importance of creating a network and being consistent with staying in contact, whether it’s through a note or a short phone call, is something else that would hold true through the rest of her career.  Later going on to have her own music video casting company, and doing talent management representing models and actors all happened because of the networks previously created.

 An international event planner, Muhammida produced Keyshia Cole Day in Oakland. She hired her father to open with a poem for Keyshia.

Using a notebook to jot down ideas that sometimes seemed far-fetched ended up manifesting into Muhammida producing a documentary about hip hop all over the world.  Just a girl with a vision, Muhammida ended up travelling to Japan, London, Paris, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, and Rio de Janeiro, using her network of sometimes one person to tap into the who’s who of the underground rap world in these cities.  This goes to show that everything you do really plays a role and paves a path for your future.  One of the funnier stories that El Muhajir recounts while travelling is her “fashionista filmmaker story”.  Being so exhausted from carrying a heavy suitcase full of shoes on the Euro rail, she only had enough energy to make a visit to the Gucci store in Milan and not do any interviews, so there is no Italian section in the film.  The things we women do for fashion!

As funny as she is, El-Muhajir is serious about her commitment to service.  She has done pro bono work with the GEMS organization and spent time teaching the girls film and reading.  Additionally, Muhammida regularly mentors young people as well as does motivational/public speaking at high schools, universities, and community organizations.   She feels that doing public service is essential to success.  When you give (time energy resources), it always comes back double, if not more.
This is great advice for women at any stage in life and all the more reason why Muhammida El Muhajir is a true hip, modern and motivated woman.

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