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Voice and perspective

Arts student well on her way to media career as Gzowski intern

Campus and Community

By Chad Pelley

Memorial is one of only four Canadian universities that selects a CBC Peter Gzowski intern every year.

Ife Alaba standing in front of the CBC building in St. John's
Ife Alaba will spend her summer-long internship with CBC Radio in St. John’s, as well as some time at CBC in Toronto.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

The annual internship is open to all students at Memorial. This year’s recipient is Ife Alaba, a fourth-year student clewing up her bachelor of arts in psychology, with a minor in communication studies.

As this year’s Gzowski intern, she will spend a week in Toronto at CBC Radio headquarters, followed by a summer-long internship with CBC Radio in St. John’s.

Host and producer

Ms. Alaba says she’s looking forward to learning the ins and outs of radio media “in a safe environment that allows for mistakes and growth.”

She originally applied for the Gzowski internship because she felt it would allow her to learn how to hone her ideas and put them out there in an impactful way. But that’s something she’s already doing a great job of.

Ms. Alaba co-hosted a food series for CBC called Stuffed and was producer and host on Being Black in N.L.

“Stuffed is a CBC web series about three friends who really like to eat,” she said in summary. One episode finds her and her co-hosts searching for the best burger downtown, while another takes us along on the journey of catching and cooking her own fish.

As for Being Black in N.L., she calls it a show that highlights black businesses and black people being exceptional and doing exceptional things in Newfoundland and Labrador. The web series provided a space for important, eye-opening and conversation-starting features.

Unique perspectives

As a black Nigerian woman, raised in South Africa, who moved to Canada, Ms. Alaba says she can bring a unique perspective to Canadian airwaves.

In fact, she’s already bringing such perspectives to the fore. She started an initiative called Occupy All Spaces, which aims to ensure black voices are present in every room in the entertainment industry, especially in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“The next step for Occupy All Spaces is to train and certify BIPOC hairdressers and makeup artists in set etiquette in order to allow for more diversity.”

A lack of knowledge on doing hair and makeup for BIPOC artists can affect the likelihood of BIPOC artists being cast.

Multifaceted talent

Ms. Alaba’s speaking voice isn’t the only thing of hers you might catch on the radio some day in the future.

She’s a talented musician, as well. You can find her on Spotify or Apple Music, but you can check out a teaser video for her song “Omo Ge” below.

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