Love of the Mic - Nadia Hakani talks with You & I

She is the first Indian anchor to host 50 consecutive international shows in less than two months. Her passion and zeal for this not-so-mainstream profession is key to her success. From hosting private parties to anchoring the Global Village-Indian Pavilion event, Nadia Hakani shares her experiences and best moments of her career with You & I.

How did your career as an emcee begin?
My fear of speaking in public forced me to pick up the mic for the first time. I know it sounds crazy but I wanted to overcome my flaws. And when I saw it work I started to host a couple of shows. However, I never thought of it as a career option. But now when I look back it feels like a miracle that I have completed 50 international shows already.

What was your first gig, and how did it come to you?
My first show was a sangeet ceremony, which was referred to me by my friend Rushab Shah.

How did you manage to host 50 international shows consecutively and what was that like?
My passion, dedication and thirst for excellence made it easier for me to host 50 shows in the land of unknown in less than two months. And of course, the wonderful support from the people in Dubai – particularly the Indian expats – was a huge motivation. Though the long ordeal of performances was quite tough, I am very proud to have accomplished something no Indian host has done. The feeling has not sunk in yet, and I feel so humbled by the warmth and love shown by all Hyderabadis. But this wouldn’t have been possible without Salah Alashqar and Sabah Jabri and the adorable audience of Global Village, who treated me like family.

What made you choose this unconventional profession?
As I said, initially it was my stage fright that made me choose this field, but I had never thought of it as a career. But after I realised the essence and significance of emceeing, I decided to explore the field and not follow it as a mere hobby. Also, emceeing allowed me to connect with the audience and create my own identity.

What is the toughest part of being an anchor?
Well, I don’t find any such major problems, although there are certain small issues. But I believe every profession has petty problems and we have to deal with them.

Tell us about your dream project.
I have quite a few, starting with having my own talk show, to going on a 17-country world tour (out of which, I’ve already been to two), and to host a show for my favourite star, Salman Khan.  

What are your favourite perks of the job? 
Meeting your dream celebs, travelling across the globe, and the compliments that you receive from guests after the show is great. And of course, when I see guests laughing and enjoying my performance, the moment is unparalleled.

Do you ever rehearse before your shows?
Though in this profession one needs to be spontaneous and go with the flow, I completely believe in the saying, ‘practice makes perfect’. So I always make sure I’m prepared before any event.

Any especially memorable moments in your career you’d like to mention?
When I was hosting the Global Village, Dubai, I heard the crowd scream “We love you Nadia”. That was one of the most  priceless moments for me.

Which do you enjoy more: hosting a professional event or a private function?
I love to host anything that is entertaining, be it any corporate show or a family function. I enjoy them all.             --- as told to Sneha