"Proper Bantah" finds power in vulnerability
Rasheed Peters '20 hosts Brandeis' first talk show
Rasheed Peters ’20 describes himself as a person with a lot of ideas. Despite his ease at thinking up new concepts, Peters acknowledges that he struggles to make his ideas actually come to fruition. After months of securing shoot locations and recruiting personnel, Peters' current project — a talk show — finally premiered last Sunday on .
From the inception of “Proper Bantah,” Peters set out to create a space where "people [feel] comfortable [being] uncomfortable." Through featuring easily recognizable campus spaces like the Rabb steps, as well as Brandeis students, "Proper Bantah" accomplishes its unofficial mission statement: to explore the stories of the people on the campus.
The talk show’s name evolved from Peters' love of British television shows. The stylization of "bantah" came out of a desire to "pay homage to [his] culture and second language, [Jamaican Patois]," Peters said in an interview with the Justice.
Before filming, Peters recruited eight team members to plan, create and publicize the project. As executive producer, Sarah Nzisabira ’20 acted as the liaison between Peters and his guests. "Some of my duties were setting up meetings with potential guests, helping to draft and finalize interview scripts, accommodating guests on the day of filming and revising and logging interview clips to assist the production team," Nzisabira explained.
After months of preparation, the "Proper Bantah" team began filming in November. They filmed the first episode, featuring Sahra Jaamac ’20, right before Thanksgiving break. Currently, the team has only filmed two episodes of the show.
The first episode of the show features Peters and Jaamac having candid conversations about everything from studying in America (Peters' home country is Jamaica while Jaamac is from Somaliland) to her experiences as the first female student to graduate from her middle school.
Between their serious conversations about the patriarchal status quo and America's current political climate, Peters and Jaamac cook Senegalese cuisine and talk about Jaamac's newest passion: basketball. "Proper Bantah" is refreshingly emblematic of the college experience. It features sobering discourse regarding vulnerable topics, but somehow maintains lighthearted energy.
This combination of vulnerability and humor is something the "Proper Bantah" team set out to accomplish. "I think the thing is that when we get to higher education institutions, there are so many more added factors and things to contend with that being social and going out of one’s comfort zone isn’t a priority," Peters said. "We find the people who we click with and tend to isolate ourselves from everyone else. I hope ‘Proper Bantah’ serves as an outlet and a means of inspiration for people to meet and learn about others and their background and stories."
During the premiere party on Friday, students dressed in semi-formal attire gathered in the Shapiro Campus Center to view previews of two "Proper Bantah" episodes. Opening the event, Peters joked, “I don’t really like being the center of attention, so it’s kind of weird that I have my own talk show."
After the viewing portion of the night, event organizers invited attendees to share their feedback on the two episode previews. One student shared that the conversations between Peters and Jaamac were engaging and, as a testament to the occasional comedic tone in the show, added that that Peters was “like Ellen [DeGeneres].”
The next episode of "Proper Bantah" will feature Jonathan Goldman ’19.