We had the good fortune of connecting with Khadijah Fanaka and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Khadijah, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
My favorite quote is, “create and inspire entertainment experiences that people love”. I put it on a shirt, because that truly is my career goal. I want my legacy in this business to be that I was apart of something timeless and classic. The inclusion of the word inspire sells it for me. I am inspired by so many creative visionaries from Mara Brock Akil, to Shonda Rhimes, Debbie Allen and Issa Rae. I have a wall of art in my home that showcases my favorite films and television experiences as a reminder to keep going. I want people to have my shit on their walls one day.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being a creative is not easy. Navigating through a career where things are always changing and there is always a line of people trying to do what you do gets tiresome. The work is what keeps me going though. The stories, the people who need voices, the opportunity to learn more on every set. I am proud of the tribe of Black and talented people I have gotten a chance to work with. I am excited every time I make a new connection or find someone willing to provide mentorship or advice without underlying competition. To get past every no, I just remember my why and I count it all joy.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Everyone knows I have a list ready for all my visitors! We can get real touristy or hit up all my random faves. For food I take everyone to King Taco and a new favorite is Mr. Fries Man. For dessert I make sure everyone tries a pizookie from BJ’s or a churro from Ridges. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to the community that I’ve cultivated over the years. From the friendships I found at Howard University, the circle of women I am blessed to be my full self around, the sounding boards and mentors I am lucky to have and a family that stays rooting for me. Thank you to those who fought the good fight in this industry before us, like my grandfather, late filmmaker Jamaa Fanaka. A special shoutout to the Most High and my mother who keeps me faithful. My mom is like a Prince guitar solo, a Marvin Gaye melody and a Pac verse wrapped into one, the GOAT.
Jahbrielle Henning-Rayford Sed McCray Jasmine Schenck Dawn Marie Ben