If somebody had said to me when I was growing up in a council flat in Plaistow East London that one day I'd be traveling the world meeting amazing people and presenting a travel show for the BBC. I would've looked at them strangely laughed them out of Newham, and told them they'd lost their minds!
But thats exactly what I've been doing for the last 18 months. The BBC Travel Show is fronted by Five presenters based in London, Tokyo, New York, and Sydney.
The idea behind the show is to get under the skin of the countries we visit. We try to find out about the culture and also tell you whats happening in the country right now, using topical stories usually with a little bit of a twist to them.
In March 2015 I went on a tour of Southern Africa, to make four films in six days! Which in TV terms is a tough gig, but don't worry I'm not asking you to feel sorry for me especially as it was an Unbelievable experience.
Our first film was about the growth of the heavy metal scene in Botswana. Yeah that was my reaction too "Heavy Metal in Botswana!"
"What's that all about!?"
Music and Africa go hand in hand, the continent has produced some amazing music from the likes of Afrobeat originator Fela Kuti back in the 70's and 80's. To todays stars such as Fuse ODG and WhizKid who feature regularly in the British charts. Their sound is usually influenced by Jazz, R'n'B hip hop and soul.
So in Botswana I was suprised to meet Skin Flint The Botswana Heavy metal Band that reguraly plays to sell out crowds at the Mapepe bar on the outskirts of the capital Gaborone. Afrometal has a unique sound and has given birth to a wild and vibrant sub-culture. They all dress from head to toe in black and look like a cross between American cowboys and characters from a Mad Max film. They give themselves names like the Evilizer and absolutely go for it on the mosh pit!
Maybe its because Botswana is such a young country, the average age is 23 or maybe its the good access to the internet compared to other African countries thats opened them up to a world of new music. Either way it was exhilarating to witness the rise of Afrometal in Botswana. Its definitely not my scene but even I got carried away by the intoxicating atmosphere the music and its followers create. If you don't believe me check out the link to the film.
Big thanks to all the team @BBCTravelShow