By Jamese Slade
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE
Joe’s Diner and Internet Café will soon be the first home of Nakia Jones’ talk show, “Let’s Talk about That.”
“Let’s Talk about That” will focus on what’s going on in people’s lives, the community, and businesses within it.
Currently Jones is just taping her show and preparing it for cable TV. “I’m bidding for a time slot, but I need four hours of edited video or a large public interest,” said Jones.
“There are young people that live in Durham and don’t know about Durham,” said Jones. “People are doing things that affect the world right here.”
Jones is no newcomer to the entertainment industry. The Durham native was signed to a record label at 13, as a rap artist.
After graduating from high school, she moved to New York and soon after California to pursue her dreams of stardom. She worked a variety of jobs from acting to working behind the scenes as a wardrobe and hairstylist for “The Young and the Restless.”
“I ended up working for Soul Life Records and later became the personal assistant for R&B artist Sunshine Anderson,” said Jones. “I have experience in the business.”
The idea for hosting a talk show came in 2003 during a visit back to Durham.
A local man, who was HIV positive, began telling her his story while sitting on the front porch of her grandmother’s house in NECD. Jones went in and got her grandma’s video camera, giving her the opportunity to record her first show.
“The man with HIV and I sat on the step and I recorded the show,” said Jones.
“That’s when I figured out what I wanted to do.”
After continuing to go back and forth between L.A. and North Carolina, Jones decided to move back home to NECD permanently to “regroup” in 2007. Then Jones began to focus on her new dream.
“I’ve always wanted to host a show,” said Jones. “It seems that people just want to talk to me.”
Jones, a mother, student, and teacher still finds time to be actively involved with the community, which helps her with her show.
“I know what’s going on, I work in the school, I go to church, and my son does parks and recreation,” said Jones.
“My involvement in the community made me want to do the show.”
“The show would let people know that East Durham isn’t only taboo,” said Joseph Bushfan, the owner of Joe’s Diner. “East Durham gets a bad rep, but there are quality people here, and they need to be given a fair chance.”
She said “Let’s Talk about That” will teach life lessons. “The viewers will learn how to live a better life from someone else’s mistakes or from something good someone did.”
Jones goal is to redefine what’s cool for young people.
“I don’t want to pick a demographic,” said Jones. “Some days it can be for teenagers and other days it can be for adults, but the topics will be appropriate for any age.”
If successful, Jones hopes the show will bridge the gap between young and old people, making a common ground.
“At Joe’s café they want community things to go on in their place,” said Jones. “I took the opportunity to get my show going.”
During her show the audience will be able to discuss things that are important to them.
“She would raise the bar and help people’s self-esteem,” Bushfan said.
“I’m about what the community wants to know. I’m not trying to force my point of view,” Jones said. “It’s not about me. I’m open to the message God wants me to give.”
She has many goals for “Let’s Talk about That.” “I hope to always have topics that are relevant to what’s going on in the world,” said Jones.
“I hope to have an interactive piece that lets people tell us what they want to talk about via Internet.”
Some shows that viewers can expect to see on “Let’s Talk about That” are “Kids in Gangs,” “Specialty Stores in Durham,” and “Bridging the Gap for Women of all Age Groups.”
Jones said that she is confident that the show will be broadcast very soon with her first show featuring the man who was HIV positive.
Her mission is to find his son and play the video for him. “I just want his son to know that he loved him,” said Jones.
“My daddy died of AIDS,” said Jones. “I want his son to hear things from his daddy that I wish mine would have said to me.