On a recent rainy Sunday afternoon, my husband and I were relaxing and looked for a movie to watch. Our tastes differ as he likes action or comedy whereas I prefer documentaries. After a quick Netflix perusal, a good compromise seemed to be ‘The Pirates of Somalia’ which promised action but is also based on a real-life story of a fellow Canadian, Jay Bahadur.
The Story is about a young Canadian whose only wish is to become a journalist but like most young adults these days, Jay wants to fast track the process! He decides that he can truly make a name for himself by going to meet and report on the real pirates of Somalia. After all, he’d study a bit about Somalia and danger be damned, he had to give it a go!
So how dangerous could this really be? Well pirates are criminals. Their priority is make money by stealing from others or in the case of this region of the world, kidnapping for ransom! Very likely if you, your kin or your government do not give them what they seek, they are not likely to say, “okay not to worry, we’ll just set you free!” On the contrary they usually turn to violence to leave no doubt as to the seriousness of their intent. Given this scenario, it is highly unlikely that anyone would be as brave or naïve as to hop onto an airplane to hang out with the pirates! And yet Jay did just that!
As we watched the movie, I kept Goggling information about Jay to better understand what kind of person makes such a dangerous choice, as the movie somewhat skirted over his personality, his logic and his angst, as movies tend to do. Plus, there was likely a degree of embellishment to the story- you know this ‘based on a true story stuff!’ And yet I knew instinctively that I to reach out to Jay and interview him for my podcast.
As an editorial note – re self-assessment; I am fascinated by people who take risks. Perhaps I am trying to understand more about myself (and why I take risks- some smart and some not so smart), when I search out other peoples’ reasons for taking risk!
How did Jay handle fear, stress, isolation and most significantly the uncertainty of how these pirates would behave towards him? Once there and it was not as he had imagined, what stopped him front jumping back onto an airplane; chalk it up to a bad decision and forget about documenting the pirate story?
In my interview, I clearly got the impression that he got an adrenaline high from beating the odds and doing what no previous journalist had been able to do – to meet and interview the pirates. His tremendous risk-taking worked out, as Jay had a movie made about his adventure. Now I ask you, how often does that happen in life? Plus, they cast a good-looking celebrity to play him and in a final epilogue, his adventure and reporting landed him a new career that little boys and girls dream of, namely working in a CIA type role. Well not The CIA but a role in intelligence gathering in various parts of the globe! How cool is that!!
So, if you want to hear about the story behind the story download this episode of my interview with Jay Bahadur. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5126922/