That’s all I can think of when people ask me this question.
But the one thing I am very, very proud of is my mother, who has always wanted to keep my birthday a surprise. She always gives me money to spend. The first year we spend it all in one bag at the airport, because that is how much her birthday was. She told me when I was five I should go visit her in Africa, because she was so disappointed that I was going to kindergarten a year old. She had me sit in the back of the bus.
So we took my mom and brother to Africa on an international flight and it was not like any big surprise birthday. I have this big birthday, and when I told my mom I would like to go visit Africa as a part of my birthday, she was so upset. She said I wanted to know why I had to go visit my mom. I said, “She’s never going to talk to me about this because I don’t have any presents for her,” and she said, ‘Well, if you think she is going to treat you better in Africa, then she should be able to treat you even better.'”
My mother used to give me gifts on holidays because she cared so much about me, but I had the gift of independence. I didn’t have a lot of money, so I thought, “If you don’t have any presents, then you don’t want nothing?” I thought that if I went to Africa, that it would be nice to try my hand at something that wasn’t a gift. I wanted to see how it is to go live in a hut—a small place—for a month. It’s a real adventure! My parents wanted me to see Africa and to understand how people live. That is really what I am learning for me as a young person. If you have a lot of money, you can go to places that you go to do things.
It doesn’t mean you have to buy everything—I think that we all have a little bit of freedom to make choices in our lives, and I feel like I have that freedom in a lot of ways, but I am very conscious of giving back.
I like that the show has taken on this social issue. I find it interesting that there seems to be a lot of political content in your show so early on, but then you move very quickly into a more serious story. What made you decide it was a good time to move toward a serious