Shaka Tafari Visits Venice High School

Zoe Woodrick, Reporter

After working on a podcast published by local NPR station KCRW called “Nice to Meet You Forever” in June of this year, Shaka Tafari and his long-time friend, Gail Gordon, visited Venice High to talk about his experiences and the process of creating and publishing his story. 

He spoke on Thursday, Oct. 21, presenting to Theater, Journalism, and students who are part of the Black Student Achievement Plan. 

“Nice to Meet You Forever” was entered in the 2020 KCRW Radio Race competition, an annual competition hosted by KCRW where participants enter to get their podcast aired. The podcast surrounds the unlikely friendship between Gordon and Tafari.

Though they did not win, KCRW enjoyed their dynamic and wanted to hear more from the pair about the long-time friendship.

The unlikely friends met on the Venice Beach Boardwalk in 1992. After agreeing to become his babysitter, Gordon started to see a lot more of Tafari. 

“I had all this love to give, and nobody to give it to,” said Gordon.

Tafari lived with his younger brother and mother, but when Tafari’s mother got deported, Gordon was the closest thing he had to a parent. 

Gordon has children of her own, who after tough times and much contemplation, ended up living with their father, while Gordon moved to Los Angeles.

“Gail never tried to change me,” Tafari said while speaking to the Venice students. 

Gordon said both in person and in the podcast that she had a lot of love, and nowhere to give it. Meeting Tafari was the universe introducing an outlet for her surplus of love, she said.

Before getting his podcast published, Tafari worked at a steady job that he was not passionate about. 

Tafari quit his previous job and is currently working as an audio producer. He’s hoping to get “Nice to Meet You Forever” turned into a series or movie.

“Start with five sentences. If you can do that, then you might just have a story.” Said Tafari.