The story of Rafsan Sabab and WHAT A SHOW!

Rafsan Sabab, a young boy enrolled in cadet college since grade seven harboured big dreams. Dreams that began with his great affinity towards the power of words. While growing up, he had always been attracted to the command of speech and the influence it brought on people’s lives. Since then, he was an active member of the national debating circuit through the early years of his school and college.

A dream is but not a dream

However, as soon as he joined university, he became more familiar with the concept of presenting himself in a stage with a keen audience. The spark within him was ignited and he soon became a force to be reckoned with. Fueled further by his inspiration from legendary hosts such as – Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Kimmel. His mind clicked that, in order to pave a profession out of his passion, anchoring was possibly the best way to move forward. And indeed it was.

The prologue

Rafsan Sabab What a show

In his sophomore year in university. He approached Ayman Sadiq, founder of Robi 10 minutes school to pitch the idea of a show combined with both education and entertainment – Edutainment. This was launched, known as the 10 minute school show and was the inception of his career as an anchor.

Soon enough, afterwards a production company Dhaka Live for a talk show approached him. Rafsan did not believe in genericity. He wanted something more creative.

With this thought in mind, he embarked upon the journey of a YouTube show,“Hashtag with Rafsan Sabab” which later continued for 4 episodes.

This show focused on a celebrity’s digital profiles only. Creatively attempted to only give limelight to the guest’s social media and digital persona.

Let the show begin!

Rafsan Sabab had bigger dreams about his own show. This included a live audience who will be able to share their immediate response from the performance in the stage.

Rafsan Sabab What a show

“I wanted to be able to hear the laughter of the crowd if the punch line really worked!

Added Rafsan.

His friends and family believed in his thoughts. He wanted to be different by breaking the stereotypical characterization of Bangladeshi talk shows.

“As a host, I thought of becoming better researched, effective and at the same time more entertaining towards my guests and my audience. Therefore, I put together a dedicating team handpicking each one personally. Approaching them one at a time.”

He further added.  

It began at first with a production team, ‘Sketch board Interactive owned by Ziaus Shams and Sakib Mansur Zihan who are co-founders of What a Show. The show started gathering a stellar crew by bringing onboard Lamia Tasnim, a professional model and co-founder of What a Show.

Rafsan Sabab What a show

A dream was a dream no longer with his show becoming a reality.

It began with the idea of redefining the talk show trend in Bangladesh.

By making it more interactive, fun and at the same time create an alternative marketing platform for everyone. The vision of one day hosting the Oscars really did not seem that farfetched after all.

“From where I am right now, it is not just about the final destination but rather about the gradual steps I take on the way. After graduating from IBA, University of Dhaka, I chose not to enter the corporate world. Undertaking anchoring as a second profession would not have allowed me the time or energy to launch ‘What a Show’ at this scale. Moreover, that decision has been truly worth it.”

Expressed Rafsan gladly.

WHAT A SHOW, indeed

Rafsan Sabab believes that every individual is both experienced and talented in his or her own fields.

Rafsan Sabab What a show

“When inviting guests, at first my team and I, we were looking to invite people who understood the concept of our show. Aiming for Celebrities who were sporty and could build a rapport on stage almost instantaneously.”

Said Rafsan.

Episode one: Nabila and Pritom

On the first episode, two guests were invited. Pritom Hasan, composer, singer, music video actor renowned for his famous songs, “Local Bus” and “Beainshab”. Followed by an amazing actor and anchor, Masuma Nabila.

“The first episode was an instant hit with absolutely no skepticism from our guests having being invited in the first episode of a YouTube Show. The energy was great and we really did hit it off in front of an enthusiastic live audience.”

Exclaimed Rafsan!

‘What a show’ is indeed different with conversations that were engaging and flowed freely both ways. There were the two interactive games – ‘Kache ashar oshomapto golpo’ and ‘Cholen cinema banai’ each with its own style of humor. Unlike most shows in the country, the set is casual at the same time to create a cozy vibe by the looks and feel of it. The conversational style is unique with positive humor ensures the contents of the guests are being promoted through our show.

Episode two: Tahsan, Taskeen and Ridy

Rafsan Sabab What a show

For the second episode, What a Show was grander and more glamorous. This episode consisted of a very famous international dancer Ridy Sheikh who is originally a Bangladeshi but lived in Russia for the most part of her lives. Followed by The famous singer and actor Tahsan Khan who was the second guest appearance of the show.

Tahsan, along with the third guest appearance, Taskeen Rahman, actor promoted their joint movie– Jodi Ekdin. The episode ended with an amazing individual live performance from both Tahsan Khan and Taskeen Rahman as a cherry on top for the audience and viewers.

Epilogue

What a Show will be launching episodes fortnightly, each intending to be better than the one before.

Rafsan says, “We see a lot of different content in social media every day. We are very quick to jump and criticize if it does not satisfy us. We see many different kinds of trends and if the content is good, we appreciate it but we almost never ensure that it is being reached in our own circle. My request to you is that if you do like my work; please spread it within your own circle so that together we can create a more impactful journey in people!”

Subscribe to their YouTube channel to watch their upcoming episode to be aired soon and stay up to date with their Facebook page.

Live From Dhaka: A man’s journey through the bleak underbelly of Dhaka

As a young adult who’s been born and brought up in Dhaka, much of our generation view the city in rose-tinted glasses online or in media. In the age of social media, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who isn’t familiar with aesthetic photos of Dhaka from numerous Instagram posts or through popular song lyrics. #JadhurShohor. But the stark reality is that living in this city is much grimmer than it might seem. The dog eat dog nature of Dhaka has been beautifully portrayed in the recently released film “Live from Dhaka.

Nothing but the truth

Written and Directed by Abdullah Mohammad Saad, “Live from Dhaka”, chronicles the days of Sazzad, the protagonist played by Mostafa Monwar, and his miserable state of life in the city of Dhaka. Sazzad being unemployed and partially handicapped is seen as a guy down on his luck after losing most of his money when the Dhaka Stock Exchange crashes.  In addition to his own physical and economic woes, he is being hounded by loan sharks and has to deal with his younger brother who’s plagued by addiction. Although receiving some support and solace within his girlfriend Rehana, played by Tasnova Tamanna, Sazzad decides to cut all his losses and permanently move to Russia.

A grim depiction of Dhaka

But as events transpire, it becomes increasingly difficult for him to escape the gritty reality of Dhaka. The harsh bleakness of his situations was beautifully portrayed in black and white throughout the movie before some very beautiful backdrops of Dhaka.

The film also didn’t shy away from showing the darker underbelly of Dhaka.

By the end of the film, you really start feeling for the protagonist but also reminded of how he is isn’t that different from everyone else.

The verdict

The acclaimed independent film has been gaining much hype among Bangladeshi film enthusiast back since 2016. It had premiered in a number of International Film festivals around the world and winning Best Actor and Best Director awards at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) in 2016. The Film was finally released in Dhaka, Bangladesh in Bashundhara City Star Cineplex, on March 29. With stunning visuals, gripping story and comfortable runtime of 1hr and 31mins, you should definitely catch this tale about our beloved Dhaka.

Get your tickets from here