Bold Journey

Meet Emmanuel Williams

11/28/20236 min read

Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Emmanuel Williams. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.

Hi Emmanuel, really happy you were able to join us today and we’re looking forward to sharing your story and insights with our readers. Let’s start with the heart of it all – purpose. How did you find your purpose?
Finding my purpose was no easy feat—it was an intricate puzzle that took considerable time, effort, and guidance to solve.

Ever since I was young, I had a fascination with stories, particularly those that carried deeper meanings and life lessons. My passion extended to creative writing, language arts, and every form of art education available during my schooling. I thrived in these areas, nurturing a dream to create an anime or video game series rich with inspiration and emotional depth. The stories from these mediums had a profound impact on me, shaping my worldview and teaching me resilience through adversity.

Come my senior year of high school, after clinching the Gold Key art award in Detroit, I was completely enraptured by the art world. Yet, despite my talent, I was painfully aware of the financial realities facing many artists. This awareness was crystallized by a conversation with a bank clerk—Trish—who mentioned her brother’s struggles in the art industry. It was then I realized my path needed to include financial stability.

Thus, I turned to marketing, a field where I believed I could merge my artistic aspirations with a viable career. I held on to the conviction that I should be crafting something of my own, not just contributing to someone else’s dream for decades. College courses in finance left me baffled, but those involving customer behavior and creative advertising were exhilarating, allowing me to infuse my creativity into practical applications. After graduation, I faced the harsh reality of unfulfilling jobs and the unsettling feeling that I needed to create a space for my vibrant personality to shine.

Balancing freelance videography and bartending, I found the freedom to craft stories while absorbing the tales of bar patrons. One pivotal encounter was with a man who appeared destitute but spoke with the eloquence and wisdom of a sage. Recognizing my love for stories, he pegged me as a storyteller and urged me to live fully, to share and leave behind tales for future generations. His advice stayed with me as I moved to LA in 2019 to pursue film and creative opportunities.

My journey since has been rich and varied—I’ve worked various jobs, met countless people, and forged strong connections. Yet, through it all, the drive to tell stories persisted. Whether through lighthearted TikTok videos, producing television shows, or designing apparel with a message, it all circled back to storytelling.

The aim to inspire and empower others to embrace their uniqueness has been a constant thread woven through my experiences. My life’s mission, it seems, has crystallized into something deceptively simple yet profoundly meaningful: to weave and share stories that inspire and enable people to own their greatness and authentic selves.

In the end, it demanded much from me—seeking assistance, enduring triumphs and tragedies, and embracing the myriad facets of life. And time and again, it’s returned me to my earliest ambition: the art of storytelling.

Great, so let’s take a few minutes and cover your story. What should folks know about you and what you do?
I’m Emmanuel “Mannie” Williams—creative producer, internet personality, founder of Akiyoshi, and competitor on American Ninja Warrior. Since 2012, I’ve been a jack-of-all-trades in the creative world, producing content that spans a spectrum of mediums.

Currently, I’m at the helm of two thrilling projects with my teams, and the anticipation for their reveal is almost too much to bear. We’re crafting a vibrant blend of reality TV and mockumentary centered on the world of basketball influencers. Alongside that, we’re embarking on a journey to showcase the Blasian narrative, shedding light on the intersection of Black and Asian cultures. I’m bursting with excitement to showcase these endeavors, but I’ll keep the lid on until they’re ready to bloom. In the meantime, you can catch glimpses of our progress by following me on my social channels at Itsmanniew.

Parallel to this, I’m pouring my creative spirit into expanding the Akiyoshi brand. It’s not just a clothing line—it’s a celebration of individuality, encouraging everyone to proudly wear their unique story. Whether you’re an anime aficionado or someone who’s always felt a little different, Akiyoshi could very well resonate with you. Feel free to explore our offerings at

These are the three primary pillars of my professional life at the moment. It’s incredibly fulfilling to invest all my creativity and passion into my own vision and the shared dreams of my close circle. Nowadays, each morning I leap out of bed with excitement, eager to pour my energy into work that’s not just enjoyable, but also enriching and uplifting for others.

If you had to pick three qualities that are most important to develop, which three would you say matter most?
Resilience, reflection, and feedback from those who genuinely wish to see you succeed and evolve are essential.

I’ve come to understand that “life be life-ing.” It’s a rarity to encounter a period in our lives or careers when everything aligns perfectly—no obstructions, only green lights, impeccable roads, and ideal weather conditions. More often than not, it’s chaotic. Just as you’re making headway and beginning to grow, life throws a curveball that stalls your progress. You advance your business, and then, as if out of nowhere, a loved one’s health declines, your side project gets hit with a legal warning, and you lose your main source of income. But even through this turmoil, you find healing and growth, and your business begins to thrive—only to be blindsided by a personal health crisis. It’s astonishing, isn’t it? You might think that the higher you climb and the more financial stability you gain, the fewer problems you’d encounter.

The reality is that “life be life-ing.” Those who are frequently confronted with these unexpected twists and turns may find their resolve wearing thin over time. They lose the spark and drive and abandon the goals they once chased. Resilience is indispensable in life. It’s necessary to endure hardships, make errors, and persistently strive for your true desires. Otherwise, life, with its relentless pressures, will keep you stagnant. Embrace resilience and recognize that each difficulty presents a lesson that can propel you forward significantly.

On to reflection. My suggestion is to ponder your previous choices and the paths that have brought you to where you are now. Are you content? Are you engaged in activities that fulfill you? In what areas could you improve? What’s holding you back? What is the nature of your attitude? How do you react when life throws challenges your way? How have you responded to past events? Is there a pattern or habit emerging from these reactions? It may be necessary to reassess, alter, or even switch to a different trajectory.

Asking these questions is critical for personal advancement, especially during times when we can disconnect from work or social platforms. With the constant influx of influences from online figures, media, family, friends, and colleagues, it’s easy to lose sight of oneself. Reflect and assess where your journey is heading and what you aspire to achieve.

Finally, feedback. One practice I hold in high regard is requesting my friends, relatives, and occasionally colleagues to share their perception of me. My perspective alone is not always sufficient, and I need others to share what they observe from their vantage point. I inquire about my strengths and areas for improvement, how I could enhance my abilities, and the kind of energy I bring into a space. This feedback offers a glimpse of how others view me and helps me focus and channel my efforts toward the traits I aim to develop or strengthen.

Resilience, reflection, and feedback are pivotal elements I advocate for those at the start of their journey. Continuously self-assess to ensure you’re on your true path or forging the way towards it.

Okay, so before we go we always love to ask if you are looking for folks to partner or collaborate with?
I am on the lookout for fellow authentic creatives and content creators—individuals brimming with genuine personality, laced with humor, and committed to transforming their aspirations into reality. The partners I envision are those who harbor no doubts about their capabilities, who are fueled by self-confidence and motivation, and who are relentlessly honing their craft and skills.

My aim is to forge partnerships that realize the true vision of a creative. We’ll sit together, crystallize that vision, chart it out, and then craft a logistical and creative roadmap to bring it to fruition. This process excites me, as it immerses me in the heart of their passion. Witnessing the sparkle in the eyes of my collaborators as they see their dreams taking shape is profoundly satisfying.

I am eager to collaborate with videographers, storytellers, artists, musicians, creative producers, and dynamic content personalities. Coming together to create fantastic projects that celebrate our distinct voices and narratives. I seek to connect with those who are not just passionate but are also staunch believers in their dreams and their own potential—because such conviction is infectious, and it pushes me to invest in their mission wholeheartedly.

If you resonate with this spirit and are reading this, yearning to collaborate, let’s ignite that spark together. Reach out, and let’s start the conversation that could turn our collective visions into shared triumphs.