On Air Personality and host of Hip TV show “Trending,” Nancy Isime celebrated her birthday some weeks ago and few hours prior, she decided to reflect on her life and journey so far.
Nancy who recently won the 2017 The Future Awards Africa prize for Best On AirPersonality (Visual) reminisced on when she decided to start hustling for herself at 17 to winning awards at the age of 25.
The journey hasn’t been easy, she confessed but she acknowledged that she’s never afraid to try.
You know, prior to winning The Future Awards Prize for On Air Personality(visuals) 2017…I had absolutely no feeling in me that I was going to win. I definitely made this known to people around me who kept saying stop it, you’ll win.
On the day of the event, nothing really was going right…My dress, makeup artist, insane traffic. As at 9pm, I was still at a supermarket trying to buy tights for my outfit. Fast forward to walking into the event, late, battling a banging headache, exhausted, standing with my friends, trying to look for a seat.
“And the nominees for On Air Personality are”- Mama Tobi announced. I just wanted to run out of the hall, my heart was pounding and I needed a freaking chair! So when my name isn’t announced I won’t be standing with people trying to read my emotions.
“And the winner is…Nancy Isime!” Wait first, who?? .
I have a defense mechanism to everything in life which is don’t let it sink in so it doesn’t get to your head or break you. So as I walked up on stage I kept blocking the realization of what just happened and even tried to crack a joke or two(Host mode). And then I looked to the screen on the left and it hit me! “Winner-Nancy Isime-25years old”.
You’re just 25 Nancy! And you’re out here doing the do, winning awards, hosting shows, addressing crowds, living a dream you never even dreamt of.
At 17, I started doing ushering jobs but this was solely because I wanted to escape my dad’s errands and be able to make a few bucks for myself. Luckily I got my dad’s permission. Slowly it became so I could fend for myself. Sometimes I’d be in traffic going to Ikorodu till 12am, sometimes I’ll finish an ushering job at 2am and drag chairs together sleep, be up at 7am to go back home to bath and attend the next audition.
Sometimes I’ll be out of cash and have to trek quite a distance under blazing sun. I didn’t mind. It was hard but I LOVED being a working class teenager. The only mentally exhausting part was probably having to inflate my age every time to fit the job’s brief.
Today I’ll be 21, the next day 25, another time 29 regardless of if I looked it or not. Just try your luck Nancy. At a point I worked as Personal assistant to one of the Then biggest names in Comedy.
Slowly I went into modeling, won a pageant…went on to try more pageants. Those days were quite tough but Fun! Sometimes I’d finish a shoot late and have no option but to sleep on the studio’s rug till it was bright enough to get a bus.
During my pageant days, I’ll spend all my savings trying to buy requirements and when I won or come 2nd my prizes were never redeemed. Lol.
One particular pageant, I had to borrow money from one of the contestants to pay for my trad outfit hoping I’ll come up top 3 which was guaranteed cash prize. I came 4th. I had to give up my next job’s payment to refund.
Saying that through these times I knew I’ll amount to much in the entertainment industry is lying to you. I was just trying to save up for university…and then my admission into diploma came…My name was number6 on the list. I was ecstatic but had to forfeit the admission after spending more time trying to raise funds to pay my fees and couldn’t meet up.
I got admission again the next year to study social work, this time the school fees was more affordable for me even if it meant missing lectures to make some money to be able to afford handouts and the next semester’s fees.
And then one day while on the runway, I stumbled upon acting through a director Dickson Dzakpazu who encouraged me to come try for a role for a galaxy tv production.
From acting, I stumbled upon presenting through an Ultima studios BTS producer, Lanre who encouraged me to come audition at the studio.
I was done with My OND and was honestly just saving to go get another degree in social works in Canada. From working 2 shows for Ultima studios, the call from my Tolu Akeju came to come test run for HipTv’s Trending came.
I got the job to host Trending and it dawned on me that maybe this is it. I started to get referrals for acting and during this time will have Godsent people tell me how they think I’d go far acting.
Then slowly, this became the new dream…but never for once during this time did I think I’ll ever be recognized, be up for nominations let alone win any. This is my 9th Award Plaque in less than 2years. How? I don’t know! But I’m thankful!
If there’s anything I’m never afraid to do is Try! I’m never afraid to try with all my heart. I’ve made wrong decisions, decisions I may not be proud of but I do not regret. It is what it is!
I want to say to every young woman/man reading this, it’s never too early to start, there’s no bad way to start, there’s absolutely no shame in struggling. Take your time. Learn to let go, what’s for you will find its way. It’s okay to dream new dreams. It’s okay to dream small safe dreams but with the zeal and determination of a Tiger, it’s always fun when they don’t see you coming. Be humble, Humility will take you places hardwork can’t even dream of!
It’s okay to make wrong decisions, realizing that they are wrong and willingly correcting them is the main thing. Retracing your steps is one of the hardest things to do but trust me, your future self will thank you for doing that.
It’s okay to cut people off. The only important things in life are Real Love and Your peace of mind.
Focus on the positives. Focus on your journey, if it means you getting off social media to do so..please do. Count your blessings, forget other people’s blessings…It ain’t shit compared to yours! Be about your journey. Be prepared, you never know what opportunities God will throw your way to get you to where you need to be.
I’m not anywhere close to where God wants me to be, who knows what new dreams will come up tomorrow. Lol! I haven’t scratched surface of my potentials yet, but I’m excited and beyond thankful for these achievements. Probably will never let them sink in, lol, but I’m in awe of God’s wonders in my life and with God by my side, I can confidently beat my chest and say “Nancy Isime, you kicked asses as a 25 year old!” 26!!! You ready to do this? Leggoo!