From my early years in life I loved performing for an audience, either as being a part of a dance group, drama group, debate team or modelling. These are the things that I have a natural flair for and as such, my dream job oscillated from wanting to be a newscaster, a writer cum journalist, to being an actress or a runway model – my mind never conceived anything else beyond these interests. Unfortunately, back then at home, these professions were not seen as lucrative and sadly, was perceived as a profession held only by wayward women.
In Nigeria in the 80’s, 90’s we had a few notable female newscasters and journalists who spoke impeccable English while broadcasting the National news and I used to admire them a lot and also imitated them from time to time. As I grew old enough to take part in school dramas and the likes, I grabbed the opportunities that came my way to be on stage and even fancied pursuing Theatre arts or Communication Arts but my mother was not for it at all for valid reasons. At that time, the acting/movie industry in Nigeria was still at its fledgling stage and she believed that I would become a starving actress, besides the fact that there were unsavoury stories of women having to sell themselves short to get a role in any movie.
In my university days, I modelled part-time for small fashion houses, calendars and advertorials to augment my pocket money and last took part in a fashion show in 2018. I guess if bigger opportunities had come my way, who knows, maybe I would have embraced them. These interests of mine were not considered as serious professions and were looked down on back in the days, but with each generation, as the time changes, societal views change as well.
During my growing up years, in most Nigerian homes, they were coveted professions that parents chose for their children, Doctor, Pharmacist, Engineer, Lawyer and maybe nurse or teacher for those who are unable to fit into the other ‘chosen professions.’ I ended up studying Law since my language proficiency was considered excellent and my mama felt that my oratory skills would serve better in the law court. To cut a long story short, I have never been in a courtroom nor worked as a lawyer. My career path has vacillated over the years, however, these days, I find that my writing and speaking skills are being used more and more especially nowadays that we have social platforms that offers us the opportunity the embrace our latent skills.
Who knows, one day I may still venture down on the runway strutting my matronly stuff or on the stage acting my heart out, though I spend more time these days writing and teaching others.