Ghen Ghen: I Can’t Date A Broke Man – Upcoming Actress Nancy Isime Says

The actress who is also a model and TV presenter,
Nancy Isime, spoke to The Nation recently about
her private life and many more.
Read excerpts below: –
Give us an overview of yourself and how you got
into the acting world
I am a model and an ex beauty queen. I am still
modelling. I started out with a TV drama series
called Echoes. That was my very first gig. Last
year, I was in a couple of movies. Some of them
are yet to come out but I started acting from
modelling. I was doing runway modelling then
and a director on one of the runway shows was
going to do the TV series called Echoes, so he saw
me and suggested that I come read a script for
the drama. I wasn’t too into it but I went for the
reading and I got the role.
From there, it just kept going. From the
comments I am getting and from the referrals
and commendations, I would say I have done
well. Also, I am a TV presenter. I present a show
called The Squeeze which is a gossip show. I also
present a show called What’s Hot. It is a
technology show. I also covered back stage on
MTN Project Fame season 7.
Is it right to say acting stole you away from
If I still get modelling projects, I still go for it but
acting is something that has caught my interest.
There is something I have always said. I don’t
want to be stagnant in life, I want to go out there
and explore my options. I modelled for a while, I
was a beauty queen at first. I won the Miss
Valentine International pageant in 2009. Even
before then, I was a model but my career in
modelling took off from there. After that, I started
doing fashion shows. I did quite a lot of fashion
shoots and also commercial modelling. But when
it came to acting, I found it really interesting and
very challenging but I still model. I won’t say
acting took me away from modelling.
Professionally, how long have you been acting?
I did Echoes sometime around 2011 and then I
went off the scene for a while. You can rightly say
that professionally, I went into acting from last
year when I did Heaven on Ebony Life TV. If you
want to count from Echoes, it would be from
2011. But mind you, after we filmed Echoes, it
didn’t start showing till last year as well; so it is
safe to say I started acting from last year.
In summary, how would you say your acting
career has been?
It has been awesome. I happen to work with very
talented people. I have worked with quite a
number of big names including John Njamah. I
just finished a job with him. So far so good. It has
been awesome to be able to work with people
who have been in the industry for a while, people
who have been acting way longer than I have. So
I can say it has been going on very well.
What was your first experience on set like?
I was really nervous. At a point, I forgot how to
speak English (laughs). I didn’t know what was
going on. The director kept on saying ‘Nancy,
calm down.’ I would still give it up to him. His
name is Gibson. He is a Ghanaian director and he
nurtured me. He told me that I was doing great.
As soon as I caught on, I could speak up. When I
started, really, I couldn’t speak up. I was so
scared that my voice sounded somehow. I used
to speak on such low tones. I was so nervous
working with really big people. Echoes had a lot of
So far, what has been your low moments?
None, really. All I can say is that it is really
challenging being an actress. When you are on
set, no one cares if you are down or anything.
They just want you to come and deliver a job,
whether it is an emotional scene or a very violent
scene. All they know is that you should come on
set and do what you can.
For now, there has been no major low moment. It
is just that I have had very challenging times and
anybody who is in the industry will tell you that
most directors are extremely strict and they can
appear harsh but that is just for your own good. I
hope I never have those low moments, but there
are times when I get home, I just drop my bag
and say no more because sometimes you have to
shoot for as long as 17 hours a day.
How far are you willing to go to rub shoulders
with the big names in the industry?
I am a total believer in hard work, in persistence
and in being focused. The highest I can go is to
get to work, be the best I can be and bring out
the best in me each time I’m on set. I don’t
believe in doing several takes. I believe in
bringing out the best in the very first take. What I
just need to do to get higher in the game is to be
the best, to work really hard and to stay focused
and to just make sure that I do what I am
supposed to do on set and give my producers
and directors their money’s worth and not waste
anybody’s time. All I’m just trying to say is, I just
make sure I bring out the best in me, make sure I
connect with the crowd and can give the
audience what they want to watch.
What does being a model entail?
First and foremost, you need to have the body.
Also, you need to be patient enough to go for
auditions, stand on queues and also have the
heart to take disappointments. People think
modelling is so easy but it is not. You have to
stand on a long queue, get auditioned, get picked
sometimes or get dropped at other times.
It is all about the ability to always try and to keep
coming back until you get your big break. In
Nigeria, modelling is not as it is in the western
countries where you get your big break and that
is it. Here, you can get your big break and still go
back down, so it is very imperative that you get
your big break and continue to work hard and
continue to come back for more. Just be hungry
because when you stay hungry and when you
stay focused, you keep coming back for more.
Make sure you look good and presentable all the
time because you have to represent brands, so
you have to look the part.
How true is the notion that modelling rakes in big
The fashion world hasn’t really gotten there if you
ask me, but the commercial world is definitely
there. For example, if you get to model for
multinational brands, it brings a lot of money
compared to the fashion industry which has been
stagnant for a while. There is money in the
modelling business but you need to have a big
break for that.
Compared to acting, which pays more?
For now, I can’t say. Because in acting, I am not
yet in a place where I can start to receive all the
big bucks. I just basically started a year or two
years ago. I cannot be expecting to get paid as
much as people like Mercy Johnson and
Genevieve Nnaji but trust me, there is a lot of
money in acting but that depends on the stage
you are in. I believe someday, I will get to the
stage where I can say it pays too much. For now,
it takes care of my bills. It pays moderately but if I
am to compare it to modelling, I can’t really say.
But as I said, some modelling just pay small cash;
some bring in the big cash.
Would you date a broke guy who is jobless?
Let me put it this way, I would date an ambitious
guy and ambitious guys are never really broke,
they are never jobless. They are guys who are so
industrious, guys who would go out there to do
everything they can to make money for
themselves. I say this because I want the best for
anybody that I am in a relationship with, be it a
friend, my family member or a boyfriend.
In the case of a boyfriend, I believe any man who
is broke and jobless really has no business being
in a relationship. I say this because it actually
takes away from your focus as a man. As a
struggling man, you should sit down and focus on
your goals, unless you want to be poor forever. If
you know you want to be rich, there is a stage
you have to pass through. If you can pass
through the stage of working hard, putting
yourself out there to make sure you are
comfortable, at least you can now go out there
and find a relationship.
You don’t even have to go out there and look for
a relationship. They will come to you. That way,
you can now start to make your choice. But if you
are a man who is pursuing girls up and down in
the name of ‘I am broke, please love me,’ I don’t
think it is necessary, I don’t think it is worth it.
Coming back to me, I cannot date a man who is
broke. I can only date a man who is ambitious,
who is focused and who is hardworking. You can’t
be hardworking and jobless. Those two do not
come together. I work too hard to want to sit
down with a jobless man. I only can date a man
who can inspire me to be better. So we both can
work hard to get to where we want in life. But
when you are jobless and you are calling my
phone 24/7, then I have a problem with that.
Are you in a relationship?
That I can’t answer (laughs).
Is it that you are wary about having an
interference between your career and your
No, I don’t see myself having any interference
whether I say I have a boyfriend or not. I just like
to keep some things personal for my own sake,
for personal reasons. It has nothing to do with the
job. There are married people in the industry, so if
it doesn’t affect them, it shouldn’t affect me. I
would rather keep that personal.
Can you let us into your educational background?
I did my diploma at the University of Lagos where
I studied Social Work. It was a two-year course,
but I haven’t gone for my BSc. I rounded that up
last year. For now, I am still working with the
Why Social Work?
I do love social works. It is something that, if push
comes to shove tomorrow, I would love to
practice it. I love social works and the fact that it
enables me be there for humanity, to be able to
give and just help people in general. Later on, I
intend to go for my BSc in the same field.

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