Just how did a web content developer with the NASA Space Programme end up as presenter of a TV fashion show? That is just one of the intriguing tale that surrounds Faith Adepoju-Nsa, writes Azuka Ogujiuba
What was your first career fantasy early in life?
When I was a kid, I always dreamt of becoming a dancer and singer, a performer, I guess. Then after I played the role of a lawyer in a primary school play called The Incorruptible Judge, I wanted to become a lawyer.
You ended up as a broadcaster; would you say this is fulfilling?
Quite. I’m doing something that I’ve had an interest in from high school. I love so many aspects of broadcasting - planning the story, doing the research. But the best part is the interview, getting to showcase various amazing personalities especially people who are doing amazing things with their lives, and providing them with a platform to enable them share their stories and inspire people and make a positive impact on the viewer.
Besides being fulfilling, does it also pay the bills?
Let’s keep it real; I’ve just made a major career switch. Not only that, but also running my own business to boot! I’m actually making less money now than when I was a full time digital consultant, I’m still in the process of growth, paying my dues and building up my talents and skills in this industry and I’m sure it will only get better, easier and more lucrative as time goes on. Our sponsors and investors realize that we’re on the cusp of a content and media revolution in Nigeria, indeed in Africa at large. For now, let’s just say I’m doing okay and thankful to God he’s given me the strength and support to go on.
You studied corporate communications in an American university; you didn’t consider staying back there to practice?
I did practice over there for several years and worked with some industry giants, including being a web content developer at the NASA Space Programme as well as a digital producer at Wunderman New York. I actually took a pay cut to move back to Africa. This is home though, and there’s an amazing amount of growth that’s happening right here, right now in our generation.
Your programme on Dstv Africa Magic has the youths as primary audience. What exactly did you set out to achieve?
As a youth myself, and a small town girl (I grew up in Ilorin before I moved to the states for college), when I moved back, I was first based in Johannesburg. I had access to great fashion and lifestyle events and I wanted to share that access and use it to inspire, entertain and educate. This is the new Africa, it’s not Hollywood, New York or Hong Kong; but it’s growing, it’s exciting and one right here on our continent, right on our doorstep.
You’re one leg in South Africa and another in Nigeria, what’s taking you back and forth and how are you finding it?
Airplanes are taking me back and forth. No, I’m just kidding. I’ve been back and forth because I actually live in both places. I love Lagos, the people, the events, the hustle and bustle, the opportunities for entrepreneurship and growth; but I also love Jo’burg, its expatriate community, cosmopolitan vibe and infrastructure that works. For me it’s also a great hub for travel to southern and east African countries. So, really it’s the best of both worlds and, for now, it’s working for me.
How do you juggle the responsibilities as a mother and wife?
Juggling is the keyword. I’m so fortunate that I have my own production company and a super supportive partner, husband and family unit. So I basically plan my production schedules around our daughter’s major school events and around my husband’s business travels as well. Loads of communication is necessary, and sometimes it means saying no to a project, sometimes it means being away from home for several weeks. It’s tough, but it’s the life I’ve chosen and as long as my family comes first. But my Mom did it with five kids. Loads of women do it everyday; we’re women, that’s how we roll, we Juggle.
What brands do you consult for as a corporate communications expert aside from your show on TV?
Right now, I’m doing less consulting and more producing and presenting. I’ve got a couple of TV projects lined up and we’re expanding into producing TV commercials and content marketing. So I’m quite busy with that side of my business. However, we’re doing a number of planning projects for clients.
What’s the level of acceptance for your show in South Africa?
I think the acceptance level is great. It’s a pretty new show and being on a major channel like Africa Magic definitely helps. South Africans love Africa Magic so we’re slowly gaining traction. We have a nice following on Facebook, Twitter and the like.
Do you intend to keep the programme running in both countries or is there a plan to return home permanently?
I’m planning to move back to Nigeria this year fully. But that doesn’t mean I won’t travel to get the stories we need and tape the show. It’s always going to air across Nigeria, across Africa and beyond. We’re always going to feature guests from all over Africa and that means travel, so it doesn’t really matter where I live really. As long as there’s a show called Rolling with Faith History, we’ll be rolling.
Is there anything you would love to change about yourself?
I wish I could get my tummy as flat as it used to be before the kid popped out. My husband still has a six-pack, of course, I’m so jealous of him. I’m working on flattening that tummy always, but I still love eating my basmati rice and sweet corn.
What was your most romantic moment ever as a young married woman?
One year, my husband had to travel on Valentine’s Day. He told me we would celebrate later when he got back. When I got back home, he’d ordered a delivery of a vase of beautiful sunflowers, my favourite champagne and some chocolates. That was so sweet.
Where is your favourite travel spot around the world?
New York never gets tired. I just love that city - every nook and cranny of it - from Manhattan to Brooklyn, Harlem to Long Island. It’s always buzzing.
What would you never be caught wearing?
Jogging pants with words on the bum area. I think they’re so tacky and should be worn indoors if you must wear them.
Are you a designer freak? Which are your brands?
No, I’m not a designer freak. I do love fashion. In my line of work, I end up covering a lot of fashion events, but I’m not a designer freak. There are so many Nigerian designers I love: Ituen Basi for funky, Viv La Resistance for edgy, Deola Sagoe for classy, Tiffany Amber for elegance, Jewel By Lisa for knock out and Maki Oh for modern. Still haven’t found a designer to give me quirky. Maybe that’s a space for me to get into one day.
How old are you?
A lady never reveals her age. Let’s just say l’m celebrating the fifth anniversary of my 25th birthday.
In the long run, what would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as someone who loved with everything I had by my family and friends. I would like to be remembered for my contribution to the young Africans of my generation as someone who inspired people to live out their dreams and showed them how to get there.