Rosemary Isong: I Once Worked as a Maid in a Cocoa Farm
Rosemary Isong is known for her content creations, particularly comic videos, which have earned her over one million followers across several social media platforms. She talks to Tosin Clegg about growing up, journey into acting and content creation, becoming popular and a lot more
I was raised by many hands. My mum left with me when I was still a baby. My grandmother raised me alongside many others. So, growing up was no fun at all. I was bullied, called a witch and treated like one. At a point, I worked as a maid in a cocoa farm in Ondo State. Daily, we leave for the farm as early as 6am and return 7pm. Then, I was taking my bath in the bush. It was so bad and that’s one of the reasons I must give my children a responsible father.
Return to Akwa Ibom State
I had no hope for education but that changed in 2012. This was when my step brother came looking for me. So, I left Ondo State in 2012, moved with my brother to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. That was where I started feeling loved and knowing what it feels to have a father because everyone thought I was his child till date. But the feelings didn’t last for long as I lost him to the cold hands of death in 2014 after losing my mother in 2013. After my secondary education, I had to stop there, because all through my secondary level was hell. So, I managed to get WASSC and vowed to push myself to higher institution.
Bad times don’t last forever
My perception of life is that bad times don’t last forever. There was a time in my life that death was a better option but thank God I didn’t end it all because I will be missing all these good lives. Am not where I wish to be but am not where I used to be, so, bad times don’t last. Just do what makes you happy and the world will adjust. Rosemary is a very fun person, very accommodating and peaceful, if I don’t want, I will show you I don’t want because I don’t know how to pretend. I started my journey because nothing else was working. After my secondary education, I learnt fashion designing in two different places but e no gree enter my head. I worked in an Hennessy store, then resigned to focus on my talent and I am proud I did.
At first I was scared cause I gave up everything – my work and relationship. But you can never tell till you try so I took the bold steps. I left my house in Uyo and went to Lagos where I was not even sure of a roof or food. I used to go from Ikorodu to VI almost every day because I believed in the beauty of my dreams and only determination can make it possible. At a point, I almost gave up but whenever I walk on the streets, I get a lot of hype from my fans, and they take pictures with me and that alone gave me enough energy. So, I said ‘no Rose, you have come too far to go back.’
I get my inspirations from the things I see on social media and my environment. My creative process is sometimes hard because you get different opinions from friends and if you don’t listen, they feel bad. So, it always stressful and I will also have to think how my fans will feel about it. My characters are simple, unique and funny but it passes a good message to everyone including children, sometimes I also create content which are sad but it sends out good message and lessons to my audience. Without social media, I won’t be here and a lot of us won’t be here. Social media has blessed my life, put a roof over my head, food on my table and gave me a name and a brand. Social media is life but it is not real life.
Lagos traffic is crazy
I have not really worked with many creators because am an introvert. So, going out to shoot is more like a challenge, and Lagos traffic is crazy. I used to suffer in traffic when I was still upcoming. Going through it again makes me sick but I have worked with amazing creators one of them is Mr Funny aka Sabinus. He is so fun and he listens, he also gives you time to be perfect in the character he wants you to play. I have worked with Ashmusy and her energy is on another level.
My style relatable
My style is simple cause it is relatable. What makes my work exceptional is because I do content for all, children can watch my content and have a good laugh, some even try to mimic me. The challenge was much in the early stages as sometimes I had to wait for hours so I could use someone’s iPhone 6 to shoot, and finding a house to shoot was always an issue because people make it look like you want to carry their house but. I had to be calm and take whatever insult comes with it because I knew that bad times won’t last. I can’t tell my success story without Laff Nation Entertainment. This is my backbone and always gives me reasons to keep pushing so building my brand was not too bad because he has more experience and he guided me.
Good acting is being real. A lot of times, my fans do tell me that they love my craft because I make it so real, some will say ‘so you can speak good English so good like this?’. For me, the basic of a good actor is to be able to interpret your roles well and make it look real, put in your emotions and everything in it. What I see as a challenge these days is trying to fit in because people seem to appreciate craft that has to do with a woman’s body. They don’t care if you are passing a message or not they just appreciate the fine ladies with big bums on the video. I think actors should try and change that narrative.