It takes a lot of courage and vision to step out and do new things, to recreate and totally re-imagine what others call normal. Media personality, Marcy Dolapo Oni, host of “The Marcy Project” helps us see why re-invention is absolutely essential. She is the Leading Lady Africa for the week, be inspired.
Congratulations on the launch of your new show “The Marcy Project.” What is it about? Thank you. The Marcy Project is a 30-minute fun lifestyle and entertainment program. In every episode I perform a quirky, funny and interesting project and interview celebrities and upcoming acts. It is a social media influenced show with a mixture of web features; pre recorded video footage and fashion tips. Each episode has at least one guest, which include musicians, designers, actors, comedians and sports figures. The project in every episode is a task or challenge, chosen by the viewers, social media followers or guests.
From 53 Extra, to being co-presenter on Moments with Mo, and now your own talk show. How did the journey begin?The journey truly began 10 years ago when I was fresh out of Drama school. I always knew I wanted to act and after drama school I was working as an actress in London. I starred in plays and a few TV series and then I moved back in 2010 to pursue my career in Nigeria. I heard about an audition when I first got to Lagos and that was how I got my Job on 53extra. I had never had a presenting Job before then.
You know, I’ve always thought that your name, Marcy is such a unique and posh name lol. What does it mean? Well apparently it means Brave/Young Warrior! Which would explains a lot! Lol!
Your first degree is in Chemistry; a different path for sure from your current pursuits in media and drama. Why the switch? I wanted to be an actress from the age of 10, when I first saw the musical “Aspects of Love” by Andrew Lloyd Webber at The Oxford Playhouse in the UK. But my parents had other ideas and wanted me to get a degree in something they thought would be more stable. I enjoyed Chemistry at school so I decided to study that at University. But once I had satisfied my parents’ requests, they were happy for me to do what I wanted. So I attended The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts where I studied Drama.
Some have the idea that a career in the media is all about wearing makeup, attending red-carpet events and wearing fancy clothes; what would you say to that?I understand how a lot of people think that because what you get to see is a finished product. But no pain no gain. It takes a lot of work. Granted the work I do is not the conventional 9-5 but there are lots of late nights and it takes a lot of patience as well.
You’ve been part of a good number of stage productions and television shows – most recently Saro, and Desperate Housewives Africa. How has that been like for you?It’s been truly amazing. I love acting I really do. So any chance I get to flex the old acting chops I take. I’ve been really fortunate to be part of some really good productions this year. Long may it continue!
Do you have plans to do mainstream acting in Nollywood, or perhaps, even Hollywood?The sky is the limit. If the script is a right fit then I’m there. I actually shot my first Nollywood Movie at the beginning of this year where I play the lead. Its called Diary of a Lagos Girl and it comes out in the Summer.
You worked with Mo’ Abudu, the founder of Ebony Life TV, what are some of the things you learned from working with her? If you want to learn anything about great work ethic you need to work for Mo Abudu. I have never met anyone who works as hard as she does which is one of the reasons she is where she is today.
Do you think “women-supporting-women,” especially when it comes to career and business is an overused phrase?I’m not sure if it’s over-used but I think there is a difference between saying it and actually doing it. Talk is Cheap. I believe that Women should support women but you need to back it up with actions and truly mean it.
You’re getting married soon, how do you hope to combine being a wife and mother with your career?Well planning a wedding and working is stressful enough so I am getting a tiny glimpse into what life will be life. But I will take it all in my stride and aim to be the best WIFE, Mother and Career Woman I can be. Its all about achieving a healthy balance and knowing when to leave work at work.
Who are your role models and how have they affected your life? My Mother. She has taught me from day 1 to work like no one owes you anything. And she was right. No one does. You want something? Work hard go out and get it!
Name 3 women you admire and why? My mum – She made me into the woman I am today
Maya Angelou – She was quietly powerful and from her life tory you see she was never afraid to take a chance.
Oprah Winfrey – The most powerful woman in Television. Need I say more?
Would you say that it’s important to have set goals in life, or sort of just go with the flow?I would say a bit of both really. You can only plan so much. It is important to have goals so you don’t stray too much from where you are trying to get to.
If you could, what would you say to your younger self? “BE patient young grasshopper!” Good things come to those who wait.
What is your personal mantra? Be the Best YOU, You can BE.
P.S This Interview was originally published in 2015 on Ynaija Blog
Follow Marcy Dolapo Oni on twitter @marcydolapooni and on instagram @marcydolapooni
The Leading Ladies Africa Series is a weekly interview series that focuses on women of African descent, showcases their experiences across all socio-economic sectors, highlights their personal and professional achievements and offers useful advice on how to make life more satisfying for women.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa; an initiative that seeks to effectively mentor and inspire women, with particular emphasis on the African continent.
Do you know any woman of African descent doing phenomenal things? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we just might feature her.