BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
It took just two scenes.
I had attended the premiere of Femi Odugbemi‘s Gidi Blues on Saturday, June 4, 2016 so I could see what the respected director was up to this time, as this was a territory which many people didn’t know he was at home in. I was also curious to see Hauwa Allahbura‘s performance. I had interacted with her about a week before and she sounded pretty excited about playing the female lead, something she referred to as her first major acting project since film school. It was the memory of someone else’s performance that went home with me that night. And it was someone I had watched many times.
Nancy Isime was the chosen one to replace Toke Makinwa when the latter left her job as the presenter of HipTV‘s popular show, Trending. I stumbled on the show quite frequently and because of my admiration of some of the guests that have appeared on the show, I had stayed to watch. Nancy had struck me as someone who was, as expected, taking time to grow into the presenter’s shoes. As also expected, she was never the “star” of the show; her guests were. Little did I know that this lady was a full bundle of acting material.
After seeing Gidi Blues, I kept wondering what informed Odugbemi’s choice of Hauwa for the role of Nkem. Nancy wasn’t even the supporting female, but she ran away with the film. Her performance stood out and the even on-screen time she shared with Gideon Okeke presented the viewer more believable chemistry than what the makers of the film would have us believe existed between Gideon and Hauwa. Nothing against Hauwa, but while she seemed to sink under the weight of her role, Nancy Isime attacked hers like she was the lead in a Hollywood blockbuster. And her performance wasn’t down to her playing a “minor” role.
In a group that consisted of other seasoned female performers including Bukky Wright and Tina Mba, Nancy was simply amazing. This young lady’s nuances, expressions, gestures, reactions were as fierce as they were subtle, almost perfect for every second’s demand. Her seduction of Akin was just beautiful. You would probably think that’s what she does every morning when she wakes up. Nancy has what she needs talent-wise to have a very successful and memorable career as an actor. I doubt she needs much else. There is the issue of whether she has the character to last the distance. I have never met her so I cannot say whether her personality that would work against her.
I’m aware it is also risky attempting to predict an actor’s career from just one performance but in my honest opinion, if Nancy Isime does not go very far, she probably has only herself to blame. It took me just two scenes to form that strong opinion.