We had an interview with On Air Personality (OAP) and Artist, Evelyn Bankong. It was a delightful and wonderful experience. She took time out to talk to us about her childhood, work, career, faith, and her highlights. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Who is Eve and what was growing up like?
I’m someone with a very dynamic persona, who is very multifaceted. Growing up for me was pretty fun, I had a very liberal upbringing and I was allowed to have a mind of my own. That definitely helped me in becoming a well-rounded individual. I had parents who were open to whatever ideas I had and they allowed me some level of behavioral and intellectual independence which has been one of my biggest assets.
My parents are super supportive, I started my career in entertainment as early as the age of 8. If I did not have the kind of parents I did, I do not think I would have been as experimental as I am or as I have been.
I’m a very experimental person, I think up an idea and I am trying it the next minute. If it does not work out, then that’s fine, but I will try. So I feel like if I did not have that level of openness and a liberal environment, I definitely would not have discovered a lot of things about myself.
It is wonderful that you were brought up in such a setting and you are absolutely correct. We learn a lot from trying things and experimenting because it eventually shapes our thought processes as adults.
Taking it from your parents’ open-mindedness because it is something a lot of youths wish for, what are the things you have done or tried out growing up that this factor helped you in?
When I started my music career, I was 8 at the time. I started writing and as a Nigerian child, to a large extent, whether you think your parents are cool, you are scared to express yourself in anything that’s not school related. So, I would write songs and rap in one of my books. Even though my parents had a background in entertainment, I just did not think it was something they would be enthused about.
One day, I had my mom walk into my room and she saw my book of ‘Rhymes’ as I would call it. She told my dad that I was really good and that was the genesis of me starting music as a child. My very first experience with Radio was Inspiration FM and it was my mom pushing me to go for auditions, staying with me from morning till evening till I finally got picked to intern and I was just in senior secondary school at the time.
At the end of the day, that unwavering faith throughout my journey really shaped me and it has been me telling my parents, “Oh I want to do this or that” and they also encouraged me all the way.
I have a very big scientific background but at the same time, I knew I had a flair for Entertainment and the Arts. Whenever I was confused or did not know what path to go on, unlike other kids that might not have the level of openness, I never had that issue. That is such a big privilege, I am just lucky to have those parental figures in my life that never made me feel alone.
Usually, it is like parents have roles and children have functions and to a large extent, the kids are not involved in the decision-making. That was very different for me, my parents wanted us to make a decision on anything no matter how big or small the decision was. They would always seek our opinion as kids and it really helped me learn certain things about decision-making. It made me realize that I mattered as well as my opinions and thoughts.
The truth is, you do not realize how much all of this matters, till you go into the world where you are able to pass your points across in a sensible way. This has really shaped my personality, and my confidence as well. There are days I feel absolutely downcast and I feel like I am not moving forward. I can just put a call through and they are able to pick me and that is a blessing for which I am thankful.
I studied Petroleum and Gas engineering and while doing that, I held a job at a Radio Station. Along the line, I discovered I loved acting so I went ahead to do that. I have done quite a number of things in my life. I started a hair business on a whim based on a conversation with my dad and without any capital, I got about 8,000,000 (Eight million) Naira worth of products. It just gives me a certain level of confidence that I will not be able to cultivate any other way.
This is really beautiful to hear, you have a good relationship with your parents and the environment was top-notch. Now I agree with you when you say you are multi-faceted.
Now let’s take another direction entirely. How would you say the impact of social media has been on your career, your circle, and even yourself as a person?
Social media, asides from the argument of it being a double-edged sword and having equal amounts of pros and cons. I was very cautious about putting myself out there initially. I had the least of myself on social media and I found it difficult to express myself for a variety of reasons, as confident as I was, it just felt synthetic having to put so much of myself on the internet. However, in the line of work that I do, it is almost impossible to be in Entertainment and not utilize Social Media. I would not say I am a professional yet but I have gotten so much better.
In terms of visibility, it has been wonderful, there are so many friendships in my industry, and partnerships that happened more or less because of Social Media. I have gotten work as a result. I will never forget one of the biggest movie roles I ever played because a friend of mine posted a video of something I had done and someone said they needed me for a role. I auditioned and landed it.
In my opinion, it has been absolutely beneficial to me. It has brought me closer to a lot of people who have been in my circle and lost touch at some point. Yeah, it has been wonderful for my career growth.
Very brilliant. Looking at what you have done and what you are doing, you have had an insane run. How do you intend to keep up with the pedestal, because life can be unpredictable at times?
To be honest, and this is where my spirituality comes in, I generally do not think that anything I have achieved has been by any effort of mine. Definitely, I might be a vehicle, but more than anything, it is God’s work. No matter how great anything I have done is and how good it looks, it definitely cannot be my doing. The strength to execute, and the grace to be able to have things come a certain way is not something I can determine.
Life is unpredictable, so in as much as I say Yes I am going to achieve the greatest heights in what I am doing or what I set out to do. I say this knowing that God will enable me to achieve these at the back of my mind. Everything I have achieved, I did with the help of God and anywhere that I am going or think I want to go, it is with His help as well. I strongly also believe in God’s plan for me as it will surpass any other plan I have for myself. I will continue to do everything that I am doing and be consistent. The magic is in God’s hands.
Thank you so much for this. On a lighter note, what does Eve do for fun when she is not working?
Considering that my job is actually fun, I love to eat, go restaurant hopping, have a good time- drink, and be merry. I enjoy going wherever there is really loud music, just to enjoy the music because I love great music. I also like to spend time with family, catching up and keeping up with them. As you grow older, you tend to miss your family so I like to hang out with them when I can.
I love having stimulating conversations, it makes me feel so good. I also like to watch movies, I am quite a movie buff, and you will always catch me watching something. When I am trying to be laidback, I write a lot- poems, things in my head, music, creating something basically, and anything that makes me feel alive and most definitely shopping.
Do you have any word out there for people who are still trying to find themselves and what they want to do?
I will say take your time and trust the process and this is not just advice for anyone out there, it is advice I am giving to myself. It is something I feel we all need to remember. Fall in love with yourself more than anything. There are so many hidden treasures in us as each person was created differently and specifically. Trust your goal, trust your end goal, and have faith, and things will work out. You must believe things will work and more than anything regardless, believing in the bleakest of times is a miracle that births another miracle.
To round this up, what have been your highlights so far this year?
Considering that the year just started and we are just about a few weeks in, I would say being the host of Lagos Loves Damini even though that was chaotic, I did actually get to do what I wanted to do. Also, getting to interview Tobi Nwigwe which was wonderful. I would say I am not doing too badly.
Beautiful. You definitely are not, you are doing great.
Thank you so much for granting this interview with us, we are so grateful.
Thanks for having me.
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