I did not expect to fall in love with Nancy Isime. No, not at all. I was not planning to. And by falling in love, I mean in less emotive language, that I did not expect to deeply appreciate her commitment to acting. When I saw her in “Blood Sisters” I was moved by her timing and natural reactions. Later I also saw her in “Shanty Town” and then in “Obara‘m”. The dexterity, the versatility, the vim, the flair, the energy, the grace, the passion she used in carrying out her roles was phenomenal. People often say, “behave yourself”, but it is human not behaving like themselves that really catches our attention and that we remember more. While everyone in this world is a character—believe it or not—some have worked hard and actually mastered the art and act of acting or “not behaving like themselves” in an entertaining manner, just like Nancy Isime has. So, before this article gets boring, allow me, ladies and gentlemen, and you, dear reader, to reintroduce to you Nancy Isime as I analyze my top 5 films she featured in and what I have learnt from them. Spoilers ahead.

Blood Sisters: In “Blood Sisters”, it is the wedding day, but something bad had happened to the groom and he was going to be absent. The sisters, Ini Dima Okojie and Nancy Isime, had to be on the run from the law as powerful and concerned family members and the entire “Executive Calvary” (men of the law) and other dangerous people were in pursuit of them. In the midst of it all, Nancy taught me to be the ride-or-die friend who sticks closer than a brother or sister. Recently I have been meditating on the concept of knowledge and understanding. Understanding is deeper than knowledge. Outsiders saw the blood sisters as criminals, but Wole Ojo’s character saw beyond and beneath the exterior and did what he could for them. Another lesson from that series is not to take things, even people, at face value.

Obara’m: In this classic, I learned that the future is more important than the past. When Nancy‘s character was invited to come home, she declined until her father (Nkem Owoh) “relocated” to join his fathers. Now she had to love her own estranged child. This film was made with love. Pure love. I actually cried. I love children because their love and their heart is full of genuineness and authenticity before they become adults and strongly opinionated. You can‘t buy a child‘s love. They don’t care about your money or toys. They want and need your real love and you can only cultivate it by spending quality time with them. As they care nothing for money and toys but your love, your real love, that‘s why she struggled to connect with her daughter. And effort actually means care. And what is love if not a mountain of care that generated magnitude through time? After all, the opposite of love is not necessarily hate, it is nonchalance and indifference. Don‘t leave your children to their devices. If you have to, make sure you find time to spend time with them or you might end up with regret when the chasm of emotional disconnect solidifies.

Shanty Town: In “Shanty Town”, Nancy taught me to always believe in myself and to go after what I want regardless of how impossible it seems to break free from my circumstances and achieve my dreams. As Shalewa, a runsgirl (sex worker) who aspired to become a mixologist, she killed the role by giving it the passion it needed. I commend her efforts for the lengths she had to go to achieve what she did on-screen. I used to think acting was all about signing autographs, taking nice looking photos and answering questions on the red carpet at the event centre of the film premiere, but it requires intensive reading, studying, memorizing, energy, humility, emotional maturity, rehearsals, time-consuming and mundane work, standing in the sun for long hours, getting rejections from auditions and persistently dredging up emotions that some would rather keep buried.

She Must Be Obeyed: In a supportive role, she killed it when Funke Akindele’s character, She, was treating, her new Personal Assistant, Victoria (Nancy Isime), like trash. Eventually she was able to move forward with her life. I guess the lesson is: stay focused on your dreams, don’t let the nonsense around you distract you from what is important to you. However, this is an excellent story I would recommend anywhere. One day, “the sun‘s gonna shine on everything you do”, like Asake would say.

The Razz Guy: I loved the Nadine Adigwe character portrayed by Nancy Isime. She was Lasisi Elenu’s girlfriend, another comic legend that has Edo roots. Nadine was exceptionally theatrical in her dramatic act. It was delightful and as an actor who takes note of quality and natural acting, I would recommend that film for anyone who is struggling to play the “childish-tantrum-throwing-excessively-melodramatic-ajebutter-Nigerian-girlfriend”. And as usual I learnt that I should not look down on anyone in this world because we all play a significant role in the grand scheme of things. Plus, she was quite funny too. I love funny people. They create happiness for us out of nothing, out of thin air.

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Omo Ghetto: Who can forget the Funke Film Fever (FFF) that enraptured the world with the sensational “Omo Ghetto Saga”? This film inspired many filmmakers and became a point of reference when they wrote their “Ghetto Story-based film”. And of course, Nancy played “Kate”, one of the (runsgirls) prostitutes but she did it so well that you could sense the classic sophistication, professionalism and devotion that came with the role on camera and even behind the scenes. One of the lessons I learnt from “Omo Ghetto Saga” is that that the people with the kindest heart get their hearts broken the most.

Living In Bondage – Breaking Free: As much as I respect Ramsey Nouah for his directorial attributes and talent, I loved Stella (Nancy Isime), the girl who was loving—sorry—lusting after Nnamdi (Jidekene Achufusi). I learnt that too much ambition can get me into trouble. As much as I want the world to be mine, I also have to be careful so I don’t hurt myself and those I deeply love and care about.


The truth is, with such a killer shape to die for, Nancy Isime would have just been perfect for several roles, but then add her command of diction, her emotional range, her commitment and devotion to her craft and you have an excellent screen goddess and thespian who hails from Edo State. A proud, internationally renowned ambassador that highlights the motto, “Edo To The World”.

Aimiuwu is an ambitious and no-nonsense screenwriter who writes from Ugbowo, Benin City.