Welcome to ‘Women We Love’ – our weekly column where we celebrate women doing amazing things in their areas of influence. From the tech & the fashion world to social activism & politics, these women, we think, are definitely crush-worthy. Catch up on all our crushes here!
Today, we shine the light on the gift of Nollywood that keeps on giving – Shaffy Bello!
…known to a lot of those who she inspires as Auty Shaffy is a one-of-a-kind talent. Recently turning 50, the screen goddess has been on a journey that has made her one of our favourite people.
Shaffy Bello was born in Lagos state (hailing from Abeokuta) and was introduced to the world in a Muslim polygamous home. The last of 12 children, she describes her upbringing as growing up “with 7 incredible women. I am the last of all these girls. I used their lives as examples. My oldest sister is like a mum to me now since my parents are dead. My eldest sister and brother are like mum and dad to me. I have learnt a lot from them. My siblings are basically all I’ve got.”
At the age of 18, she relocated to the United States where the trajectory that led her to her current stardom, started. With her siblings for guidance and influences like Oprah Winfrey, Shaffy knew she was headed for greatness.
One marriage and 2 children later, Shaffy heard the call for more. After singing & acting in the church, building a real estate business, and event planning for a great chunk of time, she decided to allow more into her life. In our Nov/Dec 2020 issue, she explained – “I wanted to fly. I felt my wings were clipped by being a wife and a mother. I felt like that was what I ought to be doing and I did it well. I gave it all up, I raised my kids, I left work where I did real estate. Then I moved into event planning because it allowed me to raise my children properly. I was one of those mothers that always did homework with the kids. I had a routine and I followed it. However, I knew within me I needed more and I wanted more.”
Our interview with her was more than enlightening. Here are 5 things she left us with;
- It’s never too late to live your dream. At fifty, Shaffy feels like she’s got a new lease on life and is ready to take on new roles and adventures.
- Age is nothing but a number. Shaffy Bello, Kate Henshaw and many more 50-year-olds are proof that age is a matter of mindset.
- Kids play a role in giving their parents permission to live full lives. Parents get stuck sometimes taking care of the kids (which is a life-long job), so the kids need to help them get back to their goals & dreams.
- Show up on time. For the cover shoot, Shaffy came earlier than the crew – which goes a long way in showing off her humility & politeness (even though we would have gladly waited hours for her arrival)
- Be human. When we asked about her approach to hostility from women, she shared how she always makes the first move to say hello, which disarms them and brings a pleasant ambience in.
Today, you can hardly walk through the cinemas to scroll through the Nollywood section of Netflix without seeing Shaffy’s acting prowess. From movies like Chief Daddy to Nneka the Pretty Serpent – there is a reason why no one can do what Shaffy Bello does – and we love her the more for it.
To Shaffy, her amazing talent and her being so open with us, we say thank you.
Click play below to watch our exclusive interview with TW’s Editor-in-Chief – Adesuwa Onyenokwe.