Sharon Ashley Nwosu | Aeronautic Engineer, Actor, YouTuber
Your Favourite YouTubers? - No popular faves but I lean towards growing Youtubers because of their authenticity.
Badé Obasa: How old were you when you lost your dad and what stages of grief did you experience?
Sharon A. Nwosu: My dad died when I was 15. I left Nigeria when I was 10 and that was the last time I saw him. Unfortunately, I didn't attend his funeral due to my exams. My mum didn't want me to come back home. To be honest, for like the first 6 months, I was in serious denial. I did not believe he was dead. I was such a daddy's girl and was so close to him. For some weird reason, I always told myself "oh my dad is in Nigeria, when I go on a holiday, he is going to be there so he is not dead". This helped me and I was able to cope and manage the whole situation. Until one day, I went to the corner store and something just told me, "you are never going to see him again". At that moment, it just really hit me that my dad was dead. I broke down in the middle of the road and was crying. People were looking at me like what is wrong with this girl? It was so hard. I slowly started digesting the fact that all the questions I wanted to ask him, I won't be able to ask him. I noticed I was seeing a lot of him in me and I started developing the flair for acting. Mahn! I had so many questions to ask but the fact that he was dead meant I would not be able to get the answers I needed. Plus, lol I know this might seem shallow but I kept saying who would walk me down the aisle? You know, as a girl, that popped up in my head. I withdrew from events especially weddings, family gatherings where a father's presence was very much needed. I remember going for this wedding and whilst the father was walking down the aisle with his daughter, I started crying so much. I am sure people thought I was crying for a different reason but at that moment, I just missed my dad and realized his absence. So, I had to internalize everything. I called my mum, spoke to her and that's when I became closer to my mum. I mean, I was super close to my mum but I was closer to my dad. Realizing and accepting that she is all that I have got, I had to get extra close to her and tell her everything happening in my life so that she would be up to date.
BO: As a Christian, did loss make you angry towards God and question if He truly exists?
SAN: I didn't feel anger towards God because my dad was ill and I had it at the back of my head that he could leave the earth. However, when I lost my friend through a car crash, I questioned God a whole lot. I felt like he was such a promising young man with a good heart. I struggled to wrap my head around it. Gradually not immediately, I snapped out of these constant questioning and started learning to rest in God & His decisions. It was very hard but time made it easier.
BO: Did the absence of your father influence your love relationships? How?
SAN: Yes it did but in a very positive way. I'm grateful to God that I came from a very healthy Christian marriage background so my mum & dad were like the perfect couple. I never for once saw my dad hit my mum or my mum insult my dad or anything. So for me, that is the template that I see my relationships/marriage should be. I have 3 elder sisters and that is exactly how their marriages are, so by God's grace mine would not be anything different. I came from a family where, just as Christ is the head, we are the body. My dad was the head and my mum was the neck. Of course, my dad was the head but he can't move without the neck. So, I was able to understand that in a marriage, there has to be partnership and companionship. I never had any daddy issues and I still do not have daddy issues. You know, I feel that's a healthy position to be in. So when I look for love in a relationship, I seek those values that I saw my dad have and I expect to see that in a guy. Not only that, I expect to be a better version of my mum to my husband. After my dad died, I saw my mum become much stronger. Her strength was like a 100 & I know it is by God's grace. It was not just by her hardwork. Loss taught me that as a woman, you need to learn to be stable and stand on your own. I think if my mum was only a housewife after he died, I think she may not have been able to support us that much. Even though she was supporting my dad, she had things of her own and was able to still stand on her feet.
BO: What key values did you learn from your dad that you have adapted in your own life?
SAN: Three key values I learnt from him are patience, understanding and ease. My dad was a very patient person. I do not know if patience is innate to me or I learnt it from him. I do know I am very patient. Secondly, he was very understanding. He prioritized understanding over judgement or jumping into conclusions. I think that is very important because we live in a world where everyone has an opinion. You do something and everyone is trying to say this is the reason why you did it but it is totally off. I believe that is why people gravitated towards him because he always wanted to understand your actions, as opposed to judging you. Lastly, he was a very easy going person. He did not worry too much about life. So I'll say I took those 3 key values from him and they have really helped me as a woman growing up.
BO: How have you nurtured your mind and emotions to build resilience and pursue your dreams regardless ?
SAN: You know how I said I was in denial for 6 months? When I came to terms with the fact that I was never going to see him again, I had to let the emotions out. There were times where I couldn't hear the word "dad" and have a straight face, I would always cry. Crying helped me a lot because I got out all the tears. I remember Father's day used to be a nightmare because it brought back all the memories. Now, I just smile because I know he is in a better place. Before he died, there was a revelation made on his death bed and I even had dreams after he died that he is in a good place. So that is very comforting to know. I know he does not want me to wallow in pain and self-pity. He wants me to keep growing and improving myself. That has really helped because I know the more I improve myself, the more I become the woman God has destined for me and the happier my dad is for me. It was not easy at all but I progressively learnt to be happy with myself. I tried not to base my happiness on company because if you always go to a particularly person to be happy, and the person is not around, then you become sad. So, don't give anyone the power to be able to control your happiness. God kept me going to be honest. We have a greater purpose on earth. I want both my earthly father who is now with God and my Heavenly Father to be proud of the woman I'm becoming. So, i'll say that is what pushes me to be better and pursue my dreams regardless.
Your Greatest Pet Peeves? - Waste Of Any Sort & Bad Customer Service
BO: You studied aeronautic engineering, have a growing YouTube channel and now navigating into the world of acting. Congrats on your debut feature in AY's Call To Bar Comedy Series. What made you transition from engineering to acting? How’s your journey been and what have you learnt on set so far?
SAN: I never saw this coming tbh. I am more of my own show/YouTube type of person. I knew I wanted to be on screens but it was not necessarily acting. It could be just me having a show where young Christian women talk about real life issues and how Christ has really helped them so they can inspire others. That is my goal. I started my YouTube channel in June 2015 during my first year of university. That was one of the ways I started building my dreams. So when I got the role to act, I was like okay, I don't mind trying this out. The thing is you never really know what platform God wants to use. Sometimes we make plans but He wants us to go in a different direction before we get to our destination. He may want us to try different things because in trying different things, you could meet people that would propel you to the destiny He has for you. That's why I never really turn down opportunities, except the Holy Spirit tells me this is not for me. I have gotten major cinema roles but most of them were not in line with what I believe in. And I will not just take any opportunity because I am going to be on the big screen you know? Not all roles or opportunities lead to your destiny. The devil is very tricky. He can makes things seem like it is the path God wants for you but you need to have a discerning Spirit not to accept anything. I still want to pursue my degree but in Nigeria, it is quite tough. Maybe if I move to another country then yes, I might develop myself, come back to Nigeria and improve the aeronautical field.
BO: For someone who has (recently) lost a loved one & feels like it’s the end of their world, what practical advice or resources can you share with them to help them navigate this uncertain period?
SAN: I know it is very hard and people tell you everything happens for a reason when you lose someone. So tell me, what exactly is the reason?? That is what I used to think. The first thing I would say is grow in learning to trust God in His decisions. Comfort came when I spent time seeking God and dwelling in His Word. There are so many nuggets that can help you through this uncertain time. You would not know the reason now, until months or maybe years later. I used to say everything happens for a reason in Faith but honestly, I did not see it. It was not only till like last year that I started to see the evidence in my life. There are so many opportunities that have come my way and losses I have encountered. At the time, it was like my world was crumbling. Months later, I realized that God knew what He was doing that He orchestrated everything and always has my best interest at heart. So you might have lost a brother/sister/spouse/friend, especially during this COVID-19 period and you are probably wondering "God why me?", "why do you hate me", “we serve you” and so on. Trust me, He knows why they are no longer here and you may not see it now but if you can trust Him that He does not hate you, gradually you will be fine. Secondly, be intentional with the people around you. One of the regrets I had is that I did not talk to my dad as much and update him on my progress. That was not intentional. Back then, communication was a bit difficult. There was no Whatsapp video call, just Skype which was kinda long lol. That being said, tell and show your loved ones how much you love them. Do whatever you can for them right now, because God forbid, you do not know when they are going to leave you or when you will too. Lastly, time is a healer. Trust me. There were times where I told myself that I can never heal from this pain but look at me now. When I think of him now, it is just good memories. Endure the pain, and focus on healing. Whatever it is that will help you heal, do it. If that means developing a new hobby, spending more time with family and friends or keeping the right company. These tips helped me and I really hope it will help you too.
--To stay connected with Sharon, follow her on Instagram and subscribe to her YouTube channel for natural hair, skincare, faith-based, cooking videos and more