Daisy Handfied: ‘If you have a dream for your life, work towards it’
Daisy Handfied is a media entrepreneur and humanitarian. A graduate of Journalism from the London School of Journalism in the United Kingdom, the rising actress from the Turks and Caicos Islands featured in Butterfly and Cost of Living scheduled to be released this year.
She started professionally as a news anchor and moved on to creating a TV show called Extending a Hand with Daisy Handfield, filmed and aired in the Dominican Republic. Through the show, she collaborated with government and private organisations to support people in the Dominican Republic with basic needs. She has, however, recreated the programme in Nigeria, with a mission to support and uplift people to find wholeness in their journey through life.
In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, she shares her experiences and passion for the vulnerable.
Share with us your growing up?
I grew up in the Turks and Caicos Islands with my late father who was a native of the country and with my mother who is from the Dominican Republic. I have two sisters and one brother. I speak Spanish and English fluently. I grew up in a Christian household, which means that God was always the centre.
What influenced your passion for the arts?
From a young age, I would watch talent shows and a lot of Spanish soap operas. I just knew that one day, I would be a TV star. As a matter of fact, one night as a kid, I was watching a talent show. I was so amazed at how talented they were and I remember my late father saying to me that one day I would be there too. As a child, I also enjoyed writing poetry and I was really good at English Literature and English Language in school.
You started professionally as a news anchor, how did you venture into acting?
I was a news anchor for almost a decade of my life, but deep inside, I still wanted something more. I enjoyed news for that period of my life, but I always knew that I also wanted to act in movies. At one point, I decided that I wanted to take a risk and try something different with my life.
So, a few years ago, I took the risk of permanently moving from the Caribbean to Europe where I enrolled in acting classes. While taking my acting classes, I would attend auditions for roles. Within my first year of acting, I managed to secure a couple of movie roles.
You are passionate about supporting and helping the needy, what informed this?
This passion was also from a tender age; I started volunteering at the local Red Cross in my country from about the age of 12. I always knew that no matter what line of work I ended up in, I still wanted to make philanthropy a priority. I always wanted to have an impact on the lives of others, which is what inspired my show, Extending a Hand with Daisy Handfield.
On the show, I highlight the needs of unfortunate people in the Dominican Republic and did my abest to assist them. I would basically travel from the Turks and Caicos Islands on weekends to film and then resume work in the Turks and Caicos Islands on Mondays. It was hectic, but it was fulfilling for me.
What will be the focus of your show in Nigeria?
Yes, the show will be called Another Chance with Daisy Handfield. It will be similar to the humanitarian show I had in the Caribbean. I will highlight the needs of individuals and collaborate with the private sector to facilitate the needs of these individuals.
What is your reach and who are your beneficiaries?
I want to start with Lagos and then hopefully as we grow, take it all over Nigeria. I don’t want to put any limitations on beneficiaries, because I want to be open to assist a range of individuals.
However, I can say that I do want to focus on people with medical issues and on education. As time progresses, I want to form partnerships with government entities in Nigeria to help on a larger scale.
How is it like living and working across continents?
It gets challenging at times when there are cultural differences, but it’s also a surreal and beautiful feeling. It is beautiful, because I’ve met some amazing people along this journey and surreal, because I would have never thought that I would’ve taken such a huge risk traveling so far from home. It takes a lot of courage to leave your comfort zone to start over somewhere else.
What motivates and drives you?
Knowing that I’m living out my dreams and that I’m in alignment with my purpose; these push me to go even harder.
What challenges have you faced so far in achieving your goals?
I think one of the most common challenges I’ve faced in Nigeria is managing my time. Nigeria is a big country with a huge population and I say this because being a big country comes with pros and cons.
One of the major cons would be traffic, so I’m still learning to manage my time, so that I can be as productive as possible throughout the day. Remember, I come from a small group of Islands; so being stuck in traffic for long periods is still something I’m getting used to.
What advice do you have for young women on living their dreams?
My advice for young women would be to never put limitations on themselves. If you have a dream for your life, work towards it. Also, you will not have it all figured out in your twenties and regardless of how much you think you know, learning will be a never-ending thing. I would encourage them to use their twenties to work on themselves and on becoming a woman of substance, because it sets the foundation for your thirties.
I feel like women are conditioned by society to believe that they must be married and have a family by a certain age, but women should not conform to this. God is in control of your life, so his path and timing on your life is different from his timing and purpose for someone else’s life. Don’t let society rush you into things because they do not know the calling that God has placed over your life.
Share with us your beauty regimen?
I won’t even lie and say that I have an elaborate beauty regimen. I used to, but nowadays, I just make sure I wash my face at-least twice a day and I keep my skin moistures at all times.
Aside from that, I make sure I drink loads of water throughout the day and I try to make sure I get a facial at least once a month. It works for me, as they say, if it isn’t broken, then don’t fix it.
How do you relax?
It might sound a bit peculiar, but drinking tea, going to the spa and listening to the word of God are the things that keep me most relaxed.
What is your life mantra?
My current life mantra is actually a Bible verse: Ecclesiastes 9:11- The race is not for the swiftest, but for those who endure the longest. A lot of people are rushing through life, but in all honesty, going nowhere fast.
These days, I try my best to do things that align with my purpose. If it isn’t something that will help me grow in purpose, then I say no to it.
I used to try to do so much because society has conditioned us to believe that the more, we do, and the more successful we look. So you ask yourself if it does align with your purpose. It is not about quantity, but more so about the quality of what you are doing.