If You Don’t Believe in Yourself, No One Else Will
Says Dubai Based Media Personality Sheron Nanayakkara in an Exclusive Interview with Economist Dubai.
Sheron , tell us about Yourself.
A simple girl from Sri Lanka with big dreams, aren’t we all? I moved to Dubai in 2011 with high hopes and crazy life experiences and Dubai didn’t disappoint me. My experience has always been on TV and Radio and this is something I’m passionate about. Joined Radio as a trainer presenter straight out of School and TV followed a couple of years after. Moving to Dubai was a leap of faith, and before I knew it, I was working in Real Estate as a Leasing Manager. I thoroughly enjoyed it but I always knew I had more in store for me.
You were born on?
Your Zodiac Sign?
I am a Taurus
How easy it is for a Sri Lankan national like you to mix with diverse cultures and grow in UAE?
I grew up in Sri Lanka and was educated in English, I have never felt like the language was a barrier at all and I absolutely love meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures. That in itself is an experience.
If you’re looking for a place where you can meet the whole world, it’s Dubai.
Your favorite food in UAE? and Restaurant?
I’m an Island girl so I do love my seafood. A restaurant that I don’t fail to visit at least once a month is Sea World on Sheikh Zayed Road. Their grilled garlic and butter Sea Bass is out of this world.
Are you a Reader more or a web surfer?
Definitely a Web Surfer. Although I just finished reading a book about Alcatraz , I’m always on my phone, reading one thing or another.
How did Radio in Dubai happen in your life?
Radio in Dubai was a dream come true for me. I’m at my happiest behind the mic, and even though I loved my job in Real Estate, I always felt like something was missing. I was over the moon to get that phone call from Heart FM 107.1 saying they’d want me to join their team. And now I one of the Hosts of the breakfast show with two other presenters.
Do you love modelling?
I got into modeling at the age of 20, but didn’t really push it through, Radio was always number one. I have just started modeling again here in Dubai, and Yes, I love it.
Tell us about your family?
We are 3 daughters in the family, my dad was in Tourism all his life and he passed on the reigns to my older sister who is a National Tour Guide. Youngest sister works for Kuwait Airways. My mom has always been the spine of the family and I always say that if I can be half the woman she is, when I’m her age, I’d have won in life.
As a traveler, where would you like to resurface again and again?
America. I did a 10 days tour to LA, Vegas, San Francisco and a drive through the coast back to LA, and it’s the best trip I’ve done so far. Can’t wait to go back and explore the rest of the country.
Any new destinations explored recently?
I did Cambodia earlier this year, visiting Angkor Wat Temple was in my bucket list, and I ticked it off. A must visit.
What can one find inside your wardrobe as far as your dressing is concerned?
You will always find a yellow top, yellow dress, yellow skirt. Always I have been told that yellow looks great on my skin tone and I love wearing the color.
Sheron , Your views on Dubai.
Dubai is a whole new world. Once you get used to the Dubai lifestyle it’s extremely hard to go back to your previous one. Dubai is a land of opportunities, since I moved here, Dubai has opened up so many doors that I didn’t even know existed. But I will also say that it’s not for everyone. Moving away from home is a tough decision as it is, and moving to a city as fast paced as Dubai is a whole another level. It’s not for the faint hearted and only for the thick skinned.
What would be your reaction if you are made a host of a TV show?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on TV and if I was given the opportunity to do it in Dubai, I would snatch it without a batting my eyelids
Which celebrity would you like to meet in Dubai over coffee?
I can name a few I would love to meet, but since its “Dubai”, I would love to have a chat with H.H Sheikh Mohammed himself. One can only dream.
If you are made the goodwill ambassador what is the first thing you will do to improve certain things in people’s lives?
I would focus my efforts on helping young women to realize their strength, their talents and pushing them to be the best version of themselves, to be strong, independent women. We don’t realize that sometimes, it’s a friendly face or it’s as simple as saying “ I believe in you” for someone good to be great. So many children are deprived of an education and amongst them, we have creators, innovators and world leaders just waiting for that right opportunity.
Do you love cars or mobikes?
I’d go with cars purely for the reason that my hair will be intact after the ride (laughs).
Are you passionate about animals?
Yes , I do love animals and birds. I did have a cat for a short period
Your message to Your audience?
I wouldn’t say this is for my audience only but anyone in general: Follow your dreams, and believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. Speak up for what you believe in, and don’t ever let anyone tell you, you’re not good enough.
As told to our Senior Correspondent Amit Kakkar
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