We had the good fortune of connecting with Chantal Nchako and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chantal, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
The most difficult decision I have ever had to make was being myself and staying true to my morals, my culture and my uniqueness. It can be challenging in this industry with everything on display to stay balanced in life. I believe that society can evoke a false sense of reality which people attach to and try to emulate. I think it is very important to have a mentally, physically and emotionally balance in your life so that you can be grounded and present in each divine moment. One thing outsiders don’t see is the work you put in that is not on display. It’s great to uplift people’s achievements that one is aware of however the achievements that one may not be aware of are the most rewarding in my opinion. It can take years and years to be financially free as an actor especially as a woman of color in Hollywood. You can really lose your mind trying to fit in a box that was not created to preserve you. I believe that Hollywood is a place created for trends- One day you’re hot and the next day you’re not. You must view yourself as timeless. Something that never goes out of style. Like a classic Chanel bag.
I attribute my success to my happiness. I make sure to stay balanced and refreshed by traveling. I live in Sicily six months out of the year where I teach, wear fabulous clothes and go horse riding. This gives me the greatest joy! You have to chose the life you want to live because that is what will ultimately keep you going. A career as an artist can be risky and it can be filled with lots of disappointments and impatience. I believe that- THAT should be the only thing in your life that is inconsistent and the rest is up to you to make beautiful. And never forget that time is always on your side because You are striving for longevity.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My journey has not been easy as I am sure everyone has a great story to tell. I was raised in Cameroun, West Africa. My first language is French, I am fluent in English, Italian and I speak Bamilike. I am most proud about my Master’s Degree. It sometimes feels unreal. I hated school when I was in undergrad but then I actually went to graduate school and graduated top of my class with honors through a full scholarship. I did learn a valuable lesson during my graduate school experience and that was…that your presence may make people uncomfortable but that has very little to do with you so take the stage and fill up the space.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
They would visit me in Sicily and we would have a grand time. A lady never discloses the menu before a dinner party. Just show up. Look fabulous and be ready!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I really have to shout out my mother Lena Prince-Nchako. She has dedicated her life to raise me, support me, educate me and challenge me. I am grateful for her mentorship, her guidance, her tough love and her creative genes. She is a force and I definitely get my perseverance from her.