Exquisite magazine got the opportunity to have an interview with this phenomenal lady, Stephanie Anene who is an award-winning voice-over artist. Join Exquisite Magazine as she shares her success story.
EM- PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR BRAND
My name is Stephanie Anene but better known as Voiceofsteph on social media, especially Instagram. I am a self-taught award-winning professional voice-over artist, voice coach, Tv Presenter, event host/mc and content creator based in Lagos, Nigeria. Voiceofsteph is my brand name. Voiceofsteph provides voice-over-related content and services.
EM- HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THIS FIELD?
Roughly 5 years.
EM- TIPS ON HOW YOU STARTED AND WHY?
Hmm for TV presenting, my first shot at TV presenting was in 2016, a month after I graduated from secondary school, I auditioned for the MTV BASE VJ SEARCH and emerged a Top 10 National Finalist, the funny thing about this particular story is that I had no idea what I went to do at the auditions but my classmate then promised me Eba and Egusi soup if I went (it’s crazy I know 101) she said “you know you like talking, I am sure this will suit you perfectly” and because of eba and egusi soup and two meat, I went for the audition 101. It was after I emerged as a Top 10
National Finalist of the MTV Base Vj SEARCH 2016 that it dawned on me that presenting may just be my thing… my passion for it grew (and is still very much on fire today)
I moved to Lagos in 2019, and it was at this time I can say I started my voice-over journey properly. I had no idea voice-over was a thing. When I was much younger in Junior Secondary School, I watched a lot of cartoons (still do) and I remember how I’d turn down the TV volume and read out the captions as each character spoke as though I was the one voicing them. Then during TV commercials, I would repeat after the voice-over artiste, I did this so much that whenever I see a billboard, I’d read out the captions, pretending and imagining I was doing it for radio. As time went on, I began watching YouTube videos and I discovered voice-over is a thing, a career and can be done as a profession. So I fed off every YouTube video I could find and rehearsed and practised and the rest is history.
Before then I used to voice church announcements and it made me so excited!! Even though I didn’t like the sound and texture of my voice because it was so tiny and high-pitched but it gave me joy whenever I was called on to voice anything. At this point it wasn’t a paid thing, I just wanted people to hear me.
However, when I came to Lagos, I focused on creating words you might be pronouncing incorrectly, videos and differences between British and American accents, and videos on Instagram and Facebook. I did it for fun and then I recall how people would comment discouraging things like “Wetin’ this one dey do mouth like?” “Hanty no go find work, dey here dey form rubbish” “Iol shey dis accent you dey do go bring money…abeg” The comments were so discouraging, I remember crying and promising myself I’d never do that again, but thanks to good supportive friends, I continued. Not long enough I got my very first official paid voice-over gig and guess what? It was for Access Bank Nigeria and British American Tobacco [BAT]. I was amazed! The money was the biggest thing to ever smell my bank account, and from there, I posted it on my Instagram, before long, I started receiving dms, people asking me if I could also render the voicing service for their brand/product and that’s how it all started.
EM- YOU ARE A FORCE TO RECKON WITH IN THE SOCIETY, HOW DID YOU GROW TO THIS LEVEL?
Thanks. Creating content… sharing my gift and creativity with the world. So I remember while I was in the studio then, I
was mimicking the MTN Voiced response Voice over and one of the guys was like “Whattttt no no this is too good!! I’m recording start over ” He recorded and (as expected 101) I uploaded it on my Instagram… it created a lot of buzz and Don Jazzy saw it. He Reposted and other blogs and celebrities followed. Overnight I blew o (haha).
I took the advantage and started uploading more content back to back… when I tell you my dm was full… it was FULL. More clients, more projects, more collaborations and more exposure. This was on my first Instagram account: steph_unique (which is now just my personal account where I post preaching, selfies and pictures) so I decided to create a new IG handle where I can post voice-over-related content, that’s how my Instagram account: Voiceofsteph was born (2021) and I have successfully grown it to over 49k followers and counting)
Now I organise my voice-over training, the very first training I had over 40 registered students from Nigeria and abroad and the next one is taking place in June 2023. Won my first ever voice-over award (Voice Artist of the Year, Africa Overall in the APVA Awards 2022), signed a major voicing contract with one of the biggest mobile networks in Africa; MTN, deliver voice overs to clients within and outside Nigeria, its amazing.
EM: HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Success to me isn’t measured by how much you have in your bank account, the quality and or quantity of clothes, accessories, cars, basically material things one has in his/her possession.
Success to me is fulfilling your purpose which for me is touching lives, inspiring people and being a source of motivation to people and being able to impact their lives positively with whatever I do and all credit and thanks to God, I have done, been doing and will still do that and more.
Just coming online to messages, texts and emails from different people from different countries in the world I’ve never been to, telling me how much they look forward to my videos and how they watched my content and it inspired them to go after their dreams and many more are fulfilling.
EM: IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO START YOUR CAREER OVER AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
Hmmm…l would have channelled my attention to YouTube content creation and monetisation. I abandoned my YouTube for months and it’s currently at 5k subscribers, if I had been consistent, I’d been celebrating more heights…that’s all other than that, I wouldn’t have done anything differently, I believe everything happened how it was supposed to have happened.
EM- EVERY BUSINESS-MINDED SUCCESSFUL PERSON HAS A STORY, WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE?
I started school late and that birthed Self-doubt and emotional downtime. Other challenges were a lack of resources, major discouragement from people, family issues and breaking into the industry.
EM- WHAT SETS YOU APART?
What sets Voiceofsteph apart from other voice-over service providers and or artists is the fact that Voiceofsteph delivers quality voice-overs in the following accents; British, American, Black American, Pidgin and even Indian accents… yes it’s not the usual and I have a gift of mimicking voices, so I can single-handedly voice 2 different characters in a single voice over project, this usually makes my clients come back as they don’t have to pay two different VOAS to voice one script, instead they just pay an extra half to my initial rates.
EM- YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO MANY, WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I’m inspired by my Pastor, Rev Dr Chris Oyakhilome Iol Yeah. He is a role model to me, he speaks and the world listens, I grew up listening to his messages, and he says “The world is yours… you own cosmos” and his story, how he was so timid as a teenager and looking at him today?? Boy oh boy!! That’s success on two legs, wearing a suit! Haha.
EM- WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
What motivates me… my goals. when I go through my written goals and see how big the vision is, I’m motivated to keep pushing. “If others can, why can’t I?” This is what I tell myself every time I look at my written goals.
EM- IF YOU WERE TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT YOURSELF WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?
Action! THE WORLD, MY STAGE.
EM- PLEASE KINDLY SHARE SOME OF YOUR SECRETS TO BECOMING SUCCESSFUL WITH EM
Your mouth and the word of God (the Bible). You have to be conscious of the fact that your words carry power, power to give life and to destroy.
Speak to your future. Speak to your career, and speak forth the things you want to see, I started doing this when I was a teenager, I had a diary where I write out my confessions. “I am a Global Success, men and women of global influence are gravitating towards me, the name Voiceofsteph is known in every home in Nigeria and Africa, the grace I carry stands me out, it’s irresistible…” You are a result of words you spoke years ago, but it’s never too late to start. Read and meditate on Joshua 1 vs 8, this is the secret to success.
EM- WHAT ADVICE WILL YOU GIVE TO YOUTHS WITH THE ZEAL TO GROW?
Never stop learning. Never stop asking questions. No one is an island, socialise, meet people in your field, ask for help when you need it and be humble to make corrections. Never doubt yourself, Stephanie that was doing voiceovers for free is now organising her voice-over training, and bagged a voicing contract with MTN, making GOOD money. Never doubt yourself. Dream BIG!
EM- PLEASE SHARE THE CONTACT DETAILS YOU WISH TO BE MADE PUBLIC
Anyone who wishes to register for my upcoming Voice Over Training can reach me via my Instagram: Voiceofsteph or my business line; 08120767567