When I hear the name or read about Nicole Fox (or Mansour now) I think about the larger than life radio and TV personality. She rocked the early mornings on national station, 5FM for a number of years before cracking the big time in the evenings. She became a household name in the country and everyone loved her.
On a personal note she (next to only three others) is the reason why I do what I do. She studied at Rhodes University; she worked on the station I’ve always longed to work for and she became a well-known and respected entertainer in the local industry. So you must imagine how bummed I was to hear that she was moving on a few years ago, but like much in life change is a guarantee and it’s often for the best – and for Nicole it was exactly that. After getting married, the star and her hubby packed their bags and headed up to Lagos, Nigeria to begin their new chapter. Fast track almost five years later (already) and the star is still rocking it up in one of Africa’s busiest cities.
While I was up in Lagos, I got to sit down with Fox to find out more about her exciting adventure up in West Africa.
JVB: Nicole welcome to JVB Online. Let’s get straight to it, tell me about the last five years and this crazy adventure of yours:
Nicole Fox: First of all I can’t believe it’s nearly five years in May. It’s been such an adventure. It’s been totally exciting. It’s been a complete diversion in my life. I never would’ve guessed that this would’ve happened to me, but then again I did make the choice and it has been absolutely the right thing for me. It has been crazy, it’s been frustrating. I’ve so many challenges of the stupidest things. I have learned a lot and I’ve grown as a person. I’ve had a great time.
JVB: How best would you describe Lagos?
Nicole Fox: Lagos is a bustling, heaving, throbbing, crazy city. Its none stop and someone kind of described it well. It’s like an assault on your senses. It’s noisy, it’s smelly, it’s bright it’s hot it’s humid. The elements are pretty harsh, but for that reason alone it’s crazy. Totally chaos but yet it operates on its own system and once you figure that system out, man you move and you shake.
JVB:I’ve just used the term “just now”. When last did you hear that?
Nicole Fox: (Laughs) You’re not going to believe this but I actually caught my husband saying now-now recently. “Ja, I’ll come and do it now now” and I was like what? I thought to myself I have totally converted you man. It only took four or five years (laughs). He’s an honorary South African now.
JVB: Tell me a little more about your current projects…
Nicole Fox: Well basically my current project first and foremost is my family. So that is what this chapter in my life is all about. I was quite clear that that is what I wanted, that was my priority to create a family. So my number one priority is my son Deen, who is now thirteen months old. He’s the light of my life, he’s just amazing and my husband and I have such a blast with him. He’s so cool, so much fun and we’re absolutely loving it.
JVB: You head home as often as you can but there must be a few things you really miss about SA?
Nicole Fox: What do I miss most about South Africa? First and foremost it would have to be family and friends. It such a cliché answer but when you’re away from them you really miss them. Number two would have to be oh my gosh, it’s so beautiful. I miss the trees, the beautiful weather, the blue skies, the Gauteng sunset and the thundershowers. Oh I miss it so much. And then of course I have to say I miss Woolworths (laughs).
JVB: What do you miss specifically?
Nicole Fox: Everything. I miss being able to walk into a store and have quality products available like that. I really miss rusks. I cannot buy buttermilk here. A friend of mine recently decided to conduct an experiment and posted a Tupperware of homemade rusks from Cape Town. He took my address and we thought that’s it. It would never reach. Twenty days later it arrived at my door. Can you believe it? Needless to say I scoffed all of them in its entirety in two days. Deen loves rusks (laughs).
JVB: It’s only five hours to Lagos from Johannesburg. If anyone is heading up to the city, what three could they do when they come to Lagos?
Nicole Fox: Coming to Lagos I would say that the number one thing you should do is to arrange on a Sunday a day out to the beach. A day out at the beach is just amazing. There are untouched beaches, palm trees everywhere. It’s beautiful and an absolute must-do. So chat to your hotel, your guest services about doing that. The other for tourists to do would be a visit to Leki Market, which is a wonderfully huge market with lots of West African crafts, trinkets, beautiful textiles, beads – and it’s all negotiable. The one thing you have to learn in Lagos is to negotiate.
The other thing about Lagos is it functions very much by word of mouth. You really need to speak to people, ask them where to go because there are gems but you have to find them. So don’t take it
Can’t get enough of Nicole Fox? Keep up to date with her by following her on Twitter: @OnlyNicoleFox.
We hope she’ll be back in the country soon, doing what she does best . We want that voice on radio again 😉