By Easwaran Rutnam
Sheron Nanayakkara always wanted to be on radio or television and as a child she would imitate being a presenter interviewing celebrities.
Today however she is doing exactly what she wanted to do, and is living the life in Dubai.
Sheron Nanayakkara, now Sheron Nanayakkara Loftus began her career in radio and television in Sri Lanka.
“I had always wanted to be on Radio and TV and as a kid I would practice interviewing celebs on TV by tossing my hair left and right and speaking to a hair brush,” she told Leisure Plus.
Sheron said that she got her opening first in radio when EFM Radio in Sri Lanka advertised saying they were looking for presenters.
“I called up and asked if I can come for an interview, so I went straight after school. I was hired immediately as a trainee presenter. I loved it. I was doing the mid morning show and gradually made my way to the evening show, where I was a presenter on the ‘Wine Down Zone’ just before I left the station in 2007,” she said.
Sheron later joined Radio 1 and Radio 2 which ultimately became Prime Radio in Sri Lanka.
She was hired for Prime radio by ITN in Sri Lanka and asked if she would be interested in reading news on television.
“My career with ITN started off as a news presenter and I grew from there on, where I was co hosting the morning show on Prime TV and the drive time on Prime Radio. This was what I dreamt of all my life,” she says.
In 2011, Sheron left for Dubai not knowing what exactly she was looking for and what was in store for her.
“I wanted something new and different. Dubai was not just a new country, for me it was a whole new world. Everything here was different, the worst was not having friends or family. The first year in Dubai was the toughest I have ever faced in life so far. I didn’t have a lot of money, no Dubai experience and didn’t have a job. I decided I was moving to Dubai, and in less than a week I was here. I didn’t think about anything else. I figured everything out once I got here. It was a massive leap of faith,” she says.
Sheron said that she got into real estate as an agent and by 2015 she was the Leasing Manager in one of the leading real estate companies in Dubai with a team of 15 agents working under her.
“So many doors opened up for me, everything in Dubai is fast paced, everyone has an agenda, and I quickly learned that I need to pull my socks up, keep my head down and get down to business. Within 8 months of me arriving in Dubai, I was able to call it my second home,” she said.
Today Sheron is a presenter at Heart 107.1 FM, a new and popular radio station in Dubai.
She says joining Heart 107.1 FM was the most exciting day of her life.
“Everything I worked for finally came full circle. I was reminded of all the hardships I had to put up with, I was finally made to feel like it was all worth it,” she said.
Sheron’s voice was one of the first to be heard on a brand new station in Dubai.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of this job is the fact that I get to represent my country on such an open forum and it especially brings smiles to my face when well wishers try to reach me, both old, from my previous experiences, and new. The creative freedom in my job allows me to express my patriotism and expose Sri Lanka through a channel that hasn’t been used before,” she said.
As part of the team at Heart 107.1 FM Sheron has been able to meet and interview stars like Ricky Martin, The Singing Dentist, Welsh rugby player Mike Philips, Producer RedOne, Boyzlife with Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy.
Apart from being a radio presenter Sheron also has the looks to model on the ramp and has appeared at a few fashion shows in Sri Lanka.
But Sheron says radio is right now her priority and she has her eyes set on reaching greater heights and achieving her next goal in the years to come.