The power that launches a woman’s priorities
Luana Vjollca is a TV presenter, singer, showgirl and social media influencer based in Albania.
Her career in television reached the peak with her own TV show ‘Look who’s playing’. The entertainment show was broadcasted during Prime Time with Luana Vjollca as the host and as a co-author as well, throughout the television season of 2017.
Eloquent, smiling and positive, she knew how to make the audience for herself, appearing in front of them full of authenticity, energy and inspiration. In this cover story she shares with us more details about her work, destiny, career, dreams, goals but also the essence of a joyful life and absolute fulfilment.
She is very passionate about women empowerment. She truly believes that we need men and women to be on the same page about such topic and begin to make changes. There is no greater pillar of stability than a strong, free and educated woman. Luana is a constant visitor at ‘Zyber Hallulli’ orphanage and she maintains a close relationship with all the kids there, especially the girls. Her charity work is fairly visible to the public eye.
You wear many hats: tv presenter, singer, showgirl and social media influencer. What is the formula behind your success?
Work, work and only work. Definitely I believe that if you work towards what you “dream” or intend, you will accomplish it one day. There is nothing impossible. There are only possible things that require a lot of will, hard work and passion to get them done right.
I think the fact that I was not handed over to anyone or anything, made me realise everything in the way I always hoped. My success formula can be a perfect combination of hard work and not giving up.
You are today a woman in career, very famous and a role model for young girls in your country. When you look back, how do you remember the beginning of your career, what were the challenges and difficulties that you have faced?
There have been many; I have to go back 13 years, when I was 15 years old, and started working at Top Channel.At the time, I began as a dancer in an investigative show. You know that there isprejudice and people think that a dancer in an investigative show is “just a pretty girl”. I broke down this prejudice and demanded that we should have the right to speak and for the first time the microphones were set for us so that when we wanted to express any joke we were free to do so. And from that time I never stopped talking (Hahaha). Then I presented a weatherprogram and from there switch to big shows, (of course, without a journalism or acting school) at that time I pursued economics studies. The connection with the camera and my articulation hasn’t always been there, but I’m happy to now say, convinced and perhaps without modesty, that I managed to do all, I DID IT.
I did it because my yesterday’s criticisers are today my biggest fans and are always looking forward to my show. I did it because I not only am the tv host but also the author of my show “Look Who is Playing”, which has reached incredible success and is one of my greatest prides.
Then the transition to the music industry (although I first started studying the canto and I have attended festivals) was widely mocked and I encountered absolute prejudice in this regard. But today I can say that I did it, I did it because I loved it and because I have worked hard and believed in it. I’m happy when I go to concerts in every country in the world where Albanians are and I meet so many fans and I get so much love from them.
The television world looks so beautiful, giving the impression that people are having much fun, but it’s not! There is a lot of judgment, criticism, physical exhaustion and more mental fatigue, but the reward you receive from the big love of your audience shatters all the negatives.
You have experienced the loss of your father while you were very young and it was your mother who raised and took care of your wellbeing. What is the relationship you have with her today?
To talk about Mom is, I know, practically the most inspiring but at the same time difficult and very exciting thing. This is a topic that I like to tackle, and have always been fanatical about, but since Global Woman is focused on women, there is no better chance to promote the female power and how wonderful she is to handle all challenges in life.
I was a baby, 11 months old, when my dad passed away. I know I grew up wonderfully well, lacking nothing, infinitely happy and down to earth. All that thanks to a heroine midwife who knew how to handle the situation, had the strength to not give up. When I think of Mom’s life and the difficulties of raising us alone, 4 daughters, I say all we do today is so small compared to her work. It is such a simple comparison. Definitely Mom is the biggest inspiration of my life, the greatest strength, and the best role model of my life. The reason I don’t give up. If I will be as good as her with my children (in the future) I would be happier than ever. This is the strength of the women. We can all do it alone. All of us are much stronger than men, the question is just if we want to do it. Because if we want something, nothing can stops us!
You are a family with so many girls, what is the relationship between you all? Tell us something about your family and your sisters.
We are a family of 8 women. Our mom, 4 sisters and 3 nieces. That is why I am so much a pro-female feminist, perhaps. We are the most connected family in the world. We have grown up with the spirit of sharing with each other everything we have. Lately where the load is getting bigger and bigger, I have to make sure that if I make a decision about my career, life or else, I discuss with each of them because if I tell it only to someone, I will be in trouble. We are used to communicate with each other, support and criticise one another when appropriate.
I believe the strong connection we have is also evident. If you see our posts on social media, we post so often about our family but it comes so naturally when the connection is so strong and real. God has blessed me with a wonderful family.
Albania is a country that has developed a lot in the last years. A lot of work has been done on women’s rights and quotas, but much work remains to be done. What is your opinion on this?
Indeed, I am happy that Albania is advancing in terms of women’s rights. Tirana has especially changed a lot, so the more time we spend, the more women are empowered and are showing to the world that they can succeed. More needs to be done about women empowerment: they need to have the right to speak, to fight for gender equality. If women come together, support each other, raise their voices together, I don’t think there’s any power that can stop them. I personally believe that women are the strongest beings that God has gifted. We have to believe in ourselves and not let anything to prohibit us.
What does it mean for you to be an Albanian woman?
For me, having grown up with an exampleof an Albanian woman facing so many difficulties…it is a challenge, a beautiful challenge that I want to experience. I do not wish to leave my country. I was born here and I want to live here with the best and unfortunately with the worst aspects of this country. But I love this country as it is, I have visited almost all the countries of the world but I would not like to live anywhere else except in Albania, to which we must contribute every day to make it a better place.
What advice would you offer to girls and women wherever they are? How can they have a career on television and make their dreams come true?
Never give up. Of course what I always say and said above about working hard is true, because nothing is impossible. As for television, it is often heard and said that it works in a ‘’dirty way’’,let’s be honest. However, it is totally untrue. I grew up on television; today as we are talking, I have 13-year career in television, but I have never encountered such situations. Is that the way I chose? Absolutely yes, because I have always preferred to finish at work and go home with my sister, probably unlike the rest of the colleagues who preferred to go out with each other etc. By this I mean that whatever action you take in life, it is your own choice. You decide how it goes!
What is your motto, one that gives you a daily motivation?
I have said my motto above. I would link this question to one of the strongest reasons that motivates me every day to never stop even if I experience bad and difficult days. My reason are my fans, who call themselves the “Luanators”. My fans gives me all the motivation and energy to continue. I do not allow myself to miss an opportunity without mentioning them because they do not miss a single day without giving me extra love.
Who has been the most influential person in your career and success? Who has been your role model in life?
I believe that even from my answers during this interview it is understandable that my mother is the role model, the example that inspires and motivates me for whatever purpose I have. No doubt my older sister Lira, who has also had a life full of challenges, but has turned out to be an example of success and to best replace the missing father figure with the youngest of us. Seda, Marina as well, each of the sisters is a role model for me, as I grew up following their steps, so today I am grateful for everything I have learned from them. With Marina, we have made a long journey together from kindergarten to this day, and I hope until we have the life, always together and indivisible, I feel like she is my best half.
What is your message for our global readers?
I am linking my message to work, as this interview is about accomplishments: love the work you do, and if you are not doing the work you love, give up and focus your energies on the things you truly love.Work hard and passionately, and accomplish yourself. Share positive energy even if you don’take it back, follow your instincts, your feelings, dreams and realise them even if the whole world is against you! Life is yours, live it with everything that fills your soul and your mind.