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Tameka Empson

Job: ActressComedienne

Born: 1977

College: City and Islington College, north London, 1994-95

Studied: business and finance, BTech diploma

Tameka Empson is one of the stars of the hit BBC TV comedy 3 Non Blondes and has also appeared on the Lenny Henry Show and in the television drama series Babyfather.

She landed her first major role in the 1996 film Beautiful Thing while still at college and currently can be seen in cinemas in the Oscar-nominated film Notes on a Scandal.

By the time I got to City and Islington College, I had already been acting for about 10 years. Entertainment was my main love and all I really wanted to do in my life but some good people advised me that I should always have something to fall back on.

I went into studying business and finance. The course was good for me, as now I can manage my financial affairs.

I will always remember the college's mentoring class, run by Howard Jeffrey. I would turn up at his class and receive the most incredible backing and support. He would constantly tell me to go for things if I really wanted them.

If I had an audition, he would sit down with me and discuss the way I should approach it.

Also, the class helped me learn how to make the important decisions in life, how to confront matters. I think a lot of students are taught to concentrate on their studies when there are other important issues to be faced in life too.

That mentoring class helped me understand the extreme situations that happen later in life and gave me confidence to deal with them. I came out a stronger person and confident that I could achieve what I wanted and I am very thankful.

I have a good relationship with the college and even go back to do some mentoring myself. It is my way of saying thank you.

Tameka Empson was talking to Shekhar Bhatia

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