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Imani Hakim

Up Close and Personal

Bria Alston

Imani Hakim attended the Love GIRLS Magazine 2015 Love Award Ceremony in Rock Island, IL. She also made time to visit and talk to Rock Island school students about the power of following your dreams. It was a struggle for Hakim when she left her home of Ohio to go LA to pursue her dreams, but she refused to give up. She would spend some time broke, with no place to stay before she would begin her career in Hollywood.

This spark ignited in Hakim at the age of seven. Her grandmother told her grandfather to put her and her brothers in the neighborhood theater so they could get involved in community activities. She fell in love with it. At 11 years-old she landed the role as Tonya on Chris Rock's, "Everybody Hates Chris." She said, "I loved working with everyone, it was the best thing ever!" It was a challenge to juggle, school work and a social life, but she made it work.

Her recent role was that of the legendary Gold Medalist, Gabrielle Douglas in the Lifetime movie, "The Gabby Douglas story." Hakim was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a Movie Guide Award for her portrayal of the gymnast. Through all of the issues that life brings Hakim's advice to young girls is to stay focused and remember at the end of the day, you are beautiful. She went on to say, "Don't let people discourage you. I had plenty of people lack faith in my abilities, even my family members. I kept pushing, so don't let anyone try to bring you down. Remember you can do anything you want".

Hakim said if she were not acting she would be a music video director. She said, "I would love to bring back storytelling just like Michael Jackson did in all his videos." For fun she enjoys movies, bowling and game nights with her friends. She also enjoys helping children. She wants to open a home for children in the acting industry to help them whatever they may need, because of what their family may lack or personal issues.

Hakim wants to inspire young girls to recognize and celebrate their inner abilities and help them accomplish what they want to achieve. Starring in "The Gabby Douglas Story" helped her do just that. "Gabrielle is the definition of girl empowerment. She inspires people. I want to inspire others like that too," she explains. Imani Hakim is very proud of where she is in life and looks forward to the growth that is to come as an artist.

Photo credit: Johnnie Jones