Agatha Amata Celebrates 15 Years Of Inside-Out -recounts her successes and challenges

Inside-Out’s presenter, Agatha Amata has successfully ran the most popular life-changing TV show that has come to stay in Nigeria. The estranged wife of famous Nollywood actor, Fred Amata is therefore planning a superlative 15th anniversary bash for Inside-Out with Agatha on July 31, 2012 at Darlington Hall, Ilupeju, Lagos State. In an interview with Encomium Weekly on Thursday July 12, 2012 at her studio in ilupeju, Lagos, the mother of two children recounted her successes and challenges 15 years after.


How has it been through 15years of inside out?

I really thank God for the privileged of the program which has helped me as a human being to be a better person. It has opened my eyes to things I would never have seen or have encountered in my life time. Inside Out with Agatha Amata is my personal blessing from God. That’s what I call it, the ability to give back to society, to touch lives.

Can you recall how it all started?

I have always been somebody who has loved game shows, talk show and related programs of such. I am always addicted with game shows; I watch them passionately and religiously. I remember I said to Fred {referring to her ex-hubby} why don’t we have a talk show? There were lots of talk shows around that time in 1997 where people would call in but no time to express themselves. I said to him that it seems people wanted to talk and expressed their feelings why don’t we have a program that will give them the privilege. I made up my mind to do it but no one to handle it because I don’t know anything about technical. So we had to call Kingley Ogoro, Tade Ogidan, Chico Ejiro and Fred Amata himself and the first edition had everybody in the industry. They told me I don’t have to use a script that I can do it myself and then it came to me naturally. Inside Out is not something I studied or something I read. So I am thankful to God for where I am today.

Its fifteen years now, would you say you have achieved the motive of coming up with the program?

No! I still have a long way to go. But I am happy from the few people I have heard from, getting feedback especially from young people who have worked with me and doing great things today. There were so many of them and very happy today that they have developed confidence and you can tell that there is a different in their life. Inside-Out has created people who believed in themselves, their country and who will stand for what is right even if they are standing alone. Inside-Out is created to change the society and touch lives. We have tried our best and we believe there is still a long way to go.

How have you been able to fund it throughout the 15 years unstopped and Do you make profit from it?

Let me state this, I am not hungry and if it’s about money, I will have chosen a simpler thing to do. I can interview big men and I get enough money but I have turned them down because that is not what the program is about. It’s not that I don’t know how I can make more money than I’m making now but like I earlier said, I’m not hungry. Funding was really difficult, it’s still not very easy but its better. Now I have few people who believe in what I do and support me. Sometimes it’s not financial but materials like Coca-Cola provides drinks every day. I also have companies who are looking for avenues to talk to people like tax office. They pay for recording sometimes and that is why I commend Lagos State government officials. They said to me that my program is perfect for their campaign. In that regard, we got a lot of people doing partnership with us and private companies as well, like Unilever and co. That doesn’t happen often, it happens once in a while. Then advertising, we have different agent that constantly support us. So putting it together, God has been our sustainers. I never really had excess money and I’m not hungry.

What is your favourite edition in all the series and why?

There is one I did called ‘Show me the way home’ that touched my heart. There was a young lady who has been in jail in Thailand for 13 years. She has just come home and she told me a story of how life was in jail. She narrated how the girls, sometimes, would woke-up and screamed. I tried to get young people to know the harsh reality of been locked up in jail. At the end of the show, it touched a lot of people. She said a lot of us are not proud of our country but noted that she developed great passion for Nigeria the day Nigeria Embassy officials came to release all the Nigeria inmates in that prison. That edition was very touching. I could also remember the edition I did with prostitutes because before that time, always wondered if those prostitutes have family or place to go to. So I met them face to face. They were so honest and it was incredible because it showed me another side. What Inside-Out has done for me is so many; I don’t even know where to start from. But I thank God.

If you have opportunity to change people or Nigeria at large, what will that be?

We have to change ourselves; we need to re-orientate ourselves and thinking because the white people will not come and change it for us. This is my prayer every morning when I wake up. God should give our leadership a love for their people and fear of Him. It’s not only our leaders that need that, Nigerians need a heart to love and fear God. That will change our country because God has given us everything we need.

What else do you do?

I have another program on television called the White House. It deals with drama, comedy which goes under Topshot Media. I have another one called Imoda. All these don’t have anything to do with Inside-Out but I am inspired because I give a lot of talks and I believe we need people to change their mind set. I wish I could open people’s brain sometimes and tell them this is all we need, so that everybody can do something.

What more favour do you want from God?

My children…long life. To see them become what I want them to be. My children are my source of joy and I’m very proud of them. My son is my best friend.

Tell us about your children?

My children are awesome. They don’t give me trouble. I went for my son graduation on Sunday (weeks back). He attends a College in London. He is going to be 19 in September. My daughter is a good girl too. I just thank God for my children, what more can I ask from GOD? One more important thing about him is that he is a very good footballer. He started playing since primary school but we get him to read because he’s exceptionally brilliant. Football is his passion and I promise to support him if he can finish his secondary school. I will allow him do anything during A Level and if any Club should choose him for professional football, I’ll allow him. He’s an Arsenal fan and he goes to watch every Arsenal match. So far, God has been great to my family.


*This story was first published in Encomium Weekly edition of Tuesday, July 31, 2012



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