SIX ladies from different backgrounds – Morayo, Yeni, Uwa, Jumoke, Tope and Sandra – are regular fixtures in the lives of ardent TV watchers every day on Television Continental, Lagos.
They entertain and educate via their daily morning programme, Your View. The fantastic six share their world with ENCOMIUM Weekly.
‘My unique qualities’ – MORAYO AFOLABI-BROWN
MORAYO Afolabi-Brown is the director of programmes at Television Continental, Lagos. She is the originator of the popular early morning programme on the station, Your View. The US returnee talked about how it all started.
What actually fascinates you about broadcasting?
I have always wanted to look for a platform to orientate the people, pass positive message across to the public, and broadcasting is one of those avenues I can do that.
For how long have you been in the profession?
I have been into broadcasting for a while. I have worked in various capacities. I worked in HiTV before it went off. I have been in the profession for sometime now.
Is broadcasting what you actually read in school?
I schooled in the US. I graduated in Political Science. I used to watch a show in the US then and I was fascinated about it and I told myself when I get to Nigeria, I would replicate the show. That is how Your View came into existence.
It appears the show is all about women?
The objective of the show is to get some women around engage in an interesting topic, how women think and react to situations.
Since inception what is the level of acceptability of the show?
We have a huge reception, mostly women, they have been impressed with what we do. Even men encourage us to keep doing the show.
It is a no holds bar show where the hosts share opinions and sometime disagree. Does that affect your personal relationship outside the studio?
Not at all. The objective of the show is to be different. We have different ideas, exposures. The fireworks define who we are. I like the fact that we are different. We can’t agree all the time. That is how women are, they always fight.
What informs the topic chosen for the day?
What people are talking about, family, marriage, children, politics, business.
Your first time on the show, what was it like?
I have been into broadcasting for long but I never stepped in front of the camera. And because I originated the show, I allowed somebody else to anchor it for a while. When the person moved on to another thing, I had to take the bull by the horn. It was difficult initially, later we coped.
What kind of ritual do you do before coming on air?
First, I go online, read news, read the papers, do make up, get an idea of the topic for the day.
What will you say are your unique qualities?
I think the leadership and experience I brought to the table. I know the focus and I make sure we stand by it. That’s the balance I brought into the show.
Who dresses you for the show?
We don’t have a fashion designer, everybody just do their own. There is nothing out of this world.
What is growing up like for you?
I was born in Lagos and I grew up here. I left Nigeria in 1995 for the US and I came back in 2004. Since then, I have been in the media. I have always been in the background. Presently, I am the Director of Programmes, Television Continental.
‘I’d wanted to study Medicine in school’ -TOPE MARK ODIGIE
Tope studied Science Laboratory Technology at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, but found herself talking on TV. Tope is married to Mark Odigie and they are blessed with twins.
Briefly describe yourself.
My name is Tope Mark Odigie. I am a full time make-up artist and part time presenter. I make sure anybody coming on television looks good. I hold that department at Television Continental, Lagos.
What are you popularly known for on the programme, Your View?
I am the politician. I talk more of politics. The young people need to know what our leaders are doing. The young are interested in what is going on in politics.
Did you study Mass Communication in school?
I studied Science Laboratory Technology. I would have studied Mass Communication because that was what I loved to do but JAMB wouldn’t allow me to do that. There wasn’t also a proper career guide to direct us to what we have passion for, because I couldn’t get Medicine I was admitted for SLT, by now I should be doing blood test in laboratory. My passion brought me into broadcasting.
What made you think you can do broadcasting?
I can talk, I am bold and articulate enough to put my words together.
Don’t you consider your look as one of your strong points?
I believe in what is in my head and not my look, and that is my unique quality. I look good and have something in my brain.
What particular rituals do you go through before coming on air?
I research a lot, I come prepared because I will be held accountable for whatever I say on air. Before coming on air as a Christian, I pray to God to guide me.
Of all the topics that have come up on the programme which one have generated the most controversy?
The Stella Oduah car scandal. It generated heated argument.
What is your relationship status?
I am married with two boys. I had twins. They are about two years old. I have been married for about three and a half years now. My husband is an IT entrepreneur.
‘I spend more money on clothes’ -YENI KUTI
How did you get involved in the TVC talk show, Your View?
I have always wanted to do a talk show with my friend, Carol King. But for logistics, we are still trying to work on that. And then I got a call from the producer of the show that I should come on board and that was it.
You were able to settle in very well, how did you do that?
We did rehearsals for sometime to get familiar with the cameras.
Apart from the rehearsals, what gives you that confidence when you come face to face with the camera?
I just forget that the cameras are there. Once I look away from the cameras, I am always confident. I am a bit shy whenever I look at the cameras.
Are you on a long term involvement in the talk show?
I hope to be part of the show for a long time. I am enjoying it. I have been away from the show for two weeks now and I have started missing being on television.
Of all the topics on the show, which one do you find interesting and enjoyable?
The topic that concerns men and women, I am always on the opposing side so the other women attack me. My father married 27 wives so they can never understand where I am coming from.
Sometime there are conflicting views, does that affect your relationship with others outside the studios?
Not at all. Sometimes whenever we have conflicting views we usually continue after the show. It is all fun.
Being a co-host on TVC would have created a lot of change in your schedule?
Yes, I have to wake up at 4 a.m to beat the traffic. I like to get there early to read my newspapers. Now, the show has helped me to know so many things going on in the country. Sometimes when I sit with my partner he would say I know so many things now than before. It has widened my horizon.
You have also brought your experience in the entertainment scene to bear on the show?
Yes, because I have been in the entertainment industry more than half of my life. I started dancing at 24. I am 53 now, that is 30 years. People now know me more. Some of the things I used to do, I can’t do them anymore.
This show would have also put pressure on you in terms of buying new clothes for the show?
I have always loved buying clothes instead of buying landed property. Like others, I buy more of clothes. I would have bought more clothes whether I am on TVC or not because I love clothes. I love to match my clothes with the same jewelry. It has been easy for me to dress the way I want.
Do you also have time to watch other talk shows?
I now watch other talk shows to get ideas, exposures and all that. It’s a new perspective for me
Have you been able to discover some other parts of you that you were not aware of?
It is not that I am not aware of some new things about me, I have not been able to explore them. I have always wanted to do talk show. I know I would do something like this some day.
‘How I met my husband’ – OSAYUWAMEN PEACE SALEH
Briefly tell us about yourself.
My name is Osayuwamen Peace Saleh. I am from Edo State and I am married to a man from Adamawa State.
How did you meet your husband?
We met in Benin, Edo State when I was in the university and because I grew up in the North we relate very well.
What brought you into broadcasting?
I have always loved to be on television. We did a playlet in school then, my mother disapproved all that, I didn’t plan this. I am a skincare consultant. I sell cosmetics. One of my friends told me they were looking for ladies to talk on television and because that has always been what I wanted to do, I jumped on the boat. I thought it is a good avenue for me to start.
But this is not your background educationally?
Yes, I did Physics in school.
What fascinates you about the job?
For the fact that I could say something that would touch someone somewhere. I have met people who walk to me and said they learnt something from the show. For me, it is the ability to educate the people.
How would you describe your first time facing the camera?
It was live audition, I was shivering. It was okay, a good experience for me.
What special ritual do you do before coming to face the camera?
Read and read, research. This show has brought me to learn more, to read more, get the right information. We have to be here at 7 a.m, we make-up, dress and go on set at 9 a.m. We also get a cup of tea because the studio is cold.
What informs your type of look on set, dress, make-up?
We tried as much as possible not to be stereotype. I don’t have a particular choice, I just try to look good.
Who are your heroes in broadcasting?
I like Oprah Winfrey, Mo Abudu. I learnt a lot from her, we are regular people that come from different backgrounds.
What are your unique qualities?
They say I have a very strong voice.
Where did the voice come from?
It’s natural. Sometimes when people call me they always think they are talking to a man, because I don’t have that tiny feminine voice.
Would you not say your look is one of your strong points?
I don’t see that, I think my strong points are my voice and passion, what I stand for.
Where do you see yourself in years to come?
We are going places with the show. I love the fact that it has brought the women in a different light. It’s not just about the kitchen, we can do the house work and at the same time go through the pages of newspapers. I love to be part of the show for a long time, though I have my personal business that I run.
‘Why I am still single’ – JUMOKE ALAWODE-JAMES
DREADLOCK wearing Jumoke Alawode-James ended up studying Mass Communication because she dread Mathematics in school. Now operating on the set of Your View as one of the hosts, she recaps how it all started and why she is still single.
Briefly tell us about yourself.
I organise events, that’s my day job. At night I like to do poetry, spoken words like music, dance. I am on Your View in the morning where I express all my thoughts.
How do you find time to gather all your thoughts before coming on air?
I am a deep thinker, I do research online.
What is your role in the programme?
I am a co-host, we just share our thoughts on the show.
Is broadcasting your background educationally?
Yes, I have a Masters degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. I also have a Masters degree in International Law and Diplomacy at the University of Lagos.
That means you have always been fascinated with the job?
Yes, I started presenting on television before getting into the university to do it professionally. While I was young my mother complained I talk too much, she knew what I would become.
So, how did you find yourself in broadcasting, you could have ended elsewhere?
I wasn’t good at Mathematics. By the time I was going into the university, Law and Mass Communication didn’t require Mathematics and I don’t have a credit in it. I didn’t like law. It appears there is too much hard work there, so I opted for Mass Communication.
How would you describe your experience on Your View?
Fantastic, they say women can’t work together but we are proving them wrong. We have disagreement and we don’t let that affect our relationship. Morayo is a team leader, we relate like sisters.
Since inception, which topic has generated the most responses which you enjoyed so well?
Marriage, because I am still single. It’s the most controversial topic, I have enjoyed it.
What is your first day like on TV?
Very interesting, I love it.
What are your unique qualities?
I am my own person and I don’t apologise for being who I am. I am comfortable in my own skin.
So, what is delaying you from getting married?
I am in my 30s. All my life I have not dated a lot of men, so I don’t have load of men to choose from. A lot of men might not be too comfortable with my personality. My mom would tell me to relax myself but I believe there is a man out there for me. Marriage is a lifetime journey. I won’t compromise what I believe regardless of the pressures.
Is your hair dreadlocks?
Yes, I have had it for ten years. It’s one of my personal qualities of standing out. I love hair that won’t make one visit the salon all the time.
‘My dream was to become a lawyer’ – SANDRA EZE
YOUNG and aspiring Sandra Eze is one of the co-hosts of the programme, Your View on Television Continental, Lagos. Her dream was to become a lawyer but she found herself pursuing her other passion, broadcasting.
Briefly tell us about yourself.
I am Sandra Eze. I was born in Anambra, growing up was between Anambra, Enugu and Delta. I graduated from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State. I studied English Language and Literary Studies. I am the second child in a family of seven. I had wanted to be a lawyer, somehow I found myself studying English.
How would you trace your journey to broadcasting?
All along, I wanted to become a lawyer and I found out I love watching news channel, listening to radio, listening to on-air personalities on how they talk. I learnt a lot just listening to OAPs. While in school, I was presenting for radio stations and people loved my voice. I was working while in school, I love it though it was challenging. After I graduated, I moved to Lagos where I auditioned for Your View.
Who are your heroes among on-air personalities?
Growing up I watched Oprah Winfrey, Christiana Amanpour, Funmi Iyanda a lot. In Nigeria Funmi Iyanda stands out among others.
Your first time facing the camera, what was it like?
I was so nervous. I am not sure I said up to a hundred words. I was shaking. After then I settled in well.
What informs your dress sense and look while on air?
I love to look like a decent girl on television, not too loud in my dress.
What do you actually love about this profession?
I love the fact that I could communicate to a large audience. It is a beautiful thing to know people call and appreciate what we do on television.
Sometimes you disagree with others on set, would that affect your personal relationship outside the studio?
Not at all. We disagree on the show, that’s the beauty of it all. It’s your view and that does not mean I shouldn’t express mine too.
What are your unique qualities?
I am a feminist. I have this strong passion to portray women in a good light. I also see myself as a voice for the young people.
Have you ever experienced embarrassment by the audience?
People do that a lot and that’s the beauty of the show. People say funny things on the social media, we still respect them. That’s their view. We just develop thick skin towards it.
– Interviews by FOLUSO SAMUEL