ONE time AIT presenter, Jumoke Alao-Ogunshola has been off the screen or quite some time now but still very much around. On Monday, May 16, 2011, ENCOMIUM weekly’s FAITH OMITOYINBO had a chat with the beautiful mother of one at Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos. She
spoke on her career, marriage, motherhood and more.
What has Jumoke Alao been doing after AIT?
Jumoke has been up to so many things. At the moment, I have two programmes running on AIT Network, I have DJs on Rampage, an entertainment programme on several radio stations around Nigeria to showcase the best radio D J s. They give us their countdown music for the week, the videos and interviews. There is also Entertainment Scoop which runs every Monday, 8.15 a.m to 8.30 a.m within Kakaaki belt. It is an entertainment news programme. I still do few things on air, it’s just that I am not into active presentation.
What do you miss about broadcasting?
I don’t miss anything because I am still into broadcasting, I am just off active presentation. I am not on TV everyday like I used to, I am just off the regular show that people were used to. That’s Gbedu, the musical thing, the mid-day thing. There are lots of people who can do it band that’s why we had to step down for others to come on board. I am now a mother, I am a married woman now so that vibe would reduce and we don’t have to kill the show because somebody has moved by getting married. Some people still have to carry on the vibe, we will always have presenters. I am still in presentation, I don’t think I really missed out in anyway, it’s just that people no longer see my face, that was what I did for nine years but I am still on TV.
Don’t you think your fans have missed your beautiful face?
Yes, I know they’ve missed me. I have walked into a lot of them on the street and I am shocked that people still recognise me. I am shocked that they still remember me. Some of them walk up to me and say, ‘Are you not Jumoke Alao?’ Yesterday, a friend’s daughter clocked five. I went there and when they called out all the mummies and aunties to dance, immediately I stepped out, someone said, ‘You used to be a presenter on AIT, I used to watch you in London.’ I was surprised so, people still remember me, a year after leavingAIT I know a lot of people have missed me, I miss them too but I have programmes running on air, I have a lot of things coming up that will interest people. I have only stepped up, it’s like moving from primary one to two. I am just moving to another class, it’s not as if I have moved out of TV completely.
You were a presenter for nine years, how challenging was it?
It was fun, it was interesting, it was nice. It was nine years of beautiful experience. It’s all about doing what you love, you drop every other thing along the line. You don’t have sunshine everyday in your life, there will be dark times but you just keep looking forward to success, that time when
sunshine will come out again, when the day is going to be bright. So, for nine years, it was very beautiful and challenging too. But when you are doing what you are passionate about, you put the challenges aside.
What do you enjoy most about presenting?
It is innate, it’s in me. I can’t say what I enjoy most about it, I just know that it gives me joy, it gives me love, it gives Die happiness. It’s like what I do everyday, just that people no longer see my face on the screen.
Your most memorable experience?
Everyday, as a presenter is memorable because something new happens everyday. Brand new things happen every day. There were series of memorable days for me, I look back at them and smile. The most memorable were days I wake up very early to present the Ultimate Morning Show on Raypower. Then they will pick me up at home around 4 a.m off to Alagbado to launch Raypower 100.5 FM station by 6 am to 10 a.m. I would take a little rest then go on to AIT for Gbedu, which is 12.30 p.m to 1.30 p.m and when I finish that, I sit down for Entertainment News on AIT News Hour at 7 p.m. It was just fun for me though very challenging but I loved it, every day was memorable for me.
How have you been enjoying marital life?
It has been beautiful, it is another wonderful institution that brings two people together in love. Marriage has its own challenges but I will say the fun and enjoyment is a lot more. Marriage has been so good, it has been fun.
How does it feel to be a mother?
It is a beautiful experience, and iris not by my grace, it is by the grace of God. Being a mother is one of the most beautiful experiences in life and I love it, it gives me joy.
What do you consider as the joy of motherhood?
When you know that God gave you the opportunity to actually be a mother. It is an opportunity because there are lots of people who would love to be. But if God has counted you worthy, you should really thank Him. I have a lovely daughter. At times when she is sleeping, I just look at her, the tiny teeth growing, her smile, when you had her and her total dependence on you. Her neck could barely stand. They funny thing is that I make sure I take my baby’s picture every day. I have her pictures since I had her. So, when you look at the totality of it, you will realize that there is so much joy in motherhood, and I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be a mother.
What is your baby’s name and how old is she now?
(Laughs) Her name is Ireoluwakitan (God’s blessing never ends), and she is about 10 months old.
What are your dreams and wishes for her?
I just hope that God will give me the grace to be a very good mother and I will try to be the best that I can be to her. I can’t enforce anything on her in terms of career. I can only hope that whatever she decides to be or study, I will be there to support her all through.
How do you juggle motherhood with your career?
It is very demanding, I just thank God for the grace. I have made up my mind to be the best and to be there for my baby. My mum is there, she has been so wonderful. My mother-in-law has been such a wonderful woman too and I thank God for my husband.
How supportive has your husband been?
Very supportive. He has been so wonderful, I really, really appreciate him and I am glad that I am married to him. He is the best for me.
How many more kids are you expecting after this?
That is left to God. If God decides to make me a mother of 10, it’s all well and good. I am not afraid of having many kids, children are a blessing from God.
How will you describe your husband?
My husband is a very quiet person, he is Godly. He is more into his work. He is caring, loving and understanding. He is the best husband in the world, he has been a very strong pillar for me.
How will you describe life as a mother and as a wife?
They are two challenging positions. As a mother, you are catering for someone and as a wife you are also catering for someone. You have to take care of your husband and your child. You are the mother in the house, you need to be there for both of them. Everything revolves around you. The moment you get married, everything your husband does is
transferred to you and the moment you are a mother, your child becomes dependent on you. They are two wonderful positions.
Being married and single, which do you enjoy most?
I enjoy being married. I didn’t miss anything about singleness, it’s as if I am still single because I don’t have a husband who sits on my neck to do this and that. We were best of friends before we got married. So, that friendship and love still flows between us. I was never an outgoing person even when I was single. I think I have been to a club-twice, one in Nigeria and one in the UK. I was there to work. I am not a party person, I have always been me, always indoor watching movies. I didn’t miss anything about singleness.
How do you ward off male admirers?
Even married men would walk up to you because of the nature of the job I do. Show business is a public affair, people must see you. It’s all about who they see, you have to keep intact. Let them know that you are married, it is a vow you have made, you have to show them your wedding band if need be. It serves as a sign of respect for your husband and for your marriage.
In this generation where divorce and separation are so rampant, as a young woman, what are you doing to keep your marriage intact?
I was brought up in a home where love reigns. My parents celebrated 40 years of marriage in 2006. I have two brothers who are married, one has been married for 16 years, the other has been married for 11 years. I also have a sister who has been married for about six years. So, where am I going to get mine from? I think it has a lot to do with where you are coming from I was also taught that the family that prays together’ stays together. Prayer is very important if you are to make God the foundation of your marriage. Don’t lay the foundation of your marriage on physical or material things. Even when you have nothing to eat, you are friends, you have a companion. It is not all about money, it’s about genuine love.
You are looking beautiful as ever, what is the secret?
(Laughs) Nothing in particular. I eat well and I take a lot of water. I am not good at sticking to things, I never had any beauty routine. I wear my make-up and when I get back, I wash my face and I go to bed.
What is that beauty item you cannot do without?
Nothing. At times I go without – makeup but maybe my lip gloss, I don’t wear lipstick.
What does fashion and style mean to you?
It means comfortability, what suits your body frame, what you feel good in. What makes you comfortable not what people say or do, it doesn’t have to be what’s in vogue.
What would you never be caught wearing?
I can’t wear anything that I am not comfortable in. I love casual wears, and that is one of the things my husband and I share. When he is buying his, he is also buying mine.
-Story first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, May 24, 2015