Celebrating strong women is one thing I derive joy in doing. Seeing a lot of female bosses rule thier own world gives me joy. Gone are the days when women were not allowed to speak or be at the fore front of decision making. The lady I brought here today is very popular in the media sector, especially in matters relating to news, politics and so on. In a chat with Mercyflawless Blog, the funny (she got me laughing with some of her answers) Sahara Tv presenter/reporter opened up about her career, dreams and aspiration. Enjoy our chat below....
Who is Adeola Fayehun before KEEPING IT REAL?
Who am I really? You know I’m still asking myself the same question. I’m actually very reserved, quiet, and I mind my own business. But people won’t believe that. And how can I blame them after watching my own videos as well (which I don’t like doing), I see why they don’t believe me. Now I ask myself as well, who am I?
What prompted your decision to start the program (Keeping It Real)?
Trying to present African news in a way that people would be interested and maybe come back for more. So for the sake of my viewers, I act like a crazy woman! Doing karate, speaking with Ibadan accent, singing off-key, kai see my life ehnn, all to help my market. Some people don’t think I’m funny though, which is sad but true.
Hmnn… we can spend the whole day on this. At the beginning, I was getting comments that I should find a real job as if presenting news is not a job… enemies of progress!
Then they said I should stop faking London accent. The interesting thing is that I've never lived in London. In fact, I’ve only passed through the airport. I have no idea what they were talking about.
Also, I think people don’t know how much work it is to bring them quality show every week, so I get emails demanding a new episode like yesterday! Meanwhile, Koledowo is there killing himself for these people. See human beings o! The poor guy, just because they don’t see his face, doesn’t mean he’s not working day and night for them!
You recently recorded the 205th episode of the program, what is the success story?
Success story ke? My sister (or brother… depending on who is reading), I don’t know if we can talk about success yet o. Although, I appreciate you putting up with me for more than 200 episodes! Honestly you’ve tried. Even I can’t put up with myself for that long.
However, the way I see it, the day we have leaders that put the interest of the people before their personal interest that is when we’ve succeeded. Otherwise, I’m just doing mouth service.
When you are not KEEPING IT REAL, what do you do for fun?
Gosh! I barely have time honestly, which is really sad. See my life ehn? But I love biking and swimming, both of which I've not had time to do in a while. Oh, watching movies. Yea, thank God for Netflix.
Also, I don’t know if cooking can be termed fun, but I love to create new delicacies and feed people.
Everyone calls you AFRICAN OPRAH WINFREY, how do you feel about it?
Neh! Oprah for where? Me I don’t deceive myself o. That woman not only interviewed a lot of big people, she has changed thousands of lives with her show and with her money. I work with limited resources compared to Oprah, and you certainly cannot compare our views or influence. I appreciate those who say that, but I keep it real with myself, so I don't compare myself with Oprah at all! I only compare myself with my mother’s daughter – Adeola.
At the time your interview with the Zimbabwean president went viral, what was going through your mind?
I wasn’t really thinking, I was just baffled by the whole thing.
What is your beauty and fashion secret?
My husband For real!
I also have to be comfortable. I don’t inconvenience myself at all. Which is why I rarely wear heels (well not more than 3 inches at least), and I must be able to breathe in the dress
Some people say you are a snub simply because they couldn't get your attention. What do you have to say about it?
I beg, give me their numbers and house address. This is actually news to me, I usually hear the opposite when I meet people. But you know, I’ll probably say the same about Adeola if I’m watching her online and I don’t know anything about the hundreds of emails she gets every week, or the numerous Facebook messages she gets everyday, or the Twitter messages, or the Instagram messages, (I recently discovered that. I said this Oyinbo people, why na? On top of everything else, Instagram has messages too?!).
So if I don’t know about all these other things that take her time, apart from her researching, writing, and producing the show for me every week, I would probably think the same. Forget about whether she has a family o, I don’t even care that she has a life outside the show, in fact, how dare she has a life outside the show? If I can’t get in touch with her, my sister, she must be a snub.
Having said that, I do agree with everyone else, she can do a better job.
Your mentors and role model(s)?
Let me think… First of all, all the board members of KIRWA Foundation are my mentors. Also, I have remote mentors who don’t know they’re mentoring me. Such as Femi Oke of CNN, now with Al Jazeera, and Lola Shoneyin.
What keeps you going in the face of challenges?
Grace... grace… grace and more grace, also feedback from viewers. I don’t dwell on what I’ve done in the past. So if an episode is good, that only means it could be better. Also, if an episode is not well received, it’s not the end of the world.
I’m also not moved by people’s praise, I know they’ll change their mind when they watch an episode they don’t like. It’s just life.
Do you feel fulfilled already?
Not even close. I’m grateful for how far I’ve come, but I know there are a lot more to do. I hope to be able to touch as many lives as possible in my lifetime.
What would you do differently if given a chance to run the affairs of a nation?
You know I’ll be first lady someday, right? So, this is a good question. The first thing is to make basic amenities available for the common people, not a question of whether you can afford it or not. 24 hours of electricity in a day is not luxury, it shouldn’t be based on whether you have a big generator or can afford petrol at N200 per litre or not. Whether you’re rich or poor, everybody should have 24 hours of electricity 365 days in a year.
Every village and city should have good roads. No one should feel obligated to fly because traveling by road terrorizes them. There should be nice, luxurious trains connecting ALL major cities in Nigeria.
What are the challenges you faced initially?
If I keep going, this whole article will be filled with my manifestos, because I honestly believe in Nigeria. But the first thing on my agenda – and I know it’s doable, is for all people to have the basic amenities. Then we can deal with unemployment, infant mortality rate, etc.
Do you believe in gender equality?
I would say yes, but I don’t see how men and women can be equal with all the multitasking that women are capable of. I believe women are more dynamic than men. No offence, but men cannot cook, clean, carry pregnancy for nine months, take care of children, take care of the house, and still work as a banker, a lawyer, a teacher, in fact, there is no profession where you won’t find women.
That’s why you see a lot of single mothers successfully raise children. Single fathers are not common because they can’t always handle it. I’m not yabing men o, I’m just stating the obvious. The fact that women can walk on tiny heels sef, tells you it takes more to be a woman.
Also, the way I was raised, my parents taught me there is no difference between a man and a woman because no one decides that. So I was taught to never let my gender determine what I would become. I was told I can be whatever I want to be, and I believed it. Which is why I laugh when people write me to say “you’re a woman, what do you know about politics?” I tell them thunder go fire your mouth! (Lol)