Xpensive Wazobia FM is a broadcaster, a comedian, motivational speaker, human rights activist, musician, an actor, a promoter and all the positive things in life. She speaks with STELLAMARIES AMUWA in Abuja about sundry Issues.
I am from a very poor back ground, precisely from a military back ground. My father was a soldier, my mother a petty trader, we are seven in number and I am the second child. Way back, I was called the black sheep of the family because I always fight for people’s right, my siblings are more reserved, I fight for the truth and I don’t like cheating, I am a very transparent person.
How was growing up like?
While growing up, I sold all manner of things for my mother before we could feed. I sold yam, garri, crayfish, moi-moi, okirika (fairly used clothes). In those days, I used to hide when passing through the neighborhood of my school mates because I was ashamed that they would mock me the next day in school. My mother did a whole lot of petty trading to make ends meet, although my father then, gave Mum N400.00 for the family upkeep but it was barely enough to feed and lasted for only two weeks. Mum dare not tell Dad that chop money is finished. I lost my Dad in 1996, it was hectic although before he died, Mum and Dad had separated due to irreconcilable differences. Then even with the separation, we were still living in the same vicinity in the barracks. I am not ashamed to say I am a barrack boy, “a proud barrack boy” even our parents called us names like barrack boys, criminals and so on, because of the hardship we were exposed to, I love the hood where I grew up. In the barracks, there are no segregations, no religious bigotry, no ethnicity, we roll together. In those days, I wake up as early as 4:30am to sell Akamu before preparing for school, and at 2:00pm when we get back from school, I again go hawking Okirika (fairly used clothes). I dropped out from secondary school because of the breakup between Mum and Dad, after Dad died; I lived with a soldier who assisted me in one way or the other. The first Jeans trouser I ever wore was given to me by this soldier. Your parents and the influence they had on you?
As a little boy of about seven years old, all I wanted was to be a Reverend Father but my Mum discouraged me, saying she wanted to carry her grandchildren that Reverend Fathers are not allowed to marry or have children but she never told me I can also serve God by becoming a pastor. My reasons for wanting to become a Rev Father were because I love cassock (the Long Gown) and I also love the way they keep-mass and with many followers coming behind them. I love to serve God in purity, their way was so pure.
I had a dream as a little boy and saw Jesus cleaning the tears of children and I assisted in cleaning those children up, ever since then, I made up my mind that come what may, I want to be surrounded by crowd in good works.
How did it all start?
Way back, I was watching television and saw Harry Mosco the ‘sugar cane’ baby crooner with people dancing around him and I immediately developed interest for entertainment. The first time I went to the studio in 1990 at the Premier Music in Ikeja, they gave me a bill of N100, 000.00, I ran away. I thought music was easy, so I started comedy in 1995, though comedy had been part of me but godfatherism stopped me. You have to know who knows who in the industry. I enrolled into FRCN training school, I did not know broadcasting will be my breakthrough; I read the course and just left it. Later, I went to radio Nigeria where I did internship.After the training, I went to Galaxy TV as a freelancer till 2004. In between that period, I worked with Super Screen TV, I did comedy for them known as Comic Pill and finally worked with Bond FM in 2009. I got my breakthrough in Wazobia after several attempts to secure an employment there, I have paid my dues. I used to trek from Oshodi to Alagbado, my nick name then was oluwatreko although in my mind, I was driving but to the glory of God, today, I drive a Range. Someone just asked me if I would like to work with Wazobia, my response was yes. I was asked to go and submit my curriculum vitae.On the interview day, we were over 2000 applicants, when I was called in, I made up my mind to respond in Pigeon English since the program is a Pigeon English Program. They asked me to talk about their shoes and I responded by”Heeeeeee Bros, these shoes be like the one wey Moses take trek from desert and I quickly added abegna joke I dey joke o.” Media was not part of my life from inception, I wanted to do strictly entertainment but God has the ultimateplan.
Your first time on radio?
Wazobia was the first time I would be touching the console. I was opportune to work with Yaw, he was putting me through but suddenly went out and the computer went blank. I was like “God I don die”, I thought the station was off. Then Yaw came in and said ‘who switched off the computer?’ I said, “I swear I did not touch the computer.” Yaw smiled, I guess he wanted to test my reaction. Up till now, whenever we see,Yaw still jokes about that action. Wazobia is the number one digital station in Nigeria, you must know how to operate everything before you can work there.
Fela Anikulapo Kuti, I love him, na him dey give me liver, everything wey him talk na so e dey happen now and go continue to happen. I love Bob Marley, he stood for truth, and reality, he was a conscious minded person. On Broadcaters, I love Bisi Olatilo, Frank Olizeh, Ruth Benemasia Opiah, RonkeAyuba and late Tokunbo Ajayi.
How Do You Connect With Your Fans?
My fans have been upgraded to air condition because I dey use air condition now. I connect with them on radio, physically and on the street. I am a man of the people, most of them have my telephone numbers,they have access to me.
Most memorable moment as a presenter
It was the day I got employed; I received my employment letter and was put on monthly payroll. I worked for six hours every day nonstop. I have passion for my job,it’s not just about the pay but about the passion for work.
What gives you fulfillment?
Anytime I make a positive impact on someone, it makes me happy. I love helping the less privileged, I sow seeds always every day. I spend money on people I don’t even know. I do not know where the money is coming from but God keeps providing.
Craziest thing you have ever done
The day I got into the station with towel on my waist. I had cued in music and rushed to take my bath though someone was standing by for me, the radio just went off. I rushed out with only towel on me and continued my work. Other colleagues were amazed, they just kept taking pictures of me in the studio but I was happy I did not let the station go off air. Another crazy thing I did was when I broke my Oga’s head on air, you know in Wazobia wey pure water, brake head, we even flog people. Na so my colleague dey fear say Oga go sack me, I say why after allna him give me the bottle to brake people head make him too receive am.
If you could change one thing , it would be …
The idealogy of the leadership from the time of Awolowo date. What they planted is what is still taking place. Segregation, ethnicity, and religion. The law that gov
Your Bucket List…
I have an NGO (Non-governmental organization) where we touch people’s lives positively, I intend to build a missionary school where the less privileged in the society will attend school from Kindergarten to the university level. I hope to achieve this one day and soon.