Entertainment

My Challenges as a Female On Air Personality

    

Ace Radio Personality Cordelia Aroore Okpei is the General Manager of popular radio station, Metro Fm.Born in Delta State to Mr and Mrs Charles Okpei, She had her education in Benin City where she graduated from the University of Benin with a degree in English and Literature in 1994.Her career in broadcasting started over 2 decades ago when she started hosting a programme called ‘From Me to You’ after many years of appearing as a participant in other programmes from the tender age of ten in the then Bendel Broadcasting Service. 
Cordelia worked with the Bendel Broadcasting Service, now Edo Broadcasting Service, Radio and TV till 1998 when she relocated to Lagos to join the then RN 2, now Metro FM where she is currently the GM.
The versatile  Radio and Television Presenter cum Producer has received various awards and nominations amongst which are the Nigeria Media Merit Award, NMMA, DAME Presenter of the year 2005 and SES Media award for the Radio personality of the year 2010, DAME Reporter of the year 2010.In December, 2012, she also won an ‘Ever Green Award’ from the Nigeria Broadcasters’ Merit Awards, the ‘Best Radio Presenter,’ Award at the Nigeria Media Merit Award and the ‘Radio Presenter of the year’ from the Diamond Award for Media Excellence.And last week,she also won the City People Award for Excellence.In an interview with City People’s VIVIAN ONUORAH,she reveals how her journey into broadcasting started as kid ,her experience and challenges  of running a Radio station

 

How do you feel winning City People Awards?

I feel quite elated and happy that there are people out there who notice what you do. And the fact that I wasn’t even expecting it but here it is, so am grateful to God and everyone who made it possible.

Is this your first award or there are more?

Of course it’s not,

Which are the most significant for you?

Well I appreciate all of them from my NNMA to a whole lot of them.

What inspired your interest in radio?

I have been in radio now for 26 years, I grew up in Radio. My father was a radio producer so I used to go to work with him, I used to see him do his job so I practically grew up among Radio People way back so it just felt like a natural thing for me to go into radio. I do TV too but radio is more prominent.

At what point did you make up your mind that you would definitely go into radio?

Since I was a child.

And how did you break through?

It wasn’t that hard since they had already known me where my father worked, then it was Bendel Broadcasting Service and when it got to the point that I needed to do something, it was very easy for me and they just took me in because I was like family already and I have the talent for it.

What informs your fashion and style?

I love to wear simple pretty things and I like to be comfortable.

How do you get inspirations for daily shows on radio and how are you able to engage your listeners?

I get my inspiration from things happening around me and even from my listeners, I see inspiration in my everyday activities, everyday is a new beginning so I have new inspirations every day.

What are the exciting programs you anchor on your radio station?

Wow I love my World Music show, I love world music and I enjoy doing it. I meet a lot of people from around the world during that program, and I also love the breakfast show because it can be very challenging but in everything I do, I have fun and that’s my staying power.

How do you cope with being in radio and people only know your voice and not your face unlike the TV?

For me sometimes am on TV too so people still recognize me while some it’s from the way I talk or laugh they get to recognise me but its ok,am able to remain myself without having to impress anybody.

What has been the challenges so far being and running a radio?

Basically not much money, we are looking forward to having a lot of money. The industry doesn’t have that much money don’t be deceived and that’s the challenge because you have to live up to people’s expectation so I have thought to myself not to do that. Also equipment may not be as good as you want them to be. Basically those are some of the challenges, the financial aspect and long hours, late nights those can be quite challenging as well but in time you get used to them and they become your way of life.

You have got a very reserved look, nothing close to an entertainment lover….

Don’t be deceived.

So why did you insist on radio?

I went into this industry at a time when all these razzmatazz didn’t exist so am just growing and moving with time, but if you want me to be crazy I will be crazy don’t be deceived by what you see. It’s just a way of life?

Why the choice of dreadlocks hairstyle.

I have been on dreads for 10 years, it was a lot longer so I cut it and started afresh, this current one is about 3 years old. I just love dreads.

But what made you develop the flair for it?

Because I don’t like fixing my Hair, my scalp is very tender so with this hairstyle no one touches my hair, that’s why.

What stands Metro Fm out from other radio stations?

We are for all flavours, so if you tune into Metro fm today, you will hear a bit of something that will please you apart from the fact that we are very professional too,thats one key thing. There is something for everybody on Metro Fm.

How do you cope being a career woman and taking care of the home front?

Am single so that’s not difficult.

What was your growing up like?

It was fun, as I said earlier I used to watch my dad do his job, I go to school come back and go to the broadcasting house ,I wasn’t a rough child, it was basically reading books, watch and learn and I learnt a lot from my parents. Those years formed who I am today,disciplined,spiritual,loving and happy .

What’s your educational background?

I graduated from University of Benin, English and Literature.AM not one interested in Masters and all that ,but I have done a lot of professional trainings home and abroad and I still have plans of doing more. I prefer short courses because I find them more enhancing.

When you are not working, what do you love doing?

I like going for cultural events and things that could happen at freedom parks,I like exploring foods, exotic places and travelling.

Where are some exciting places you have been to?

I love Euro Disney, that’s one of my favourite spots in the world. It makes me feel like a child.

Where are you from and more about you?

I am from Delta State ,am Itsoko and am from a family of 8, my parents and 5 siblings. And all our names begin with C so we are like the C O family(laughs).I grew up in Warri, Benin Edo state before I moved up to Lagos and its 17 years now.

A lot of showbiz talents seem to come from Warri and its environs

Yes that’s because we are very witty and smart people (laughs)

Do you have a program on your radio that promotes young talents?

Yes we do but I have a personal project Road to Fame ,it’s all about teaching young people the importance of education before fame. You don’t just dump education for entertainment, you need to complete your studies first. Then for Metro Fm,we have programs where we give upcoming artistes the opportunity to showcase. Example they can win a beat  for popular artistes whatever they do with the beats is to their own good we give them the freedom.Thats why I said we are for all people on Metro fm.

What’s your typical working day like?

I wake up 4am on the day I have to do the breakfast show. I get to the office by 5 and start my program by 6,after that I go into the administrative aspect and the go home at 5 and rest. It continues like that until maybe weekends  when I now find time to unwind.
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