Ronke Giwa stole our heart with her confident on the mic and her sexy and charming voice, great looks and wonderful stage presence, she warms her way into the hearts of her listeners and audience earning her an enviable reputation as an on-air personality and regional judge for MTN Project Fame.
She started her broadcasting career about few years ago,when she was posted to Ibadan to do her youth service in the state. She is currently working with Splash FM Ibadan, she captures her listeners’ attention on her ”morning show ” where she gives her listeners a healthy dose of information, newspaper review and inspiration to start the day, while she also co-host the Friday edition of weekend splash alongside with Jacobs Adeyemi.
Ronke Giwa, was a regional judge for music talent hunt reality show ” MTN Project Fame ” Ibadan, she has won several awards in broadcasting.
In this exclusive interview I had with Ronke Giwa, she speaks on her career journey into broadcasting, why she quit music for broadcasting, challenges being Ibadan based OAP, her passion, women in politic, is Nigerian youth not ripe to hold public offices and many others.
Tell us what people don’t know about Ronke Giwa?
There are a lot of things many people don’t know about me, l am a private person and I don’t have many friends, I can actually count my friends with my 10 fingers.
I hurt easily that is why am very careful about the people l move with, although I look like a sociable person or because I talk a lot, but am actually a private person and I don’t have many friends.
Tell us a little more of your Background
I was born and raised in Lagos state, into a family of 3 girls and I studied English at Lagos State University, after which I left the country in order to pursue my passion for music.
I went to music school for a few years and it was because of my desire to be a musician, I joined my church choir at age 13, that is the adult choir, started singing and writing music since I was pretty young. I formed a group called ” Golden Girls ” in my primary school days and we used to perform for my mum and dad and also anytime they had guests. I have always been very musical and I fell in love with broadcasting and the rest is story today, but generally am a Lagos girl, Isale Eko Chick.
How was growing up like for you?
Growing up was very lovely. My mum was very strict and my dad was very loving, although my mum was very loving also, but she was very strict to us due to the fact that we are all girls, don’t talk with boys and don’t let boys touch you and other stuffs mothers usually do.
I was born into an average class family, my dad was a lawyer but now a Politician, while my mum is an accountant, and she has retired now.
I grew in Isale-Eko, Lagos Island, until our house got burnt when I was 14 and we moved to Surulere area also in Isale-Eko, where you will party till dawn but I wasn’t allowed.
Precisely why did you stop your music career for broadcasting?
When I was coming back to the country, my Plan A was to do music, but later I discover that the music industry wasn’t for me.
Am a strong person, but am not that kind of person that you will see hustle here and their or party till dawn, I believe that when situation is getting corky their must be a plan B, then when I got to Ibadan, and got Splash FM job, I discovered that broadcasting suited my personality than the Nigerian style of music that you have to hustle for your relevance.
In more details, how did you start broadcasting?
My broadcasting journey started when I came home to do my youth service and I was posted to Federal Polytechnic Ibadan, because I studied music but I was rejected by the school because they didn’t have budget for Youth Corp members that year.
Some of my friends says to me Ronke, why don’t you go back to Lagos and start collecting your allowance, I really din’t want to do that, because I believed that God was trying to direct me to another thing, am one of those people that don’t like to bend the rules or take a shortcut because I always believe that my life is a purposeful life.
I know that just been in Ibadan has a purpose because I choose Abuja and Ibadan, but was unable to choose Lagos because am a Lagosian.
During the camping days, some of my colleagues heard my voice and said you got a good voice, why don’t you go to that new radio station Splash FM, which was just a year at that time and I got a good Samaritan who took me there to see the GM at the time.
They accepted me there and I started working, but I didn’t want to sit down and i started making some moves, been in studio with Edmund Obilo for his programmme , but later he noticed that potential and passion in me and he started giving me 5 minutes session on his programme and the rest is history.
What are the rudiments of a good broadcaster?
Passion! You have to be very passionate about what you are doing because people think we just come on air and start talking, your passion for broadcasting will make you win, when you are doing your best at creating value but you don’t seem to be recognized. There are those days where people say we love you, you have a great voice, while also there are some days you get criticized on your job and people say you’re horrible.
You have to read a lot. I always tell people that come here that you need to read, don’t just see yourself as an intern for Splash FM, read newspaper, search the internet and books, don’t make it all about romance alone, read about politics, health and many others.
My reading habit in my early days has really helped me, I grew up in the library where me and my sisters will compete on who will finish first between each others. You need to have a good vocabulary. In short be a good reader, have a good vocabulary and be passionate.
What job could you have taken, if not broadcasting?
Apparently I would be doing my music. Am someone who don’t love doing 9 to 5 job or working in bank wearing suits almost every time. When I was young, l was always confused about what l am going to be in life, because I never though of doing radio broadcasting, but I hate 9-5 jobs.
What are the challenges of been an Ibadan based OAP?
It is very challenging because people always see you as a local champion, sometimes when you are in Lagos, they won’t even recognize you. I think for me am going to break that barrier, recently I became a regional judge on MTN project fame and that is a platform where people outside Ibadan see you.
I don’t want to be an Ibadan person where people see you as a local champion; I want to work with people nationally and am working hard to break that barrier in Ibadan. No matter how great you’re, you won’t get noticed.
I listen to many radio station out of Ibadan and outside the country, tune in to several OAP’s programmes online, but I still see that many of this celebrated people are not even better than my colleague here in Ibadan. Some people go as far as still seeing this place as a village, while Ibadan is fast becoming a Lagos, if care is not taken it will overtake Lagos.
Congrats on your appointment as MTN Project Fame regional judge, what is your responsibility in that platform?
My first love has always been music and I have watched project fame several time, my own type of judge is not about saying Yes or No, or you voice is horrible, but my responsibility as a judge is about giving feedback to people on what to work on, you might not be for project fame this year but the sky is just the beginning with hardworking.
It was very challenging because we have thousands of people coming and will only pick 15 people for the Ibadan audition, while the people picked in Ibadan, Port Harcourt and Abuja will compete with each other at the national level in Lagos. I totally enjoy it; it is such an amazing platform.
You went for the audition years back, how would you describe the excitement being judge on the platform you were once rejected as a contestant?
The excitement is great. That is why I said then that l am a person with a purposeful life because I don’t cry too long if I get heart broken, fail an exam or if any bad thing happen to me. That was 5 years ago and that was when I joined Splash FM, I wasn’t on air yet then, just moved back and I heard their is this competition in town and I thought it will be a great move for my music career.
But I know I went unprepared that day so I won’t judge them for giving me a NO and also this audition cannot give an overview of a persons talent, because they just hear you for 5 or 2 minutes where mostly you are nervous, you’re afraid and obviously you are not giving your best.
I don’t blame some of the judges because you cannot see the capability of a person in 5 or 2 minutes and I got a NO that day and said to myself that I will be back, but l never thought of coming back as a judge. I never contested again because l had fallen in love with broadcasting and later I decided that I didn’t want to contest on the show again, but I am now a judge and later in the nearest future to be host.
Your programmme ” Who’s That Girl ‘‘, what is your goal and have you achieved your objective for that programme.
No l haven’t achieved my objective for that programmme.
The programme is supposed to be an on going thing, but I haven’t been consistent on it due to my time and my job.
The goal of the programme is to get girls to feel like there is someone outside who understands what they are going through. Girls usually undergo so many things such as peer pressure, abuse, inferiority complex and all sorts of things.
I just want an avenue where other girls learn how to relate with girls, learn different basic things, its about people who are struggling to find someone who they can talk with — that is what ‘‘Who’s That Girl ” is all about and we have been able to do one that was very successful, we had over a thousand girls that came out for the programme.
It is basically to get girls mingle and also believe that their is someone outside who they can talk to, and l hope to take it to another level by letting them compete each other with their talent , brains and encourage girls not just to be a fine face.
Is any one coming for this year?
There is one supposed to be for August, but am still not able to find time to plan due to my job, but obviously by the grace of God we are going to have another one by December this year.
Is Nigerian youth not ripe enough to hold any public office, except special assistants?
Sometimes I think like, Yes let us put the youth in office , but later I got to understand that the youth are not ready to take such role in government, just imagine this, youths are not interested in politics, they don’t know what politics is all about, they don’t even read newspaper s, they hate Nigeria because things are not working right, but they have forgotten that they need to know the intricacies of how government works in other to take public office and a lot of our youth today are not interested in that ,though l am sure that there are a few youths outside that needs to be encouraged with public office jobs more than the special assistants role.
We should let younger people be governors, to take positions in our society, sometimes when you see some youths, it is not encouraging, but I think our youths need to wake up and stop playing video games, do more than get a job, learn about politics and start from the grassroots level by following someone. It is sad news that there was this guy from Epe local government called Nuehiz Bello, who died on the Election Day.
I know him as one of the brightest youth of our time and I know that he was going for the chairman of Epe local government and he’s one of those people that followed former Lagos governor Raji Fashola. Youths need to get into politics and know that it is not going to pay off quickly and they should not see politics as a get rich scheme. You must learn the workings of governance in order to take public office.
You were under cyber attack last year over Edmund Obilo’s absence on radio, how did you cope with that issue,insinuating that you wanted to take his job.
It was a funny scenario last year, because Edmund and I do different things. It is just like saying Gov Ajimobi, wants to take my job. I don’t know where people got that information’s from and I guess I was doing my job as normal but they were expecting me to be chanting bring Obilo back.
Obilo, has not been sacked, even now he is on study leave. People need to understand that we need breaks too, you can’t expect me to be on air at Splash FM Ibadan for the rest of my life, their will be times that I will need to take a longtime off from work, what if I start having children or maternity, so I have to go on holiday for something and some time.
However, Edmund Obilo, is having a well deserved break which l hopefully look forward to get one like that. Obilo is one of my best friends here and I don’t know where people got that information that I want his job.
The issue started with NBC issuing a sanction on an interview that went on and he had to leave on break, and apart from that he came back and people were happy that RONKE is not here to take Obilo’s job. I can’t take his job and he can’t take my own job either.
What is your take on women in politics?
Women in politics are better than men, because women are more accountable about what they are doing and they have this kind heart that men do not have, am not saying men are not good as well, but we need to balance the political field with youth, women and men as long as they are right people that will serve the people.
We need good and passionate women that will serve this nation, not like those people that are there to wipe off Nigerias money which I will not mention their names, obviously it is harder because when a women start having kids they can’t do this or that , but we need men that support their wife to go into politics.
When the good women get the chance, we will see a turnaround for good governance in Nigeria.
Do you have any music project coming up?
No at the moment, but actually l have recorded one song ” Am Yours ” for which acceptance was good from music lovers.
Getting into the studio is a lot of work; many people just think that it is about writing the song, putting the beat together, editing it and singing. it is a lot of work. So I don’t like to do anything I will not approve.
How do you describe Ibadan music industry, is it really growing?
I think it is really growing.
Did you have any favorite artists in Nigeria music industry?
Yeah! Of course I have my favourites, my favorite artists are Fabolous Pizzy and IBK, they are both Ibadan based and they are really doing great. I love Fabolous Pizzy, his music, passion for music and also his voice, while IBK is someone I love also when it comes to rap.
Most times, people see them as local champions due to the fact that they do not stay in Lagos; but most of those impressions about them are actually wrong, they are even better than those people in Lagos or anywhere in the world. You can stay in Ibadan and make your voice known to the world, but what they are lacking is better promotion, better PR in other to break the boundary of been an Ibadan based musician. I don’t think everybody needs to move to Lagos, to become something, they just need better promotion, people that will encourage them, and record label backing that can invest in their career. Ibadan music industry is doing fine.
Do you have any artist in Ibadan you can work with?
Hmmmm, I think they might be thinking it will be hard to get me into the studio.
Who is Ronke Giwa off the air?
Ronke is fun, like to laugh, private, love to make people happy, loves to read books and sometimes hide in the corner to start reading books. Ronke loves God, she is a child of God,she loves to worship God.
Is broadcasting generally achieving its objectives of disseminating information to their listeners
I grew up listening to radio and watching TV back in the days, people like Funmi Iyanda and many others, it was very interesting in those days but now OAP’s are superstars living celebrity lifestyle and also bagging endorsements from corporate brands. Aside that, people are forgetting the broadcasting ethics of sending out information’s to the public, rather than forming celebrity and superstars.
Gradually people are forgetting that broadcasting is about making sure the real news get out , educating people, informing people and entertaining people, it’s not about me Ronnie G getting endorsement, that is why you see me working hard on my show for people to get inspired, educated and entertained whenever they listen to my show, after that endorsement will come.
We must keep remembering the broadcasting ethics than forming personality, that is why I like people seeing me as broadcaster than OAP, it is for me to take my job serious and I want to inspire young girls outside there that want to go into broadcasting in the nearest future not just because I make money and fame, but the way I speak and the way I read news.
Based on recent directive by NBC to all radio stations, how do you determine ” Suggestive ” songs, whether to play or not?
I think here on Splash FM we are doing a great job when it comes to that area, because I also listen to other radio stations and you will hear Ibadi, Ladi and other kind of songs, but here in Splash before any song can be played it will pass through our library. It is the responsibility of the Library to determine songs to be played or not, the libraries listens to the songs, edit it if needed and makes sure that it is good enough to be played on air.
Apart from that, I think people should know that there is time to play some kind of songs, on TV there are some kinds of things you cannot show after 8:00 Am, but some stations will just play songs that are not appropriate when children are going to school which is very wrong. They might be listening to those kind of songs in parties but make sure you’re not the one putting that song down in their faces and I think the NBC is doing a great job on this.
That is what broadcasting is all about, some people just want to entertain or attract more people to them but they have forgotten that they are responsible for the mindset of people listening to them.
Have you been in studio with any artiste and you decide not to play his/her song?
No, maybe because of the type of shows I run which is serious, newspaper review. I play songs that are suiting to my show which are mostly Pop and Rock.
Are you in relationship?
Yes… but I will leave it like that.
Do you have any celebrity crush?
Yes! RMD………l saw him recently on a TV commercial and l was like aaaaawwww……………
It is my pleasure having a chat with you
Thank you for having me.