Why I Have Stayed In FRCN For 15 Years – Radio One Head Of Programs, Uche Obaseki

whatsapp-image-2016-10-14-at-2-57-00-amRadio One 103.5 FM is from the stable of Radio Nigeria, Lagos Operations. Located at Broadcasting house Ikoyi Lagos has many interesting, educative and informative programmes and also News at its best. It is a All News, All Talk, All Sports Radio Station.

Radio One is arguably the oldest radio station in Nigeria, which is why it earned the slogan, “The first before the rest”. Over the years, the station has gone through a series of transitions: from being a legacy bequeathed by the British in its earliest affiliation with the BBC, to its elitist general interest English language beginnings and later becoming a Yoruba/English language station christened Choice FM on July 1, 2007.

The station was again re-christened Radio One on October 1, 2012. Despite this name change, the station continued to broadcast quality content and added a touch of Pidgin to spice up its contents.

The Showbiz Duo of City People Magazine, DANIJI EMMANUEL and GBOLAHAN ADETAYO, caught up with the award-winning Producer of the year Uche Obaseki who joined Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria in January 2001 and ever since spending 15 years and 10 Months on the job, she has excelled brilliantly as a producer over the years climing up the ladder to the Heads of Programs for Radio One, the rebranded Radio Nigeria.

The graduate of the University of Portharcourt where she studied Theatre Art revealed the journey so far, how she ended up in Radio Broadcasting and what more she has to offer. Enjoy Excerpt: 

Tell us about yourself and how you got into Radio?

My name is Uche Obaseki, I am a broadcaster. I have been on radio for 15 years. I love what I do. I came for a radio interview in 1999 and I forgot I was here. They also they forgot I came here till 2001 when they sent a letter to my village in Nweri, Imo State and I was wondering when I did the interview because I had forgotten. Incidentally that’s how I got here.  I graduated in 1998, Theatre acts and I thought I would be acting but I found myself in Radio. I started out as Producer 2.

What were you into before you got the job at Radio One?

I was working. I was one of the lucky ones when I left school. I left school in 1998, did my service in 1999 and by 2001 I was already working. I got my first job as a sales manager at Physical and Health. They were into fitness equipment and I was one of the sales personnel there. I worked with them for 6 months and later went on to “Phones For You”. “Phones For You” was the first company to engage in digital phones sales in Nigeria.

You double as a producer and a broadcaster, how were you able to achieve that?

Well, like I said I started as a producer but I started meeting announcers and presenters and fell in love with the idea of talking on radio and most times I usually run into the problem of who is going to voice my script so I decided start voicing some of my own script and that was how it started. It became a second major for me to start talking on radio and I learnt to build myself from there.

At the beginning, how was it like talking on radio?

It wasn’t easy. The only thing I had about Radio was in my 3rd year when we had an elective from Mass Communications department, radio Drama. I had no idea about radio as the only radio program we listened to then was the Radio news just because our parents were listening to it. The school wanted us to produce a radio drama and as the class rep then, I gave it my all. It was not until 2014 when I got an award as the Producer of the year that one of my classmate wrote on my wall that he saw the passion in me when we were in 3rd year and he knew I was going to get there.

Asides all other jobs that you could have been picked for, why did you decide to work in radio?

Well, in the initial stage I had my CVs in so many companies but my mom advised me to move into Radio because of the job security, the longevity in a federal establishment and it is something that you can finish and tell your children where you worked, Radio Nigeria.

Have you tried your hands in Theatre Art since you graduated?

Yes, I have shot movies. The good thing about acting is that you can play any role. It even helps you dab into any field or industry. I am fortunate to have married Don Pedro Obaseki who was a movie director for so many years. While we were young I have acted in two of his movies and I have produced many. I remember I was in a movie titled Brave Soldier with the likes of Bimbo Akintola, Empress Nnjama and so on.

Your 15 years in broadcasting, how has it been so far?

It’s been a beautiful journey. When I came to Radio Nigeria, I was still a novice. I was taken to Training school where I trained for 3 months and from there I advanced. The irony there is that by the time I produced my first set of program, my GM then gave a hand-written recommendation and I was so happy. That was what spurred me to do better and be where I am today. In 2008, one of my program was taken to the Network, Dateline Nigeria. When I started doing it, people tagged it a rubbish program but when he went to Abuja for a meeting and the program was chosen for the general Network, he was pleased and he praised me. I am the kind of person who has always written best while looking at nature and feeling free.

Challenges faced so far?

I wouldn’t say I have faced challenges, the only one I know of was when Radio Nigeria was taken off as a general radio network and rebranded to a all Lagos Talk radio. It wasn’t easy starting afresh from the scratch with a new station, we had to lay off all our old programs and start new ones.

How many programs have you produced over the years?

A lot, I can’t count. There are some programs that I have even forgotten. There are quite a number of them.

What sets your program out from the rest?

I have always stayed unique and myself. I have never started a program the way everyone does introducing the program and all. I have never been a conventional producer. I have remained a first generational producer over time.

Best day on the job?

Best day of on the job was when I was awarded Producer of the year, same year I was nominated for Nigerian Merit of the Year, producer of the year. Another good day subsequently was when 2 of our staff were nominated for the United Nation Award, it was like putting a crown on my head. It doesn’t stop there; I have had other awards too.

Asides Broadcasting and Theatre Art, what else do you do?

Mentoring and training young ones. I do other little business on the side and I am also writing. So pretty soon you would be reading from me.

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