Media girl


Someone once said “Setting goals is turning the invisible into the visible”, being totally In love with your goals is one of the most beautiful things any human can do for themselves. Ify Onyegbule is one woman who loves her dream and allow her passion shine through unapologetically.

With a career spanning over 20 years, She’s become an enigma in her Industry, and a voice to reckon with.

Ify  trained as an Investigative Journalist at the RNTC, she is a Presentation Coach, Social critic, Publisher, Author and Activist on Women issues. With experience spanning 20 years across different Radio and TV stations in Nigeria, she has worked with 96.9 Cool FM, Lagos, Radio Nigeria’s Metro 97.6 FM, Africa’s largest Radio Network and was extensively involved in News Reading, Programme Production and Music Presentation.

She also had stints with the Network Studio in Abuja on Treasure FM in Port Harcourt, Capital FM, Abuja all under Radio Nigeria. As she left the Government owned stations, she forayed into the private stations again, venturing into and specializing in core Presentation and News reading with Radio Continental’s 102.3FM and Television Continental in Lagos where she presented the Breakfast Shows on Radio and TVC. She created and presented Woman of Substance where she celebrated Nigerian women excelling in their various professions and vocations. She is credited with intellectual programmes like the Gameshow which she anchored to improve the reading culture amongst Nigerians. She also presented for years, Kubanji Direct, an audience participation programme where issues of National and global relevance were discussed with guests discussing the topics.

Ify branched out in 2011 and established her own outfit Trueline Productions, a Media Organization responsible for providing content for both Radio and Television. She continued with packaging content for programmes on Radio Continental and the Breakfast show on Rainbow 94.1FM, Lagos. At the same time she began publishing a magazine Woman of Substance Nigeria, a follow up to the TV programme of the same name, where she interviewed over 1000 Nigerian women professionals. Her book, “Not between my Legs” is targeted at young women, it is a book about Tenacity, Hope and Determination in the course of pursuing a career, particularly in Broadcasting.

In 2014, she was engaged by the management of Rockcity FM. the 1st Independent Radio Station in Ogun state to consult as the Station Manager and during the period, she reorganized, revamped and repositioned the station’s programmes, redefining its status amongst its peers. As Station Manager, she also anchored the Breakfast Show and the Newspaper review. This lasted for a year before she joined the consulting team of Radio Port Harcourt 91.7FM as its General Manager.

The station rebranded and took on a new name WAVE FM in October 3, 2015. As General Manager of Wave FM, she anchored the Breakfast Show and Paper Review, created other programmes, developing talent from amongst her staff who presented these programmes to the satisfaction of the teeming listeners.

Her contract with the station ended December 27th, 2016 following which she relocated to Lagos, returning to her responsibilities at the Women Awareness for Sustainable Empowerment Initiative (WASEI), WOS Magazine/TV and Truespeak Media Academy.
She devotes her spare time to discussions and analysis on Radio and Television stations, talking with young people in higher institutions, giving speeches, Compering Corporate events, attending conferences and seminars aimed at impacting lives. Ify loves spending time also with abandoned children at various orphanages and Widows, through her Yearly Widows Outreach.

Ify Onyegbule currently Hosts The Daily Report on Star 101.5FM, a programme she created with colleague, Charles Kalu and she also contributes to the website www.thedailyreport.ng

He new book, How Did We Get Here, was launched online this year, May 27, 2020 and it’s an Experiential/Instructional book about the 25 mistakes that every radio presenter must avoid.

She shares her Inspiring story with Esther Ijewere in this exclusive Interview.

Childhood Influence

I knew right from age 15 that I was going to end up as a Journalist and I knew that someday I was going to speak into the microphone just like those I watched and listen to while growing up in Surulere, Lagos Nigeria. I come from a family where parents encouraged you to read the newspapers, listen to radio and watch television, especially the news on TV so I got used to watching the likes of Bimbo Oloyede, (Roberts at that time) Sienne Allwell Brown, Ruth Benemasia, Julie Coker and so many others on TV, remember the days when transmission started at 4, my father will make sure that I watched the news at 9 and in my own free time I had this small radio in my room so I was always listening and wondering how these people talked from a small or big box, that piqued my interest and I started to read out to myself and mimic what they were doing and that was it. Yes I had a childhood that was influenced by the things around me and I agree it prepared me for all that I am doing today.

The Drive

I was a spontaneous kid, I was inquisitive, I had deep thinking about issues, I knew how to talk and exposure to the reading materials, radio and TV just spurred me on and ignited the passion. The rest they say is History.

The Journey so far

It’s been a wonderful ride for me even with the ups and downs of the profession. My journey stared in a place called DBN, those days on Awolowo Road as a reporter. I was very excited with this job not because I was going to earn some stipend for doing my work but because I was open to learning something new after my training at Alliance Francaise in Ikoyi and fresh from NYSC in Jos Plateau State.

I did the job for 3 months and moved on to what was then and still known as Cool FM also as a correspondent. I moved from Cool FM to Metro FM at the Broadcasting House Ikoyi, Lagos where I will say I cut my teeth in broadcasting that was the place that taught me most of what I know today on the job.

From Metro I had stints in Treasure FM Port Harcourt, Capital FM Abuja and the Network Service of Radio Nigeria also in Abuja. When I left Radio Nigeria, I pitched my tent with Radio and TV Continental where I anchored a number of A-list programmes before resigning from my job in 2011 to set up my Trueline Productions which is also into the production and packaging of content for radio and TV.

In the course of this, there were short stints with a couple of Radio and TV stations in Lagos where we provided content for the Morning show on these platforms. I got a call from to come run a Radio Station as its Station manager and the experience with Rockcity FM was a vista, away from what I had always known, so it set the stage for me in a managerial capacity and gave me an insight into the management of Human and Material resources. A higher responsibility came when I was contracted again to move over as General Manager of Wave FM in Port Harcourt, a very worthwhile experience for me because it was a different ball game altogether, working in South South Nigeria. So generally, I would say I have had a wonderful ride in Broadcast Journalism or the Media as it is.

20 Years In the Media Industry and It’s Impact on My Personal Growth

In simple terms, it’s not about the number of years but the events that characterize these years, I have grown organically from stage 1 all the way to where I am now so I have learned Patience, Perseverance, tolerance, Loyalty, Office Politics and these have positively affected my approach to life.

Inspiration behind my fast-selling book;   “How did we get here”?

How Did We Get Here is simply an experiential and instructional material with Broadcast Journalists and especially Radio Presenters as the primary target. every day we are confronted with various challenges on the job as Duty Continuity Announcers, Presenters or On Air Personalities (as they are called today), sometimes we are confused about what to do in various circumstances and when we take that step or make that move, it may be that something has gone wrong with that 1 move then we find out that we have flouted a rule or the station’s regulations and we incur the wrath of our employers and sometimes it’s a SACK.

So I reckoned that young presenters of today need guidance, they need mentoring and these can only happen for those willing to seek help through reading and training. I know that mistakes are a part of learning but having a fore knowledge about something can help position these personalities for a better outing on their jobs.

The book contains some of the Mistakes I made as a regular presenter at the various places I have worked and some others mistakes I saw people make in the course of their jobs so basically it is just a guide to help presenters avoid the mines in the field as they settle into the game of Presentation or Production.

My Initiative for Widows; Women Awareness for Sustainable Empowerment Initiative (WASEI)

I recently started to focus a lot of attention on widows because I became a widow in 2018 but my NGO, Women Awareness for Sustainable Empowerment Initiative (WASEI) was born in 2008 and we were mostly about creating Awareness and providing Empowerment for women, yes we had some activities for widows but it was not a major thing for the NGO but as the years progressed, I found that this group of women were amongst the vulnerable groups so we started to pay measurable attention but things changed and became specific when I found myself in that category of persons and I felt there was the need to use my voice and my platform to project the issues and engineer change no matter how small it is.

Challenges of being a Presenter and Philantropist

There are challenges in different professions and as a Presenter, I had my fair share of challenges and I chose to step over them and not allow these to draw me back. Our kind of job is something that takes all of you so those around you must be willing to not be a stumbling block in your career. I was out of the house most of the time, I remember there was a time I didn’t go to church for close to 4years because I was running the Sunday shift at the radio station and that was the job so I had to do it and I loved it because I could share scriptures with my audience in the course of the programme. Even when I became a manager, it had its own challenge also, working in a place that runs a 24hour schedule so I had my staff calling me at any time for one thing or the other and my husband just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t switch off my phone and I had to make him understand that there were persons who could want to reach me even when I am not at work.

I remember years ago while working with TVC, I put my phones on silent mode and went to sleep unfortunately there was a fire incident 3 streets away from me and the fire billowed I reckoned people tried reaching me cos some knew where I worked and some felt I could have the numbers of the fire service but I didn’t pick, I woke up to see so many missed calls and when I got there pushing through the crowd, lives had been lost. So our job is very peculiar with its fair share of challenges but I have been able to manage. I will not consider myself a Philanthropist per-se because I don’t even have the money to reach out to people as I would love to but from the little that I have, I try to meet a need or two from time to time but I have also found out that people reach out to me to help give money out to people who need it so yes from time to time, I raise requests on my social media handles and well meaning individuals send in their little token that is shared amongst persons in need. Through this, I have met many persons who really need help to get by in life. It gives me joy to touch the lives of those in need.

 3 women who inspire you to be better and why

Reverend Dele George of the Little Saints Orphanage has always been an Inspiration for me and the admiration started from the day I went to interview her and she told me her story about how she started taking care of motherless babies, it blew me away because it simply opened my eyes to the fact that even with your own biological children, it takes nothing away from you to look after other children who don’t have a home or parents of their own so I had to follow her work and I am still following.

Another woman is Mrs. Bimbo Oloyede, the Veteran Broadcaster, there is something about her, she is very professional, calm and always ready to listen to you and act if she has to do anything about your matter or request. This is a woman I have followed over time and she has inspired me in the area of my career.

My greatest inspiration is my Mother, Kind, Tolerant, full of Wisdom, Patient, Loving and very intelligent in her thinking, sometimes I wish I was half of what my mother is and I love her to bits!

Key nuggets for aspiring OAP’s who are still trying to find their voice in the Industry

These are some of the things I share with young and aspiring Presenters just so they prepare their minds for the job.

“If you mess up, your fans may lose respect for you in a heartbeat; you may not get the roles you want anymore and someone can replace you”

“Self-branding, like fame, just doesn’t happen overnight; it is a well-calculated, well-planned effort”

“Seek knowledge because it helps you to blend-in during conversations with other people”

“If you want to grow on the job, you have to keep an open mind and remain green so that you can continue to grow”

 “Mentoring is key for any young presenter who wants to go far on the job”

“As a young presenter you have to grow on the job and your station is the platform you need to carve a niche for yourself”

 “To stay afloat, presenters had to be creative and come up with original content”

“Getting angry and becoming flippant or rude won’t earn you any respect”

Being a Woman of Rubies

Now this is a tricky one, I know Ruby is a very precious Gem so I am thinking it is left for people who have had dealings with you or interacted with you to determine how precious you are or why you should be a Woman of Rubies but I know I have been an inspiration to many but I always prefer that my work or actions speak for me.

How to get my Book

They can get the book by ordering copies. It is N4,000 per copy and payment can be made to 1002133134 Zenith Bank (Ify Onyegbule) thereafter they have to send a delivery address by text to 08026265478.

She launched the luxury brand yesterday with some of her close friends and colleagues in attendance.

For the event, the focus of the day Bonang Matheba looked so dreamy in a gorgeous dress from South African designer Gert-Johan Coetzee, who is described as a fashion designer to the stars.

See all the photos below.

The Atmosphere

The Guests

K Naomi Noinyane

Fundi Kumalo

Khai Jenner

Yanela ‘Yaya’ Tokota


Nadia Nakai

Tshepi Vundla

Tebogo Mekgwe

Mihlali Ndamase

Luthando Shosha

Siyanda Dzenga

Siyamthanda Ndube

Lerato Seuoe

Khanyi Mbau Matanoia

Sarah Langa Mackay

Babalwa Mneno


Let’s Party!

Photo Credit: @bonang_m | @blaq_smith | @9th_block_productions | #HouseofBNG

Ore Onile-Ere relocated to Nigeria with a ‘healthy dose of optimism, faith and grace’ to gain success in the motherland and afar. Having worked at the BBC, ITV, Vox Africa, she honed her craft in hospital radio for the NHS. Since moving back to Lagos two years ago, Ore has found a home at the newly launched Lagos Talks 91.3 FM, anchoring the popular drive-time belt, ‘The Live Drive With Ore’ every weekday. A host as well as a voice-over artiste, she has expanded her reach to include modeling, walking for ‘About That Curvy Life’ at the Arise Fashion Week earlier this year. With her sights firmly set on other media platforms such as television and more hosting gigs, this budding avid traveler talks about her move back to Nigeria, encouraging other women to pursue their dreams and her plans for the future.

You recently relocated to Nigeria from the U.K, what informed this decision and how easy or difficult was it?

I always had it at the back of my mind that living in England my whole life wasn’t what I wanted for myself.It was getting to a stage in my life where I knew I wanted a challenge; something that could take me out of my comfort zone and let me thrive at the same time.
So two years ago, after much deliberation and research, I moved to Nigeria.
It wasn’t the easiest of decisions, but it was important to me that I tried. What however made it easier was that I was landing straight into a job right in my field.
I knew if I moved here and then looked for a job, the frustrations would seep in quicker.

Why did you say you moved with a healthy dose of ‘optimism, faith and grace’?
Lagos is a terrain I am not familiar with, and when you have grown up seeing how things are done in a completely different manner, I really think you need those things; prayer included.
You hear about the realities of life in this country and you have to shut it out, with the belief that yours will be different and make a success of it. So I took a leap as big as I could contend with, and two years later, I’m still here.

Having worked for the BBC, ITV and Vox Africa, how did this experience prepare you for your career in the media and how will you compare with working in Nigeria?
The experience I gained in those media houses after graduating really helped put me through the steps needed to become a full-fledged Broadcast Journalist. It helped me recognise both my strengths and my weaknesses. Comparing it to working here, you almost have to compromise on things, because the rules are completely different here and you have to learn to adapt to it; not necessarily conform however.
Coming in guns blazing, saying ‘back in England, this is how it’s done and what not’, would do me no favours whatsoever. I’m still shocked about what is deemed acceptable and unacceptable for broadcast.

Tell us about your journey to working on radio in Lagos?
In 2013, I came to Nigeria for a family event and that’s when the media realm in Lagos caught my attention.Once I was back in England, I did a little research about it and then left it on a back-burner for a year.Early in 2015, eager not to get complacent about a change of scenery, I looked into it again, sent my show reel-out to various media houses (both TV and Radio) to see what was out there and the feedback was great. I spent the bulk of 2015 flying in and out, alongside doing Skype interviews. I ended that year feeling confident about the reception I got.
At this point, in the deliberation stages and tedious contract agreements going back and forth, I contemplated being on ground in Lagos without a concrete offer in place.
Luckily at the beginning of 2016, I got my first break with Lagos Talks, which was also a brand new station and we went live in August that year.

You wear several hats: radio host, voice over artiste, and even model, how do you make everything work?
(Laughing) Oh, am I a model? I didn’t realise that. Yes, radio here definitely opens many doors here.
You’re not just a Radio presenter; your personality gives way to a brand you make for yourself, which other people want to associate with. And all the other hats are most welcome.
Since being here, I’ve hosted governance ceremonies in Abuja, been on Television programmes, hosted luncheons for Women in Business and voice-overs for both popular and private clients.
It all seems surreal when I think about it long enough, but it’s all part of the bigger picture- branding. Anonymity is quite scarce in this industry.

Some people claim that the only criteria for getting on Radio/TV now is having a foreign accent, how true is this in your experience?
Yes, it’s a popular conundrum in this industry and although I’ve heard it and fallen prey to the authenticity of my accent, I don’t like to think so.
I work on Talk Radio, therefore, the requirements are that one must be knowledgeable in the topics being discussed. How far will your accent take you if you’re not concise?

What would you say has been your greatest achievement so far?
Besides moving here and immersing myself in all that this city throws at you? I’m joking! All the opportunities being here have afforded me so far has been fantastic.
My plan is to build myself up on radio, before going in for TV, that’s always been the end goal for me, but I’m enjoying the journey towards that.
On a daily basis though, getting on the airwaves talking to Lagos, interviewing interesting people and networking, it’s all been a big deal for me.

Has there been any experience recently that made you want to give up?
Thankfully not. The terrain can sometimes make you feel like packing it all in and booking a one-way ticket back to Heathrow Airport, but then again, it also adds colour and there’s no greater feeling than to conquer the struggle.At the end of the day, I’m happy with my decision thus far.
In the beginning, my parents were against this move, they did try to dissuade me at the time and I almost got the sense of them wanting to say, ‘if it doesn’t work out, don’t say we didn’t warn you.’

If I ever gave up (laughs) but I know it came from a place of concern and love, which I understand, but that’s all in the past. I’m taking in all of Lagos, flaws and all.

What changes would you like to see effected that would positively turn things around for Nigerian women?
I believe we have to start from an earlier age. Girls being told from a young age that they can do and be better.
This change in mindset from early on will result in Nigerian women who have no fears and can compete for all the positions they deserve.
There is definitely a change in movement where women are concerned, and not to sound like a feminist, because I’m not, their voices are getting louder, the faces around the tables are changing and they are getting what they want and deserve and teaching young women to do the same.
I look at the Forbes’ women under 30 and 40 lists and you can pick a number of Nigerian women from that list.Look at Genevieve, with her break with Netflix. It’s all happening and the generations of women behind are seeing this.

What inspires and motivates you?
Learning from my mistakes, because every experience or encounter, mainly the mistakes, helps teach and push me into being more of who I ought to be. It’s much like ticking off a goal I’ve set for myself.
Getting results. It is also encouraging to see my work help others accomplish their own goals.
When it comes to people that inspire and motivate me, a number of my family members that have surrounded me growing up, do well on that front.
Irrespective of how well and comfortable they were brought up, their work ethic, readiness and go-getting attitude to accomplishing success on their own, has afforded me a similar vision that I want for myself.

How do you relax and de-stress?
There’s a big social scene out here, whether you’re waiting out traffic, or weekends, there’s just always something to do in Lagos and I’m happy to be a part of it, sometimes.
When I’m not a part of that, my immediate family live in England, so nothing gives me more joy than checking in with my family and friends overseas; updating each other on what’s on ground. Sometimes it feels like I’m still there.

What should we expect from you in say, two years from now?
Well, I’ve started on radio in Lagos and plan to establish myself on that platform; after that, the next step is to get into television. By then, all anonymity will be out the window.
Television should be a focal point in my broadcasting career, be it in Nigeria or Diaspora, it all works for me.If ever I’m in England, I’d hope to be recognised as an African Broadcaster, that’s what I want for myself- doing great, informative things in this industry.

Any last words for women that have been inspired by you?
Thank you so very much! I do not take any of it for granted. I hope women see that what they want is attainable and they themselves can do it.
Don’t be afraid to take risks and push yourself out of your comfort zone that might just be the step that leads you to your biggest accomplishment yet.
And know that all our lights shine just as bright. Not brighter than another’s but just as bright.

Interview by: Tobi Awodipe

For : Guardian Nigeria