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Broadcast journalism employers care more about accent than what you can offer – Jojo

Josephine Amiegbe popularly known as ‘Jojo’, is an On Air Personality with Urban 96 Lagos and hosts Traffic The Urban Drive weekdays from 6pm to 9pm. 

She also hosts TOUCHDOWN 10, Mondays at 9pm, where you can check out the hottest songs released over the weekend. Our reporter recently caught up with her and tells us all about it.

1. What’s your full name?

Josephine Odion Amiegbe, haha, i can’t remember the last time anyone ever called me that, I’ve been Jojo for a very long time, even my parents call me that.

2. Where are you from?

I’m from Edo State, but born and bred in Lagos. I’ve got equal amount of love for both states

3. So how did the love for radio begin?

I’ve always loved radio, but I never grew up thinking working on radio was an option.

You know how some parents can be, it’s either Lawyer, Doctor or Engineer… So I ‘thought’ I wanted to be a lawyer.

I say ‘thought’ because i watched a lot of legal drama, and read a lot of John Grisham, so yeah. Thank goodness that didn’t work out, not to mention I didn’t even study law in the University of Benin, I went for Sociology and Anthropology.

So as i was saying, as a kid my Dad would tune to BBC Network Africa in the mornings before school, and Voice of America in the evenings.

You could also thank NEPA for the role they played in this journey, because with no electricity, battery powered radio sets were the only other means of entertainment at home.

I would wonder who were the voices coming from the ‘electric box’ that seemed to know everything, with great music and funny speech bands and catchy jingles.

With my unique experiences growing up, somehow i could count on the radio to say or play something that would lift up the mood, or make each day a little better.

I guess subconsciously, I wanted to offer  other people what listening to the radio offered me.

Fresh out of secondary school, I said , ‘I think I want to work in radio’. Some people laughed, but my twin brother Joseph, was optimistic and supportive. He reminded me of this a few years ago, and I’m happy he believed in me and is proud of me.

4. So what was it like, trying to launch your radio career?

Getting my first radio job ‘was no easy feat’’. I’ve been rejected more than 4 times before i finally got my shot.

But  in 2012, I got my first radio job with Raypower 105.5 FM.

Eventually I decided I needed to move on and went on to some independent gigs in Benin city, but soon as I relocated to Lagos late 2014, I got word there was an opening in Beat 97.9 FM Ibadan, I tried my luck and January 2015, I packed my bags and went on to work there for over 5 years.

Working and living  in Ibadan was quite interesting, I grew up a lot in that city, professionally and as an individual, and met amazing people.

One of my proud moments happened in 2017 when I got nominated for On Air Personality of the Year at the Exquisite Ladies of The Year (ELOY) Awards. It felt good to get that level of recognition.

I’ll always be grateful for that phase in my life. But all good things must come to an end.

Fast forward to 2020, I was already missing Lagos, and fortunately the opportunity to ‘come back’ came to work with Urban 96 FM, and I’ve been with the team since May 2020.

5. Tell us about your show at Urban 96

 I currently host TRAFFIC THE URBAN DRIVE from 6 to 9pm, making the Drive home in our busy Lagos lively and , and TOUCHDOWN 10 (a show about new music that dropped over the weekend) Monday nights at 9.

I talk about staying sane in the city of Lagos, share health tips for the ladies, talk pop culture, and many more

6. But why radio though?

First love, I love LOVE radio.

I feel like, if listening to me lights up your day just a little bit, something I say, even if it means me laughing with me or at me, then it’s worth it.

I don’t know everything, nor will I claim to be the best on the airwaves, but I don’t want to give you an ordinary, regular mundane listening experience, I want you to have a little fun, lighten up, and be hyped about just being alive and healthy and loved.

I don’t care about impressing anyone, nor trying to appeal to everyone, if you like how I do what I do, then great, if you don’t (*shrugs*), ah well.

I don’t think I take myself too seriously, I feel like life is already too serious, ‘problems nor dey finish’, so live, laugh, love whenever you can. That’s my philosophy.

7. What do you love to do, besides radio?

I do voice acting, for radio dramas and podcasts. I love the digital space and online platforms for audio content. I hope to grow more there

I recently launched my own podcast, ‘Keep It Moving’ w. Jojo Amiegbe, where I talk to interesting people about their personal and  professional journeys, the adventure that is living in Nigeria and the world, how they keep body, soul and spirit together… and bants, lol.

I also update my playlist on Apple Music call ‘BLACKLIST’ , which the latest soon to but hit music from African (including Nigerian music of course) acts, some Grime, Hip hop Reggae and Dancehall

When I’m not working, I’m watching Netflix, working out, bonding with family, reading articles online, writing.. And sleeping.

8. Do you think the broadcast is perfect as is, or does it need a bit of work?

The broadcast industry today is great; lots of interesting people with a genuine passion to educate, entertain and inform. I’ve met some of them, and I always leave myself more enlightened.

But at the same time, the demand for a lack of authenticity by employers is quite sad.

Look, I’m not knocking anyone’s hustle, nor am I demanding some wipeout or something, but some employers seem to care more about ‘how you sound (having an accent) than what you have to offer on their platform.

There’s also the issue of expecting the broadcaster to ‘bring money’ to the station.

I don’t understand it. What do you have Marketing for?

We provide the content, package it even, Marketing is meant to sell it.

I also don’t believe there is total freedom of press without fear of repercussions.

Asides that you’re at the mercy of your employers, there’s also the NBC who could sanction you as they deem fit

There is also the desire for ‘celebrity status’, which I believe many employers take advantage of.

Again, I am not saying it’s a bad thing, but if popularity is what you desire, what value are you adding to your audience, and yourself? Do you even care about that at all? And what impact might you have on them?

9. Got anything cooking specially for 2021?

2021 is gonna be amazing, like i said i have my own podcast, and I’m working on another one with a few friends,

I’ve grown to be quite private, and I don’t want to count any chickens before they hatch.

Just trust this lady is cooking up a few things which you will see in the coming months.

About the author

Augustine Aminu

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