By Christian Agadibe
As a radio presenter and TV host, Yvonne Ekwere is changing the world in her own little way. Having come into broadcasting by chance, the Akwa Ibom-born presenter now boasts of a large fan base. But this didn’t come without challenges. In this interview with Entertainer, Ekwere sheds light on how it all started.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Yvonne Vixon Ekwere aka Vixenality. I am a creative entrepreneur, television presenter, and content producer. I started off in 2008 when I was a big fan of a radio show on Rhythm 93.7FM. I used to call into that show a lot. One day, the host I. K Osakioduwa invited me to the studio to be his co-host and the listeners loved me. Later, the radio station’s boss decided to take me on as a TV host, because they were looking for a TV presenter.
Why did you choose radio over TV where your face will be known?
I never chose anything. I think radio just attracted me and then television came calling. Yes, TV was great.
Do you have any formal training in broadcasting?
No. I did not. I studied History and International Relations, I think it’s a flair that I have, and it attracted people.
What is the worst embarrassment you have faced as a presenter?
The worst embarrassment was a guest using swear words on air and I couldn’t stop him. It’s the most embarrassing thing. It made me cringe, but we found a way to sort it out.
What is the craziest thing a listener said to you on air?
It would be that they want to marry me or take me home. It doesn’t make sense.
Have the stubborn ones persisted?
Yes, a few people have come to my office, stalking me and saying, ‘Oh, I love you so much’. They send me letters, they wait outside my door, and some would say ‘Oh, you are even a family member of mine, we share the same surname, so I want to meet you’. Some of them don’t go away but I find a way to deal with them (Laughter).
Did any of your relatives or friends try to discourage you from going into broadcasting?
Actually, my mum has always been supportive. When she found out I was in the media, she was very supportive. And she never for once said she didn’t want me to do it. In fact, she gave all the things that I needed.
What were the challenges you faced when you started?
It’s a male dominated industry and men want to have their way with women in order for them to get to the next level. This is where women make the decision whether or not to succumb. And that’s the challenging thing. I have never bent my rules or principles to move to the next level. Everything I have achieved has been God.
In five years’ time, where do you think you would be in the industry?
Oh! In the next five years? This industry has already started taking me to places. In the next five years, this industry would be able to catapult me onto the international circuit.
Are you married or single?
I’m not married.
Who are you seeing for now?
Nobody. I can’t tell you that (laughter).
Some guys may find it difficult to keep their eyes off you. How do you handle your male fans?
I say ‘hi’ from afar, and I say goodbye at the same time.
What advise would you give someone who wants to become a broadcaster like you?
First of all, be very strong spiritually and have faith in God. Secondly, you must have a strong personality that attracts people to you; be nice, be appealing, and be pretty. And most of all, you must grow tough skin, because a lot of things will come your way, but what makes you is how you handle them. Don’t back down.