Rachael Bakam is a celebrated actress and television personality. As the host of Trends and Rachel and its Hausa version called Rachel Mai Kakaaki, she’s eloquent, alluring and high-flying.
The Kaduna State-born mother of one opens up to Entertainer on her life, career and relationship with football legend, John Fashanu. Enjoy it.
You have carved a niche as a television presenter and actress, could you tell us more about your career?
I started as an actress but God destined me for the television as a presenter. But without mincing words, acting was my first love. My relationship with broadcasting began after watching ‘African Pots’. A lady broadcaster encouraged me to become a television presenter. Afterwards, I joined the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) as a reporter after my National Youth Service. I must attribute my reportorial skills to my notable mentor, Bola Oyeyemi. I will forever remain indebted to her for positioning my potentials.
Could you throw more light on your career trajectory?
My involvement in the entertainment industry has riveted me into television programming. Interestingly, I have embraced acting and I intend producing educative and entertaining movies. Also, I am a media consultant, I package brands for commercial success, and as a red-carpet host I have anchored several prominent events within and outside Nigeria.
At exactly what age did you foray into acting?
My acting started from the ECWA church where I participated in dramas. I was also a member of the Girls’ Brigade and Youth Fellowship. Nevertheless, my first appearance on set was with veteran actress, Patience Ozorkwor and Jim Iyke in Enugu. It was a memorable experience playing alongside these great talents. I recall when the director was announcing ‘light, camera, action’ my legs were shaking. In fact, my knees were knocking each other and I was stuttering, which led to my poor character delivery. I must give it to Patience Ozorkwor for stirring me to depict my character without fears.
How would you describe your life as an entertainer?
Honestly, being a television presenter is challenging because of the financial involvement, most especially when it is a self-employed job. Regardless of the challenges, you have to remain prayerful, focus, hardworking, confident and positive. Indeed, life is not a bed of roses, but how you manage your dark moments is important. Consequently, we should always consider ourselves winners as children of God. In fact, my story is half-finished without pointing at the enormous grace of the creator of the universe, our sufficient God for helping me climb the ladder of success against all odds.
You mentioned earlier your challenges, which among them actually makes you cry whenever you reminisce?
My life is a book with many chapters. I had serious health challenges while in school, but God proved himself with His healing powers. Advisably, no matter your challenges, you must speak positivity into your life because the power of life and death lies in our tongues. However, when you pray and call on God, He will answer. Therefore, let your faith be your guiding principles, there is no solution than praying and hard work.
What kind of health challenges was it?
I noticed unusual changes in my body system. I visited a doctor and he announced my health status, saying I had limited time to live. But my faith in God rejuvenated my life. Hurriedly, I embarked on prayer since God is the creator and owner of our lives. The Holy Spirit guided and listened to my prayers and I was divinely healed and delivered of the sickness.
Would it be right to say you have experienced heartbreak considering the way you talk about life?
Yes, in my career, relationship and marriage, but God put laughter into my mouth. Regrettably, I got married but it didn’t last because of irreconcilable differences. Marriage, indeed, is like a wrapped gift. You can’t predict what it entails. At the beginning, it was heaven on earth, which gave birth to a son; without knowing it would lead to hell but God kept me alive. However, individuals have fallen victims, with lovers, husbands or wives reversibly becoming enemies. So, it’s worthwhile to take the bull by the horn and stay alive than embrace the grave for love. Of course, I have bitter experiences concerning my health and marriage, but God embellished my life with joy.
Who was your husband?
He became history the day we untied our marital knot since God didn’t ordain the marriage. Please don’t ask about his identity because I have erased him from my heart and life. Though, he remains the biological father of my son, he’s not his heavenly father.
Now, have you found love?
Please, let’s leave this particular topic for another day. Definitely God will crown me with a glorious man.
Is the man ex-footballer, John Fashanu who is also your co-anchor on Trends and Rachel?
This amiable, humble and great intellectual is my co-presenter and he has been very supportive of my career, and I’m sanctified to have met him in my life journey. However, on your enquiry about love or life partner, let’s leave God to answer that question.
If you were asked to make a wish, what would you like to change about yourself?
Honestly, I didn’t like the shape of my legs, which really affected me psychologically (laughs). As a woman, I believe beauty is beyond facial look, which progresses to the body, mind and character. So, I felt uncomfortable because my legs constituted an immense obstacle, limiting my character interpretation as an actress. But presently, I wear short dresses and skirts without blemish on my skin.
How old is the fruit of the alienated union?
He is over nine years and still counting.
What is your advice to fledgling broadcaster, actress and red carpet host aspiring to hit it big?
Primarily, they must be knowledgeable about the profession to excel profitably. Then, prayer is the undeniably weapon to success. Also, hard work pays; manna doesn’t fall from heaven, you have to work for it, for God to bless the work of your hands. In addition, stay focus and determined, and never give up on trials, which is just a phase that will pass away.