Despite the challenges and hazards of working as an On-Air-Personality (OAP), what has kept Tina Ada Oyinsan going was sheer passion.
In this chat, she talks about her childhood, dreams and secrets to her career success. Enjoy it.
Can you recall what growing up was like?
Childhood was fun for me. I am the third child in a family of six and currently studying for my Masters degree. I am grateful that I grew up in a loving and supportive home. My father never joked with education, and up till now, he still calls to ask ‘when are you finishing your Masters? When will you go for your PhD?’
Growing up in my neighbourhood in Kaduna was interesting. It was a place where there was trust and parents didn’t fret about the whereabouts of their children. Being the only daughter for a long time, I was my dad’s favourite. My dad was strict with the boys. I did not like my mother because she was too strict with me. But now that I am a mother, she is my number one confidante and best friend.
How would you describe your personality?
I am friendly and respectful. I am the type that engages both friends and strangers, and I also like to see myself as someone that others can trust and respect.
What are the pains and gains of being a radio presenter?
We all know that the media profession in Nigeria doesn’t pay well. There are no incentives to match the hazards that come with the job. Some of my senior colleagues tend to always remind us that it is a thankless job. Notwithstanding, with over a decade of experience in the industry, I have gotten reasonable exposure and this includes opportunities to attend trainings, both home and abroad, and meeting and being mentored by some of the best hands in the industry. It has been a great journey for which I am grateful. The profession has also given me the opportunity to discover my potentials. The recognition that comes with the job is also a testimony. Last year, I won the award for Seasoned Professional of the Year at an awards ceremony that recognised women like Julie Donli, DG, NAPTIP.
Do you see yourself as a role model to young women?
The effort to be there for people who need me and to point them in the right direction hopefully qualifies me as a role model.
What lessons have you learnt from your career?
I have come to understand that passion is the biggest driver in this profession. You do the job because you are passionate about doing things that touch lives and impact positively on the society.
Have you always wanted to be an OAP?
Growing up, my mother had always wanted me to be a nurse. I knew I wanted to serve humanity but not necessarily in the medical field. It was either law, politics or using my voice to make a difference. Interestingly, I am not just a reporter but also an all-around journalist. I present, report and produce programmes and I am an editor. Also I am into mobile journalism, which is quite challenging, engaging and rewarding.
What’s the craziest thing a listener has said about you on air?
Someone once asked if I was a man. He said he wanted to be sure because the voice sounds like a man’s but the name is female.
How did you meet your husband?
I met my husband about 12 years ago at a bank on Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos. I was in my final year and decided to open an account with a new generation bank. While in the banking hall, someone approached me and asked if he could take me out to see a movie. I wasn’t interested but I noticed there were people looking at us who probably were his friends and I didn’t want to embarrass him, so I agreed and we exchanged numbers. We met December 2006, had our introduction in February 2007 and got married in July of the same year. So, it’s been 11 years of God’s grace.
What attracted you to him?
My husband is very caring, focused and domestic. There is nothing as sexy as a man that cooks. He puts our boys and me first.
You have remained so beautiful despite having kids, what is the secret?
It takes a conscious effort to take out time for yourself. It’s just about loving yourself in spite of the stretch marks or the extra flesh. Mostly, support from my husband has made life very easy for me.
What is your most embarrassing moment as an OAP?
Reading the news on the network service of Radio Nigeria is such a big deal. So, when I was asked to read the news once upon a time, I was a bit jittery but tried to calm myself. That was when a story broke and there was no time for the editor to type it, so I had to read a handwritten story that was not really clear. It destabilised me and I couldn’t wait to go off air.
Was there any discouragement when you ventured into your career?
No, my husband’s family is a media family. It is either you are a media person or your spouse is. My father-in-law worked and retired from the media and he is a great mentor to us. He propelled me into this profession and I hope I am making him proud.
How do you manage or handle being a mother, wife and career woman?
It is not easy but God’s grace makes things easy. My husband makes life easy for me. Yes, there are days when I get overwhelmed but people who care surround me, and most importantly, I am not ashamed to ask for help when I need it. Women should know that there is only so much you can do. Take out time, sit back and take care of yourself. It is only when you are okay that you can be a good mother, wife or excel in your career.
Have you been verbally or sexually harassed by your listeners or fans?
I have never been abused. However, it is more of listeners sending messages on programme’s (phone) numbers or on facebook talking about my lovely voice. At first, I tried to be polite and thank them but later I started ignoring them, because most times you grant them audience, they start getting personal.
What plans do you have for the future?
I hope to get my doctorate degree and also lecture part-time. Who knows, I might even go into politics.