Friday, 25 December 2015

I got 3 admissions in 3 Universities before I settled for Mass-com @ BUK---Silverbird TV’s Chichi-Ejemi + How Ben Bruce treat Journalists @ Silverbird


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Mrs. Chinyere Favor Ejemi with Gbenga Dan Asabe


Chinyere Favor Ejemi is the Co-Presenter for Silverbird Television’s breakfast show Today-on-STV, the show which is an early morning flagship program on the station from Monday to Friday deals with topical issues ranging from politics, lifestyle to business. It is anchored by both Chinyere (Chichi) and Victoria Pepple. The two beautiful ladies have kept the show going in the last couple of years to the admiration of millions of viewers home and abroad.
While Victoria is much more of the hip-gal type of an On-Air-Personality, Chichi on the other hand is the conservative mother and work leader; she is indeed the elderly of the duo. The Enugu state-South Eastern Nigeria born mother of three shared her passion, ambition and philosophy with your Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity encounter blog Asabeafrika recently at the Victoria Island-Lagos based STV Studios. It is a revealing exclusive on her life as a broadcaster, her passion for the Ben Bruce owned STV and life as one of the beautiful faces that opens the highbrow TV channel every morning on week days. You will find her opinion on issues very interesting and educating. Enjoy!   
L-R; GDA, Victoria, Mr. Kanmi Olatoye (Producer, Today-On-STV) Chichi and Chairman Nigerian Bloggers Association, Chris Kehinde Nwandu (CKN)
Kindly let us meet you ma?

Well, my name is Chinyere Favor Ejemi, I am from Enugu state but my husband is from Delta State, Ijaw to be precise and by adoption his name becomes my name.
How did you start your media career?
First and foremost I studied mass communications and that tells you that of course I have a background of journalism and haven trained as a Mass Communicator at the University level, I got out of school and sought for opportunities and I was employed by Silverbird in year 2007. I came on as a reporter and equally worked as a back stage production personnel but over time my boss at the time Mr. Patrick Doyle with all due respect and credit to him, felt ‘Okay, you are doing great behind the scene but let’s try you; let’s put you up on the set and see how fair you will perform in front of the camera and like they say the rest is history. From 2007 till now 2015 I have been on the show doing interviews, presentations and putting it on as they come and facing the task headlong. It has been very challenging but I am grateful for the opportunity and I am very grateful for Mr. Doyle considering me to come on this show.

“I got 3 admissions into 3 different universities at the same time but I opted for mass communication because I felt there was something in it for me. I got admission to study Economics at UNIlORIN, I got admission to study Business Administration at UNIABUJA and I equally got admission to study Mass Communications at Bayero University, Kano. So, I settled for Bayero University, Kano”.

Madam Chichi to Asabeafrika....'I got three admission for  to study Economics, Biz Admin & Mass Comm but i chose Masscom'
What was your first day on air like, did you have camera fright?
Well, interestingly what we did or what he made me do was to do an interview and he had it recorded. I am sure he had his own fears that for whatever reason, it was a live program and getting this person to just go live without necessarily having to try her with a recording will give us the opportunity of editing whereby we can cut out the errors and any shortcoming. But interestingly it didn’t turn out that badly because at the point he was previewing the tape he said ‘Oh, oh, Wao! This girl could have gone on live anyway’. But it was good a thing it was recorded. It was an interview and he said to me ‘you are good enough’ and it was aired. And from there I had to develop the confidence. One thing about presenting live is that you have to think on your feet, you have to anticipate any sort of emergency. You walk into the studio and all you know about your guest is his name, jumping out from Lagos traffic and you are just settling down and already you are on air. It is quite challenging because you have little time or no time to do a personality review and yet you must come across to the viewers like you have had a proper pre-chat with that guest. So, jugging it for the past 8 years has really been challenging but I am grateful for the opportunity.
Looking back would you say presenting on TV had always been your dream as a kid?
Well, I had three options; I got 3 admissions into 3 different universities at the same time but I opted for mass communication because I felt there was something in it for me. I got admission to study Economics at UNIlORIN, I got admission to study Business Administration at UNIABUJA and I equally got admission to study Mass Communications at Bayero University, Kano. So, I settled for Bayero University, Kano. I have always had this urge to express myself, I have always had the urge to talk about what is going on in the society and each time I look at Nigeria, even from my childhood, I knew that we always deserve more than what we are getting. So, for me, the driving force was to see that one is in a position to talk about societal issues, things that affect our common living.  And the arguments from topics or issues raised on your platform put people on their toes. Your ability to raise issues makes you to become a moral auditor because you act as a check, people watch you and they hear the things you talk about and they want to sit up, they want to amend their ways and make good standards. They want to adjust and they will say ‘Oh, on your show Today on STV this morning, they talked about so, so and so. How do I know? We do get feedbacks, we have gotten responses from people who said ‘Oh you guys talked about this on air, oh, you are too harsh on us, you are too critical of us’ and with that you know you are making an impact. You know you are sending a message to the right quarters. So, that is it basically.

“The good thing about STV is the fact that you can go on air and nobody tells me ‘this is much you can say and this you don’t say’. Or ‘Oh, there is an interest or there is this Government Issue you must not talk about.  I believe People must have freedom and be at liberty to speak on any topic of choice”.

Mrs. Chinyere Favor Ejemi meets the GDA
It is a common culture in our local media that journalists move from one establishment to another within a short time of practice but you have been in STV for 8 years, what have kept you this far at Silverbird TV?
First and foremost let me talk about what I know is true and what I know can just answer your question because I can only speak for where I have worked and where I still work. The good thing about STV is the fact that you can go on air and nobody tells me ‘this is much you can say and this you don’t say’. Or ‘Oh, there is an interest or there is this Government Issue you must not talk about.  I believe People must have freedom and be at liberty to speak on any topic of choice. The culture here is ‘do your research and present your fact’. The only snag is ‘do you have your fact?’ even the chairman will say ‘Do you have your fact? If you do then, go up and put it there’. So, there is no restriction as to what subject you can talk about, who you cannot talk about or what you can’t talk about or ‘he is my political friend, he is my business associates’, there are no such restrictions here. That I am grateful for, I do not want to be a journalist who is been told what to do and what not to do on a platform. That you know the ethics of your profession demands that you are objective without bias’.
You are married, how do you joggle broadcasting and family life?
(Cuts in) And a mother of three children
Wao! You don’t even look it? Can you imagine? So, how do you handle work and home pressure?
(Laughter) Let’s start with my normal routine for the day. My day starts about 4 am or 4:30 am and with the normal ‘Oh, the kids are okay, they are prepared for school in terms of what they need to take to school, uniform, the food and everything and then you get someone you just delegate to and say ‘please help me with this, help me with that’ and then before 5 or latest 5am, you are on the go because I have to be at work for 6am every week day, and with that you can tell how challenging it is for a mother to get out of her home before 5am. Let us leave it there.
Chichi to Asabeafrika....'I thank God for using Patrick Doyle to discover me'
What are the challenges of presenting such an early day show like “Today on STV?
Today on STV is our flagship program, our live program and our breakfast show and you will see that the time belt is really competitive because it is what set the tone for the day for this station. So, if I come on and I tune unto Silverbird TV and I watch Today on STV and it turned to be a fantastic show, there is a likelihood that I will stick up with Siverbird for the entire day, so, we recognize that challenge. All of us on the show, the entire team of Today on STV, the presenters, the producers, we recognize the need that ‘Ok, we must have a good morning show, we must try our best by bringing on topical issues, be it on whatever issues that is generating public opinion and interest, we must stay on it and try to get the best of guests and personalities in addition. The content and the guest must be of good influence. Over the past 8 years, we have tried to keep the momentum, we have tried to ensure that we are out there making our mark and indeed we are making a mark.
“I had always admired the veteran female broadcaster Eugenia Abu she was of the NTA fame. Then, for the male folk I have always admired Cyril Stobber, I like his confidence on air and it is a fact that you will always get the impression that ‘this is a man who is confident in front of the camera”.
Mrs. Ejemi to Asabeafrika....'I am a hardworking mother who takes her job to heart'
Who is your role model?
Yes, ever since even before I started this job as a broadcaster, I had always admired the veteran female broadcaster Eugenia Abu she was of the NTA fame. Then, for the male folk I have always admired Cyril Stobber, I like his confidence on air and it is a fact that you will always get the impression that ‘this is a man who is confident in front of the camera’. His news reading style is fantastic and I like watching him as a child. These two I will mention among others in the likes of Abike Dabiri, Ruth Benemesia Opia, the late Yinka Craig and a couple of them.
STV's Chichi Ejemi to Asabeafrika...'In STV, there is nothing like proprietorship interest. News is news'
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is all about being comfortable in what you wear, yes it could be trending but the most important thing is to wear what suits you and what suits your body or what you appear looking lively in. I am simplistic in my fashion sense. I am a simple dresser. For, me I am bothered about being comfortable in what I am wearing than ‘oh, it is trendy or trending, it is in vogue and I am uncomfortable in it.
One-on-One with the GDA
If you are to advice a thousand young people with talent without platform, what is going to be your chief advice?
Young people and my advise; my take is this; it is a fact that for every human being, there is something you are good at. There is something you do and people wonder ‘Wao! You did that so effortlessly, that came like so natural’, that is your talent that is your ability. So, what you do with it is what really at the end of the day matter in terms of developing the talent, in terms of fine tuning this talent, get it out there. There are books to read to help you grow well. The internet is like the greatest gift to mankind. Go online, get all the information, get education, built up and express this gift or talent to a point where the first 5 names that will be mentioned in that industry, will have to include you.
Thanks for your time, Madam
Thanks for coming around, Dan. 

(Read the exclusive interview of her co-host, Victoria Pepple tomorrow on this blog titled “What my man must look like”)

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

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