By Olamide Jasanya
If Metisse Lounge was the right location, then Nigeria Info OAP, Matse Uwatse was the most appropriate for an interview session. In her usual calm manner she reveals to us her many dreams and plans for the future.
She speaks fondly of her former workplace and says she’s ready to bow out of the radio world for a greater calling.
The radio world has been very ‘woman-friendly’ over the years. What do you think is responsible for that?
I would say because the feminine voice is strong and of course, women are known to be soft, which is why guys listen when we speak. We have a way of talking and can penetrate into the hearts and minds of people, [and] if you are an intelligent person, that is another plus for you as an OAP.
To what do you attribute your quick success?
I think my success is factored by my enigma. A lot of people think they know me, but only a few really do. I think my honesty has also helped. I have a habit of speaking plainly and telling things the way they are. I think these little bits and pieces of my personality are what have made me quite successful on the radio.
Why did you ‘dump’ the corporate world for radio?
I was with Bang and Olufsen and I left because I am not a paper person. I wanted to let my hair down. I am a very creative person and my family knew that. While I was very young, I used to paint and write beautifully. I was a very imaginative kid. I used to sit down and start concocting stories and images. All of these were pointers and made it easy for me to know where I ought to be.
Did you experience any fear on your first day on the radio?
I did. Although I studied Languages and Linguistic in school, and I was exposed to both audio and visual lessons, going on air wasn’t as easy as you might think. Pidgin, on the other hand, was never a problem, Warri girl that I am. The major fear was the fact that I was talking to so many people at the same time, unlike one on one, which I was used to. I remember that day I froze and my throat became parched. I was practically squeaking and the MD sent a message that I be yanked off the radio. When I got home that day, I cried. I later found out it was my nervousness and when I decided to shed it and be myself, I had a phenomenal time at Wazobia.
Why then did you leave Wazobia FM?
I realised I had to. I like to grow and I felt it was time to. There were young people coming on Wazobia and they deserve to have their time. For all my mentees, I always was giving them the chance to succeed.
Do you miss Wazobia FM?
No I don’t. I only miss the fans. I miss them because they were loyal and generous. Festive seasons and birthdays, they send so many gifts. That made me discover something in life: people who don’t have money are more generous than those who do. The average man you see is more generous than the rich people you find out there, and I miss them, I miss their encouragement and everything about them. I do not miss Wazobia but I miss the fans.
How easy was it for you to adapt to Nigeria Info?
It wasn’t easy. Nigeria Info is a talk radio station. We talk on different issues, political, social, educational and all. Adapting to the station was not very easy, the brainpower was there but there was something about language. I had a problem, pronunciation became a bit of a problem because the pidgin had overshadowed my other languages, but all I had to do was a little bit of training.
Apart from being an OAP, you paint, write and are into interior decoration. In which of these lies your strength?
They are all quite strong, but where my [greatest] strength lies is cooking. My cooking is amazing.
Have you plans to set up a restaurant?
Yes, in the future
What do you love most about your job?
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