Adora Oleh, popular Nigeria-born but England-based international TV presenter, is one showbiz personality anyone would want to have a chat with, considering her aura, voice, finesse and intelligence. The young TV diva is back home to inject her international expertise to improve Nigerian entertainment industry. She spoke with Adunola Fasuyi on her personality, career, TV show, among sundry issues.
Tell us about yourself?
I was born and raised in Surrey, England. My parents are Nigerians. My father was a civil engineer and my mother is a lawyer and policy analyst. I’m the eldest of three children, I studied Law at the university, hold a postgraduate diploma in Media Law and Journalism and a diploma in PR and Marketing. I’ve worked as a Broadcast journalist and TV presenter for six years now.
What motivated your journey into showbiz?
As far back as I can remember, I have always been interested in the media and entertainment industry. It was at school that I discovered my love for performing and presenting. Anytime I had finished a play in school then, I would get such a good feeling and be happy, and it was that feeling that motivated me to pursue this as a career.
You recently launched the Adora Oleh Show, can you give an insight into it?
The Adora Oleh Show is a one-hour entertainment show that consists of a celebrity interview, music and fashion review and an interview with a young entrepreneur. It has something for everyone. Currently, the show is being aired on Soundcity on the DSTV platform and it will soon start on Silverbird. It’s an exciting show that is created to inspire and motivate the next generation while actually documenting Africa ’s success stories for global admiration. Africans and, indeed, Nigerians are highly talented, we only need to showcase our expertise to the entire world and this is part of what the show tends to explore.
What is your assessment of the Nigerian show business?
The Nigerian entertainment industry is one of the world’s fastest growing entertainment industry with so many opportunities springing up from our new artistes. I’m so happy to see such rapid growth within this area. A lot of the big music and movie stars are famous outside Nigeria, which is wonderful and proves that Nigerian show business can only get stronger. However, the Nigerian government can collaborate with the industry to ensure more improved growth of the sector.
Do you feel fulfilled to have hosted high-profile events in Europe and interviewed very important personalities?
I have enjoyed every minute, in fact, every second of every amazing opportunity that has come my way. It is a blessing to be able to do what you enjoy and I don’t take that for granted at all. In life, no one is owed anything, you only get out what you put in. I have flair for it and I put in my best, besides I have a very lovely voice and this has really paved way for me. See, God has deposited diverse talents and gifts in different people, it is left for you to make maximum use of them. I have used mine well and it has opened doors for me.
What inspires Adora babe?
Humm, let me think… Pro-activeness ....... Expansion.....Creativity and creation…., good stuffs generally.
What makes you happy or sad?
I like to think of myself as a happy- go- lucky kind of person. My mother has always said that “it’s nice to be nice to people” and I agree with that. In other words, people with a good positive outlook and good energy make me happy and I detest people that are inverse. I make myself happy at all times, besides, it’s good for one’s health.
How has your background affected the person you are today?
I think that I have been very fortunate to have grown up within a family of goal getters. My parents taught me that nothing is beyond you; reach for the stars and whatever you put in, you will always get out. You need to be in it to win it! I’m so very grateful for that support as it gave me the confidence I needed to pursue a career in this industry.
Your fond memories while growing up?
Whao, I feel lucky to say that there were a lot of fond memories, but one that sticks out would be the parties we used to have at home, during Christmas or at birthday parties when I was young. All my cousins would attend; we would make up dance routines, make our costumes, practise them and dance for our parents all night long! It was really fun and I enjoyed it.
Also, singing for the Queen at Buckingham Palace was definitely an unforgettable one. I was only seven at the time, but I remember enjoying every minute of that day. I can never forget it. Now that I really understand the status of the Queen, I remember that day and feel enthusiastic.
What is your favourite asset?
Hmmn! Not really sure, I think your best asset can change depending on what you are aiming for. For example, if one is applying for a job within a highly complex specialised area, then your best asset at that time would be the brain, I guess, but I think for me, it would have to be my voice. Yeah, my voice!
How have you leveraged on the popularity afforded you by hosting the MTN Project Fame in Nigeria ?
Whaoo!, well, to be honest, Project Fame could not have come at a better time for me! When I auditioned for Project Fame, last year April, I was actually only in Nigeria to promote The Adora Oleh Show coming to Nigerian television. Since doing that show, it has helped create a lot of awareness for the Adora Oleh Show which I’m really glad and grateful about. So the MTN Project Fame was a laudable leverage for me and my show.
What do you think is lacking in distribution and sales of films in Nollywood and entertainment industry in Nigeria?
That’s an interesting question. I think it is important to remember that Nollywood is the third largest film industry in the world after America and India. So, we must be doing something right! The popularity I feel stems from the fact that the films are different from films coming from Hollywood and other conventional film industries around the world and concentrate on different themes. But any film maker, whether they are coming out from Nollywood or Hollywood will always need to inject new and fresh ideas in order for that film to be successful and keep the audience wanting more. I think this is the challenge for our film industry, be more creative and dynamic, both in creation, marketing and distribution.
Have you considered bringing your experience and international exposure to bear on the Nigerian entertainment industry, particularly the distribution and sales of works of arts?
The work that I’m doing now within the Nigerian entertainment industry is the best way through which I can use my experience and exposure. I am passionate about television and television production and, therefore, will always strive to produce shows that encourage and motivate people. I mean doing it the very right way that meets international standards.
Do you see yourself playing a role in Nollywood?
I like to think of myself as a professional TV presenter as opposed to a professional actress. But who knows? If God says, who am I to say no, but it must be a real professional script that meets world class standard.
Are you still in the employ of Paramount Pictures and Universal studio and how rewarding is it?
You mean you want me to tell you how much I was earning while at Paramount and Universal? Funny question. (Laughs!)
You have interviewed first class personalities like 50 Cent, Tuface, Kelly Rowland, John Legend, etc. Who do you find most interesting and have you thought of dating any of them?
I’ve been fortunate to have interviewed a lot of opinionated and exciting people and this is part of the reason I love my job. To be allowed to extract information from someone is a privilege I don’t take for granted. As for wishing a date with any of them, I’m far too professional for any of that. When it comes to my job, I’m highly professional and ethical. If anything, I’d keep them as friends.
What is the most challenging moment of your life?
I can’t really single out one particular challenging moment. For me, I knew that I wanted to work for myself and produce my own TV show under my own production company, so, because of that, there were definite challenges along the way at every stage, but they are necessary to keep you humble so you can value the good times and keep you appreciating what you’ve got. There were challenges, but they made me stronger and wiser.
During the project fame, you and Joseph, your co-host, looked really good as couple. If he asks your hand in marriage, what would you say?
Thank you, all praise should go to the Project Fame casting crew. Joseph would never ask for my hand in marriage because we are just good friends.