Yes, this is a countdown of on-air personalities. They do countdowns of our favourite songs, so you can consider this payback time. To be fair, we won’t do it like they do, starting from the bottom up. We would not have you hold your breath, wondering whether your favourite radio presenter made it to number one. We’ll start from the very first one. Are you ready?
1. Wana Wana
: Her real name is Wana Udobang, and she is a radio presenter at 92.3 Inspiration FM. She graduated from the University College with a first class degree in Broadcast Journalism, and was a feature producer for BBC and Resonance FM (London’s only art radio station.) Why is she number one? Because of how versatile she is. Very immersed in the arts; Wana writes (on her website wanawana.net), crafts poems, supports causes, is obsessed with doing audio documentaries…and she is hilarious. She is internationally recognized.
2. Dan Foster
: Probably the highest paid on-air personality in Lagos, Foster, who was raised partly in Washington by his widowed father, and later in Baltimore by his grandmother, moved to Nigeria in 2000 and almost instantly became the darling of radio listeners. In less than five years, he warmed his way into the hearts of millions in Lagos, making his platform – Cool FM 96.9 – a hit with fans and critics. Why do we love Dan? We’re not sure. We can’t choose between his biting wit, his spontaneity, and his piercing humour. Before leaving Cool FM for Inspiration FM, his breakfast show, Good Morning Nigeria, was the most favoured of all the rest.
: This fine boy is just blessed. I mean, he’s a producer, an actor, a presenter, philanthropist and master of ceremony. Kinda brings Iron Man to mind; in the scene in the movie, Avengers, when Captain America asks him what he is aside from being Iron Man, and he replies “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.” Steve Onu, a Theatre Arts graduate from LASU, Ojo, is an OAP for Wazobia FM, and a seven time award winning one at that, bagging trophies from the likes of City People and Mode Men Awards, for Best On Air Personality. Do you recognise him from Twilight Zone and Flatmates? His major strength however, he says, is working on the stage, and he currently has over 50 plays done in both Nigeria and the UK. Steve is also among the cast of the award winning Radio Drama by the British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) STORY STORY. He is currently on Radio as your morning on air personality on the radio station Wazobia FM.
: He has been a prominent figure in the radio and television industry, dating back to the 90s when he was a leading anchor with Dan Foster on Cool FM. His career started at the Nigerian Television Authority where he worked as an independent presenter, and now he works as a Project Manager on Beat FM. In the past he has hosted groundbreaking shows like Project Fame Africa, Sean Paul tour, Wyclef Jean tour, Star Mega Jam, Face of Africa, The St. Moritz Style Awards, Thisday Fashion Show and music event, Launch of MTV Base Africa, Nigerian Television Authority’s Charity Telethon in aid of Ikeja Cantonment bomb victims, and he has worked with blue chip firms such as Mercedes Benz, Nokia, British Airways, Moet & Chandon, Oceanic Bank, Audi, British American Tobacco, Nigeria Breweries, Hennessy, United Bank For Africa, Chicken Republic, Virgin Atlantic, Johnnie Walker, Motorola, Guinness, Starcomms, Virgin Nigeria, Gillette Razors, Coca Cola. Olisa Adibua’s good standing within the industry vast experience and diverse talents have made him a brand name recognized not only in Nigeria, but across the African continent and amongst Nigerians in the diaspora.
5. Ik (WildChild)
: This OAP with an incredible voice is unsurprisingly big in the online personality scene, as he is well-known around the continent as the host of Big Brother Africa and also as a presenter for M-Net’s Studio 53. This University of Lagos Economics graduate began his career in entertainment in 2001 with a job on Rhythm 93.7. After a brief sojourn in the world of advertising (1yr plus), Ik decided to return to his first love, that is, radio presenting in 2003, and has continued to wow fans on radio since then.
6. Chaz B
: Many of you have called on this popular OAP’s help with your various life issues, as his popularity rose with his daily evening show ‘Sharing Life Issues with Chaz B’. It’s not coincidence that he worked with Inspiration FM, because this is one radio personality that shared his hope without reservations. Highly known for his down-to-earth advice to countless callers on and off air, the public bemoaned his resignation from Inspiration FM. However, you can still catch him on Rhythm 93.7 FM
Just about the most talked-about OAP, Toolz takes broadcasting to a whole new level. Tolu Oniru, was born and almost bred in the UK- she spent a little time in Nigeria for her primary school education. Yet she claims “Naija” just as hard as the lady selling boli and epa around the corner. Before joining Beat FM, she worked with MTV London, where, although she enjoyed it, wished she could take the mic and broadcast. Her wish has come true in Nigeria, where, in such a short time, she has become one of the most popular OAPs in the country. Of course, the fact that she has such a beautiful body helps.
Manny is a seasoned presenter on the breakfast show on Cool FM. He has produced, written, and directed creative works for Coca – Cola, MTN and several banks. His creative endeavours have seen him on many platforms; he represented Nigeria in the first edition of Project Fame South Africa, for instance. Mannie is a bunch of many things- he’s worked as an actor on the hit series Tinsel on Mnet, as an MC having hosted events for MTN, Tastee Fried Chicken, various fashion shows, and even the monthly talent show “Night Out With The Arts”. Mannie is currently Head of Innovations for Wazobia and Cool FM. You can join him for his yearly show “park and ride”, a bicycle ride with fans fighting for climate change awareness every October 2nd.
This half-Transylvanian, half-Nigerian broadcaster has been an on-air personality at Cool FM for over 16 years now. Why? Because he loves it. In his own words, “It’s not a job anymore, it’s a way of life. Put a microphone in front of me and i’ll start talking. Broadcasting is what I do.” He started off with a brief three month stint with Radio Galaxia, Romania while on holiday there in 1996. Later that same year when he returned to Nigeria, he auditioned for and got a job with BCOS Ibadan where he worked for 5years. Freeze joined the Cool FM family in 2001 as a broadcaster and production officer. Currently he is the host of the Road Show, Cool FM’s evening Drive Show from 4pm to 9pm.
Fowler babe to the last, Dami Elebe does Midday Shows on Saturdays and Gospel Shows on Sunday Morning, on Beat 99.9 FM. She is usually accompanied by a co-host, which is good, because on her own she sounds a little nervous. However, she is very realistic and down-to-earth. Her opinions are always seasoned with common sense, and you can’t help but nod your head even though you feel the pinch. According to a review in Thisday Newspaper, Dami rocks her Saturday shows. She was also featured in Linda Ikeji’s blog, as a “Beauty of the Day.” Always smiling, Dami’s background consists of an Advertising, Art and Bible degree, and her hobbies include painting, drawing, sculpting and writing. She lives an artistic life inspired by music.
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This article was first published on 27th April 2013