Adeola Fayehun is the courageous reporter who interviewed President Goodluck Jonathan on the streetsof New York last year. She stood her ground when aides of the president wanted to stop her from speaking with the president. She is a witty presenter who presents news in a humourous way on the online TV channel, Sahara TV. Her satirical show, Keeping It Real with Adeola, has become a must-watch for many viewers from various parts of the world.
The first time I saw Keeping It Real, I fell in love with Adeola and the show because she offers her viewers a style of news presentation that is refreshing. Her style is witty, dramatic and sarcastic. I see Adeola as a social commentator and critic who brings a blast of fresh air to the social commentating scene in Nigeria. On her show, she presents news, especially about Nigeria, and pokes fun at some of the actors in the news. In fact, most times, she pokes fun at Nigeria’s (and Africa’s) political leaders, especially over wrong government decisions or brazen corrupt practices perpetrated by political leaders, their accomplices and hangers-on. This is why I call her the ‘bad girl’ of Nigerian TV.
Almost all Nigerian political leaders have become the butt of her satire at one point or the other. And many other African leaders have also borne the brunt of her jokes. Some recent examples are Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Paul Biya of Cameroon and Jacob Zuma of South Africa. At the risk of sounding overly categorical, I think Adeola is the strongest television – though Internet TV – critic of mis-governance, maladministration and corruption in Nigeria just like Japheth Omojuwa is the strongest critic on the social media.
Beyond its satirical nature, Keeping It Real with Adeola, is very informative, keeping viewers abreast of major socio-political happenings in Nigeria and other notable events around the world. The weekly programme presents a round-up of events usually bothering on the welfare of Nigerians and masses in other countries, especially African countries, who are not finding life easy in their country. I must also add that Keeping It Real is not about sarcasm, poking fun and satire. Outstanding personalities and inspiring events are also aired on the show. Tributes are paid to deserving individuals and important dates or ceremonies are celebrated on the show.
There is no doubt that Adeola is becoming influential by the day in Nigeria due to the number of people who watch her show. She is gradually becoming one of the most influential women in Nigeria. The truth is she is doing a great job. I keep discovering that there is hardly anyone who sees her programme who does not immediately fall in love with her, except for the corrupt people who are the objects of her fun. But there is no doubt that she offers constructive criticism on her show. She is really doing a wonderful job of monitoring events in Nigeria though she lives in New York.
The fan base and followership of this enfant terrible is growing by the day. Adeola, who graduated in 2007 from Olivet College with a BA in Mass Communication and had her Master’s in Broadcast Journalism from the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, has over 2000 followers on twitter and it is noteworthy that the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President of Nigeria, Reuben Abati, also follows her on twitter. This means Adeola’s messages are getting to the seat of power in Nigeria (I hope Abati won’t decide to unfollow her if he gets to read this post).
The ‘bad girl’ of Nigerian TV, who says African leaders need to care for their people and serve them instead of enriching themselves, started Keeping It Real with Adeola, as a departure from the monotonous way of presenting news. Her motivation was to present news in an entertaining way and this move has paid off today. She has presented over a hundred episodes and you can download them on the Internet.
A very important lesson to learn from Adeola’s story is that people usually appreciate innovation, and also what will make them laugh. We can always find around us something that we can do differently that will be welcome by others. One clue to knowing when it is right to innovate: if you find it boring and cumbersome, there is a high possibility others also find it so. Why not do something about it, then?
Let me end this post by saying, "Adeola, I appreciate what you are doing. Keep up the good work. Peace out."