Funke Treasure Durodola can be described as a network newscaster, programme anchor, breakfast show host, news and programme producer. She is the kind of woman you can also describe as ambitious in a subtle way. Presently, she is at the University of Rhodes in Grahamstown, South Africa for a masters programme. This consummate broadcaster and producer with Nigeria’s public service radio network told Azuka Ogujiuba about her journey back to school and the memoirs she authored
Why did it take you so long to do your masters?
As you know, the talent industry is exciting and competitive. Let’s just say I caught the broadcasting bug for a long while. Marriage came along at a time I considered myself ready for a second degree, so I thought I should work on my marriage a bit. I had my first degree 16 years ago.
â€¨As a trainer with ample experience with Nigerian universities through the MMI, how would you compare the South African system with Nigeria’s, especially in media and communication training?
The two leading universities in Africa for media education presently are University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and Rhodes University in Grahamstown.
You have just written a memoir that targets teenagers, what are the thoughts behind the book?
‘Memories of Grandma’ is rich in cultural symbolism. It’s a creative documentation of my childhood and how my interactions with my grandparents and maternal grandma, especially shaped me and resulted in the storyteller that I became.
Your research work is related to radio broadcasting in Nigeria. Tell us about it?
Yes my research work in Rhodes University is about radio broadcasting. I have worked in the industry for 16 years so it’s not unexpected. I am presently looking at the exclusion of Nigerian Pidgin in the politics of language in Nigeria as a multilingual society
As a young woman growing up, what where you aspiring to be before you stumbled into writing?
I didn’t stumble into writing, it’s always been there. I was the library prefect in primary school, surrounded by books. I got my first award from a state-wide essay competition in Ogun State, when I was in form four in Secondary school. I used to write out points at debating events for my classmates who represented my school back in Our Lady of Apostles Secondary School in Ijebu Ode. I have also been a columnist for two leading Nigerian newspapers in the past. I am just returning to my first love now.
Are you a fashionista?
I consider myself moderately so.
What is your most memorable fashion moment?
On Mo Abudu’s show, dressing up for the camera. Combining work with so much fashion was quite different from my simple radio world.
Which celebrity will you like to interview on your radio programme?
Maya Angelou so she can perform two of her poems the ‘Phenomenal Woman’ and ‘I Rise’ live. And then a few questions from her memoirs.
Who in the world will you like to dine and wine with?
Tyler Perry. I dig him. He is excellent as an actor. I love his productions too. Madea makes me laugh so, the ease with which he criss-crosses from serious to hilarious and the depth of his stories. He has such an amazing grasp of relationship issues and a loyal followership on social media. Most importantly, he rose from humble beginnings and prayed his way to the top too.
Which star in the world would you like to flip through their phone?
Flip through someone’s phone? Looking for what? I don’t do that. Phones are private.
Which celebrity in the world do you think has a near complete perfect life style?
My husband. Haha! Yeah. I dig his style.
Which celebrity in the world do you think has the sexiest body?
Seriously, Tyler Perry does it for me.
Which designer in the world do you think his or her designs can stand the test of all fashion time?
Gucci. I mean I have experimented here and there—Estee Lauder, Dior, amongst others, but the Gucci range is really cool.
What outfit can you not be caught dead in?
I don’t know, will think about it.
If a fashion police searches your wardrobe, would you be arrested for any fashion blunders?
Possessing copper jewelry maybe. It was the in thing once before in jewelries though
Who is Funke-Treasure Durodola?
I am intense, loyal and quite playful too. My family and friends can tell you more.
How old are you?
I am in my 40s. As you know, a lady doesn’t tell exactly her age.
Tell us about your background?
I grew up partly in the army barracks, with its multi-ethnic nature. It made me understand the complexity of Nigeria at a young age. I grew up in the midst of that diversity as a detribalised Nigerian.
If you are to go on an island for an exotic weekend, what are the five things you will take along?
My Bible, my moisturisers, a book, a magazine and my BlackBerry playbook.
What is the most memorable Valentine gift you have ever received from your husband?
The 2008 Tiida Sedan, just three months old in circulation in Nigeria then. He felt so proud to call me sometime later that year, I was away in France then to inform me that it won 2008 car of the year. That was a thrill. It’s even more memorable because I knew he stretched himself to get it (laughs).
How did you fall in love with your husband, was it love at first sight?
No, it wasn’t love at first sight. He was in my circle of friends on the job in a distant way. He used to call in to my programme, ‘How’s your day been?’ then from his radio station in Ondo State. There were considerations, but essentially, he was persistent and sincere.
What does your husband do for a living?
He was an outstanding radio and TV on- air personality in Ondo State before leaving mainstream media. He presently works in the diplomatic world as an audio-visual and PR specialist. He was once a model too.
What does the word ‘love’ mean to you?
Love without commitment is empty. Love should move you into positive action. It is everything the bible says it is in Corinthians. Love does not dishonour others. You don’t beat your wife and claim you love her.
What are your most expensive fashion accessories?
What is your fashion fetish?
Bags and rings.
What do you crave about all the time?
Laughs. I have been experimenting with food, couscous and vegetable, but yeah garri Ijebu is still number one for me.
Why do you think women lie about their age?
Because folks use it as a weapon to contain and belittle one’s achievements. No matter what you’ve done for yourself, you either hear, ‘she’s so young’ or ‘she’s so old’ or comments like, ‘I am not your age mate o’ at every opportunity to say so. It can be wearying quite frankly. I don’t lie about it, my friends and close colleagues know my age by the way.
Which is the most favourite part of your body?
My lips, and perhaps my moderately fanciful behind (laughs).
What are your beauty products?
I use more of Clarins and a couple of Mary Kay products
What is your present Blackberry ringtone?
Right now it’s my husband’s favourite record: ‘Beautiful Onyinye’ by P-Square. He tried to sing it to me when I was home, especially the rap part, it was so hilarious. So I honoured him by making it my ringtone.
Apart from your job, what else do you like to indulge in?
Non-violent movies at the cinema or at home and soaking in the word of God.
If you were Mr President, what will be the first law you will implement?
A law that gives discounts and privileges to the elderly in all spheres in the nation.