By Olaolu Olusina
It’s going to be a parade of stars on EbonyLife TV as Love Lounge, an innovative programme considered as a breakthrough in the treatment of the subject of love, sex and relationships, makes a debut.
Featuring the best pan-African love, sex and relationships experts such as Jerome Yaovi Onipede, Lilian Ekanem, Dr Bassey Edet, Ariyike Akinbobola (of Bella Naija), Kunle Soriyan, Lanre “Coach” Olusola, South Africa’s renowned sexologist, DR. EVE and “Emotional Freedom Technique” expert Ray Perkel, just to name only a few, the new programme, which is shot in a radio station, is to be hosted by the popular Nigerian on-air personality, Oreka Godis, who, incidentally, was signed up for the show on Valentine’s day.
Already being positioned as a programme designed to help “nurture the relationship you have into the relationship you want”, Love Lounge is a fun, cheeky and informative 60-minute talk show that employs the convergence media formats of radio and television as it is broadcast on ELTV and multicast on Beat FM 99.9.
Love Lounge, according to a statement from EbonyLife, will stimulate maximum listener/viewer participation and would see the show’s presenter, Godis, navigate her way through the woes of love with expert advice, taking questions from listeners and some celebrities by way of calls, Blackberry Messages, SMS, email, letters, interactions online, blogs, Skype and podcasts in what has been described as a convergence model on steroids.
“Love Lounge is set to approach the issues of love, sex and relationships in a professional, mature and creative way. It is designed as a platform where people can unravel the mysteries of love and provide answers to sensitive questions that people have but are probably too afraid, shy or careful to ask. The issues include “how to cope with being dumped”, “women who beat their husbands”, “partners who have addictions”, “sex tips”, “homosexuality in Africa”, and so much more.
“Love Lounge adopts a radio format and is shot with very dramatic and intimate lighting to create a personal, cosy and secretive space, with a late night talk appeal, where people can feel comfortable to discuss issues around love, sex and relationships. The ambience enables anonymity and privacy – specifically beneficial in a continent where topics of this nature can be taboo,” the statement said.
And the associate director , Programmes, Magazine & Talk – EbonyLife TV, Sandra Amadio, who is also the executive producer of Love Lounge, is already feeling excited about the new programme. “What excites me about this show, apart from the subject matter, is the unique approach in engaging our audience and content through our convergence media model. It’s a show that shakes up traditional television formats and that arouses people’s perceptions on subjects that would otherwise be considered taboo in an African landscape. If I can get the chance to be purposeful in my work and trigger a fresh way of thinking - then it’s a job well done in my books,”she said.
Also speaking about the programme, the presenter, Godis, said: “We live in a time where Stepford wives are best friends with Anastasia Steele, where geneticists are discovering everyday that being male or female is infinitely more complicated than sporting XX or XY chromosomes, the law that governs who can be loved and how much is evolving. We live in a time where EbonyLife TV is giving you the Love Lounge – look at all the ways love, sex and understanding exists in present day Africa.”
Already enjoying some previews, there is a unanimous view that one of the ground-breaking aspects of the programme is the part where the public gets a chance to submit questions and interact with one another on matters of the heart in such a way that it ultimately creates a comfortable space where the relationships people have can be nurtured into the relationships they actually want.
And the producer of the talk show, Adesuwa Osawe, said: “The show is a stream of valid, inhibition-free conversations about relationship issues that everyone will find very interesting. Ultimately, while many people seek expert advice, when it comes to matters of the heart, sometimes people also just want someone to ‘listen to them.’ This is where ‘Love Lounge’ fills both gaps in the consumer market. We are really excited about it!”
This is as the chairman and CEO of EbonyLife TV , Mo Abudu, stated: “The launch of EbonyLife TV will ensure that our programming touches on all the key passion drivers of our target demographic, issues of the heart, love and relationships being one of those passion drivers.”
According to Abudu, “In a very responsible and enlightening way, we deal with a number of sensitive issues, concerns and questions that are paramount to us all, but we often feel restrained by society from asking those questions or dealing with those issues. Now we are excited to announce that there is a forum and platform for discussion with our panel of experts. And we are going the extra mile by encouraging our viewers to send their questions, concerns and issues to us through a variety of platforms, SMS, Facebook, Twitter and on our website. EbonyLife TV is all about pleasing our viewers and meeting their needs in an ever changing world.”
To demonstrate just how easy it is for people to contribute to the show from anywhere in the world, Dr. Eve, said via Skype : “I like the Love Lounge vision and mission, it certainly resonates with me. I have worked in some African countries, including Nigeria, and sit on a number of international boards - sexual health, sexual rights and sexual education portfolios. I will indeed derive personal benefit and more importantly, I hope the work - sexual and reproductive health, relationships - gets attention via your show.”