Bolanle Olukanni: Ebonylife was My First TV Job with an Amazing Opportunity 

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Bolanle Olukanni is a TV presenter popularly known for hosting ‘Moments with Mo’ on DStv and Project Fame West Africa. She recently ventured into a new project called, God’s wives. The beautiful socialite talks about growing up, her career, new projects and more with Tosin Clegg

I grew up in an amazing family

M

y parents have always been very supportive. I have two sisters whom I am very close to as well. My father was a diplomat. So we lived in different countries growing up. 

How the journey into media started 

I have been interested in media as far back as when I was 16 years old. I did an internship at a Kenyan radio station and really fell in love with the power of the radio. I appreciated the expression of personality and identity that the radio presenters had. Even more so, the idea of telling stories and being a voice for causes that I am passionate about really drew me in. 

Moments with Mo was where everything started 

It’s an amazing talk show that celebrates ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I have been so inspired by many of our guests on the show and the ways in which they have done inspiring things and added value to other people’s lives. Ebonylife was my first TV job and it’s such an honour to be part of an iconic and amazing channel. I was given an amazing opportunity by MO Abudu to host Moments with Mo with her and I am truly grateful for it. 

 

There have been multiple turning points along the way 

Staring off my career by getting a gig like Moments with Mo was a huge feat. It was my very first presenting job and I was hosting a show alongside a seasoned TV host like Mo Abudu. Another major highlight was starting my own show ‘On the Carpet with Bolinto’ and overnight I went from being a presenter to becoming an executive producer. Another major highlight was winning the Future Award prize for ‘On- Air Personality of the Year (Visual)’. 

Inspiration for God’s Wives

During one of our interviews on Moments with Mo, we had a guest and she talked to us about the work she does with widows and I was really moved

 I had always known I needed to use my influence and platform to affect the lives of people but I didn’t know exactly how I was going to do that. For me, the widows are a group that is marginalised and often forgotten. 

 The desire to remain true to myself

This has been my major driving force. People I look up to have been the most successful because they know who they are and they share that with the world. I view my career as a journey and not a hustle or race. Therefore, I make all my decisions based on integrity and any decision I make I ask myself – in five years’ time can I look back and be proud of the person I am. 

The people I’m partnering with  

God’s Wives Foundation partners with the Self-worth Organisation to ensure that they receive the financial support they need. In March 2017, I provided funds for Self-worth Organisation to open a skills acquisition centre in Surulere. 

The centre trains women in tailoring, catering and makeup artistry skills. 

The purpose is to ensure the women have skills for empowerment and to develop a form of livelihood, as most are not unemployed. We have now graduated over 120 women from the skills acquisition programme and they have all been equipped with a business starter kit. 

We just finished our training of a batch of 40 women and we partnered with Lipton for empowering them with the business starter kits. 

We want to continue to grow our imitative

There is no social welfare system in Nigeria and it’s the responsibility of us the citizens who have influence and are privileged to do this. We also are looking to partner with legal services to provide support for widows in cases of legal disputes. 

Where I see myself in a few years 

In a few years, I hope to have a long list of documentary works that I have produced. I want to continue to use this genre to tell stories and also as a means of advocacy for the marginalised. It’s so important that we use visual and content to create awareness. 

 

I have a biblical perspective on love 

I don’t believe love is a feeling but a decision. It’s the choice to submit to another human being and love them despite their inadequacies. Love is a place where you learn to become less selfish and more selfless.