i’m my own role model – Evelyn Obahor, Broadcaster, Businesswoman
Evelyn Obahor is an international presenter who started her career at the then DBN television in Nigeria. In the last 30 years, the vibrant television personality has seen it all as she is a television host, scriptwriter and movie/TV producer. Her television show popularly known as JustEve is doing very well abroad and the show is a household magazine programme touching lives and ruling the airwaves in the UK, US and Canada with an array of notable international figures as guests. In this interview she reflects on what she has been working on, her life in broadcasting outside Nigeria and more.
By Bolatito Adebayo
What have you been doing lately?
I’m still into broadcasting and I have my show The JustEve Show. The show is aired in the United Kingdom, America and Canada but it began this February in the Caribbean. I’m also in the process of publishing a magazine titled Hey! Moreover, I have a fragrance brand, JustEve London.
What was broadcasting like for you in Nigeria before you left?
It was an opportunity I didn’t take for granted because it made me wiser and I am very grateful for the privilege it gave me.
I would say that my life as a broadcaster has been very interesting. It has afforded me the opportunity to meet different kinds of people from across the globe; people of all races, religion, sexuality and from different walks of life. It has also made me to see life differently. You see, it’s really not about where you come from, it’s not about your religion or your sexuality; I think it’s more about being human first than any other thing.
What inspired you to go into broadcasting?
I can’t really say what exactly inspired me to go into broadcasting. However, from the onset, I knew I was going to be in
entertainment but what part I didn’t know.
Do you have role models or mentors?
For now, I am my own role model. It may sound arrogant but each time I look into the mirror, I see a better person than I was yesterday. Of course it’s not an easy thing; it’s a personal thing that I strive to do. I guess everyone is different. However, as for having mentors, I wonder what that really means. Back in the day in Nigeria, Soni Irabor and Bisi Olatilo used to encourage me a lot especially when I wanted to throw in the towel and I am grateful to them.
When I was in secondary school, Chika Okpala of the Giringory fame saw me direct a play I had written and acted in.
He pulled my ear and said he doesn’t want to hear that I did anything else in my career when it comes to making choices. So, maybe I would call them my mentors, people who motivated me to be where I am today. But above all, there is nobody I’ve seen that I wanted to be like. I’ve always wanted to be me. I remain me till this day. Don’t get me wrong. I admire the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Tyra Banks but I don’t want to be like anybody. I work better just being me.
What are some of your achievements over the years?
For me, being able to put smiles on faces and inspire people with what I do is important. For instance, I love it when people walk up to me and say “I watched your show and I was Inspired and because I saw that or because Evelyn said that, I was able to do this” that would be my greatest achievement.
But apart from that, I created a reality show and I was in search of a television presenter of African descent here in the U.K. We held auditions and sent people into a house where we drilled them in different areas of TV presenting till a winner emerged. It was a very interesting process and seeing all contestants both winners and evictees doing so well for me was an achievement. Also seeing my show being aired in major countries is an achievement. It can only be God, I am so humbled.
What are the memorable moments in your life especially in your career?
Wow, for me, every moment is memorable. I am in my happiest mood when I am in front of the camera. But elsewh