MKO has a wavy feminine voice laced with a husky crescendo that makes it quite impossible to ignore, and Radio Nigeria has utilised this to a great advantage in attracting and keeping her teeming audience all around the country. Her exploits on radio are a commentary on intelligence!
She says her venture into broadcasting was not an accident. Back in the years when she was a toddler the small box that talked fascinated her.
For those who have the flair, broadcasting is an everlasting profession. Her focus had always been radio broadcasting. All entreaties to switch over to TV where her beauty and youthful sparkle would be an advantage were turned down. She opined that there was an enduring ecstatic feeling in radio broadcasting that one cannot get elsewhere. For her it is Radio for life!
Maryam Kehinde Okesanjo was born to the princely family of Chief I .A .Okesanjo. Her mother died early and so a formidable bond grew between child and grandmother.
The strict father and siblings always pointed to books, books and more books and virtually turned the child to a reading machine that read everything that came her way. It paid off! She now speaks flawless English. Even her teachers in primary and secondary schools in Lagos noticed this and the awards she earned in debating and literary competitions are testimonies to the fact.
Her journey into broadcasting proper began in 1995. She had a stint in NTA Abeokuta, but her joy was consummated when finally she found her way into radio. With an HND certificate in Mass Communication from Ogun state polytechnic, she did her post-graduate diploma in English Education at University of Abuja. During her teaching practice at Government Gifted School Gwagwalada, the authorities quickly offered her employment for her dedication to duty and creativity.
But Maryam had her focus! She rather chose to be an artiste with Radio Nigeria Abuja with the attendant meagre stipend. It was not long and her stay in Radio Nigeria was regularised.
Her programmes were always the toast of listeners as she literarily engraved her name in their minds with her mellifluous, silky voice.
She presents Abuja Connection; a phone-in interactive that is enjoyed by virtually everyone as attested to by the number and of course, pedigree of callers. Other programmes she has handled include: Date Line Abuja, sponsored by the DFID and Career Corner-an interview programme aimed at enlightening young ones on the rudiment of various professions. One conduit through which the name Maryam Okesanjo became popular in most homes in Nigeria would be the Network News delivery, for hers is a regular voice on the network service of Radio Nigeria.
She says her inspiration flows from memories of some broadcasting heroes past; some of them she had worked with, some she longs to meet.
Any moments of regret? Miss Okesanjo says none. She knows broadcasting is a demanding job to the extent that whatever personal discomposure you may have must never seep out to the listener. Your voice conveys your mood, so you must work at projecting cheer.
On one occasion in 2006, shortly before she went on air, she received a text message that her beloved grandmother had died a while ago. The trauma and shock was quite devastating but the call of duty was paramount. She collected herself quickly and cheerfully presented. It was like nothing happened. That was the test of a broadcaster! The authorities commended her thereafter.
MKO joys in challenges. She is currently a third year student of law in University of Abuja, which she believes would enhance her professionalism in broadcasting. "It is a calling", she maintains.
For a young lady very passionate about her profession, the sky would no longer be her limit but the beginning.
Joseph Conrad, a British novelist wrote: 'A work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line.' MKO is on her way.
Last Updated (Sunday, 27 March 2011 16:04)