Lagos Television’s Adetola Kayode Shares Her Inspiring Journey in the World of Broadcast-Journalism

For more than 15 years, Adetola Kayode has trained and worked in the broadcasting world as a writer, reporter, news anchor and presenter. Presently, she plies her trade with Lagos Television, LTV, the first state-owned Television station in Nigeria.

During that time, her work has made a tremendous impact by beaming spotlight on human conditions, thoughts and insightful coverage of the lives of the disadvantaged people across Nigeria.

With her sharp, witty take on the most pressing social issues, she “gives a voice to the voiceless” by engaging authorities at state and national levels.

Outside of broadcasting, she has also been a constant pillar of support to several charities, non-governmental organizations and publications. As an adviser to some of these NGOs, she provides guidance and unpaid communication consulting towards the wellbeing and education of less privileged people across the country.

 Travelling, singing and proofreading gives her joy and satisfaction

Sit back, read and enjoy her interview with Onpoint Success below

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1. What’s your full name?

I am Adetola Kayode, a broadcast-journalist, fellow of the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, USA, an alumnus of the Radio Netherlands Training Centre, Lagos State University and The Polytechnic, Ibadan.

2. Work title and company name

I currently work as a news anchor, reporter, presenter and editor at Lagos Television

3. What was growing up like?

Growing up was fun. I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon, but we weren’t poor either. I attended the best of schools that my parents could afford. Specifically, I attended Niger-Pre-Age International Home School, Baruwa-Ipaja, Lagos. Secondary school, St Helen’s Unity Secondary school, Ondo town, Ondo-state and The Polytechnic, Ibadan where I studied Mass-Communication (Broadcast Major).

4. Tell us about your family background

My father was Otunba Zacchaeus Oladele Kayode (also known as Homecharm), an entrepreneur and cabinet maker and my Mum is Chief (Mrs.) Grace Kayode a trained secretary and businesswoman. My siblings are all successful in their various fields and families.

5. How did your parents influence you?

My father was a great inspiration. However, my mom and dad both formed the needed backbone for my growth and path in life. I started acquiring professional skills and certificates even before I graduated from school. This feat, all made possible by my ever-supportive and loving parents. They sponsored all my professional courses.

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6. Tell us about a turning point in your life

Ever since I was in primary school, I knew that I wanted to become a Broadcast-Journalist. I loved watching and listening to the primetime news with my dad. The more I watched, the more intrigued I became. Also, my dad used to purchase at least five newspapers daily. After reading, he had the habit of passing it down to us one after another.

A turning point and what I would tag a “no-going back” scenario for me was when social-activist, journalist and television producer, Ken Saro-Wiwa and seven others were unjustly killed over fighting for their rights on Ogoni-land. It was as though my heart was ripped apart. I remember that I felt so much pain to the point that I put pen to paper to write a dirge in his honour – my action for me was a pointer that journalism was a direction in which I needed to go.

After writing, there was confusion back then in my secondary school. The confusion was centered around whether my piece should or should not be published in the school magazine because it was during the military era. Recently, I stumbled on the poem and memories from that time came flooding like a stream.

Another turning point in my life was my first day at work for my mandatory National Youth Corps Service (NYSC) at Gateway Television (GTV also known as OGTV). Prior to that time, I already had stints with Lagos Television (LTV) and Eko FM so I was familiar with the skeletal duties associated with situations where workers down their tools and only freelancers and interns are allowed to work.

So, let’s say by divine arrangements, I resumed on the day when the Nigerian Union of Journalist embarked on nationwide strike action and I met with Mr. Bayo Olayemi who was the chairman of the chapel at GTV at that time. He asked me to tell him about myself and after I did, he seemed impressed to the point of asking me to read the news scripts to him. On hearing me out, he just exclaimed, “we’ve just found a caster for the news!”

In my mind, I thought he was just joking until the news hour when I was put right on the spot. Thankfully, I have always had it at the back of my mind that when there’s an opportunity, I should never say no to what I can or cannot do. That’s how I had the opportunity to go on the air on my first day at work. Although the news was yanked off after the 3rd script, my performance already made a statement that I am up to the task. Little wonder, about two to three weeks after that, I was given an opportunity to audition and was put on the roster for the bulletins. That was the beginning of greater things to come!

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7. What informed your decision to pursue a career in Journalism? Include a detailed story of how it all started. 

Well, my quest to study Mass-Communication has never waned since my primary school days. I remember vividly when I was about to be promoted into Senior Secondary School 1, the practice was to allocate classes based on results. Based on my results, I was placed in the sciences and I insisted that the “science path” was not for me. I wanted pure arts, not even commercial!

Toward the end of my secondary school days, I began to research about the best higher education school options for me considering that I wanted to become a journalist and I found out that if I wanted the best, a Polytechnic education was my best bet. When everybody from our Senior Secondary School 2 class talked about the University they were aiming for, I was always talking about attending a Polytechnic and I was even specific about it. Today, I look back and give glory to God as everything worked out as I envisioned even with my internships, pre-NYSC and NYSC.

Although I had stints with presentations on LTV and Eko FM before my NYSC, officially, GTV was the station where my face and voice went on air on the news. As a Corps member, I did everything that members of staff were doing. That was the kind of training available at the station. I was a news anchor, read all the bulletins including the flagship on weekdays and weekends. I engineered the construction of a bus-stop which I named “The Haven”. This and many more of my activities back then earned me a State Honours Award.

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8. What were the specific challenges you encountered or still encountering?

Challenges…I try not to put them to heart because they are meant to be surmountable, make you stronger and tick for the journey. Challenges are part of the story because they make the story more interesting and filled with lessons.

9. How did you get your current job?

After my service year, a friend introduced me to a top person who was supposed to help me secure a job where I served. Surprisingly, the meeting led to another scheduled meeting at the Broadcasting premises in Lagos. This spiraled into more introductions that led to an audition at the Lagos Television Office and that was it! Here I am, 14 years down the line, going and growing through the ranks at Lagos Television.

10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I pray I would have inspired a whole lot of young people and keep inspiring them. I wouldn’t mind serving my country in another capacity, too. I am hands-on and an executioner!

11. What advice do you have for people seeking a career in media/journalism?

Focus, determination, innovation and creativity are some attributes they should work on constantly. They should seek out mentors early and indeed with other professions, too. Parents also have a duty to help direct the paths of their children once they show passion towards a hobby or profession.

12. What current projects are you working on?

I have a program I am working on, Impressions, aimed at showcasing people who have done well in their different professions, who have made an impression/impact in their chosen fields, so they can encourage upcoming and others in the same field, so they can also make it and be successful. It is an act of mentoring project.

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13. How can readers reach or connect you? Include your website (if you have one), social media links, etc. 

I am on Facebook as Adetola Kayode. You can also connect with me via my Facebook Fanpage, Twitter and my website.

15. What else would you like to say?

Well, my mantra has always been the first house on a street is not necessarily the best or most beautiful. I translate that to mean, the fact that someone got there first, doesn’t make them the best. You can be your best at the appointed time if you are always moving!

Thank you for reading! Do you have a question for Ms. Kayode? Ask your questions in the comment box below and remember to share this post with a friend.

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