Reveals why she left broadcasting

BY JOSEPHINE AGBONKHESE

Three-time Commissioner for Women Affairs in Ogun State, Doyin Ogunbiyi is the first and current Chairman of the state’s Technical and Vocational Board. In this interview, Doyin who is proudly of Egba origin talks about her broken marriage, life as a politician and her helpless dislike for fame which she says has been synonymous with her life ever since her days at the Nigerian Television Authority. Enjoy!

People assume highly-placed women like you lord over their husbands. Was this the case with your marriage?

Doyin Ogunbiyi

I don’t do such because I believe that we jointly own things. If by God’s grace I am a bit successful than him, I will not even bluff over it. My husband won’t say he left me because of that. Some women do that but I don’t see any reason a woman should do such if she has an understanding husband. My husband was very understanding when I was a commissioner, he encouraged me and he was my teacher on the job. He was very supportive and he pushed me to greener pastures.

I am sure some other factors were responsible for the break-up, which is best known to him. I don’t get swollen-headed with position or with anything I have. There is nothing I cannot let go. My husband was not working when I was a commissioner and everything I had was at his disposal because I am not materialistic. Nothing material can get into my head. I am not arrogant and if anybody perceives me otherwise, definitely that person has a problem.

So, tell us about family life presently…

My home is beautiful and I have four lovely children doing well in life. I am happy with my children and my children are my best friends. I hold my children in trust and confidence. We love God and this gives us the confidence to move on in life. I take care of my children’s needs in all ways and if you call me the breadwinner, you are very right. God has positioned me and blessed me more to be the breadwinner and I carry that responsibility by his grace. I am happy doing it especially for my children. As far as my home is concerned, my children come first because the environment we live in makes children very vulnerable to crime and vices. I therefore do not joke with nurturing of my children.

I wasn’t a public figure when my children were toddlers; I was a mere civil service worker then. They were grown up when I became a public figure. I dedicated my time for the children when they needed me most.

I sure wouldn’t have accepted such challenging appointment if my children were too young when I was appointed. I believe in total upbringing of a child. I can’t leave my children with house helps who themselves need training.

At what point did you become a politician?

I became a politician when I started serving in the civilian government, because you need to belong in order to serve freely. I became a partisan politician in 2003 when I had my first appointment.

Aside the luxury that comes with the offices you have occupied, what was the attraction?

No attractions except for wanting to show loyalty to the government I am serving. What is the attraction in politics? When you talk of fame, I became famous when I was a broadcaster. I was in NTA for 12 years. Fame means nothing to me and I don’t enjoy fame. I left broadcasting for Public Relations because I don’t like fame; because I am a very private person but very dynamic as far as my career is involved. I am very noticeable on my job but I am a different person when I get into my home. I am a firebrand.

But is there truly any broadcaster that doesn’t like fame?

I didn’t enter broadcasting because of fame; I entered because I was destined to become a broadcaster. I started back at home, a bit after my secondary education; because I didn’t want to follow the family tradition of becoming an educationist. My aunty, the first female announcer on Television in Africa, Anike Agbaje-Willams, discovered me from the way I speak. She invited me for an audition and that was how I started. I would have been an architect or something very masculine because I grew up with boys. I was committed to the work and I didn’t even see the fame. We enjoyed the job then because of the family spirit that operated in the broadcasting house and nobody cared about the fame in those days. I had a very humble upbringing and we don’t like noise in my family.

What was growing up like?

I had memorable experiences while growing up. I was in a convent planning to become a nun before I went to higher institution. It was a very angelic, saintly and naïve background. I couldn’t talk to a man then.

Women in politics often complain of sexual harassment…

I don’t carry myself loosely so it is impossible for you to harass me sexually. I have been in politics for years and I can boldly tell you that I stand out among women. I am of a value and I know my worth. I am not too lousy with men in other not to send wrong signal to them. I don’t even open my door for anybody to come in. Women should not allow men to mess them around.

So, do you also go for late nights meetings?

I do go for late night meetings because I am free and that doesn’t mean that I am loose. I won’t go for such meetings if my children were toddlers. I do whatever I want to do as long as I am happy doing it.

 

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.