Honey Ojukwu is an On-Air-Personality based in Port-harcourt, Rivers State with Cool FM. She’s from, Umuagu Unobi in Udemili, south of Anambra State but grew up in Enugu. She began her broadcasting career in 2014 and has since worked with Hit FM Calabar, Urban Radio Enugu and right now with Cool Nigeria Info Wazobia. Meet Honey, the mystery girl set to light up the world of broadcasting – unscripted!
By Tolulope Abereoje & Ekaette Bassey
Why broadcasting and not other professions; what caught your fancy in broadcasting?
I actually wanted to study law from the onset but broadcasting has always been a family thing. When I was in school (university), I participated in debates and hosted events. I didn’t really show interest in the profession when I was in secondary school. But then I normally watched my mom go on air on Radio Nigeria while growing up , (even though she still works there). Whenever it was time to pick me up from school and I didn’t see her come, I asked my dad where she was and he would say she’s reading the news, the network news. So, I grew up in that environment knowing that my mom is a broadcaster. When it was time to read the news in primary school, they would say ‘where is that Flora Ojukwu’s daughter?’ and I would read the news. So, I was already attracted to it, it was already a part of me. I didn’t want to study mass communications because my mom did not study mass communications. When I finished secondary school and was ready to go to the university, I put in for law but didn’t get it. So, I applied to Godfrey Okoye University and I got mass communication because those were my choice courses and I decided to do it. I got into school and there was no radio station there in the school but I started like that. I joined the press corp and we would talk about what’s happening and share information.
What is the life of an OAP like; their daily routine and how they get going on the job?
The life of an OAP is crazy, beautiful and at the same time very challenging. You wake up in the morning and if your work is a daily work like mine, mid-day oasis, amazing! You have to research, you can’t go on air and just say anything, you have to do a show prep, write down what you want to talk about, read about it no matter how little you think it is and you have to prepare yourself that no matter what happens today, you’re still going to do the show like it’s your last; you are as good as your last job! So, even if you hear that someone you love so much just died, God forbid, you still have to do the job like it’s your last; you’re still going to have that excitement. It’s crazy and very challenging. You have to emotionally build yourself and be ready to conquer. It takes a lot and nobody is waiting for you and no one is irreplaceable, someone else will take your place when you mess up. You need to be on your feet every minute.
OAPs come expensive to maintain as both a wife and girlfriend. How expensive are you to maintain?
I take care of myself and it’s not easy. It’s okay but very challenging as well. I live at my level per time and I try to save. I wouldn’t say I spend all my money on myself.
You mean there is no man in the detail helping out with those gorgeous dresses and stuff that keeps you looking desirable?
Frankly, no man takes care of my clothes. Lately, no! I do that myself. The way things are now, it’s hard to wait for a man to take care of your needs. Most men, even the rich ones don’t want to take care of needs. There are other ways to ask for resources. So, for now, I take care of myself. Why do I work for all that money and can’t take care of myself? When people give you gifts, like when they come to the office and say ‘hi I want to give this to Honey’, that is cool but it’s not yet anybody’s job to take care of Honey Ojukwu. Maybe when I get married one day. If that happens, then maybe he can say I want to get you clothes and stuff. We put those things together ourselves.
What are the grittiest lessons you have learnt on the job as a very beautiful woman?
First, I have learnt that a mistake is not the end of the world because on this job, you make lots of mistakes. When you make a mistake, it’s the beginning of a new era as long as you believe in yourself and you improve on it. Mistakes are roads to improvement. Second, people will definitely hate and you are not jollof rice. Even jollof rice is hated by some people, so be ready for hatred, be ready for love at the same time and try to balance that so that it doesn’t affect your mindset so much that when you put on the mic and you start saying gibberish because you are worried about people that hate you. Third, being yourself is the best thing that could happen to you. Be real, be yourself. As a beautiful young woman, I see reasons to be fake and not being myself every day, but on the job I’ve learnt that if you are fake, with time, you will remain stagnant, you’re not going to move. It will be obvious that there is something wrong about you. I think improving, being real to self and accepting that people will love you and hate you are a few of the lessons I’ve learnt on the job.
There is a cliché that ‘no beautiful woman can stay with one man’. How has your experience been with men and how would you describe Nigerian men?
Wow! Maybe that’s why I’m not married! (Laughs). Don’t mind me. But I have met series of men, so many men that did not believe I could date only them. It’s something that most people in Nigeria, I think the typical African man believes. Because the foreigners I’ve met are quite different, it’s just that the distance is crazy and that’s why it has not worked. Most of the men here feel there’s no way Honey will have twenty five thousand followers, there’s no way thirty men will comment on Honey’s pictures, there is no way Honey Ojukwu will get over a thousand likes and Honey is going to stick with them. So, it has affected my relationships and a lot of men who have come around me. There are different men out there, just that those that have different views have other women around them. It’s a crazy world we live in but yes most men believe that there’s no way a beautiful woman will stay with one man which is wrong. I am someone that believes in commitment, if I’m with you, I’m with you. If I’m with you, we are actually together and if not, I’ll state it from the start that we are not here and it’s not working. So, it’s a lie, there are beautiful women out there who can stay with one man. I can mention a thousand names but that’s not the point. I feel that mindset has to be changed; it’s when a man is insecure most times that he feels that way. If you know that this woman is yours and she’s beautiful, she can be yours. I’m not here to educate the men, but I think it is wrong; even though some women are messed up, not every beautiful woman sleeps around or stay with different men. Some women are different.
What kind of woman are you when in love? Possessive, liberal, insecure, romantic, nagging, feisty, emotional or what?
I’m possessive, liberal and romantic. Liberal in the sense that I can tolerate you saying hi to other women but possessive in the sense that it’s going to be stated that you are mine. I wouldn’t want someone to be insecure with me, just like I won’t want someone to be possessive of me. Romantic, great! Nagging, no way! It has never worked for anybody. Maybe when I was a teenager, but now, when a man does something, there are other ways to handle him. Talking to him about it will just kill everything. Feisty? No! I’m too calm for that. I am quite emotional but I’m working on that. I guess it’s because I’m quite dramatic. No woman is perfect, nobody is perfect. So in love, you should expect things that you won’t naturally tolerate but you and your partner could work on it. I’m not the perfect woman in love; when I’m in love I give the best I can, that is one thing I’m sure of. I am too good when I’m in a relationship, I give my all but it’s so sad that sometimes it doesn’t work out like that.
What’s your take on women using nudity as a tool to promote visibility in the entertainment world and should a woman flaunt it simply because she’s got it?
I don’t think people actually come out to use their nudity to sell products but a lot of people feel that sex sells. I think beauty and being pretty is more than just the tool a woman should use to be anything in life because it fades. So, if that’s the only thing you’ve got, I feel you’ve failed because someday someone with a bigger boobs and bum is going to emerge and people are going to forget you if that’s your style. I understand that people use sexual innuendos to drive a crowd and then keep them focused on what they talk about. Like sometimes I do that; I just use some witty words, grab an audience and they stay there and then I say what I want to say. I understand that part, it’s okay. But when that is all you’ve got, the individual has failed. People should have more sense, research more and have more to offer the society than just sex, beauty and vanity.
What does being sexy mean to you and how should women express it?
Being sexy means being feminine or being that person you are. If you are a girl who is feminine, be feminine and be attractive in that light. If you are a girl who is a Tomboy, be attractive in that light if that’s what you want. Like Teni is sexy in her own light and someone like Genevieve Nnaji is sexy in her own light, it’s her style and it’s working for her. Women should express it in the way they carry themselves, in the way they speak, in the aura they carry as they walk by, as they drop posts on social media; you should just be you, express it, feel it, feel you. If people get to feel themselves more often, it will be easier to know more about them and recognize their brands.