There comes a time when silence is betrayal – Martin Luther King
These words of Martin Luther King were the opening lines of one of our LR editors during the e-meeting to consider collaborating with this guest feature.
If you do not speak up, you will die unheard – Old African Proverb
Were the words that followed by another of our esteemed editor. Both quotes have a central theme and we listened as these editors in different continents each gave us a “not needed lecture” on why we should feature the persona in consideration. They were preaching to six other converts.
At the end of the e-meeting, the definition of the personality we collectively arrived at was “one who has refused to betray her generation. A person who was determined to be heard – she has been speaking and is still speaking to enable the world effect the change she wants to see.”
With a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism and a Masters Degree in Broadcast Journalism both from the United States, this lady sure found her niche with her own style of satirical journalism. Not being physically on the African continent has not stopped her from beaming the searchlight of change on sociocultural and economic issues that affect the lives of those on the mother continent.
Adeola Fayehun is a Pan-Africanist at heart and a citizen of the world indeed. She is “keeping it motivationally real” on the motivational space by giving us a glimpse of what makes her tick and what makes her dedicated to lending her voice to the wind of change in her own unique way.
Tell us how you managed to conceive and actualise your vision of becoming a media icon: the monologue talk show “keeping it real”, how did it all start? Your style of journalism is unique – what was the attraction?
First of all, thank you for having me! I actually do not see myself as an ICON. I am just a voice that echoes what a lot of people have been saying for years. When I moved to the United States, I was surprised by how well the system works. Especially the availability of basic amenities – constant electricity, running water and good roads. I felt like I had been cheated all my life by those embezzling money meant for providing us basic amenities in Nigeria.
Needless to say, I am not the only one that feels like this, hence the conception of the show. I wanted to give people who have given up on the bad news all around us a reason to watch me. I did not just want to read the news, that is why I add my opinion and put in some humour. Hopefully, people can laugh as they learn something ‘news’.
You have over the years, managed to use your platform to educate people and generate commendable positive intercultural dialogue across communities all over the world, what challenges have you encountered? How do you surmount them?
There were people that encouraged me when I started, and I greatly appreciate them. I am very grateful to all my viewers for their support over the years. Many have embraced me like we are family, and I do not take it for granted. If people are not watching, there would not be a show. So thanks to all of you!
However, it was not all rosy. Some people were not used to a woman talking about politics, and they made it their duty to try to shut me up when I started. There were some sending me emails that I should find a “real” job because a woman knows nothing about politics. I was called all kinds of names. I found out some African men call a woman a prostitute when they know she is telling the truth and they cannot counter her argument. Very funny eh! I have gotten several threats, but I kept going. Today, people are more open. It is almost 7 years since I started, and the dynamics have since changed. I do get a lot of love and encouragement these days, and I do not take it for granted. However, I am not carried away by that either. The opinion of people change depending on the story. If they do not like a story, they stop liking you. If they like a story, they like you. So I have learned to just be true to myself.
Also, I did not know how much work it would be when I started; which is a good thing. I might have been scared if I knew how much work it would require. All I can say is that it has been real!
How do you juggle all you do with managing a family? Give us some work-life balancing tips.
I am grateful to be married to a man that believes in me and wants me to succeed. He knows if I succeed we both succeed. I know if he succeeds, we both succeed. We are a team; there is no competition. God has really helped us. When you have a spouse who is not only understanding but is also very supportive, juggling becomes easy. In the last 7 years that I started, there is no script that he did not read and edit, also there is no episode that he did not watch before I uploaded on YouTube. Several times when I was really discouraged and had thoughts of quitting, he was the one that told me “You can not stop. God is taking you somewhere with this show and you have to keep going.” God knew what I would do in life when he gave me my amazing husband.
Leave us some words of encouragement and motivation for those young ones out there, who wish to start things even bigger than the ‘Keeping it real’ concept.
If you can see it, you can be it. Furthermore, do not wait for everything to be perfect. It is better to try and fail than to not venture out at all. The pain of regret is more than the pain of failure. Do not spend your life wondering what could have been and regretting not trying. Try and do not give up.
Also, if something irritates you a lot, maybe you are supposed to do something about it. That is how my show came to be. I was irritated by how our politicians were behaving.
Lastly, I strongly believe whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well. If you will do something, give it your best.
Any parting word is welcome.
Do not let the opinions of others shape your life. People’s opinions can change at any time, so always be true to yourself.
Finally, I say a big thank you to Team LR for featuring me and doing all they do!
It is obvious that this Lady understands her God-given talents and how best to make them into the tool kit for societal change. She has interviewed Presidents, captains of industries, religious leaders, notable personalities and achievers from varied spheres of life. She has an impressive roll call of honour that can only get longer looking at the trajectory of her and her team.
Leave us a comment on what you think about this change agent who has come to give practical meaning to this quote attributed to Napoléon Bonaparte: “The world suffers a lot not because of the violence of bad people but because of the silence of good people.”
Let us all remember that “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself” Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
We say well done to Team Keeping It Real!