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-Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun ​is an OAP with Nigerian ​Info 99.3 where she has now spent six yearsThe delectable ​and award winning broadcaster ​in this interview with SAMUEL ABULUDE speaks on her journey in broadcasting and the profession badly requirements training.+Her passion was somewhere else before she stumbled on arts. She never dreamt of becoming an artist as her mind and brain were wired towards engineering. Artistry runs in the family: Her father ​is Raymond Dokpesi, owner of the first independent broadcasting stations in Africa - African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power. Mother, Mrs. Moji Dokpesi, a society matriarch, ​an industrialist ​with a sprawling outfit in Apapa; uncle, Keke Ogungbe, ruled and still dominates the Nigerian ​entertainment industry after three decadesDolapo Phillips’ like other new generation Nigerians pitched her tent with a terrain once not revered. From Nigeria, to the United Kingdom and faraway Japan, ​she got the best education money could affordA visit to the pool side of Eko Hotel and suites awakened that talent ​in her. Today, she has embraced her passion for the artsShe speaks with Funke Olaode
-Can You Tell Me Briefly About Oneself?+What was it like growing up in the famous Dokpesi’s family?
-My name is Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun and I am the youngest of four kids, all girls. I was born and raised partly in Ogbomosho, Oyo state. My dad is a Reverend Doctor even though my mum is a teacher. She teaches Home Economics. I grew up in the church ​and in the kitchen ​and with my three older sisters.+Growing up was normal. My dad was an engineer who was very particular about educationNaturally, that was what I grew up with believing I was going to be. He was really serious about education ​and my formative years and part of my adult life was purely schooling.
-How Was Expanding Up For You?+You mean your childhood didn’t prepare you for what you are doing now despite the fact that you were raised in ‘an entertainment circle’?
-It was entertaining. My sister that I came soon after is eight years older than me. I was the child of the family. We went on holidays together and I go to party with my sisters. The initially five years of my life, I stayed in Nigeria right after which my loved ones moved to the United States and that was exactly where I spent the rest of my life till I came back to Nigeria involving 2002 and 2003. My loved ones is really cool since it was entertaining. 
 +No. As a child I was wired to be an engineer and that was the only thing I knew. In fact, my educational trajectory was tailored towards that line. I went to Corona Primary School, then Nigerian Navy Secondary School and moved to England for my Advanced levels in Kent after which I moved to University of Birmingham where I graduated with B.Sc. in Electrical and Communications Engineering and MSc in Entrepreneurship,​ Science and Technology - Notthingham University Business School, U.K CNA International - Business Development,​ London, U.K - six months GEOS International English School Suzuka, Japan - English. - two years. While studying Japanese I was teaching English. I moved back to Nigeria and joined my mum’s company to run Whao Beverages Limited, now Whao Industries limited, a manufacturing company. The company originally produced bottled water and fruit drinks and then went into the production of plastics - performs, bottles and nylon film and recycling plastic waste to produce dustbin bags. I set up Alpha Fitness Nigeria in 2012 with the main goal of making people live healthier and fitter lives as well as boosting self-esteem and confidence. After 10 years working with my mum (Mrs. Moji Dokpesi) I quit my job in 2014 to pursue my passion in performing arts.
-How Did Your Career Get Began? 
-I got my initial degree right here, I studied mass communication. Soon after attending higher college in the United States, I came back to Nigeria and I applied ​for law in a Nigerian University but I was admitted to study mass communication at Bowen University in Ogbomoso.+At what stage did you develop passion ​for the arts?
 +I discovered my hidden talent in the arts when I moved back to Nigeria after my education in England towards the end of 2004. I left all my friends in England and didn’t have any friend in Lagos and had to look for hobbies. My routine is gym, work and church. I used to go for gym at Eko Hotel and Suites and in one of my visits to the gym I just heard a fascinating Latin music. I went to the pool side area and saw some people dancing. This was 2006. Right there, I met the guy who owns the group and joined them.
-Your 1st Day On Air, how was It like? 
-It was in Nigeria Television Authority NTA Ogbomosho as an intern. I had to read the news at 7pm but was so nervous and did not even know how quite few errors I produced ​that evening (Laughter). From NTA Ogbomosho, I went to serve in Abuja with St. Crowther Radio. So it was my friend ​that told me to go for a broadcasting competitors which I wonThe day finished service was the day I began my official job at Cool Fm Abuja. I was there for handful of months immediately after which moved to ITV Abuja where worked for about a year just before moving to NN24 operating for 3 years. It was actually a mastering curve encounter ​for me. I now moved to Nigeria Information exactly where have been for six years. I started with Nigeria Information,​ the 1st speak radio. I’m six years with them in November.+It was something that started like a hobby and became a professionIn 2008, I had my first stage role in dance drama called ‘Eye of the Tiger’ performed ​at the American International School, Victoria Island, Lagos. From there, ​just started getting calls for different jobs. Obviously, because ​wasn’t ​professional dancer at that time, I was acting based on learning and all that and had to start going for dance training. I would take a leave from work during weekends to go for dance training to perfect ​my artsAnd when clocked 10 years working ​for my mum, just called her and said "​Mum, ​think it is time for me to move on’ and quit."
-How Have been You Able To Hone Your Ability?+Until recently, Nigerian parents perceive entertainment an ‘unserious’ profession. What was your parents’ reaction to your choice?
-It has been a constant journey for me. I consider the things my dad did when I was younger helped and prepared me. When he was taking me to college, we had to listen to the news. My dad also made me read the newspapers out loud to him mainly because I employed to talk extremely fast when I was younger but he would make me repeat myself until I slow down. I feel like my dad is one particular of the motives why I am performing what I am undertaking now. No matter whether he knew it or not he was preparing me. I have been blessed to have quite a few possibilities to be educated. I have trained with CNN, Aljazeera and BBC. I had a three week fellowship with CNN. 1 of the things that helped me is continual coaching. 
 +Well, they first saw it as a hobby, or I am just doing it to entertain myself. And because I was still working full-time they didn’t see it as a profession. And of course, they were happy for me that I have made new friends and had a life. But when I left my mum’s job in 2014 that was when it dawned on them that I was serious. I also spoke to my father about it. Ironically, they had attended a few shows and were quite impressed with what they saw. Since then my parents have been extremely supportive; my mother didn’t stop me because I had had proper degrees, pursued a career in corporate sectors before my new-found profession so it was very easy for me.
-Functioning With Nigeria Information,​ How Is It Like? 
-It is challenging, ​it is fantastic because no day is ever the exact same. There is usually some thing distinctive,​ there is generally an update. We joke among ourselves for the reason that there is a lot of perception from different individuals. We speak about issues that revolve around politics.+How did your husband and his parents take it?
 +Well, my father-in-law owns one of the outstanding consultancy outfits in Nigeria, Phillips Consulting. How did they take it? Funny enough, they embraced me as well. To be honest, I have not really spoken to them about it but they were quite fascinated. Again, it was like ‘Dolly has a hobby that she enjoys’ but when they see how serious I was going abroad for dance training, they were coming to watch my shows and the shows were becoming more professional,​ they got used to it. And my husband? He is an amazing guy who is supportive of me. I am so blessed. Normally, Nigerians would not look at this profession as something serious and even because you dance with other dancers (female and male) they may be a bit averse to it. But my husband, Bamidele Phillips is being extremely supportive of my new vocation.
-How Do You Cope With The Morning Programs? 
-have been doing Morning Cross Fire considering that I began with Nigeria Info. It is a premium plan running from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. every day. On the morning challenge we speak politicsentertainment,​ social ​and every thing regarding Nigeria. I just make sure every thing is excellent from ‘Rise to Wisdom’ to ’All Issues’. I have interviewed a lot of individuals. I have interviewed Alhaji Lai Mohammed. I have interviewed Dakuku Peterside. I interviewed Richard Quest when he came to Nigeria. I had an intriguing interview with Asari Dokubo to name a handful of.+How have you been able to juggle being wifemother ​and on artist?
 +Again, I will give kudos to my husband. He takes my children as a project because he knows how busy and demanding my job is. He is also busy with his work but he doesn’t play with our kids. Again, we have two fantastic nannies. God has really blessed me with those women. One has been with me since my older son was a baby and the other lady has been with me for a while. Oh! My mum too is a mother in a million and my in-laws too are wonderful. My mother-in-law is based in England and every time I need to travel she is always there to take care of my children. She would take them off me so that I can go to America, France etc. for my dance training.
-How Simple Was It Connecting To Your Fans? 
-The station does outdoors broadcasting exactly where we literally take what is taking place in the studio to the streets. We have been doing that for about two years now but I am not also active on the social media. I am not one particular of the effectively-identified faces in broadcasting and that is fine with me. Due to the fact of what the social media is like now, you can see our faces.+How rewarding ​is tyour job?
 +My life has always been tailored towards science and I didn’t know I have this artistic talent in my body. I can’t explain it because it is almost like I am in the centre of God’s will for me because the way I have grown on it is not natural. That is how I feel. It is like unseen hands (providence) pushing me. Every time bigger jobs come I would be amazed that ‘this is God in action’. I get calls from different directors. It is amazing.
-Who Are Your Role Models? 
-I have to say my quantity 1 function model is my mother and my loved ones in general. My family has normally worked pretty challenging for every thing we have gotten. Placing family members initialthe media mogulOprah Winfrey is my function model. She is a very good function model since she is an individual that has been in the media and her name and reputation speaks for her even even though she doesn’t personal a Television or radio station. 1 of my mentors is Khadijat Akanbi. She is the very 1st individual I worked with. She mentored me and I am seeking forward to mentoring young individuals coming into broadcasting.+You recently featured ​in Bolanle Austen-Peters ProductionSaroThe Musical staged ​in London ​and sponsored by the MTN FoundationWas it your first international outing?
-How Do You Cope With Your Marriage ​And Career?+I was part of the Wakaa the Musical in the same Shaw Theatre in West London last year. The experience was explosive. Nigerian entertainment industry is going global, showcasing Nigerian culture to the global audience. This is amazing considering the fact that Nigeria has always been painted in black light. Generally, when Nigeria is mentioned you see people’s reaction as if everything about us is ‘fraud and corruption.’ If the international community see the artistic side it can start to change the way they perceive us as a nation and people. That is why this stage play is very important. Yes our Nollywood movies go far but sometimes the content of our movies don’t project us in a good light. But theatre production’s story line shows improvement and the richness in our culture without doubt will project us in a good light. It is like taking a History class or taking non-Nigerians through historical lesson of Nigeria’s diverse cultures. ​And the more we do it the more it will bring and create that positive image everyone is craving for. I salute MTN Foundation for this initiative of supporting indigenous production.
-The perform is not difficult. One of the finest issues is that I married my man. My husband is extremely supportive. I thank God my husband totally supports me. My husband’s name is Rotimi Balogun and he is a Sales Trainer and Professional. We have been married for 4 years now. At times when I don’t want to do issues, he pushes me to do them and even to make get in touch with with individuals. I have under no circumstances had to doubt that he is in help of my profession. I have a wonderful nanny, she is amazing and I have a youngster that is anxiety free. My In-laws are superb too. I function from Mondays - Saturdays but I am encouraging my intern to take more than Saturdays so we can build the subsequent generation of broadcasters. 
 +Are you planning to float a company?
-What About Your Bucket List? +Not reallyBut have a pool of dancers that can always call for any performanceRight now, our hands are full because we are booked till January (2018)After the London show, we have Wakaa in Abuja and MTN still has tour of about three states in NigeriaBolanle Austen Peters Production (BAP) is unveiling another production in December ​and I am looking forward ​to thatSo far, it has been a roller-coaster discovering my passion and talent. I am inspired by MrsAusten-Peter’s story, who is a lawyer ​and a diplomatNowshe is fully involved ​in theatre productionIf had had my way I would have studied Theatre Arts but I didn’t ​even know that arts exists in meFor me, it has been a wonderful experience that pray it continues.
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-Wow! I want to travel. I want to go to Jamaica and Dubai once more. want to go Bungee jumping and horse ridingI want to meet Oprah WinfreyI want to write book. +
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-What Are Your Plans For The Future? +
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-I want to go back to television broadcasting ​and I feel the sector is increasing but there ought to be much more competitorsI do not feel there is competition in the market presently when only one channel is the finest for the previous thirteen years for Television news channel. Competitors is great for everyone. It keeps you on your toes. +
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-Your Thoughts On The Media Business? +
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-We have to develop. I attended BBC coaching not long ago and it gave far more hunger and concepts to succeedThe media market ​is attempting ​and we have come long way but there is so considerably a lot more for us to doWhen the BBC trainer was speakingI was like wow, we are very unprofessional if we look at the way we do factors ​in Nigeria, it will be classed as unprofessional in other locationsSo feel we want much more professionalism. The sector desires instruction,​ managers of broadcast stations will need to expose their staff to instruction ​but even if the providers do not do the coaching, individuals really should train themselvesIt assists the high-quality of your production. +
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-Winning the ELOY Broadcaster of The Year 2013how was it like? +
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-I was surprised when I won the broadcaster of the year simply because I was up against properly-recognized broadcasters. I feel deserved ​it.+
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