Katherine Edoho, wife of Frank Edoho, anchor of the TV game show, Who Wants to be a Millionnaire is one of those that started the popular NTA breakfast show ‘Am Express.’ She tells ADA ONYEMA why she took a break from the show.
You started as a presenter. Was that your first love?
I read accountancy in school. I went to work in a radio corporation accounts department and then the general manager of programmes walked up to me and asked if I would like to present a programme on radio. I decided to give it a trial. Then I discovered that I loved it. I love music; it is a natural thing. So I would say that my first love was radio. Later my friends thought I should try the television. They said that I talked well. There was a casting at DBN and I went there out of curiosity. They told me to come back for the second and third parts of the interview and then, I started out at DBN TV.
Tell us about AM Express. How did it all begin?
I started as a continuity staff at NTA because at the time they were looking for continuity announcers. NTA was not recruiting and they did not have young people; they only employed a couple of young people as announcers. The then executive director programmes, Mr Peter Igho decided to put something together with the late Mr Yinka Craig and they said they needed young people to kick it off. They got five of us and then we came on board and decided to run with it and the show became a great success and we had a great time on the show. At first, it was something for fun, then it blew up and it became something we really came to enjoy and we did not know it would have great followership.
How do you feel about it today?
It‘s been okay. The recognition has been awesome; people recognise you everywhere. I have been off the show for about two years, but it is amazing how people still recoginse me. I wanted to be anonymous for a while. Children came along and I had to raise them.
In other words, you took a break in order to raise your children?
Yes. Raising three children wasn‘t a joke. Also I wanted to think about what I wanted to do. I became tired of television. I had anchored the Maltina Dance All show, which was professional to me because it was not a presentation. I learnt how to do the Salsa and Chacha Cha dance. So it was fun for me. After Maltina dance hall, I haven‘t seen something exciting come along yet. So here I am.
Do you think the AM Express breakfast show gave birth to other programmes on TV?
I would say so because at the time Am Express came on board, there wasn‘t a lot on TV to compete with and then there was happiness and fun. Everybody was young then, even the late Mr Craig and Sadiq Daba were there. But it wasn‘t so obvious. We could seamlessly come together as one and have a great time with the show. Honestly that was what happened. We just had great time on the show.
How about your colleagues, Ellen and the others?
Ellen is abroad pursuing an MBA and then decided to stay there and do some other work. Miriam is still in NTA doing her own thing, but I decided to do something different. I could present Am Express to you now. It is not challenging anymore for me. It is the same thing and same format. So it is not challenging anymore. I told myself that I wanted something more challenging. So I switched to radio. I worked with Classic and Beat FM. It is fun being anonymous and I will continue with radio for sometime because radio is fun, challenging and absolutely different from television.
You have had this low hair cut for sometime now. What is the motive behind it?
I just love it. It is convenient. My husband met me with a short hair, but don‘t get me wrong. I have done the corn roll, vague, long and short hair, and more. It‘s all fun. But for me, I‘m a hands-on person and I don‘t like things distracting me. At times I have to pack it this way, its sweating, I‘m itching and I decide to cut my hair. When I cut my hair my mum does not like it but my Dad loves it. It is easy for me; I could always shower and dip my hair in water without feeling it. It is easy and convenient and I‘m fine with it.
What does style mean to you as a person?
You must be comfortable in what you wear. I don‘t care if you wear rags; you must be able to pull it off successfully. You must be comfortable in it because if you are not, someone will know. It is either you‘ll be tucking or pulling something from your dress. What you wear must be comfortable, depending on the shape of your body and how you wear and combine it. I‘m so uneasy with fashion because I wouldn‘t want it to rule me. I‘m comfortable in jeans, shorts, dresses and shoes. If my shoes are comfortable, I can walk anywhere and go as far as I want.
How do you unwind at your leisure time?
I listen to music, lying down.
What is your best time of the day?
I think it is morning because I can achieve a lot in the mornings. I‘m so self-indulging. I love myself. If I want to work hard; I prefer to rise up in the morning and get all my business done in the morning. In the afternoon, I begin to wind down maybe schedule one or two appointments in the afternoon. I don‘t kill myself for anything.
How did you meet your husband?
I had met him before and met him again in Lagos. He is my brother‘s friend and when he visited my brother, I left the room for them. Then we were supposed to compere an event at one beauty pageant and he came late. I wondered what sort of guy he was; how he got off without an apology. I told him it was so uncool, that I didn‘t care he was late; he owed me an explanation and everything went like that. We met again at DBN when I came to work in DBN and he was working with them, too. I didn‘t recognise him, though I knew he was familiar. When he asked if I was not Philip‘s sister, I didn‘t answer him. So he left. I asked someone his name and that person said Frank Edoho. The name sounded familiar and that was it. I didn‘t remember him anymore. But as we worked together, we got to know each other better. That‘s how we became close, we dated other people, but we were friends.
And he decided to go for you?
Not really. He was dating somebody else and I was dating somebody else. Then he told me to find a ring for his girlfriend and I followed him. People were now congratulating me and I told them the ring was not meant for us, that I was doing it for his fiancee whom he wanted to propose to. Later he came to toast me. I didn‘t see it coming, seriously. Just as I wondered what he was saying, it turned out to be me.
What fashion accessory are you crazy about?
Earrings. Because of my short hair, I love long earrings. I prefer earrings to necklaces and watches and sunglasses.
Do you plan to go back to radio?
How about TV?
Something must blow me away for TV. I will do TV, but it must be major. I love TV because it is a lot easy for me.
Can you compare the two?
Radio is much fun because people are not seeing you. You choose to be anonymous and to ask someone‘s opinion about yourself because people don‘t know you. But with the TV, once it is done, it is done. If you make a mistake it is there and people see you. The TV, on the other hand, is easy because if you make a mistake you can always use other things, such as your hands and expression, to cover up. But all they hear on radio is your voice. If you stammer, the listeners will notice that you have run out of words.
What does it take to be
You must be well read. But you don‘t have to go to the United Kingdom to acquire a British accent. You must speak well, pronounce your words and make sure your native tongue doesn‘t interfere in the way you speak proper English. You must be well read and ready to sacrfice a lot in order to make a name in the industry.
How was growing up like?
It was fun. I‘m the only daughter of my parents. My dad is Camerounian and my mum is from Calabar, Cross River State. We grew up largely in Calabar because my dad was travelling a lot as a medical doctor. We spent all our holidays in Cameroun. That was how we could learn and speak French language. It was happy time. I became a tomboy in the midst of three brothers. My mum is a very strong woman, but my dad was away a lot because he was doing professional courses in Medicine and when he had breaks, he would come. My mum was strong, my dad was calmer. So there was a balance. I would say my mum raised us well. I have no regrets. Initially, you know how kids are, we thought she was mean and all that. Now I know better. I tell her, you didn‘t carry us along; you are didactic and in as much as we obeyed you, we are who we are today, but we would have appreciated some explanation. We never really got along when I was growing up. We are both opinionated, but we had to meet each other halfway. I am her only daughter and we learnt to get along in later life.
You took time off from work just to take care of the home front.
Yes. I was just bored with my work and at the same time I was pregnant, so I took some time off to try to get closer to my children. I realise that a woman must have time for her home. I take no exception. The children must feel you as a mum and feel your presence. If you are not around, they must feel your absence.
Now that you are engaged with the radio, do you stll have enough time for your family?
No, I am doing private productions, which gives me time. I travel a lot, too. I visit French West Africa to buy fabrics. I just work round a flexible schedule. Nothing comes before my family. Even if it means me putting everything on hold so that I can be there for my children, I try as much as possible to do that.
How much time do you have for your husband?
I try my best. It is a frienship thing and we understand each other. It is a pattern, we have mutual respect and love, which says a lot.http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art2010040321764