The Clown, The Contrite, The Committed... Leequyyd.
( An Exclusive Interview)
It's a beautiful day on the bright side of life, though quite sunny but yes, when you have something to douse the heat with, like say water, or any form of liquid for that matter, you know you have a lifeline and you feel refreshed to give life another go.
For this sole reason I decided to refresh your day by sharing with you an exciting session I had with one of the foremost, howbeit humble, super hilarious, witty, fast-talking radio presenter who specializes in spontaneous mind twisting games with people. Something you'll find amusing and entertaining. What's his name? Ok let's start with his nickname...LEEQUYYD(Liquid)...yes!
Aridunu: Hello bro, what's good?
Leequyyd: Everything is good. You're looking good to start with. If I'd known I would have worn my agbada hidden inside inside my 'isale-apoti'. *laughs*
Aridunu: You've started??
Leequyyd: Okay let me START going home. Interview is over. Gimme transport fair abeg. *laughs*
Aridunu: Ok. Let's have you do a brief introduction of yourself.
Leequyyd: Alright. I am Lekan Onabanjo...Joshua. Last born of 2 children (posing). Graduate of Mass Communication, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic in Abeokuta. A broadcaster who once worked with Rockcityfm 101.9, and oh by the way I've always known I would be a presenter since primary 4. Aridunu wasnt born then *winks*. Proud to say that Vector thaViper (Vector tha Viper, is a Nigerian Hip hop artist ) and I are an alumni of St.Gregory's College, Obalende. He was my senior when I just got in. Served in Plateau state. Still regret I couldn’t marry one of their girls, more than I should have learnt their language, and yes, fun, excitement, facts, information, motivational speaking, singing, rapping, promoting up&coming acts, Mcing events and yeah...braintwisting people with witty remarks are the qualities that personifies me.
Aridunu: Hmmm. Oyinbo po!
Leequyyd: Duuurrrrh! All na packaging.
Aridunu: So how did you come about the name Leequyyd?
Leequyyd: Well yeah, L.E.E.Q.U.Y.Y.D is the swaggerlized version of the word Liquid and it started when I and my colleague then were deliberating over what radio name to bear in 2012 when I was preparing for my 1st radio launch. I used to sing and rap then, so my stage name was Spaikygold...Spaiky for short, but Rockcityfm already had Dj Speaky so in order not to confuse the listener I had to drop that for something else. So after going back and forth on a couple of suggestions, my colleague then awkwardly but jokingly said, 'ok. Why dont you bear 'Water'?'. I was like 'water ke? Why not Liquid??' That's more sensible and somehow all-encompassing. So I tried defining the real meaning of the word and how it fits into what my conceptualized radio personality. That's how I came about Leequyyd...the antidote for your dehydration. Your official No1 radio fountain of swaggs. Basically, what I aim for is taking away boredom and giving you something to make you laugh and be happy about. People go through challenges and struggle with alot of things in their lives and they tune to radio for succour. I dont think saturating their already plagued mind with serious stuff is good. So I step in to make them laugh off the stress with witty remarks, facts and interesting information...something that never ends. I try to create meaningful humour out of stories or situations so people can see the funny side of life.
Aridunu: So what about you, dont you get stressed up at times or worry about certain stuff in life, and does it affect you on air?
Leequyyd: of course I am human. I've got blood flowing in my veins. I've got feelings. My exboss used to say we are gods!!, tough we lived less than humans then, but the reality is we do have our 'off' days but that's not the listeners business. Professionalism demands you detach from your real and personal world and assume another world on air where everything about you is somehow 'perfect'. I can’t come on air and rub off my gloom on the listener with a melancholic attitude because they aint responsible for whatever it is I'm going through. I need to deal with that off air and personally, and then come on air and act as though everything is fine. They are looking up to me for solution to their boredom and sadness. I should be ensuring that not adding to it. Funny enough, most times when we're sad, we go on air and eventually find joy and comfort during the course of presentation and feel better afterwards.
Aridunu: What programmes did you anchor while at Rockcityfm? Which one did you like the most?
Leequyyd: hmmmm...ok. I used to anchor Heart & Soul Tuesday Edition(Night Prog). That's one of the programmes that launched me. I usually pick a particular vocation and dedicate a poem and the show to people in that field. So then callers would call and appreciate them while they send shout outs to their loved-ones. I anchored RockcityTopTen CountDown, of course you know what a countdown is. Yeah. Daybreakshow, where we get to forecast the weather, talk about Today in History, read the news, then produce the programme and contribute where necessary. Then later I started anchoring Rocklunch, an afternoon entertainment programme meant to be witty, informative, entertaining and engaging, with meaninful discussion-topic. I got conscripted into Breakfast This Saturday, a family magazine programme aimed at entertaining and enlightening listeners while addressing family, social and societal issues. The one I love soo much is Gospel Vibes and Sunday Morning Cruise. The former was deeply spiritual howbeit with live and excitement and the latter is about imparting knowledge and offering inspirational guide to listeners about life and human dealings. I got soo many accolades from people saying hooo, they enjoyed it, it's touching. It gingers them and all but I say, 'hey, i'm just doing my job. Some even call me pastor and I tell them, 'oya! Pay me your tithe'. *laughs*. I biefly anchored Elder's World, a programme for the aged listener and though I found it awkward for a person like me to present such programme, professionalism demands you are able to fit in into any programme and give atleast 60% laudable performance even if you have programmes that tilt towards your natural strength. Mine are mainly entertainment, spiritual and inspirational. I anchored Rockclub too, a night show that epitomises club life for gigmaniacs. Then I read shoutout messages and entertain song requests. Asides that i did Business News and Economic Trend. But the one I liked the most was Gospel Vibes and SundayMorningCruise, because the truth is...80%
Of what I said was addressing me. I was actually talking to myself on air. I was ministering to me. I was battling with personal issues, inner struggles and challenges and I was addressing them by myself on air with help from God's spirit. Finding truth in the revelations of my word. Encouraging myself. Teaching myself. Admonition myself and those who cared to listen. Shaping my mindset and searching for reprieve and reason to keep going. And people who were going through the same stuff identified with my struggles, and so in turn it ministered to them too. Maybe I was being selfish but yeah. I needed those words as much as the listener did, and we both found succour in the presentation. *smiles
Aridunu: Wow! What's the most challenging part of being a broadcaster? since yours was somewhat all-encompassing.
Leequyyd: Funny enough, broadcasting shouldnt be challenging as such, challenging as regards being stressful, buh yeah it was, most especially at Rockcityfm because you have to do almost everything, including playing songs and having to prepare script for every programme. However, based on the nature of a programme, challenges may come in form of gathering materials, choosing a topic, edit your scripts and knowing what angle to employ and how to make it interesting enough for the audience to listen to and participate, if need be. If yours has to do with guest then sourcing for the suitable guest or guests, ensuring that they come and arrive on time, and having a plan B just in case something happens and they eventually don’t show up...very challenging. Being current also is challenging because one has to be abreast of events touching all areas and bits. So whether I'm at work or not I'm always on the internet reading up stuff. At times I'm up by 5am and get to sleep around 12 or 1 in the midnight. And as they usually say, you are as good as your last performance, having to build on the success of the last performance and get better is also challenging. You cannot afford to loose guard or relent.
Aridunu: That takes me to this question, Why did you then leave Rockcityfm? You lost interest or it was too challenging and you couldn’t cope.
Leequyyd: *long silence and heavy sighs* All i'll say is...it's been a bittersweet experience. I may have lost interest in the institution but not in the profession. And though it was highly demanding, based on the workload, I was equal to the task. I usually multi-task to get things done because I could be on 2 or 3 shows or programme in a single day, and I can’t afford to let any fail. I worked and gave my all to the best of my ability. Maybe it wasn’t enough, or maybe it was a case of sending a young farmer to the farm to prepare the soil for planting without giving him the necessary tools and backing to get the job properly done...like I'm to use my bare hands and bury my nails into the ground. Of course you know how poor the result would be. During my stay there, I have fallen sick at times and still come to do my job. I have fainted in the middle of the night before my sunday morning shift and I was told to stay at home but I refused and still came to do my job. I have starved at times and trekked miles, gone broke, but I still came to do my job. I can’t begin to go into all the details. That's a story for another day. But one thing I believe is we presenters are also humans and should be cut some slack. We need to be assisted to perform better and help the company grow. We need to be treated well, as kings and queens as the names imply so our output and overall performance can be topnotch. And we need to be given time for adequate rest so as to recuperate. Someone said what's in a presenters' job rather than to just say anything and play songs. I was like maybe in order places its less cumbersome, but in a place where you have to do 7 people's job and 1 must not fail, its mentally tasking and requires lots of concentration. A presenter can spend hours preparing a 30mins or 1hour script. It's like choir rehearsals...most especially when it's live. If it's recorded then you can have you editor chop out the mistakes.
Aridunu: So are you saying the station didn’t give you the adequate support to thrive that's why you left?
Leequyyd: I'm saying you should put 1 and 1 together and draw your conclusions. *smiles*
Aridunu: So what are you into now? Personal business or on recess?
Leequyyd: Personal business. I'm now into selling 'boskoro', you know 'bend down boutique', second-hand cloths.
Leequyyd: *long silence with cheapish smile*...*heavy laughs* Naaaaaaa!! Was only joking. I'm currently cooking up my personal programme. It's called...should I say it?? Before someone goes and hijack it ooo! *laughs*. Ok it's a programme that spontaneously tests the listeners' intelligence, not by asking current affairs question or quiz noo, it's like trying to twist their minds based on their responses. It's basically meant to be a funny show, entertaining the audience and testing their capability to wriggle out of highly intellectual questions while trying to confuse them. I too have to be spontaneously alert to beat them to it. So it's an intellectual competition on air. It's meant to upgrade our knowledge and teach us how to be witty and fast in thinking. It's nothing really serious. Let's just have fun and laugh off the stress. Asides that I'm thinking of going into fulltime gospel artist and song promotion too. I'm not the overly religious type but I think the gospel is not taking the shape and stand it should. Neither is it getting the same popularity it deserves...which should even be more than what is accorded the seculars. Secular songs satisfy the interest and thirst of today while destroying the fabrics of tomorrow. Gospel songs should offer the repairs from today to build strong people, and ensure a better and brighter future with God at the centre of every human consciousness tomorrow. It is achievable. We just need to scream it into the ears and eyes of the people, compete with the morally degrading inducements offered by musical secularism and attempt to win with gospel songs and arts and crafts.
Aridunu: So when are they kicking off?
Leequyyd: Oh pretty soon. Just working out the modalities and logistics. And of course sponsors. Sponsors abegoo!! Make una buy into my idea o!
Let's help reduce people's high blood pressure. There is sooo much sadness and hopelessness around. People die of heart attack, stress, high BP because they are constantly bashed and saturated with the harsh jabs of life. They suffer stroke even in their formative ageism. They need something to listen to that'll take away such tensions. It may be momentary but it postpones their death-day and gives them strength to fight for another day. We owe Nigerians that. And enough of religious fanatism. It's time for true worship, God's consciousness, common sense, humanitarianism and selflessness to take charge of every human spheres. We owe mankind that as Christians. Ultimately, we owe God that also.
Aridunu: hmmmm. Pastor Leequyyd!!
Leequyyd: Tah! If i hear...ok. Deacon Dejimanaire, oya pay your tithe!! Mine is 90%. *laughs*
Aridunu: So do you intend to start a church?
Leequyyd: funny enough i have a calling. Not to become a pastor and start feeding off peoples' tithes and living large on their offerings and donations. Noooo. It's by being a spiritual friend, brother, teacher, sibling, even a learner to this people. Helping them to discover God even as they discover their purpose in life. Helping them to fulfill their dreams and inner aspirations. Helping them to live and succeed. Helping them to find hope in this hitherto hopeless world. Helping them to find and secure salvation for their soul even as i find mine and seek to retain it. There's more to life than spirituality, greed and insensitive self-centredness. So it's going to be a movement rather than a church.
Aridunu: Alright, if not a pastor do you then intend becoming a standup comedian and venturing into comedy and showbiz since you MC event and seem to have this overly funny nature?
Leequyyd: ooooo! Nope. Not actually. I'm not a comedian and I dont intend to become one. It's quite, if not very, challenging. It's live. Feedback is immediate. You need to have the ability to hold and sustain the audience's interest. You can’t assume anything. You're writing your report card as you speak. But on radio it's quite tasking but less challenging. You're also writing your report card on air, but its easier and less tense because they dont see you. You don’t see them to know if you're hitting at their nerves. You just do what you can and go. It's a different ball game entirely, and I give kudos to all Nigerian comedians cause they are supergood at cracking people up. I'll just stay on my lane.
Aridunu: What was your most embarrassing moment?
Leequyyd: Oh yeah. I'll never forget 2 incidents actually. The day I accompanied my dad to his business partners office and I had my glasses on. It's those ones they call 'shakomended' o. Apparently it was in my breast pocket, so before entering the office premises I quickly put it on...you know now to show swaggs and all. I just noticed people were staring at me as I greeted them. I thought they were stunned at my supposed 'good looks'. So after a few minutes, I was sweating a little where I sat as my dad engaged his friend, so I brought out my tush white handkerchief to wipe my face. I removed the specs, low and behold, I discovered that one of the glasses had removed from the frame. It was just normal specs, not shades. I didn’t know and wasn’t conscious enough to know something was wrong with my sight while I had it on. It actually removed when it was in my breast pocket cause that's where I put it initially. I started looking for it on the floor then it fell from the pocket. People around started chuckling. I felt embarrassed. I was posing and feeling fly with one-eyed-glasses. Crazy! *laughs*. The other one was when we were having a symposium at the school hall during my school days. I was trying to size this classmate of mine up and use the opportunity to interact with her. I was like, 'see this speaker o, he's very funny with his presentation sha'. She just looked at me and looked away without a word. I was totally embarrassed. I avoided her since then. Some peeps around knew what happened they just pretended they didn’t to further help conceal my hurt.
Aridunu: And your must exciting moment?
Leequyyd: The day I got my first kiss from my first girlfriend. I was so happy I ran home, jumped up and my choir notebook fell into the gutter. *laughs*. We just returned from choir rehearsals. *laughs*
Aridunu: Did you eventually marry her?
Leequyyd: Aaaah! Chairman, many waters have passed under the bridge since then. Hahaha!
Aridunu: So how many girlfriends have you had in your lifetime up till now?
Leequyyd: Ah! Egbami! Ok. As we used to say when we were young...Ogantable!!(Uncountable).
Aridunu: Are you randy?
Leequyyd: Hahahahaha!! Dj Speaky used to call me that when I was still with Rockcityfm, cause of the things I used to say. But no, I'm not. I was before...orally, but I'm more oral than verbal Speaky. *laughs* However, as one ages one becomes mature and outgrows stuff, unless one is addicted and or insensitive.
Aridunu: So what is your advice to aspiring broadcasters?
Leequyyd: Study to show yourself approved. I'm equally studying. Learning new things. Learning from people who have made their marks in the field. They need to go for training and self-training. Think out of the box and create unique ideas that sell. Seek to positively and meaningfully affect lives via the power of the mic. Read wide and extensively. You don’t have to know everything but a little bit of knowledge in everything won’t kill you. Ask questions from veterans where necessary. Stay true to your calling, if it's your calling. Always pray to God to coordinate your speech so you don’t say things that'll kill your career and bring the organisation or brand you represent to disrepute...and finally, believe in your ability to succeed.
Aridunu: It has been a worthwhile session with you. Hope we haven’t taken most of your time?
Leequyyd: Oh no, not at all. You haven’t. Unless you wanna take my wristwatch… It’s been worth the while all the way.
Aridunu: Should we have people interested in reaching you personally for feedback, sponsorship or a time out with you, what suitable medium should this be?
Leequyyd: Oh yes. For sure. All available mediums. They could even stand in front of their mirrors and call my name… I will appear. Next Question.
Did I just say that? Don’t mind me.
My phone numbers are 08164040469, 09093373112 (whatsapp too). Facebook: Leequyyd lekan onabanjo. Twitter & Instagram: leequyyd7 Email: leequyyd7 @ g m a i l . c o m
Should I add alternate email and linkedIn account?
There you have it. Thank you so much for reading the interview of a talkative. Oooops! I hope he doesn’t get to see this part. Haha! Ok.
Enjoy your day people!!
(This Interview was Conducted on 11th November, 2015).