Hello, how are you doing? I hope you’re good. You’re welcome to this podcast. I am Princess Ubachukwu. Today, I’ll be taking you on a journey of starting up in broadcasting. Yes. If you’ve ever wondered how to start up somewhere, now you need to listen real good.
Discover Your Passion
So, talking about starting up, where is the first place to start? What is the first point of call? It is passion. Of course, passion is the first point of call. So, what is passion? What is passion? Passion is something that you don’t really need a dictionary to define. Passion is that thing you love to do, it’s that thing you do effortlessly, or you do without much of a hassle. Passion is that thing that you can do, if they wake you up, that activity you can do without getting paid and still enjoy doing it. Yeah, now that is your passion.
Okay, so once you’ve discovered your passion… First of all, passion discovery is not a straight road. I must say. Discovering your passion is not a straight-cut activity, it might take years, it might take time, it might take a while. For me, growing up, I always knew that I loved the mic. I always knew that I loved having my voice heard. But I didn’t really realise that that was my passion. I didn’t know that that was a passion worth pursuing. Until it came to the time where I had to fill in the Jamb form and I was blank. And usually, I wanted to study Law. But at that point, I was confused. I wasn’t sure that that was what I wanted to do with my life.
So, on that fateful day, I was watching the TV, and there was someone reading the news. And I thought to myself, this is something I can do. This is something I would love to do. And that was it. Mass Communication. I filled it in. And thinking back, you know, in secondary school, I was in the Press Club, I was reading the news, I was doing all these things, but I didn’t realise that that was a passion worth pursuing.
Pursue Your Passion
Passion discovery might not be a straight road but once you discover your passion, then you move to the next step, which is pursuing your passion. Pursue your passion with everything in you. And that’s exactly what I did. Start from the smallest point. Now for you, pursuing your passion and starting from the smallest point might be getting a degree, it might be getting vocational training, it might be whatever. But as long as you’re doing something in the area of your passion, it’s so important you know that you are on the right path.
While in school, I had the opportunity to be in a fellowship where I was taking the announcement after the service. I was the secretary and people were telling me that I have a good voice. And I realised that yes, this is something I also want to pursue, even after school that this is something I love to do. And I was given even more opportunities to do something in the area of my passion. I was given an opportunity to anchor the fellowship radio programme. It wasn’t anything fancy. It was something little but it was worth it. From there, in my church, my Pastor asked me to do a voiceover for him. And that was how it all started. I started from the smallest point. Don’t despise those days of little beginnings, they are so precious. They are the moments that make you into what you are today. You would look back and see that I started from the smallest point, and it would definitely encourage someone out there.
Now, this brings me to the next point which is volunteering. Yes. I know I said for you to wait for opportunities to be handed over to you but you mustn’t wait for every opportunity to be handed over to you. You need to go for it. You need to volunteer. Go out and volunteer. Some doors need to be pushed before they can get open.
If you’re done with school, if you’re done with the university and you’re waiting for your NYSC, why not go to a media house and volunteer? Why not go to that radio station, that TV station and just offer your services and gain experience for free? You can’t be sitting idle on your talent, you can’t be sitting idle on that passion, you need to work it, you need to volunteer. And that was exactly what I did.
You know, after university, while waiting for the NYC, I went to a radio station, I volunteered. I learnt a lot. It was during that period I mastered the art of voiceover. I was even given my own show because I showed so much commitment. And it was worth it. I learnt a lot of practical experience, different from what we were taught in school because the theory is definitely different from practical. Don’t depend on the theory you’ve learnt in school. You need to get practical knowledge.
Never Stop Learning
This brings me to the next point, which is never stop learning. And this one is so important. You should not stop learning. Once you stop learning, you start dying. You need to get more professional training. And this is different from academic work, it’s different from school, this is professional training. There are a lot of professional places where you can get trained in Nigeria. For me, I went to the National Broadcast Academy in Lagos. And I must say that the training I got from there was so worth it. I put in my best and eventually became the best graduating student at that time. Learning, learning, learning never ends.
Get into the Field
Once you get this professional training, then you move on to the next step, which is getting into the field. And you can do this by understudying the best in the game. Who are those people you admire their style of presentation? Who are those people in your field that you would want to be like, that you love the way they report the news, you love the way they cast the news, you love the way they present or whatever it is? Get mentored by them. And you can only get this mentorship by understudying them. You know, I call this the privilege. It gives you a footing, a pedestal, a platform.
For someone to open their door for you, their workspace and let you in, you work with them, you learn from them, it’s a privilege, it should not be taken for granted. I for one didn’t take it for granted. You know, when I was understudying someone in a radio station before I got employed, I was understudying the newscaster, you know, showing that I was committed. And she noticed.
From time to time, she would ask me to join her in presenting the news, she would give me the foreign segment to present. And one day she just didn’t show up in the studio and she asked that I present the news. And that was how I started newscasting. This all came to be by understudying. From that point, I grew.
Leave your Comfort Zone
After understudying, I would like to say that you should learn to leave your comfort zone. If I had told myself that I can’t do the news, I wouldn’t have been where I was. You need to leave your comfort zone. There are certain things that I know that this is what you can do best, these are your strengths. Of course, you would build on your strengths, you would develop your strengths, but there are so many areas that you should explore.
You might say that you’re not a sports person, but why not learn sports presentation. You might say that you’re not a newscaster, why not learn to report the news at least? Why not learn the art of newscasting? You might have the opportunity to do that one day.
You might say that you’re not a DJ, you don’t need to do music, why not learn how to be a good music presenter? An opportunity might present itself later where they might need someone to fill in for a music presenter, they might need someone or you might be looking for a job and the only opening is that area that you’ve been running away from. That is why it’s important to expand your horizon, to leave your comfort zone.
Don’t become a disadvantage to yourself by limiting yourself to a particular area. You need to be able to do a lot of things. There’s beauty in specialisation, yes, I know that. But there’s also beauty in generalization; to be able to do a lot of things. It’s so important. It’s so so important.
Now, I’ve said a lot of things, but I’ll just run through them quickly so that you can remember. Of course, in the journey of starting up in broadcasting, the first thing you need to do is to discover your passion. What is that one thing you would love to do? Once you discover it, you need to start from the smallest point; you need to volunteer, go out and volunteer. Don’t sit idle on your talent and gain experience. From volunteering, you gain experience. And after gaining experience, you don’t need to stop learning, you need to get more professional training. And after that, you understudy the best in the game. Discover your strengths, build in it and also leave your comfort zone. Whatever task you’re given, take on the challenge. Take on any given task, show that you can do it and you would definitely thank yourself later on.
So, I hope that in your journey of broadcasting, it will be a smooth one and the sky would definitely be your starting point. See at the top. Bye bye. I am Princess Ubachukwu. Have a good one.
Princess Onyekachi Ubachukwu is a trained communicator with specialty in Radio/TV presentation, broadcasting, anchoring of events, jingles, voice overs, video adverts, content creation, editing and proofreading. Skilled in public speaking & creative writing as well as other areas of communication. Best Overall Candidate in Basic Course of National Broadcast Academy Lagos Nigeria, (Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria Training School) and Best in Presentation Course 2016 Radio Nigeria Training School. A songwriter/composer who loves God.