It’d have been nice to have a man, but... — Agatha Amata
Agatha Amata, the producer and TV host of Inside Out with Agatha who recently hit the screens with another loaded programme titled Inside Out with Agatha Reloaded.
The programme was recently unveiled alongside the formal opening of the new Inside Out Office and Studio Complex here in Lagos. In this interview with Aramide Pius, Agatha speaks on her career, her vision and how she copes with single parenthood. Enjoy;
How is life?
Well, we thank God.
How are you coping with the absence of the man of the house?
For me, there is no absence, it will be nice to have somebody there but even though there is none, life goes on. My attitude towards life is that I never have regrets. I move forward with what I have.
Don't you sometimes miss him?
The relationship between us in the last few years before we separated was not even as good as it is now, I think we have a better relationship now, we are friends and we talk and communicate better now than we were in the last few years of our being together, so there is really nothing to miss.
If there is anything now, I am grateful for the fact that we are still friends; we can still relate to each other, we talk to each other, there is nothing to miss as far as I am concerned.
What actually happened between you two?
Agatha AmataI cannot tell you that, that is my personal business, in fact, I really said that I was not going to talk about that, this is three years ago and I have said all there is to say. That is not an issue, my marriage is not me, it is just an aspect of me.
What is it like being a single mother?
There is no big deal, being a single mother is like deciding to do anything else that you want to do in life. Nothing in life is easy, so I am not going to say it is easy, even two parents struggling to train two children is not easy, not to talk about one person doing it.
But in everything, I give thanks to God because I don't think I have had any heart breaking challenge. I have good children; I am blessed with my children so they have made me proud. They are straight A students, good and well behaved, they give me no cause for concern. I don't have any problem.
Has the separation not affected you emotionally or affected your career?
Is this a relationship interview? Are you talking about me? Then if it is about me, I don't know why people think because you have parted ways with somebody then you have to be enemies. I said I have a better relationship with Fred now than I had when we were in the same house, so I don't know how anything else can affect me.
If it was meant to affect me, it would have affected me while we were still together because there was a lot going on, now there is no reason for anything to affect me, I am a happy person, I am content with my life. I don't miss out on anything, I am not a social person and I don't feel the need to be in a certain way to please the society or other people.
I am very content with myself and I know what I want in my life and God has been good to me. God has blessed me tremendously in terms of what I put my heart to do, I pass them, I really don't have any lacks.
How is Inside Out doing?
Fairly well. We just opened our new studio, did the dedication a month ago or there about and shooting episodes eleven years down the line and we are still waxing stronger. A lot of people started and within a space of five to six years, they collapsed so we are doing eleven years, we have every reason to be thankful to God.
To be able to say I have a place of my own to record now is also a testimony to the fact that God has been good to me.
What inspired Inside Out?
I like talking, I love watching talk shows, I love game shows. I can argue and if not that I am doing this, I would have ended up a lawyer.
It is not late you know?
I am not interested, lawyers tell too many stories and I don't have the diplomacy or the tact required to do a lot of the things that require talking so what I do now is what I do best.
I like to talk, I like to listen to people, I have always liked that, it's my job, it's okay because I believe that God will ultimately take you back to where you are meant to be if you look up to Him and that's why I say I am doing what I love doing and that's why eleven years down, despite all the challenges, we are still there.
I can't imagine doing an office job or working in the bank or anything like that.
Can you share some of the challenges?
The fact that we have to be paying PADF while it should be the other way round is a big challenge. The fact that you are on television stations, you will pay the television station, it is ridiculous, they don't have network and everybody just believe that they are doing you a favour while it should be the other way round, they should pay you but what happens here is that you will pay them and then they will go and buy programmes abroad for TV stations.
And then the fact that advertising on electronic media, especially TV is very expensive, yet it cannot be that active because there is no electricity supply, a lot of them shy away from the electronic media especially TV, they prefer to do Press and outdoor in form of bill boards so we don't get many people to advertise, only big spenders actually do TV.
A man who is just starting business can not afford to do television advertising so our advertisers are limited. Those are some of the challenges and like I said, despite it all, you have to know exactly who you are and what you are about and just move ahead and go for the best.
Looking back from where you started with Inside Out, will you say you are fulfilled?
No, there is still a lot I will like to do. I thank God for where I have been so far, where I have got to so far. The fact that I am able to impact on people around me. The fact that when you talk about Inside Out, people associate it with issues of moral and social values.
The fact that I can walk into a place and somebody wants to collect bribe and they say that is Inside Out, that makes me happy, the fact that I know I stand for something, I don't want to be the best person in the world, I just want to be useful to my society, that's all I pray for.
And I want to go outside with Inside Out. I have heard mind-blowing stories out there, some of them have been talking to me, some of them are prostitutes, addicts, they all came out of Inside Out, there is a lot more that I have not even done yet that I think will inspire and motivate other people.
People that are doing great things need to be known, people that do not occupy celebrity pages, people that they don't write or talk about every week but who are doing wonderful things; I will like to put those kind of people out in the limelight.
How would you rate the Nigerian woman?
Nigerian women are very hardworking, very resilient and very resourceful. I think we are the most tolerant people on the face of the earth.
But I think that somehow, we are losing it because we are leaving the first point of duty which is not exactly the fault of the woman because times are really difficult but I think a lot of the moral rubbish going on these days is because more women are leaving the role of being a homemaker and all that to being bread winners.
But we do try but we should know how to find a way to balance both. When it comes to being hardworking, being tolerant, being resourceful, Nigerian women are there to serve. I have to raise my hand for Nigerian woman to take a bow.
I think we should go back to our roots as Africans, to know that the first duty of a woman is to take care of the home. If your children are failures, you have failed. The home is the most important place that there is to be.
I am not saying this because of what has happened to me but there is a great need for women to pay more attention to their homes, we just have to strike a balance. But aside that, the Nigerian woman is doing very well.