I Joined The Media Profession By Mistake—TVC Big Girl, Ajay
Watching this dark skin presenter on TV, many questions comes to one's mind on where is she from and what kind of person could she be outside the screens? But meeting her one on one, you will be held spell bound at the way she talks and will jump around you like a baby.
Entertainment Splash presenter, Ajifa Atuluku better known as Ajay, is a fast rising TV diva that sure knows how to define what she wants and how she perceive life to be by ignoring what perception people might have about her. She is averagely tall, dark and lovely, a beauty to behold and above all, naturally blessed but she is very picky about her friends.
She held Nollywoodgists.com to some hours personal unveiling of her vast growth into the world of journalism and how growing up was like in a family of four but was never distracted which has helped her attain the height she has gotten to. Though single and not ready, the OAP explained that settling down with a celebrity would be a hard choice to make except it is beyond her will.
So tell us about yourself and growing up in such a wonderful family?
My name is Ajifa Atuluku. I was born and brought up in Lagos from a family of four children though a very large family but biological children we were four. My dad is late and I have just my mum now and i am the third child among the four children. I am a graduate of mass communication from Covenant University. I went to Queens College, Lagos. Growing up for me was very interesting because my parents were very hand-on and I was my dad's favourite even though my other siblings would not want to admit but I was my dad's favourite because we were very close before he passed on. It was a really nice life growing up that even as children, we had no problems and we don't know what was going on so it was nice and I had a great time but most of my life has been in Lagos though, Primary school, secondary school, university has been in Ogun state which is pretty much Lagos. I am a very Jovial, fun and outgoing person but if you get to know me properly, then you will know that i am very picky about people, I am very very particular about friends. I talk to everybody but i can count my friends at one hand. I am very friendly, outspoken, down to earth and I am very real and i will tell you my mind. I don't keep things, I don't get angry, for you to get me angry, you need to be a proper witch so that is just me.
You actually studied mass communication, what area did you had in mind of venturing into while in school?
Honestly, I never though I was going to be a presenter. Although in school I use to do all this kind of things like in school you will be part of broadcasting and hosting shows so I use to do that in school. I never thought it was going to be a profession. It was just by mistake that I entered into profession. I was actually wanting to go into advertising or public relations, that was my original plan while studying mass communication but as God will have it, this is where i am today.
So how did you manage to join TVC?
Well, not TVC but into broadcasting as a whole. I was an MC at my friend's birthday and one of the people who attended was Mofe Duncan. He said, 'ah, Hi-TV we are trying to recruit, we are looking for someone to present and I think you will do a good job,' I was like 'please go and sleep.' I told myself that I was not going to attend the auditions but my very close friend, Amiola kept saying 'let's go that she wants to try too' so I went with her, she tried out so I said let me do same also and the next day, the producer called me and said, 'hi sis, we want you to come and work for us, please we hate your hair style and please change it before you come.' So I did that and that was how I started working the following week so that was how I started broadcasting as a whole with Hi-TV then from there I moved to TVC where I am now. Because as at the time, the two stations were in the same compound and most of the TVC staffs were from HI-TV so that's how it worked for me.
When you got here, you started with entertainment?
No. When I came here, I was brought here as a producer and I was brought here to do a completely different show but a time would have it, I started working with Labi on entertainment splash, she was presenting the show at the time, so I joined her team of producers, so I was the associate producer of the show at the time and at a point, she needed a break, like she wants to start venturing into other forms of entertainment, other shows and I think she had plans for another show to do because she felt she has matured as a person and she thought that oh, it's time for me to move to greater things. So, exactly that time, that was when I was her producer, they said, 'okay, you know what, this girl she use to present at Hi-TV, she might as well just put her in there, so let's try out, let's do two days, Labi does three days, you do two days,' and that's how it was. So Labi did three days, I did two days and that's how we kept going till her show was eventually created for her. Her own show, what she really wanted to do because it got to a point where she was like, 'ah, i am tired of entertainment.' She wanted to do serious stuff and when they finished works for her show to come up, then she moved to her show and then I started presenting entertainment splash fully and then I asked for a co-anchor as well and we started doing the show together, so that is how I started.
It seems you are enjoying entertainment very well, so what does entertainment means to you?
Yes, very well. Well, I think it's anything that is able to get somebody to just have a good time. Something able to put a smile on person's face, to get them to laugh, help to make them ask questions like, 'what just happened,' to help them to get a double take of what they have seen and what they hear. You know anything that is delightful to anybody is entertainment to me. So basically, entertainment is to be enjoyed, anything you see, that you watch, anything that you listen to, that makes you happy is entertainment to me.
Some school of thought believe that since Labi left, the show has lost its vibes, what is your take on that?
Well, I wouldn't say that and where people are getting that opinion from. The truth is that Labi has been on the show for a long time. She has made the show what it was at the time when i got into the show. So we had to give up props that without her, the show wouldn't have gotten to where it was first of all before we now came ad brought our own extra followership. Now, if people are saying that the show has dropped then I really don't understand because the show is getting better ratings now figuratively by calculating numbers. So I don't know, I think the show is still entertaining and every single day, we calculate a new number of followers online every time we calculate a new number of viewers. So yeah, maybe for this year, maybe we have been a little bit out of it because of elections and all of that but I don't think the show has dropped in any way and it is getting better as the day goes by through God's grace.
Aside you just entertaining fans, what else do you do for TVC?
For TVC, I am also a producer. I work on a show called 'Boombox' I am one of the co-producers of the show also i work on a TVC news programme called 'Trends.' I handle all their online production that is everything that has to do with twitter, facebook etc so I work on that aspect for TVC news and it is more serious but i also produce Entertainment Splash as well.
As a presenter, have you ever had any wardrobe/makeup malfunction?
Yes o, well, not too sure. But to be honest, there are some times of course in the past there are some cloths that you wear and you will scream like what is this that I wore that day? Its inevitable, it is bound to happen, you can't get everything right. Sometimes your makeup could be wrong, sometimes your wardrobe could be wrong and sometimes it does not flatter you, some times when you look at yourself on TV you look nice and when you come off air, you look like a Baboon. That's just life, you can't get everything right because you are not a perfect human being. Of course there have to be malfunctions but it's just what you do after wards and how you are able to use that malfunctions to the shows that comes after then. Like now if i see that i look horrible in Yellow, next week i am not going to wearing yellow and if it is makeup, trust me the next time on the show, i am not going to do that. It's just learning from your mistakes and move on.
It seems you are a very busy person as TVC has taken much of your time, how does your guy cope with your schedule or are you married to your job?
(Laughs), I would like to say I am married to my job but no, I am not. I spend a lot of time at TVC, yes, but i also have my own stuff that I do which takes my time. I am a choreographer and a dancer and some times, i host events and sometimes I cover red carpet events and other independent jobs I do personally. Most of my weekends are filled with events and stuff for TVC as well. But, there is no guy, there is no body that has a problem with my work for now, so there is no guy but when the guy comes, I will let you know how he feels.
Being busy with various entertainment programmes, can you settle down with entertainer if any approaches you?
Jesus, it depends on the entertainer. To be honest, i wouldn't want to date anyone in this industry (entertainment). I can even manage journalism because there is serious journalism but entertainment industry is a very fast industry and there is no way two people who are hot can work together. I can be going for shows and events and my husband too has one show to go and perform or something there just need to be a balance in life and i think that me basically, i wouldn't want to date someone in the entertainment industry but it depends. You see this thing they call 'love,' it can mess some people up. But if it happens and i begin to like a person as an entertainer, there is nothing I can do about it but you will still find out that in the element of that person being in entertainment, he will be like a very calm and quiet type. Someone like Terry G and I will not flow because he is very Gingered even though in real life, he is actually a gentle and calm person but I am just saying. So I don't think I would date an entertainer if I have my way but if by any chance it happens that I get to like somebody in entertainment then yeah, we would find a balance, that is just my opinion.
You are on a live programme like your show and fans calls in to deter your mood, how will you be able to manage through?
It has actually happened. When I started working on Entertainment Splash when i just came in, you know Labi had some set of fans, people that did not want her to leave the show and they did not understand her plans for herself rather, they just love Entertainment Splash and Labi, so when I came in, I looked like the outsider that where is this one coming from? So, there was this particular show one day that three people called consecutively and said 'what's this girl doing here and things like that, get off the set, where is Labi and all of that,' guess what, the show is the show and it must go on that is what separate you from unprofessional presenters. You need to be able to have a thick skin for you to be in this industry whether you are an artiste, actor, anything you are doing, you need to be able to dust off criticisms, you need to be able to dust off people who are trying to bring you down because there will always be those people. So when it happened on the show, i was just smiling like, 'hello, hi, okay, thank you very much for calling,' and i had to call for a break just to relax myself but when you are on air, you cannot let your face give away what was going on even if you are dying inside, you need to be able to have that poker face so the show must go on because its all about the show. Whatever happens outside the show is no one's business but the show has to go on.
Is entertainment all about gossip because you do more of it in your programme rather than the normal factual stories about these entertainers?
I will correct you there, on Fridays is when we do what you call gossip and if you watch the show, you will find out that i quote wherever I get them from and i use words like alledgedly or apparently because we are not sure. So if I am getting it from a blog site, I will say according to???, because we stand to be vulnerable to plagiarism. So I make sure that we quote wherever we are getting it from I mean i work in production as well, so we quote wherever we are getting stories from. So what you call gossip is that we are quoting from where we got the stories from and we are telling you alledgedly, according to ??? This is what they are saying and this is what is happening, then i give my opinion and I say, 'I am not sure if this is true but if it is, this is what i think.' So if you pay close attention to that segment which is only on Fridays, we try our best to quote people as possible so that we don't have libelous issues on our hands. So it's not gossip or somebody said this and that, no, we give you facts and figures.
When you bring your celebrities, why is it that you do not ask them questions the fans needs to know maybe like trending issues either about them or others?
Honestly, if there is something pressing about that celebrity, we will ask them the question about that but when we bring people on top 10, we bring people to count down their top 10 songs at the time. So if you throw in a couple of questions in between, it's not suppose to be serious except something is happening at the time. Tell me, are people not tired of finding out 'when were you born, when did you start music,' those are the kind of cliché questions that everybody ask, so i try my best to get the people that come on the show into their comfort zone that they feel they are at home. So it's just going to be all of us chilling, why you tell us your top 10 songs at the time. Every Thursday, that's what we do. But if there is anything that has happened and we need to find out from them, we will ask the question but Thursdays are not for serious talk.