Today we shall be interviewing Kayla Megwa the drive time diva at WEFM. Kayla is an award wining OAP and the host of shows like ” Morning Latte ” and “The Sundowner” she shares her career story with us.
Hello Kayla please tell us about your growing up years
Thanks for having me on your blog. I’m a big fan of the humanitarian work done by you and your husband, really inspiring. (Thank you) Well, I was born in Kaduna State, went to command primary school and Air force secondary school and then ABU Zaria. I was born into a middle class family, my Dad is a civil engineer while my Mum is still a school teacher till today. I have 1 brother and 2 sisters and 2 other adopted siblings. I had a simple childhood and grew from being a tomboy when I was younger to a “girlie girl” in my teenage years. I have always been highly opinionated and have never been afraid to express myself and as a result was always that kid at debates and quiz competitions.In Secondary School I joined the press club in and I started writing articles and my love for the media flourished. I was always considered as the teachers pet and a few kids made fun of me because I was so small and my body developed really early in primary school but, I thank God for my mum and aunts, who helped me learn to love myself early in life so I popped my collar and kept it moving lol.
What made you decide to be a an OAP/ broadcaster and how supportive was your family?
As I said earlier my love for the media started with the press club in secondary school. I did research work for a company that had a contract with the BBC after my NYSC and I knew I belonged to the media but of course life happened and I ended up working in a bank for years. I auditioned for a sports station in Kaduna but I was rejected as they said I talked too slow lol. Eventually an opportunity came at CoolFM Kano, so I quit everything and became an OAP which is best decision I ever made. My family has always supported me and even though they were a bit worried about me moving to Kano it all worked out eventually. They are glad I’m back to Abuja though (smiles).
Your show involves receiving a lot of strong opinions, how are you able to maintain the tempo and keep the show on track
It does get upsetting sometimes especially when some comments show you how removed from reality, disrespectful, selfish and inhuman a lot of us have become. However I am glad that the voices of the good people of this country, the progressives and the ones who want to develop this country are rising to the surface. I want my platform to be a place that educates and binds us together in the quest for nation building. We are on the same page as Mr Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, that is to ensure hate speech is stopped. This is our agenda with every show and I stick to it.
You are a young beautiful woman in an industry with it fair share of men, has sexual or gender discrimination ever been an issue?
I haven’t experienced gender discrimination in any place I have worked so far. I have been fortunate to have only been judged by the content of my work and not my gender. As a rule I never use my gender as an excuse for anything and in fact sometimes I don’t even remember my gender . I just do what needs to be done with as much excellence as possible.
Tell us about your first big break in the world of Broadcasting
It was CoolFm Kano, I put in my all in any city I serve but there was something about Kano. I knew absolutely nobody! but the people embraced me as their own. I hardly ever cooked as the people of Kano became my family. The love and acceptance and accolades and awards and just the spirit of the people made me want to do more. It was easy to make those giant strides I made in Kano because the people helped me. I let the people know a month before I left the city and I cried almost everyday that month. The outpouring of love during that period was something I had never experienced anything like it and I ended up adding so much weight from dinners and gifts lol. This Igbo Christian girl to be so loved and accepted by a Hausa very Muslim state is something I will never forget and I miss Kano.
Unlike TV where people recognise you instantly in radio your face is hidden is this an advantage for you?
Well, I am a bit private in my personal life so yeah it helps that I can buy mama put rice and beans down the road and no one recognises my face. It’s also fun sometimes to hear people talking about you to your face and they don’t know you are the one they are talking about. However I will say that in my view radio is more difficult than TV. It’s a wider reach, longer work hours, no editing, you are sparing on the spot and it is way more interactive, especially talk radio so you do more research.
Tell us a memorable moment on your show something you can never forget. perhaps a funny or outrageous comment?
Haaaaa which one will I pick? The police force, serving ministers, legislators, hailers, wailers, controversial guests as well as callers we have had it all. I have laughed, cried, lost my temper, rejected marriage proposals, been stalked, insulted, praised, loved, hated so much has happened. I’m just waiting for The President to call the show or show up lol! I dream sometimes that either the President or Acting President just walks into the studio while I’m talking away, and in the dream I had my best poker face.I have enjoyed all the personalities I have spoken to on our ‘hanging with’ segment and their stories have taught me so much.
I think one of the scariest moments was a day in 2016. My script vanished and I had to do the 2 hour show with my memory of what I had read. My producer at the time started crying and kept staring at me. Till today I have no idea how we did that show and we had a personality interview on the phone too. After the show the producer hugged me, I was like thank you Jesus for my memory. Another day was when Onyeka Onwenu talked about how she barely escaped with her life at her office and how her life was saved, that story scared me. On yet another day a caller was complaining about hawking at the airport and the aviation minister called in and took responsibility and fired the person in charge.
In fact only recently the SA to the president on social media sent me a message encouraging me and thanking me for the way I handled a caller peddling hate speech and that touched me. There have been so many moments so sorry I can’t pick as this job has been magical.
How do you cope with your fans? I am sure you get a lot of interesting requests?
I really don’t think I’m that popular. People stare at me though when they find out who I am which I find a bit perplexing .I meet a lot of dare devils and I wonder why lol. I’m just normal with everyone even though I have my inner circle.I’m not a hugger so I hardly hug people but other than that I’m just good old-fashioned Kayla.
Get training, work hard and be yourself. Also, you absolutely need to be firm and stand for something.
How do you relax when you are not working ?
Don’t laugh but I watch Africa Magic Yoruba, which is weird as I don’t understand a word of Yoruba. Just give me some Odunlade and some Femi adebayo salami and I’m good. I also watch the Kardashians and Hollywood medium. . When I’m not reading a fiction or watching the news,or cooking, or writing, that’s what I do….Yoruba movies,the Kardashians,or Hollywood medium and I’m not ashamed! Oh and I forgot to add that my favourite tv show is Saturday Night Live and I am addicted to carpool karaoke and The grand tour. Also,my best TV personality is Jeremy Clarkson.
What inspires you daily and prepares you for your job?
It’s all about the listener, nothing else matters. Now that doesn’t mean the listener is always right as the King can be wrong so you show him the truth (laughs). Ultimately that’s what this is all about, the people. They are my inspiration.
Also it from these people that the world can change. The change will start from us as our leaders are not aliens but people who the rose from the people. A better people will breed better leaders and that will bring about a better nation.
Thanks so much it has been a pleasure speaking to you.
Always a pleasure and thanks for having me. Tell a friend….tune in to #TheSundowner 5pm an WEfm 106.3 Abuja. The ultimate radio experience.