Olayinka Oladiran, aka K’ola, is the winner of 2016 MTV Base VJ Search. She was crowned on September 29, 2016, at Truffles Restaurant and Bar, Ikeja GRA, Lagos. The Abeokuta, Ogun State-born lady came tops ahead of other finalists like Tomiwa Olorunfemi, 23, Tochukwu Onwubiko, 21 and 19 year old twins, Grace and Glory Danbaki. Present at the event were Viacom executives, Alex Okosi and Katung Aduwak. Likewise Olisa Adibua, Vector the Viper, Ikechukwu, Niyola and many more. YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine’s JULIET IKEOKWU spoke to her and here is what she said…
Congrats on winning the MTV VJ Search.
Thank you very much.
How did you know about the competition?
I was at my friend, Yemi’s house and we were gisting. Anyone that knows me knows that I cannot go five minutes without saying I want to be a VJ. It came up in our conversation, she said oh! MTV is searching for a VJ. I was like okay, I will audition when the time comes. But she said no, brought out her tablet and forced me to apply right there. On one of my auditions, she called me and was like K’ola, are you going? I told her that I’m already there, but there were like 2000 people here; it’s a crowd. I was really scared.
Tell us about your family background.
I was born in Abeokuta, my mum is from Sagamu, my dad is from Ibadan. About the age of seven or eight years old, we moved to the United States. I stayed there till I was around 20, but my parents always bring us to Nigeria anytime we had a break. They speak Yoruba to us and always let us know about our tribe, culture and country. I literally fell in love with my culture that anytime we come here on break, I will be pleading with my mum to let me stay back, but she will always refuse. I am a graduate of Mass Communication from Towson University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America. Then, I got to work with ESPN, where I learnt more about production. When I was in college, I had a radio show for two years. So I’ve always been preparing myself.
We know it must be a difficult decision for you to leave your life and family in the States, how did you go about it?
I knew that this is where I wanted to be, so one day I told my mum that I’ve quit my job. She said (kilo sele). What happened? I told her that I wanted to be part of the entertainment industry in Nigeria. She said no problem. I will back you with prayers.
Have you done anything in the entertainment industry since you came back?
Yes! I’ve featured in Jenifa’s Diary, I’ve done some movie auditions here and there. I’ve interviewed some celebrities.
Do you stay with your family members or alone?
I’m staying with my dad; every other member of my family is in the States.
What challenges did you face when you came back newly?
I’m a family-oriented person; I love my family a lot, so I miss them and my friends. I think that’s my biggest challenge. All of my cousins are in Ibadan or Sagamu, so being here and not really have them around is difficult. A girl always needs her mum because we are very close and she helps me to make dress decisions.
Was she worried when you told her that you were moving back home?
Which mum will not be worried and concerned when her daughter tells her she is leaving home to another place? She was scared absolutely. But she prays a lot, so she is always praying for me in Yoruba (mimics her mum’s prayers in Yoruba). I love my mum.
So, have you given her the good news yet?
I haven’t had the chance yet, but I’m going to call soon. She will really be proud of me.
What’s your advise to Nigerians abroad who think the worst of Nigeria?
I will say don’t be scared. Even my friends were scared for me when I told them I wanted to relocate to Nigeria. There is no place like home. Your home is who you are, it’s where your identity is, it’s where your culture is as well. So, no matter what the media puts out about your country, don’t feel ashamed to identify with it. No matter the problem, you should come home and help fix it, because I noticed that there is a vacuum in the Nigerian entertainment industry, that’s why I came back. The people say God is going to find somebody to fix it, but I said Baba God, let it be me.
So, in what other way do you intend to impact the entertainment industry?
I’m a content creator, God gave me the talent to do that, even though I want to be a presenter. I’ve already thought about so many show ideas in the process of this competition. I even told them, if I did not become your VJ, it’s okay, but I will bring my scripts.
How would you describe the whole experience?
It was an amazing experience. All the contestants were good and we were very close. Tomiwa has the sweetest, the kindest heart. The twins were always fun to be with. Bringing you up when you are down. Tochukwu is like a brother to all of us inside the house. All this would not have been possible without the crew, honestly. The crew has been very amazing, even though they scared us, gave us heart attack with all the different tasks they gave us, but at the end of the day, they still advised and encouraged us.
How would you describe the Search, easy or difficult?
It was hard because I was surrounded by talents. I had hopes, no doubt. I always believed that this is my season, so I kept telling myself ‘K’ola, this is your season, just walk into it’.
Stephine Coker did a wonderful job while at MTV Base; do you think that you can fill any vacuum that she left?
I can fill the vacuum. Even if they dig another hole inside it, I will still fill that one too.
Are you in a relationship?
Right now, my focus is my work, to attain my vision and purpose. I have a special somebody and I will not be in this place right now without him.
Is he in Nigeria?
I’m not going to say.
Any words of encouragement to the youths who are finding it hard to find their way in life?
Every dream that is worth having at all, even if it’s for five seconds that it pops into your head, it’s worth pursuing. Because God has placed that dream in your heart for a reason. Stop walking in fear and start walking in faith.
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