Maria of Beat99.9FM Answers 6 questions
If you are young or young at heart, if you are urban and up to date with the trending things in the Nigerian entertainment industry, if you listen to radio and you are familiar with OAPs, then you most definitely know Maria Okanrende. Except you are from a different planet, that’s the only reason you won’t know her or because you don’t have all the attributes that has been listed earlier. Maria, is arguably one of the most entertaining radio presenters in this side of the divide.
After studying English Literature at the University, she received her first taste of the media industry when she scored a unique opportunity to intern at Global Radio, home to some of the UK’s most popular radio stations including, Capital FM and Choice back in 2009. Since then, she has had the pleasure of working with the BBC, MTV and Dropout UK, as well as interviewing a wide range of superstars from Bow Wow, Alexandra Burke, Mary J Blige and Tinie Tempah to Wizkid, D’banj, 2 Face, Davido and many more.
Maria played the role of ‘Foye’ on Season 3 of MTV’s Shuga. She also loves food and clothes! Catch Maria on the Beat FM airwaves co-hosting The Morning Rush from Monday to Friday, 6am to 11am.
You are one of the most interesting and edutainment OAP on Nigerian radio, Kindly narrate your radio journey thus far and what has
made you tick?
Wow! Thank you! Thanks for the love! When I was younger, I came to Nigeria every year with my family for the Christmas period. A few years later, I became really excited about working on radio so I managed to get an audition with the Beat 99.9FM in Lagos. After a few months, I got a call back for the Morning Rush and I moved here permanently.
At the beginning I missed my family so much. My parents and younger sister live in London. However, I’ve met some lovely people who have helped to make the transition less challenging.
What do you want your listeners to constantly remember you for and also what do you intend to do with The Brand MARIA in the nearest feature?
I’d like to be remembered for being myself. When I get on the radio that early in the morning, there’s no time to start making up my personality! Also, for my honesty and bringing joy to lives.
I plan to expand into TV hosting and penetrate the world of fashion a bit more. I love tapping into all the different trends from around the world and finding new ways to re-invent myself using fashion.
What is your view on the alarming rate at which entertainers expose their personal business online ( beef, relationships…to name a few)?
Emmm doing that is getting real popular now? Ha! I can’t lie, sometimes I can get so emotional to the point where I’m like, “somebody’s gonna hear my pain!” but the funny thing is, once you’ve calmed down, the emotion disappears, but the post on social media doesn’t – unless you delete it. So I’d rather not get into that cycle. I’d rather just bombard the person’s phone with my feelings. Ha ha! Seriously though, if you enjoy doing that then I think that’s great too!
Can you simply define your ideal man?
I don’t have a picture in my head of the “ideal man”. I would love for him to be really funny, take the time to communicate with me and understand me. If he’s ambitious and hard working, then for me, that’s super sexy!
What is your favorite meal to cook?
I’m good at cooking the foods I like! Selfish? Ha! Rice and stew (it has to be very spicy/peppery), fried rice, steamed fish, lasagna and baked macaroni and cheese.
Where is your dream holiday destination?
Anywhere, as long as I have my favorite people with me. Most probably New York or LA though.
Which Nigerian artiste has the required content to be nominated for a Grammy award?
That’s not an easy question to answer! There are so many categories that our artists would fit into. Off the top of my head, I’d say Omawumi, Asa, Nneka, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Phyno, Olamide, MI for rap, Leriq and Sarz for production. Runtown writes gorgeous love songs.
What are the reason most celebrities keep hiding their marital status whenever you ask them?
I don’t know man. Maybe that part of your life is personal, and for it to remain personal, you’ll have to keep it to yourself. Or you’ll have to refrain from revealing too much. I’m not married so I can’t relate. Haha!