“STAR GIRL” of KU 92.7FM Will Light Up Your Night
In hindsight, if I need to do a special editorial on radio broadcasting and the significant impacts of On-Air Personalities in today’s industry, Esther Mohammed, popularly known by her alter ego “Star Girl”, is one OAP that will drive my narrative.
Words by Sesan Adeniji
Although slightly under the radar but her gravitas at the job is super amazing. She drives her ‘KU NightLife Show” (9 pm-12 am) with a feel of the best social and music commentary belts that come to mind anywhere in the world. She energizes and carries her audience along like a planned holiday trip( fun all the way). Unarguably, she’s one of the best nature in the game. Presently Head Of Programs at KU92.9FM in Benin, Star Girl is one of a kind. I once engaged her in a conversation about herself and the journey in broadcasting.
“Growing up as a child I had always wanted to become a lawyer. I had lots of arguments with my dad, he wanted something else for me. But I always won on every argument we had and so he agreed I go on with my dreams and aspirations. Unfortunately for me, I lost both parents quite early. Dad passed on while I was 17 and mum died a year after I lost my father.
Left in a world of my own to cater for myself with little or no support, I had to re-arrange all my childhood dreams.
I decided to study mass communication at the prestigious University of Benin where I majored in print media journalism. I just wanted to write, because that was the only way I could express myself and all the struggles I had to go through. No one was ready to listen to me. I had just my siblings and a few persons who showed little support.
I read and gained my admission to the school. All I did in school was to read and pass my exams so I can at least become a graduate. Looking for money, doing buying and selling were my daily activities in school. I had to sell goods sellable just to pay my bills and meet my other needs. And then the graduate dream came through.
I was on my first as a graduate as a customer service personnel working at a microfinance bank somewhere in Lagos when I got a call to join an amazing team of broadcasters at KUFM. That was in 2016. I had no idea about how the profession works, no radio experience, never gone close to the microphone before, I was just excited for myself. At that point, I knew it was time for me to speak to the world through radio. All my hustles and struggles, the battles fought and lost and few I won, it was time to share. That was how it all started”.
TALK ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY IN BROADCASTING AND ALL YOU INTEND TO ACHIEVE IN THE COMING YEARS
With no radio experience, I started as a pidgin broadcaster at KUFM.92.7 Benin City. From understudying I became the pidgin newscaster and producer. It went on for a while. After producing and reading, I would sit and watch my other colleagues do what they know how to do best. They were amazing, smart, intelligent, and creative and always ready to assist where I needed help.
A colleague of mine was traveling out of town and needed someone to cover up for him. I was asked to handle his show that night. I said to myself, this is it. Now is the time.
Just do all you have to do to make the show a success. Do it for mum and dad, do it for yourself. That was the only inspiration I needed. That beautiful night, I hosted the “Ku Night Life show“.
I am currently the host of the “KuFm NightLife Show” where I am been referred to as THE NIGHT DARLING. With the nightlife show, I have been able to express and share all I had to go through before I became the radio girl. Radio for me is beauty and power. The power of the live microphone is priceless. Nothing supersedes the feelings that come with knowing people are out there listening to you every night. It is magical. I like to go all inspirational, I know I am good with inspirational talks. I love to talk about societal issues, the daily struggles people go through. And with my inspirational talks on the night show, everything ugly becomes beautiful. People are always ready to listen, and with the microphone, as a tool, I am always ready to talk. I love to talk about love. Because I am love.
From love to life, family, people, relationships, and daily issues, I make beautiful research and source for information that are helpful and useful to my night audience.
Radio is just that one place where everything feels right. It is home to me. I can boldly say I have the best playlist on the radio in Benin City. We cannot argue with the fact that you have amazing playlists once said by my colleague who is now with Beat FM Abuja. From R&B to Blues and the music genre available, I bring light to the night in Benin City.
I am not where I want to be yet, but with hard work and dedication, I hope to become one of the greatest on-air personalities. Every day I strive to become better than I was yesterday. Knowing there are people out there willing and ready to listen to me, I won’t relent but continue to aspire to be more. In 2016, I won the ‘BREAKOUT OAP OF THE YEAR’ at Scream Awards 2016. I still want to get more recognition and awards because every hardworking person deserves to be recognized and awarded.
The job of the broadcaster is not an easy one. You just have to know something about everything and everything about something.
People expect so much from you. With this kind of demand from the audience, one has to give everything just to get the best. I am currently the Head of Programs at the station. I want to be more. This can only come through hard work, which is one of my daily principle (WORK HARD TO GET THE BEST).
CUTTING EDGE AS A BROADCASTER
The new information communication technologies have made the broadcasting job easy. The use of technology in information gathering, use of real-life actualities in the reportage of my stories, from social media to real-life events to podcast listening. My ability to combine the various media channels to engage more audience is great.
Personally, I love to share real-life events and situations with my audience. I gossip a lot, that part you can’t take away from me and my show.
Once the audience can connect to the fact that the presenter is one of them, then you can keep them awake all night listening to you. I don’t do the British or American tongue-twisting thingy when on air. I do me. My Naija self. Looooooool. I don’t just copy and share stories, I make and create innovative content for my audience.
VIEW OF THE INDUSTRY
Broadcasting is beautiful and competitive as well. Considering the fact that there are lots of radio stations in Nigeria, one has to put in so much effort to keep the industry moving. The broadcasting regulators (NBC and NCC) are doing so much to regulate the industry because maintaining our public broadcasting system is so important. Its highly competitive nature keeps everyone on their toes because staying in the industry is very important. Not just staying but staying relevant and useful.
Instagram – @star_geh
Twitter – @Esther_stargal
Facebook – Esther Mohammed