bellaWitty, beautiful, and blessed with a sonorous voice, Bella Rose Abisolaoluwa Iyere Okojie simply known as Bella Rose co-anchors the Breakfast Show with Dan Foster on Inspiration 92.3 Fm. A younger sister of the famous songstress, Benita Okojie, Bella recently spoke with Olamide Ahmed (Thisdaylive.comon her journey to top flight broadcasting career, her crush on Chelsea football club player, Mikel Obi and her infectious laughter.

Let’s talk about your journey into broadcasting?
My journey into radio broadcasting began from school in 2009. It was at Redeemer’s University to be precise, where I studied Mass communication.  While in school, Advertising and Public Relations was my major and there was this general course that required us all to do a form of advert as assignment, and right from time everybody knows that I like talking a lot, so when the assignment came up, my friends all came to meet me with their scripts and were all begging me to voice it for them, so I ended up doing it for all the groups and when my lecturer heard it during the presentation, he said to me that I had a nice voice, and at that point I began to have a feeling that I could pursue a career in broadcasting. So right after school, I did my NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) at AIT Lagos, and after my service, AIT was supposed to retain me, but I found myself on RayPower FM.

How did that happen?
Yeah, you know both stations are under the same company, so back then I used to go to Raypower to greet people i know there, so on one of the days I went there, they called me to help them voice a children’s programme and I did, so from then on it became Friday thing, every Friday I would go to Raypower to voice the programme. So along the line, they saw the potential in me and invited me over for a proper job interview, so from there I made it and they pushed me into the Ultimate morning show.

At that point, how did you feel?
Everything happened really fast, because I really didn’t have much experience, but I thank God for my family, they were very supportive they would always listen to me on radio and tell me the mistakes I made and gradually I became better at it

The transition from Raypower Fm to Inspiration Fm. How did that happen?
I was at Raypower for almost a year, and it was a beautiful experience, beacuse I learnt so much there and when I left Raypower, I felt it was God’s divine plan.

What happened?
Nothing really happened. Inspiration Fm happened I guess (smiles), but am still friends with them at Raypower.

Now at Inspiration Fm, what would you say of your career here?
My career right here has helped me spiritually. it’s been very rewarding spiritually because there is that conscious effort to always want to inspire people and believe me you can’t give what you don’t have, so it’s actually from the abundance of the inspiration of God in my life that am able to share with people, minister to them and inspire people and by inspiring people I inspire myself too and am able to push God to my listeners.

Have you had any major challenge in your career so far?
Well, I really don’t see them as challenges; I see them as stepping stones and building blocks to make me a better person. Am a social person, but am not really the kind of person you’ll see at events all the time because of the kind of family I come from.  We are closely knit and my parents believe in curfew and that still applies to me as well because I still stay with my parents (laughs), so the fact that i want to be at some events and am not able to be there can pass for one my challenges on this job, but it does not stop me from doing what I do on radio.

Have you ever thought of quitting radio to do something else?
Never. My family is a media family; my dad used to manage artistes back in the day, the likes of Fela, Onyeka Onwenu, Felix Liberty and others. My sister is also in the music industry and believe me I love what I do on radio so I’ve never thought about quitting.

Your sister in the music industry?
Yes, my elder sister, Benita Okojie of the Osemudiamen fame. She has been the inspiration. I used to follow her to radio and TV stations for interviews. I was always there in the background.  At that point when I was about 11 years old, my dad was working on a TV show for me, but my sister’s career picked up and we had to put my TV career on hold. But then, I am now back to it as an On Air Personality on a radio station.

As a child growing up, what was your ambition?
Back then, I wanted to be a newscaster.

What was your childhood like?
I wasn’t born with a silver spoon, but I thank God for my family, God has really been faithful, he has always provided for us whenever we need his provision. Though am from Edo State, but I was born and raised in Lagos. And as far as I can remember, there’s nothing I ever needed as a child that I did not get, if I didn’t get it, it was because I didn’t need it. I went to the best schools to the glory of God, I might not have been born with a silver spoon, but I never lacked.

If you are taken out of radio today, where else would you work?
I’ll rather be a TV presenter or work at an advertising agency. And really I think I’ve worked at practically all industries except Oil and Gas (laughs).

Are you married?
I’m not married yet.

Are you in a relationship?
Well am still trusting God on it.

So how do you deal with your male admirers?
Honestly, it’s not an easy thing, but God helps me. A lot of times I don’t know how people get a hold of my number, but I try to deal with everyone as a friend, If you tell me I love you, I’ll tell you I love you with the love of God, sometimes some people get it and sometimes they don’t, so I just try to find a balance.

How would you describe your dream man?
My dream man has to be really and truly God fearing, and not just God fearing on the surface, he must have a very intimate relationship with God, love God with the entirety of his heart, and be hard working. I love to laugh so he has to have a good sense of humour, be industrious and don’t wait on people to get what he wants, and i love people who are family oriented, so he should have a good relationship with his family and of course he must love my family (laughs). That’s about half of the list.

Do you have any male celebrity crush?
I used to have a crush on Mikel Obi (laughs), but not anymore. And really he was the reason why I liked Chelsea football club, but I’m over that now.

When you are not working, how do you relax?
I watch movies, I act in my church so that helps me to develop my acting skills, and I read a lot.

On Radio, you are known for your infectious laugh, did you start it deliberately or it was unconsciously developed?
Well, it wasn’t deliberate. I love laughing and I really can’t explain why, back then In school, I used to get into trouble for laughing, my teachers then would punish me and a couple of my friends for just laughing, and really most times we are not even sure why we are laughing, but the laughter would just come, and somehow I think it helps me to relax, and I guess it just kind of reflects on my personality on radio. And somehow people just got used to it and people started calling the “laugh laugh girl” on radio, and someone actually even suggested to me to make my laughter a Ring back tune.

You sound very spiritual, are you really spiritual or you just sound spiritual because you have to inspire people on radio?
I try to be spiritual, am a Christian, I profess the name of Jesus. And if I say I profess the name of Jesus and in my closet  I’m not representing Jesus then it’s a lie because at the end of the day am not deceiving anybody, I’ll only be deceiving myself. Even though I may not be strong as I ought to, but I walk in that consciousness of spirituality, and as long as I keep at it and keep inspiring people I would also help myself, so am not being spiritual because I want to impress anybody or because of the job I have on radio, it’s a personal decision that I have made and it also reflects on the way I was brought up as a child, my mum has always pushed us to the things of God.

How would you describe your personality?
I’m not the quiet type and I’m not a shy person. I’m very sociable. I like to meet people, I like to be bold, I like to make my stands known, I don’t get angry easily, I’m a Jesus person and I love my family so much.

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