Bukas And Joints Have Made Me More Appreciative Of Food – Olisa | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bukas And Joints Have Made Me More Appreciative Of Food – Olisa

Posted: Aug 16, 2016 at 3:54 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Hazeez Balogun

Lagos – Olisa adibua is a professional broadcaster through and through. He runs shows on both television on radio. He is recently the anchor of the food show, Bukas and Joints. In this chat, the entertainment mogul spoke about his profession, new shows and the ever  elusive love life.

You are on Bukas and Joints for season 2, what makes this one different?
It is a much better show in terms of exploration, content and look and feel. We went to other places across the country; we even went to London to see how Nigerians have exported our food. We show how different generations of Nigerians have repackaged Nigerian food and dish them in remarkable ways. We took the show up another notch. I have been eating Nigerian food all my life but on this journey, I learnt a lot more. We showcased not only the food but Nigerian people and our diverse cultures.

If there was any food that stood out for you, which will it be?
It was not really about any particular dish, it is how you can go to different places and you see the same food prepared in different ways yet they all taste good. You go to a place and you see that their amala is prepared very soft and in some places not so soft. Some have even gone further by reengineering Nigerian food by making them healthier. Some even make them into packs where you only need to microwave them.

Was there any dish you could not eat?
Everywhere we went had a_DSC2617 specialty and unique quality. The surprising fact is that, even the owners do not know how well they have done and how unique they are. They are just humble people who just want to cook food. Their humility was disarming. I can tell you one thing, everywhere I went, I was never disappointed with the food. I enjoyed the food everywhere I went to.

You have been on TV and in broadcasting for a long time, how does this show stand up to others you have hosted?
This is different. Every show has its own niche. We take food for granted, so getting to do a show around it gives us new perspectives. We have a new appreciation of the food we eat. We may just sit down at a restaurant and eat but we do not know about what is going on in the kitchen, the people who cook these foods and their background and also the time it took to evolve the food. I look at food more differently now. When I sit down to eat, there is a sense of appreciations. I even know the history of the food. All these I learnt during my journey with Bukas and Joints. I even have more knowledge now. When someone mentions a particular dish I will say, oh I know it, it is from so so state and it is prepared with so so ingredient. I can even tell you where you can get one.

It’s like you are doing a lot these days. You also have this Olisa.tv online. What is it about?
It is what I call a Blogazine. It is an online platform that is different. I look at the internet and I find a lot of garbage. I am not trying to throw shade on anyone. I think I have got to a stage where I am now part of a popular culture. I am on television, I work on radio, I work in the music industry. I felt like my brain is of a certain calibre with experience that I need to be fed with more than just popular culture. I don’t want to just go to a blog which has heavy readership only. I want to go to be entertained but also educated and informed. So I thought, if I can’t find what I was looking for, why don’t I create it myself and that is what I did. When you go to the site, part of it is about popular culture and all that, but there is also the serious side, with serious news and articles written by the best writers you will come across. They write about politics, sports, business, crime, fashion and all that stuff, and they write from a professional point of view.

Some think you set up the site because you know a lot of people in the corporate world and it will be easy for you to get adverts on the site?
No. It has nothing to do with that. We have to let people know that we are not frivolous people and we have some gravitas. When people from outside search about Nigeria through the internet, they should not be met with sites that only promotes popular culture. It should be rounded. They should have a place where they can read serious stuff as well. Those who visit the site keep coming back and we are just over a year old. In the next 10 years it will still be there.

What’s next for Olisa?
I am going back to music properly. I want to do music on a whole different level. I have new TV platforms coming soon. I have new radio shows coming up. I have shows that will be syndicated all across Africa, all across Nigeria. I am building platforms. I have been in the industry for so long. I can’t complain of lack of infrastructures. People like me need to rise up and build those infrastructures. Apart from Olisa.tv, I also have an online platform for fashion; I have a platform for digital music distribution. It is called mymusic.tv and we have signed up some of the best music talents across the country. We also have the catalogues of classic Nigerian songs. We sell the music online so people can’t complain about piracy anymore and we share revenue with networks and the owners of the contents.

Your name appeared on the list of eligible bachelors in the entertainment industry.
Don’t mind them. That was then, now it is even harder. With this economy, getting married is even harder. It’s tougher now. But hey, let’s just see.

A lot of people look up to you in the profession, who are the people that you look up to?
I look up to God, my brother. That’s what I do. I look up to God. And obviously, a lot of people who came before me, a lot of brothers who I met before private radio came along, in government – owned radio stations. Many, many guys who have helped me along the way. Working with FRCN, I met a lot of brothers, who were really, really fantastic. The likes of my brother, JAJ (Jacob Akinyemi Johnson), Mani Onumonu who have been friends of mine for long. We see, we hang out together sometimes when we do meet. There are a lot of people too who I used to listen to on radio when I was a kid. So, you learn from people that came before you, but what you want to do is to be better than them. Sometimes they will come to you and say that thing you were doing, it wasn’t good O! And you are like, sorry bros, next time; I will try and do it better. So, that’s how it is. You must always learn. It’s that constant desire for knowledge and improvement that makes you good.

What are those things that you don’t like about being a broadcaster?
I don’t like people who don’t do their research, who don’t get information, who misinform or dis-inform. If you are gonna say something, make sure it’s correct, make sure you checked it out and also, I don’t like people who are lazy in terms of, if you are giving me the name of an artiste and a song, make it clear, work hard. When you are on air, work hard. If you don’t want to be on air, then don’t come on the radio. When I go on radio, you don’t know what problems I’ve got back at home. Oh, I have them. I have issues. I have problems. But do you know what, if that microphone goes on, I forget them. And when the microphone goes off, I still have my realities to deal with. But I’m clear that people who listen to me have their own problems too. So, they are listening to me for escapism, from being relieved from their own. So, I don’t want to burden them with my own problems. So, you must come there with an empty slate and a happy soul, happy spirit, ready to make people happy because that’s what we are selling. We are selling happiness, we are selling joy. That’s what the radio is all about.

You do radio, you also do television, which of the two do you prefer?
The funny thing is that most people come from radio to television. I came the other way. I went from television to radio. But I love radio because it’s instant Karma. You can pick up a phone call and the person is there, and it’s either way and you get instant results. Television, most of it, is recorded. But it’s still good. It’s great; because what I like about it is that everybody has their own point of view. I think my love for both is equal.