The Bisi Olatilo Show (BOS) is a weekly package of parties & events that is shown on major TV networks across the world, including BISCONTV. For the past 3 months, due to the Covid-19 Lockdown, there has been no parties held anywhere and the BOS team usually led by the guru himself has had no party or events to cover. How have they coped with no parties to cover? These and many more formed the basis of discussion when Prince Bisi Olatilo was Guest on one of our City People Instagram Live Chats. He revealed how the entire BOS family has been coping. Below are excerpts.
How has the last 3 months been for you? How have you been coping with the lockdown?
Well, from the lady you interviewed earlier, incidentally, I’ve become a lover of your Instagram Live Chat, she said “tough time never last but tough people do” That is the way to answer the question on how we are coping with this Covid-19 that just crept in like a thief. Not even in our wildest dream would we ever think this will be our portion, but then, we are moving on. We are weighing all the options; the pros and the cons of it, to see how we can navigate through it. We also know that this will be an opportunity for us to do the best thing.
How did you feel the first time you heard about it?
It was like a bad dream. I couldn’t believe it. There was an interview I granted recently and I said to them, that, I have never been locked down in my life, not even for 2 days. You know the kind of things I do, moving all over the country and the world. But the lockdown has afforded me time to rest, stay with my family and look at everything we have been doing.
By the way, at BOS we have 24hrs Operating Channel, Biscon Tv on Gotv. So all the event we’ve covered in the last few years I’ve not been able to watch them. It has afforded me the opportunity to sit down and enjoy myself and thank God for what He’s been able to do. It’s like having a party at home when you are on Biscon tv (laugh). Like we always pride ourselves, that Biscon Tv is the anti-ageing station and acclaim relaxation antidote. If you want to kill boredom just tune to Biscon Tv. So we are also trying to see how we can march up with the New Normal that has just crept in the Virtual Technology, the Zoom method of covering events. We have done like 2 of that and we are waiting for more of that.
How did the 2 experiments go sir?
What we do in terms of the Zoom is to set up when the owner of the event invite us. We set up with our own technical crew at wherever it’s happening, then we will now cover it in a special way. The BOS way. If you watch what we did with Dele Momodu 60th birthday, it was a masterpiece, and we received lovely report on it and it makes me happy.
How do you feel been the brain behind the success story of BOS, BisconTv and other various platforms you operate?
You know what I say to everybody, people keep wondering why I’m still looking for money having putting in all the effort and years. Cumulatively, I’ve spent about 46 years doing this business, but each time feels like I’m just starting. I never get satisfied at all. I feel extremely honored, humbled and give thanks to God for given me the strength to go all the way. I do say that if you are looking for money broadcasting is not where you should be. But you don’t have money but you have what those who have money have, so you are always there. Everybody wants to be your friend because of what you’ve been able to do. And that is an advice to those who are coming in, you must be sure of what you are doing. Read up yourself so that you can have more than enough fact, because If you must convince me you must come with superior argument and that and can only come from reading all the time. Try and always been the first person to launch the new thing. Maybe that is why we are still in business. I thank God for that.
Broadcasting has been like a way of life for you having spent 46years and still waxing strong. What is that thing that keeps you going, that will not make you leave broadcasting for any other thing?
To be honest with you I just love broadcasting. It was a thing that God prepared me for. It was divine intervention that came all the way from my secondary school days. In those days you just must listen to radio for news. There is an Ikenne Ndaguba with his rich resident bass voice. Then, he was the best newsreader and if you are talking about radio commentating; may God bless his soul, Ishola Folorunsho and of course Earnest Okonkwo who came up later, these were the people that actually inspired me to do this business. In my school, my Principal of blessed memories, Deacon Olagunju would encourage me to collect news and read on the assembly to about 500 people on a daily basis. Then whenever we have a football march they must wait for me to run the commentary and I always enjoyed it. I’m talking about between 1967 and 1971, my days at Kiriji Memorial College in Igbajo. So this prepared me right from the beginning. It was not by accident. I prepared for it but God had a hand in it and that was how it started. From there I began my journey, Radio OYO, FRCN and now I’m also a media entrepreneur.
Let’s talk about your voice. Everybody knows that you have a unique and alluring voice. Did you train your voice to be like that or is it natural?
You can believe that even though we are professionals and colleagues when somebody like John Mommoh or Sony Irabor speak you must see the professionalism in it. I do tell people that, no matter the degrees you have with you and you came to Radio Nigeria for employment you must go for a brushing up in a place we call laboratory as we call it. We were apprentices before we became masters in the game. So it doesn’t just work like that, you must work hard for it. For instance, it rained today and somebody is giving that as an excuse. I said in our days you will enter that rain and be socked in it, your pride is that you got soaked in it but you get to work, and then you remove your dress and dry it with fan, with that they will know that you are serious. People talk about traffic nowadays, in our days even though there is traffic, that must not be the reason you fail your assignment. I remember the day my friend and I were so broke and we needed to get to work, as cheap as molue was we couldn’t afford it then and we decided to trek. When people meet us on the road we will tell them where we are going is not far, and just like that we trekked from Surulere to Ikoyi, but we have to do it with joy because we needed to prove a point. You’ve been giving a job, you are enjoying it then nothing should stand between you and the job. There is nothing that should stop you to deliver, no matter the traffic or how heavy the rain was, you just have to break even and make your voice heard. So that’s how it is.
I want us to also talk about the fact that you can speak 4 major languages with ease. How did you balance that sir?
That will bring me back to my background. I was born in Kano on the 20th of Dec, 1953, my next birthday by the grace of God I’ll 67. The things that dazzle everyone and I thank God for that is the fact that, though I grew up in Kano I still speak Igbo, and funny enough I picked Igbo speaking up in Kano. People were always baffled how I got to do that, likewise myself, because my first time stepping foot on Igbo soil was when I accompanied my friend to Asaba when he got married. I was 40 years old then, yet I could speak Igbo, and of course Hausa language because I had to assist my mother in doing some things and that made me very close to them. So I thank God for that. I became the toast of many people at Radio Nigeria because of that, and also working there also helped too. But the good thing is that I’ve been so lucky. I’ve been able to relate with different dignitaries all over the world.
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