Kemistry obviously needs little or no introduction in the Nigerian entertainment circuit. Aside dominating the Nigerian airwaves a couple of years ago, the bold and blunt presenter cum model, born Kemi Olisaemeka, is a rap queen, who made her male counterparts go green with envy whenever she hit a vocal booth to deliver her lines.
Little or nothing has been heard of her since she left ‘Naija’ a couple of years ago. But Kemistry did sneaked in sometime and she spoke to KAZEEM POPOOLA about her whereabouts, career and other issues. Excerpts.
Sorry for the sudden demise of your father….
What do you miss the most about your dad?
His laughter and jovial spirit, it’s always great to see him in a good mood.
What of his last moment with you…
I drove him to the hospital and drove him back home. First time I ever did this for him. Drive him I mean. He was in the back seat so I was like his chauffeur.
You are a presenter, rapper cummodel.What is the marriage of the three like?
Well, I have a passion for entertainment and I always like to get myself involved in any branch that I find myself. So, I guess that explains why I connect with the three.
Which one are you more comfortable with?
I would like to say that I’m most comfortable with radio and TV presentation because that was what I studied in school. Music is just a hobby and something, which I did not take serious. It just happened that people like my music and it is a surprise. However, modeling is what people told me I should try. So, I decided to try it.
How did the journey begin as a presenter?
When I was in college and working as a teller marketer for a particular company, a lot of people tend to like my voice, so I thought it is something I needed to pay attention to. That’s what motivated me to join a campus radio station in U.S, that was 10 years ago.
Then I came to Nigeria had stint with Brila FM. Greater part of my career was at Silverbird’s Rhythm FM, and then had another brief stint at Inspiration FM before I left the country a couple of years ago.
What about Raypower?
Yeah! I did work at Raypower FM for a week. I was on air twice, then Brila before Rhythm, then Inspiration FM.
What actually caused your exit from Rhythm?
Inspiration FM gave me an offer that seemed like something I wanted to do. It was a Christian station and at the time I was hoping to get closer to my faith. So, I figured it was a great opportunity because I love to be around people that can help me in my faith.
Many people were actually wondered why you dumped Rhythm FM, which they believed gave you the needed platform, for Inspiration FM that was new as at then. .
I was there for four years and I just wasn’t happy there anymore. Management changed and I was frustrated. It has nothing to do with the station, it is good, the fan is great but behind the scene I was extremely frustrated.
How long did you stay at Inspiration?
I can’t really discuss it right now but I can only say that I quit because of the reasons I went there. They didn’t live up to what I expected. I got the extreme opposite of what I was hoping to get there. So, just decided to leave.
Having spent some time at Rhythm and Inspiration FM, what can you say about the salary in the Nigerian broadcasting industry?
I can’t speak for anyone. I’m always very concerned. But for me it wasn’t about the money but the job.
Presenters are known for different styles. Can you describe your personality on air?
I am real, open and honest.
There was a time you tweetted that you were done with the airwaves. How about explain that?
I’m done! I came to Nigeria in 2003, spent over seven years on radio. I have done my bit for the country. A lot of radio stations are on ground and a lot of new personalities and people are on air. I don’t want to stay at the party till the end. I live the party when it’s at its peak and I’m always ready to make way for new talents.
But you said that you’ve always wanted to be on radio. Why the sudden change of mind?
Yeah! I still want to be on radio but not in Nigeria. I’ve done my bit in Nigeria. The dream has always been to start from here and extend my borders. Nigeria is not the end of the road and I would like to do radio somewhere else. As far as Nigeria is concerned, I’m done!
What are your challenges while working in Nigeria?
Nigeria is very challenging because I think we’re not yet where we need to be in terms of customer service, human resources and things like that. It’s very challenging to work for people who… (Pauses), I don’t know. (Laughs) Nigeria is very challenging that’s the best I can say.
Is there anyway one can draw a line between Kemistry as a radio presenter, rap queen and a model?
No, what you see is what you get out of me.
How do you explain that?
It is self-explanatory. What you see is what you get. Whatever you perceive is the reality.
Before you left Nigeria there was controversy over dope issue and all that. What has been going on?
Since, I came into this country, I’ve heard that I’m on drugs, but that doesn’t bother me. If people don’t understand what they see, they always like to define it in their own ways. I came here very skinny… (Pauses)… I’ve heard it all. So, I don’t pay attention to that; I just feel it’s ignorance.
Are you saying there is nothing like you being on drug?
What I will just say is that people are very ignorant. That’s it!
When you sneaked into the country a couple of months ago, tongues wagged that you’ve gone under the knife for boobs enlargement. Is it true?
Like I said people are very ignorant; when they can’t define what they see, they have to just come up with something. People are very ignorant; I haven’t done any breast enlargement. If I had that kind of money I know what I would have used it for. So, people are just ignorant!
Do you see yourself as been controversial?
Anyone who is honest and truthful is always seen as being controversial because people can’t handle the truth. Controversy comes with truth.
What happened to your music career?
It was just a hobby, not supposed to be a career.
Are you going back to it anytime soon?
No, I’m done; I might do 16bars or jump on somebody’s track. It’s not supposed to be a career for me.
What about modeling?
I’ll still a model, and will always be a model.
Any plan to relocate to Nigeria?
Nigeria is my home and I have the obligation to come back. It’s my home. I’ve done my bit, I came here to do what I wanted to do and it’s time for me to move on.
What about marriage?
That’s personal; I don’t discuss my personal life. I’m sorry.
Let’s talk about your fashion statement?
I freestyle a lot, whatever I see in my closet and I feel like wearing, I wear. I totally don’t follow trends.
What’s your definition of a good presenter?
Somebody who is honest and real. A presenter is somebody who communicates from the heart and not whatever people expectfrom him or her.
Can one classify those who present in our local languages such as Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and Pidgin English as broadcasters?
Yes. As long as you are presenting in your mother’s tongue, you are a broadcaster. Like on Wazobia FM, they all speak in the natural way. I have problem with those that come on air and throw accent. That’s not real journalism. As long as you’re real and honest, you’re a good presenter.
Your pains and gains…
I never felt appreciated by industry peers, which made me sad sometimes… Gains, I have some really beautiful fans and I love them to death!