Working with Vice President Prof Osinbajo was the high point of my career - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Working with Vice President Prof Osinbajo was the high point of my career

-      Mariah Olaseinde


By Paul Ukpabio

Ace broadcaster turned business woman Mariah Olaseinde prizes herself lucky to have had good things falling in place for her, which has definitely turned her life around. She is one of a group of Nigerians that can boldly say ‘Abuja has been a blessing’. Yes even some friends’ call her ‘Abuja Big Babe’ just to show the success she has made of her work.

But then also, Mariah has been consistent and passionate with her work and with a lifestyle that focuses on results, her success story in life cannot all be said to be just luck but luck with hard work! She shares her journey to the top with us in this interview.


You worked at the state house, reporting the Vice President, can you share some of those exciting moments with us?

As a staff of TVC News then, I was deployed to cover the Office of the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo but I still covered the Presidents beat as well whenever the need arises. As you know they always have some meetings together like the weekly Federal Executive Council meetings and so on. Reporting the Presidency was an eye opener, you have to be disciplined, Intelligent, humble, dedicated and you must know your onions, that are you have to be on top of your game to deliver your reports.

Hmm excitement, passion comes first, if you are passionate about what you do, you will love your job. I love my profession and covering that beat was one of the best things that happened to me in my career as a Journalist. I looked forward to reporting the activities of the Vice President and sometimes the President daily. I was passionate and dedicated covering that beat, my records are there for you to see, it's a beautiful place to pass through, am grateful to God, TVC News, and my bosses Mr Lemi - Olalemi & Mr Babajide - Kolade Otitoju for the opportunity to have served in such a place.

In your own words what can you say about the person of the Vice President?

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo without mincing words is a father, whenever we go out on assignments or we travel out of the country for an official assignment he will always ask after our welfare. He is a nice man, very loyal, everyone knows he is hardworking, diligent, a man of unquestionable character, he has a way of carrying his staff along and has a listening ear. He is a perfect fit for Mr. President

How challenging was your job then and what routine did you have to keep to?

The Job was quite challenging but interesting. We don't have access to his itinery, so we have to be ready and be at alert like the boys Scout slogan "Be Ready" for assignments. After resuming to my office in the morning, I report to the Villa and wait for his daily assignments and meetings at times you can have like four or five assignments in a day, you just have to be there so you don't miss the important ones.

In reporting the state house, were they any special perks attached for the journalists there

Not really.

What tales did you get to hear about some of the unusual happenings that took place at the state house?

I don't know what you mean by unusual happenings, my job is to report what happens at events/ assignments as a Journalist, so many stories come out from there, the most important thing is to report it as it is without fear or favor.

Do you miss reporting the state house, if so, what do you miss?

Life is in phases, that was a phase of my journey to getting to where I am now and I will never take it for granted. It was a privilege, but reporting the State House means you are covering virtually all the beats because the assignments varies from Politics to Health, Sports, Business, Grassroots, Entertainment, Rallies, Campaigns. I remember the 2019 General Election we went everywhere campaigning with the Vice President, the door to door engagements, from that single report you can get several angles to your story, as a reporter you can also do Special Reports yes special reports, I remember doing a special report on Corruption, how to curb it, I took advantage of the calibre of people who comes there and are in power to ask why is there Corruption in Nigeria? Why has it eaten so deep? Of course I spoke with the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who is always preaching against it. I interviewed the former Vice President Atiku Abubarkar,  APC National Chairman Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Former Speaker House Of Representatives Ghali Na' Abba, Minister of State for Health Olorunimbe Mamora and other politicians, I still have the report in my archives.

Tell us about your career in the media, the different appointments you got before getting to the state house.

In the last decade of being a broadcast Journalist, I’ve served with NTA Channel 10 Tejuosho, Lagos. In addition I went to the F.R.C.N school now National Broadcast Academy Lagos, where I did both Basic & Intermediate presentation courses. I worked with DBN TV, NN24TV and TVC NEWS as an Anchor, Reporter and Producer.

When you left the State House what occurred to you to do next?

Am still practicing my profession as a broadcast Journalist and by the Grace of God, I am the CEO of MARBAYS Communications Ltd, owners of  MarbaysTv Online and  the Anchor of Know Your Representative on Tvc News. The latter is a 30 minutes programme that captures the untold stories of the good work of Nigerian lawmakers in their constituencies. The unique selling point of this programme is to sell the unsung developmental projects of every lawmaker.

What memories of childhood do you hold dear to your heart?

I miss my mum dearly if God were to ask me one impossible thing to bring back to life, I will quickly say my mum. She was part of my childhood we went everywhere together. Playing with sand, bathing in the rain when your parents shout at you, you run inside, unplanned parties, there's is this game called Suwe, Nail, Ten Ten and so on. Things have changed now.

You had an opportunity to choose between many careers, why did you opt for career in the media?

When I was young my mum told me I speak very good English and everyone called me a Lawyer because of my attributes, I was very vocal and fearless but friendly, as I grew up my passion shifted to the media, I have always loved the Tube, after I graduated from school I worked in a financial company, the management employed me because of my boldness during the interview, after some years I resigned to pursue my career in Journalism and here we are today to the glory of God.

How competitive has it been for you working with men in the media?

I have no regrets. I am not someone who gets intimidated by any male colleague, why should I be intimidated? Respect is reciprocal, though we say Gentlemen of the Press (laughs) no intimidation in this profession. We just show the stuff or the content we are made of, that's why some of my colleagues call me Parkwell if you misbehave I park you one side on a lighter note, sincerely when you know your Job no man can intimidate you.

Do you sometimes feel that men are intimidated by you?

Not really it depends on the perspective you want to take it from.

What attracted you to producing programmes?

I learnt from the best hands in the industry like Aunties Comfort Okoronkwo and Helen Odeleye of NTA, Mr Babajide Kolade - Otitoju, Mr Ohi Odia formerly in TVC News now in Arise TV, Mr. Oba Adeoye GM LTV has been very supportive in my career, as well and few of my colleagues because there's always something to learn from one another in the News room.

What are the things that you consider dear to your heart?

My family and my job: My husband teases me that the only thing I don't get tired of doing is my job, if am called for my program even if am tired I will get strength immediately.

If you are not what you are today, what else would you have loved to be?

I would have been a Lawyer or a Politician.

How about family life?

Managing work and family is not really easy but from the way God created us, women multitask. The first two or three years of marriage can be tedious especially when you start having children but with proper planning and a good spouse things will fall in place. Now my children are grown up, it’s counseling time. I this stage I talk to them always and we have bonded well. You see managing both is not Childs play and again managing resources comes with it, that is when there is no money it’s pretty difficult you have to do practically everything yourself but if there's money, you can outsource some things to people who wants to help out that way my burden is reduced.

For me my Marriage is an achievement, i have heard many people say Marriage is not an achievement but for me it is because staying in Marriage for over 14 years and still counting is a big one for me and I give all glory to God. If marriage is not an achievement why do we celebrate those who have stayed in there for 40, 50, 60 and even 5years? My family is my greatest achievement every other thing is secondary because after all there is only one place to  return to, and that’s home and family, the reason why we should work hard to keep our home safe.

What do you do in your spare moments?

I like to be by myself, dance, go through my IG page, spend time with family. As a boss, I now have time to bond with my children and help them discover who they really are. At times I pay unscheduled visits home just to ensure they are still on the right track

You cover politics; do you think women have performed well so far in political terrain in Nigeria?

Women are doing well for themselves in politics but we need more participation, some states are doing well with the 35% affirmation. Any woman who feels up to it should give it a shot with prayers, proper planning, consultations, lobbying, yes lobbying is allowed in politics because it's a game of numbers. If you have to convince your constituency to vote for you, then you know what that means, you don't sit in the comfort of your home to do that, you must reach out to people.

What’s your advice to young girls with dreams to be career ladies?

Hmmm every girl child should be allowed to live their dreams, they need all the support and they should also seek advice from older women and learn from their experience. To be a career lady you have to be determined, humble, carry your spouse along if you are married, ask questions, be open to new ideas but be wise and finally pray always for God's direction.

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