#BEYOUROWN MEETS LOLADE OLAYOKUN
Lolade Olayokun is the second to last of five children in her family. As fate would have it, the pressure for her to be a doctor or lawyer had faded away by the time her parents were ready to raise her. Lolade is the creative act and producer of MC Lolahstic, On-Air Personality, and entertainment journalist. Shortly after her reign as Miss.Nigeria Independence 2011-12, she kicked off her career in entertainment and Journalism. She has hosted events in London, Aruba, appeared on Radio Continental 102.3FM in Lagos Nigeria and captivated many with her presence as the international presenter on Battabox.com. Find out how Lolade has built various pathways to have her voice heard on global platforms.
Hows it going Lolade?
I’m doing well, another day another dollar in this cold city of New York.I am currently on my 3rd year College Tour at the moment. I have 3 more University Shows to finish out 2017 so to answer your question, IT’S GOING lol
Lets start off with a little bit about you and your background first?
Where do I start. I am the second to last of five kids. I come from a big Nigerian family, where we fight over the last piece of meat/chicken in my mom’s pot of stew. Strange? Perhaps a little. As far as I can remember, I have always had a big mouth. I expressed my opinion when I did or did not like something, I would step up to the plate when no one else would, and I allowed my voice to lead the room when a moderator or host was needed. These were atoms that made up Lolade. Becoming an On Air Personality, Presenter and MC was not something I had always planned for my life.Do you know what’s funny, growing up I wanted to be a lawyer, but when I realised how much reading and writing was involved I changed my lane to business. When I changed my major to business I realised there was a lot of math involved I didn’t like math so I switched to Corporate Communications. Let’s just say my degree in Corporate Communications has provided me with the freedom of expression and entertaining while counting the money as it rolls in. CHA-CHING!
What has been the most difficult thing to overcome in your career so far?
The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome in my career, was excepting that I had to create my own lane in a male-dominated industry. Most of the time when one thinks of an MC/Host, a male comes to mind, not to mention that they are most likely comedians as well. Sometimes when people think of Presenters they automatically associate that craft with a woman so picture both of those fields being merged into 1 person. One thing that I pride myself in is staying true to who I am, and the craft that I put out for the brand I want everyone to fall in love with. When I accepted that and trusted the journey of creating my own lane, my journey has been much sweeter and the recognition and appreciation of others have been overwhelmingly amazing.
How did you manage to overcome it?
The way I overcame it was simple mathematics for me, it goes a little something like this; When the Mic + In MY Hands X Confidence = Give 1 ‘HellOFA’ Show that will leave people talking about that MC/Host who came with the total package. Simple
Most rewarding moment?
I have a few, but two significant moments stood out to me from this year 2017. I was selected to speak to students at a career day at the Microsoft Office in New York City. On that very day May 19th, 2017, it marked one year that I had been fired from my sales and marketing job. I worked there for a solid three years. It was my first job out of college.
When that happened I thought to myself..what next? my money flow is no longer flowing, my days are no longer a routine, what do I do now. As fate would have it, I contacted my friend that was a videographer and told him let’s continue to record an episode that we could send over to Battabox.com to air for all of their viewers around the world. May 19th 2017 marked one year of being a freelance entertainment journalist and a full time MC. To be able to share that accomplishment to a room of students that are approaching the decision making stage of what they want to do with their lives vs. what they think would be best for their life was refreshing. No matter how big or small your dream or goals may be, if it is meant for you it will be for you. When things may seem to be crumbling down, just know that it’s God’s way of building things right up for you. Your dreams are valid, today, tomorrow, and always.
The second moment was when I hosted the annual Nigerian Independence Day parade celebration in New York City where thousands of people came from near and far to celebrate the Nigerian culture. In the mix of the thousands of people that came out, my eldest niece Nylah, was sitting on my older brothers shoulder shouting “Aunty Lola, I am your biggest fan”. To know and see that I have made a direct impact and me being on that stage served as an influence to her to want to become a star as well as an emotional heartfelt moment. Whether she chooses my line of work or not, I know that she knows that she should do whatever will make her happy and bring her total joy.
Who has been your most favourite to interview?
Hmmm, every interview that I have done has been memorable simply because of the opportunity it has given me after that. Thank you to everyone that has allowed me to put the mic in their mouth or hands lol.
The best event covered?
It would have to be the various schools shows I have had the pleasure to host. Each and every school has given me the challenge on creativity as a host. The jokes and skits that make tickle and rhyme with one school may not work for another school. So to answer this question CUNY John Jay Mother Africa Fashion show has been my absolute favorite event covered lol. I was trying to avoid answering that but that event was one for the books. Special shout out to the Executive Board.
Who inspires you the most in the entertainment industry?
If you know me, you know that I love Toke Makinwa, MO Abudu and my new found inspiration, Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji. They are all media moguls and pioneers. They have created and continue to create content that will push the next generation of women forward. There’s a Yoruba Proverb that I live by and that these women embody: “Ona Kan o wo oja” – there are many paths to access the Market. It suggests that there are many possible means via which we can attain a single goal. There is no “One Way” to go in order to reach or obtain your personal level of success, dibble and dabble in different lanes and surely you will get there.
How did you manage to turn it into a career?
I managed to turn being an MC/Presenter/Host into a career by innovating skills that would move me to the forefront of public speaking with a twist. I set out goals and found out ways to execute them. Who is this person connected to; this or that, who can I speak to or connect with that will consider selecting me and my talent for the job because truthfully it’s all about the power of networking met with the right opportunity and the rest will be history? That’s all.Allowing my personality and craft to speak for itself anytime I step out of the house is key, after all, you never have to get ready if you are always.
What do you think is the common misconception about the entertainment industry?
Many people think that one’s reflection on social media is their ranking or status within the entertainment industry and society. Just because it may look like a person is doing really well on social media based on their following and likes is truly misleading. We live in a day in age where some are eager for stardom and their growth is not organic as it may seem, meaning that they buy “followers” and “likes” to make it look like they are bigger than what they really are. There truly is a process and there is no such thing as “Overnight Success”. Those who obtain success have been working day in and day out, they are passionate about it and trust that if they are meant to be seen by the world they will be, and if not, that is fine as well. Trust the process, it lasts longer and is more rewarding I promise.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
#BEYOUROWN means exactly that. Stay true to who you are. Self-awareness, self confidence, self-everything is key ingredients to build a solid foundation for a self-made/thriving empire.
Twitter: @Mc_Lolahstic | Instagram: @MC_Lolahstic