Your View on TVC is 10. Arguably, one of the leading television shows on TVC is YourView. It’s a platform that gives regular Nigerian women a voice on social issues, business, governance,lifestyle, health and celebrity gossip. The show has hosted in the past ten years lots of celebrities and political office holders including the governor of Lagos state among others.
The show went live on the 29th of May 2013, since then Your View has become a household name for TV lovers, credit goes to Morayo Afolabi Brown the host and convener who have consistently hosted over 2300 episodes. Loved by her fans and viewers across boards.
From inception, she was joined by Tope Mark-Odigie, a real estate expert and a passionate investment coach who took her co-hosting duties as a side gig. Yeni Kuti, popularly addressed as YK, her gesticulation and fashion style has made her fans miss her whenever she is not on the show.
Others are Nyma Akashat-Zabiri, a strong-willed woman and passionate muslim who has allowed her religion to sharpen her thoughts and lifestyle over the years. Obijulu Ugboh an ex-beauty queen, award winning singer/rapper, a practicing life coach and serial entrepreneur has been known for her “say it as it is” attitude which in return made her fans want to see her often on the screen.
For Mariam Longe, an author and publisher whose demeanor is self effacing, gracious and polite. An environmental advocate and optimist, Mariam truly believes the best of every situation which has been a breath of fresh air on the show in the past year.
In this exclusive interview with three of the amazing delectable female anchors, Morayo Afolabi-Brown, Obiajulu Ugboh and Mariam Longe, they shared the pains and gains of anchoring the popular show.
Q: Your view has been able to reach the hearts of many Nigerian viewers especially with that fun, loving realistic way the program is presented every morning, this is 10years, how has the ride been so far ?
A: (Morayo Afolabi Brown)
Well, the show was created for regular women to come together and show that they can have options to life’s issues. The ladies of Your View often have the time. We are just trying to show people that it is not only one way of doing things, there are options, there are different ways, they’re diverse in religion or diverse in culture or diverse in exposure but yet we all have the same perspective of different perspectives to different issues. The idea really was to bring different women to speak their truth based on where they are coming from which can help and resonate with others who are watching them from TV.
Q: Who are the Your View Women ?
A: Morayo Afolabi Brown
The ladies of Your View are amazing women. They are passionate women. They are confident In who they are. They are women who have opinions, who have things to say, their voices must be heard. They are women who believe things can be better. They are women who believe in a better Nigeria. They are women who believe that women have a role to play in Nigeria’s development . They speak their truth, hoping that others who are like them can connect and then begin to see things in different perspective.
Q: Who are the panelists of the Your View program ?
A: Morayo Afolabi Brown
There are six ladies of Your View doing amazing work every single day. Mariam Longe, she auditioned, we wanted another angle. We actually wanted somebody to represent the South East , so Obiajulu came on board. It was later we found out she wasn’t a real South Eastern woman, but South South but initially the original plan was to bring in someone from the South East. We wanted someone from the North so Mariam was perfect she is from the middle belt so she came in with the Northern perspective which was really critical.
Q: Where is Mariam from ?
A: Morayo Afolabi Brown
She is from Jos Plateau. It was important for her to be on the show, because we have different diverse perspectives in the show.
Q: What has been the sustainability power of running this program up till now , knowing fully well how things don’t last long here whether businesses or shows?
A: Morayo Afolabi Brown
I never knew Your View would last this long, even when we started nobody really gave us a chance except for my former MD Mr Lemi Olayemi . He was the one that said Morayo, this show we are going to pull it through. I never knew it was going to be 10years. I didn’t even realize it was going to take this long I just thought that eventually patriarchy would just say remove those women from the studio. They can’t just be saying nonsense on TV but eventually we are still here. I am still thankful to TVC as a platform. I am thankful to our viewers who have kept us on air, it is their support, it is their participation that is causing people to love the show and keep us on air . I am absolutely grateful to God that we have done 10years.
Q: Morayo, what has been your greatest challenge so far being the host of the show ?
A: Morayo Afolabi Brown
One of my great challenges being the host of this show is that I will purposely say also as a leader on this show is when one , two or three ladies of Your View left at some point. It was painful, I knew that everybody that has been on the show came here because they bought into the vision. They made it crystal clear to me that if this is what you are going to achieve we were going to buy that vision and give you all our support. They left for one reason or the other, it was quiet challenging for me but it is life, it happens, things would happen, people would move on for different reasons but it was a huge challenge because I knew that they were bringing value. And that value was always difficult to replace, then another person would come in bring their own unique value but that value that you lost you might never get it back. It was huge for me at the time when the ladies left but hey, as I said life happens .
Q: What has been the toughest and most controversial topic on the show?
A: Morayo Afolabi Brown
The period when I said my husband couldn’t bath my daughter. It was a very difficult time it was a dark time for me. It was painful because my husband had no idea about what was going on, he was in camp, he didn’t have a clue. He just came back, I told him what happened, he laughed and said don’t listen to them. You know he acted really casual about it until he opened his phone, saw the post on himself and started reading the comment. He was flabbergasted and said this is the gravity of what you did? He then broke down and said Morayo you embarrassed me. You know every morning I climb on that pulpit , I am singing in church, do you know what people would be thinking and saying that l am a pedofile? Do you know what that means? Then I realized l said something wrong . It was a painful period but I’m grateful for the maturity route my husband took. He is a matured man. He knew that this could break me, he knew that deep down from my heart I didn’t mean it . He knows that , that is not who Morayo is. He knows who I am, he was able to defend me. In the house he would scold and be upset but outside he stood by me. It was a tough period. He earned my respect for that . I am so grateful to have him as my husband and partner .
Q: How was the first experience on Your View program?
A: Mariam Longe
My name is Mariam Longe and I am one of the ladies of Your View. I joined them 5years ago. When I joined, I was a complete green horn. I had no idea of TV or Radio, but of course I love to watch the program even though I have never been on TV before . When I came in, I was very nervous . I would say for the first few weeks or maybe a month I would have my voice and hands shaking. I was excited to be there. I got support from the other ladies of Your View who encouraged me, some of them would tell me their own story of how they started as well and how they overcame frights, that was how it was. It was a scary beginning but here we are today.
Q: What has been the most
Interesting and Interactive topic that made you teary as a woman and as a mother ?
A: Mariam Longe
One thing about our show is that we are constantly talking about life issues so to pick one would be quite hard but I would never forget when a woman came on our show and was talking about the number of girl children that she was seeing in a therapist arrangement who are being abused by their fathers and the mothers were aware. I remember that shook me, and in fact, in answering to how I coped in the first few years when I started is that many of the stories I will take home would affect me through out the day. There are so many stories you know how it is , you live in your bubble then suddenly you are now in a show that opens you up to the whole world that you never imagined and some of those stories were quite difficult but I would say that over the years I have built a strong armor but from the very beginning it was quite difficult, so that particular story shook me.
Q: What would you guys have to say to Morayo and TVC for creating this platform and for bringing you on board?
A: Mariam Longe
We love the show. I love the show and yeah everyone likes being in front of the camera. I love the show specifically because of the women in the show. They are very supportive of each other although all of us have our own different personalities but in the end we are quite supportive of each other. Secondly, my story will be incomplete if l don’t mention Morayo , her personality and her leadership style. Morayo is so humble sometimes even to our annoyance. She hasn’t even fully grasp the importance of the legacy that she has just built or she’s building. And in that she will constantly want to be your friend, even when she gives you feedback that she thinks it is a bit uncomfortable, she will want to make sure that after that feedback you are still good. She was always checking up on us. She is quite selfless. I don’t want to paint her like an angel but truly Morayo is one of the reasons all the ladies enjoy the show because we know that in the end you can still go to Morayo and talk to her and she would listen to you, it makes work comfortable and enjoyable. If Morayo did not have the personality that she has, if she wasn’t that sort of person that would willingly allow people to express themselves that does not stop from bring strong autocratic. I believe the show wouldn’t have lasted long enough. Morayo’s selflessness has worked a long way in keeping us together this long.
Q: How were you discovered for the show ?
A: Obiajulu Ugboh
I am Dr Obiajulu Bisi Ugbo. I would say I stumbled on the show. I had a friend Tope Mark Odigie who I knew had told me sometime ago that she was doing something on TV but I wasn’t sure because we were models. We modeled together as teenagers so we see once in a while. I was a music artist at the time. I was promoting my music so I invited her to do my make-up, by the time she came she was like okay, there’s this thing I do where we get women to speak from time to time. We will like to have you on and at the time I was promoting my music, the last music video I did ‘Ife’ had come on Entertainment Splash program a few months back when l was a guest on the program. In my head I felt she was inviting me to be interviewed as a celebrity guest but when I came to the (Cup room)that day they gave me newspaper to read. I studied political science in school but I hated anything politics. I was panicking. I said why are they giving me newspaper to read but decided to chest whatever was coming on board for. I am a very brave woman, l go with the flow and just go with the bold face.
I took the paper got on set that day, one of the ladies actually took the story I had taken, I had no story to give so I just added an addendum to what she had said.
After the interview, I enjoyed the whole conversation, very light issues about lifestyle which was my forte. I enjoyed it and Morayo looked at me and said I like you. If I invite you to come again would you like to come anytime you’re free? I said yes. When we went outside I told Tope that I would like to be part of the program, that I really liked it , then my husband was asking her that they didn’t ask me any questions about my music. He kept saying “You were not interviewed as an artist and then Tope said no, I brought her as a guest co-host, that was the first time I was hearing that word” I started coming then from time to time, the producers would reach out to me saying we need you on the show and I will come all the way from Alakuko. I would drive down to the show. I really enjoyed it. I kept coming till they needed to add more people to join the show and luckily for me I was a part of them.
Q: How has the ride been on the program since then especially now that you are celebrating your 10th anniversary ?
A: Obiajulu Ugboh
It’s been 5 years. It’s been an interesting journey, the platform seems a little but it’s actually big. It helps you grow in many dimensional ways that you have never thought about. The first time even though I studied political science I didn’t pay attention to policies or politics issues till I got on the show. When I got on the show, I would say somethings on the show, my political science classmates would chat or call me and say Obiajulu you’re doing well and I am like I’m not interested but when I started paying attention, because we had to read newspapers every morning so that we can be current with affairs of the nation especially the policies that have gone wrong We would know the ones that are working or not working. We have guest ministers, commissioners , people from different professional backgrounds are guests on Your View. I started understanding Nigeria. I started understanding the problems we had as a people, that strengthened my conversation. I go out, I sit with men conversing and arguing about politics. I learnt everything on Your View. It was an opportunity to develop my mind, I love to learn . I started reading a lot of books, I went straight into personal development. I became a life coach. I became a lot of things on the show. I am someone who is multi talented. I was a music artist, I was a rapper . I was so many things before I came on board . I grew more on the show because of the opportunities that were open to me . I have enjoyed myself so far on this program.
Q: I know Your View ladies have different professional backgrounds and have different interest, Obiajulu l know you are an artist, can you please sing for us?
A: Obiajulu Ugboh
I haven’t sang in a while, but I usually sing in my bathroom these days. I have stopped singing but will sing for you .
Okay so which song would come to my mind now (clears throat)
Okay give me a moment let me think of what I want to sing.
Q: Will you sing one of your songs ?
A: I don’t want to sing any of my songs. I will song Whitney Houston “I wanna dance with somebody”
Obiajulu sings –
Oh I wanna dance with somebody.
I wanna feel the heat with somebody
Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody
With somebody who loves me.
Oh I wanna dance with Morayo,
I wanna feel the heat with Mariam.
Yeah I wanna dance with the ladies, with somebody who loves me.
Everyone is cheering her .
Q: I remember during the “End SARS We saw videos of you ladies hiding from the protesters who invaded the TVC studio, tell us about the experience and how you guys escaped unhurt ?
A: Morayo Afolabi Brown
Let me tell you about END SARS and what happen. When the whole thing started the ladies of Your View and I were talking about it. We condemned the police brutality that we saw on social media a lot of times . We spoke against it. We spoke truth to power but when the shooting happened at the toll gate that day, the management were scared and asked if we were sure we want to go on air? The management called me and I said we have been speaking all this while, I am not going to use because of what happened and stop the ladies for coming on show . It was a difficult decision to make that we should go on air. We did not have any interest. We just knew that we hold Nigerians to do that shoot the next day. When I got approval that the show would go on I called the ladies I even sent a message and I said to the ladies that tomorrow’s show might be the very last show that we do because we don’t know what’s going to happen to that station or even to us but I want you all to come on set tomorrow and give your everything. We are going to say it as it is don’t worry about anything, express yourselves at the right time. I suggested we wear black so we would be able to connect to those who have lost their loved ones. It was a critical situation. The next day was clear because of the tension that we thought might happen. The other ladies Mariam, Obiajulu, Nima had to stay back while YK and myself just the two of us on set that day. The other ladies joined virtually. We started the show and of course my management knew that something might happen so they brought in police, two police cars were on stand by just to help us and then people were talking in my ears so Morayo go for a commercial break and come back just like the producers and directors speak to my ears , suddenly everything went numb, I didn’t hear anything no body was talking to me I didn’t know what was going on. I was saying hello who is there , what is going on what do we do next ? Nobody said anything. I was trying to find out what happened so the producer and the crew were wondering what was going on, they now opened the door maybe trying to go upstairs to find out what’s going on. They saw people were already coming inside the TVC premises, they threw fire inside the news room, right outside the news room was our studio . That’s when we realized that we have been invaded. We quickly ran to the back locked the back door exit and locked everywhere. We had to cut off the TV, it was obvious we knew they were off air. We called our boss, they said we should stay where we were, they said they will call the police. The commissioner of police was called, he said stay put the police will extend their support. They called for re-enforcement. We kept waiting. We couldn’t peep because we knew there was danger outside, eventually when we waited for so long, nobody was calling us, one of the camera men went to the back door opened the door, saw that the fire had already started. Initially there wasn’t fire in the news room it was actually people entering the news room scattering things everywhere throwing stuffs and destroying whatever they can lay their hands on. We locked up that place with chairs to block the door. When one of the camera men went outside he saw the bus on fire, the building was already burning. He said “ Ma, they’ve started burning the building. I knew that we couldn’t stay there because if we stayed there God forbid anything could happen although we were told by the police to stay where we were but i said guys if there’s anything I know about safety let’s get out. We walked outside those boys saw us, I was wearing skirt but Tope was obviously ready especially with the kind of outfit she choose . I couldn’t jump off the railings everyone else jumped off, they caught me and I went down. They punched me twice took my phone and then all the crowd came around us, pushing us. It was a very difficult period because even my producer Mr Dolapo was attacked, he tried to jump but then broke his leg till today he still has a limp. People were running for their lives , it was chaotic , the sudden attack on our workplace shocked everyone .
We manage to leave the premises, still trying to be safe . The neighbors were seeing us saying , they actually recognized us “ Are these not the ladies of Your View? They started calling themselves to come to our rescue. I have to give this lady her credit Toyin Lawani, the CEO Tiannah Empire. I didn’t know her from anywhere she just called me and said I have sent somebody to come pick you up.
As we stepped out of the gate this big man grabbed Tope and myself, took us away. It was later we found out she was able to get one of our friends there to come rescue us because those guys were ready to do anything to us. They were just too angry. It was a very difficult moment. When people were saying that the ladies of Your View were paid not to speak against social ills, and that was not the case.
We say we have been speaking truth to power from day one. If some of these people were watching Your View regularly they will see that we are neutral and have always condemned police brutality. We speak the truth always .
Q: There are rumors that TVC is owned by Ashiwaju who is currently the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , that is what is alleged and one of the major reason the protesters invaded the premises and destroyed properties during End Sars protest, how true is that ?
A: Obiajulu Ugboh
Personally I think it is unfair to get so upset that you forget to be logical and reasonable.
I have been on Your View on TVC for the last 5years. I have never seen the president elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu come to the station. I don’t even think he knows me, he has never written a letter, he has never warned me against what I said or did not say on the show. I have never gotten a warning from him on what to say or what not to say. The show is done in such a way that we get newspapers we pick the stories , we have the opportunity to air our personal opinions but sometimes when we need to use professionals to get the real statistics which sometimes is different from what the newspapers gives us . We invite professionals in those fields, they handle the statistics and when we need to also mention statistics we read up on those numbers but most of the time we air our personal opinions . We started the conversation of END SARS before most people started that conversation. We were the first people who started talking about police brutality amongst other things, so it was so unfair that the protesters wanted to attack were Nigerians are earning a living. Nigerians are working there and there are people there who do not know him personally , who were just employed like we were and then you come there to destroy their means of livelihood because you want to attack or get at him?
I saw it as too much. I saw it as they went over board. I didn’t like the fact that even after we spoke for the people , fought for the people, the same people came back and attacked us.
Q: Do you have anything to add to that ?
Answer : Mariam Longe
I was not on set that day but I would give you a background story of the day before , most of us could not leave the office it was much later at night. I will never forget because I got home at past 10pm the day before the attack.
There were so many boys on the road who were already warning us saying if we knew what was good for us that we should not come back. Obiajulu, Nima, YK and myself live very far away from the studio so Morayo advised that for those of us who live far from the studio could stay home to join virtually. She and Tope lived closer to the studio at the time we felt that if anything happens at least they were closer home so they would be able to escape but in my wildest imagination I did not think what happened on the 21 October 2021 was going to be that bad. I knew we would get trolled, I knew we would be called out because we had seen it, for me the reason I am talking about this is to talk about the danger of allowing false narratives just be perpetuated on social media. Someone posted a lie saying TVC staffs have been asked to say something to protect the police or support police brutality. It was such an outrageous lie, one Nigerian typed out those words and posted it. It was reposted on social media, people were angry, took it in like it was the truth. They used that to judge us so it didn’t matter how many years we’ve be running the show it didn’t matter the times we have out on the show everyday to speak against police brutality, it didn’t matter we were the first people to invite speakers who were grieved concerning the issues. It didn’t matter then all of a sudden because of one tiny lie on social media, they were ready to burn us and the premises down. I will say till today I’m disappointed, I’m disappointed in the Nigerians that did it . I am disappointed with those that we gave a platform to talk about police brutality and they couldn’t use their voice to say that’s not true we have been on their show we know what they stand for. I still feel disappointed, I need time. Anytime I think about it, I just hope I will be able to get over it someday.
Q: Your View is 10, what should your viewers be expecting from you ladies in the nearest future?
A: Mariam Longe
l believe the future would be bright. I am excited for the future because I have see what the last 5years has been so far that’s for me personally. Then the 10 years, you know when something is built on a strong foundation. l mean this particular show, this project has been built on hard work, discipline, friendship, support, truth and honesty, I mean with this , what wouldn’t grow a foundation like that? I’m excited for 15 for 20 for 25 years, there is something Morayo likes to say she is looking forward for a time when we will be old, we are watching Your View in our homes with our tiny cups of tea. We will see much younger generations doing this, that is what I’m looking forward to.
A: Obiajulu Ugboh
The future is bright, for me the future of Your View on TVC is amazing, Your View with Morayo . The future actually holds a lot we have not even started because I know that the first few years of that show was like a seed time, it was like we were planting continuously . We have not began to reap from the seeds that we have planted. You know when you plants your seeds they have different fruits coming out of them some take longer than the others. We still have to reap what we have planted. I see Your View breaking barriers . I see Your View women invited to do tech talks just because you are a woman of Your View . We would graduate from being ladies of Your View. I am actually 16 years my age is never going to change. We would graduate from being called the ladies of Your View. The show would keep growing and expanding in different dimensions. I see the hand of God in everything, there is something that I have seen in Morayo that I have noticed she is a child of grace. She comes to do her job with an open mind, with her selfless mind , with a mind that is not envious, a mind that wants every individual to grow and when you have that growth your mindset it is different, not just for you but for every life that you touch, so growth would never depart from you. Your View is going to grow, Your View already would be a household name.In the world Your View is going to be a different international show. Your View going to be an international show.
Q: For you what are the bad sides of Morayo as a leader?
A: Obiajulu Ugboh
First she doesn’t like confrontation. She would rather just have peace, it is the peace that is most important to her. We have realize in life that sometimes you don’t need to go to war so that when the peace comes the peace is real and genuine.
And for some people, people like me I can’t deal with peace that is not genuine I will rather just stay in my space. She is changing now after we met , because I always remind her to try to put herself first sometimes so she will rather just let everybody have their way , she rather not push for that thing she really wants she would be like don’t worry when I really need it, it would come to me. She’d rather let everything just be and it’s good to a large extent but sometimes people take advantage of you, you need to hold yourself, be more direct so that people can respect your boundaries. She is growing she is becoming a tougher kind of woman. I don’t let her be. I think God has brought us to her as sisters as well so that we can help run off and learn from each other. She had rubbed off on me as well. We have been able to collaborate with women without thinking of who would outshine anyone . I learnt to share on the show. I understand that the sky is wide enough for all the birds to fly.
Q: What would you ladies say are the bad side of your lead anchor Morayo?
A: Mariam Longe
Interestingly what she said she does not like about Morayo is what I actually admire about Morayo. I think that’s what really makes her special. She doesn’t think of herself first , I don’t want to use the word selfish. She is very selfless and it has gone a long way in helping her achieve some of the things that she has achieved. People gravitate towards pure hearted people , people gravitate towards that sacrifice , so that is what I admire about her. And what I don’t like about Morayo is that she can shout especially when she is upset about something in her house or her village , she brings the energy everywhere, you would feel it at the table, you will be asking yourself is it me ? I mean I’m just breathing here. Why is she upset because I’m breathing ? (Laughs)
You are like maybe I should hold my breath but it has nothing to do with you, she has just brought it from wherever she came from and then she goes I am just so upset today (laughs) I was like how is it my fault that your upset from wherever you are coming from(Laughs) so that is what I don’t like about Morayo. I want her to keep her anger issues and direct it to the person that deserves to receive the shots and she shouldn’t bring it to the table anymore (laughs)
Q: Let us just say she is the Iyalode of the team?
Q: Your View is 10, so what should your viewers be expecting from you ladies in the nearest future?
A: Morayo Afolabi Brown
The future of Your View for me is in two parts I will really like to talk about the future for the ladies and the future for the show. The ladies, I think each of them have grown like I remember when everybody started. I know where they are today and have seen huge growth in all of them. Tope is now a real estate mogul , she’s doing very well, traveling around the world, she has been able to start her business now. I see her in future as a force to reckon with in the real estate market. Mariam has started in environmental development. She is worried about climate change. I see her traveling the world talking about climate change in Africa, starting and continuing the conversation on environmental and climate changes because that is her area that is her forte. She has written a book on vultures, I see that she has grown. I see her being an international author on environmental crusader .
Obiajulu, importer and exporter, she has different businesses. She is a personal coach. She is a singer. She is a minister. She has multi talented, that kind of person is a role model to many people, I see her owing businesses. I see her having stores in different parts of the world. I see her becoming an empire. It such a bright future. YK has invested in Felabration even before Your View ever started, Felabration has grown , we have seen Felabration grow in lips and bounds ever since she started the show. I know it is going to get bigger. The brand at which she has and which she is owning will be passing on and it will keep getting bigger as she is. Nima is a lawyer she’s a voice for Muslims, especially women in Hijabs. She is a strong woman , she is going to be a force to reckon with when it comes to fighting for the women especially women in hijabs, who she strongly feels are educated powerful women. This is one thing she has been doing since , she cares for the broken hearted that is what Nima is all about. I see them becoming multiple successful women across board.
As for the show, it will grow and grow . I said earlier that I want to be old , l want to see Your View replicated and people would say the show is being replicated , please replicate it I beg you because women must speak. Let’s replicate it in Igbo, hausa and yoruba , let’s replicate it in itshekiri and every other Nigerian languages, let women across all platforms across the country have a voice . Everyone should have a voice to speak because the truth is that we must begin to learn from each other and from our experiences. We need to change and modify. We shouldn’t leave patriarchy to make decisions for us so we must speak. The plan for Your View is that it will celebrate 20,30 years even if I am not hosting the ladies anymore let people speak. Your View continues to create a platform for women not professionals,not just journalists but real women who have an opinion to expose and express their views without discrimination or fear.