Faces Behind The Voices

Posted on November 21 2009 , at 08:05 am
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By Olanike Fagbule

Gone are the days when an On Air Personality’s success is measured by the influence of the radio station he or she reports for. These days, fans are interested in nearness, and how well the personality can relate with them and their day to day affairs. Are you stuck in early morning rush-hour traffic? Or you just broke up with your partner and the whole world is beginning to seem meaningless? Are you bored, alone and looking for some company? Turn on the radio and you’re certain to find someone ready to hijack the moment and fill it with their own idea of what living should look, feel and sound like

This is one attribute Singer, writer and OAP Tosyn Bucknor has. In an industry where many are lost trying to imitate OAP and American idol host Ryan Seacrest, Tosyn Bucknor is a breath of fresh air –   rewriting the rules of breakfast radio, getting fans to eat from her palms and making “Razz the new cool”

Tosyn Bucknor
Tosyn Bucknor

The singer-writer has become the darling of radio fans, barely a few months after taking up the breakfast belt on TOP Radio” an impressed writer at The Punch Newspaper reported about Miss Bucknor in May.

And while Tosyn, the second daughter of veteran entertainer Segun Bucknor strives to stay on top of her game, one stiff competition she has is Wazobia FM’s Steve Onu.

Popularly known as Yaw, little did we know that the young gentleman who thrilled us in a couple of TV dramas in the early 2000s had the traits of a radio star. The anchor of the popular morning show “Make Una wake” which holds on Wazobia FM between 6am and 12noon combines his job as an OAP with being an MC and stage actor.

Steve Onu

“On Air Personality, Steve Onu a.k.a Yaw has wormed his way into the hearts of many radio listeners in Lagos and neighboring states” The Sun Nigeria reported in April. Interestingly, barely a year after taking up the job at Wazobia, Yaw was named “Best On Air Personality” at the “City People Awards” and ‘’Mode Men Awards” .

Can we say Yaw is to Wazobia FM what Dan Foster is to Inspiration FM?

Dan Foster joined Cool FM in 2000, and has since become a favorite with the Nigerian audience. Nine years after, not only has he remained a yardstick for many up and coming OAPs, the broadcasting and drama graduate of Morgan State University, Baltimore, USA continues to amass incredible followership, riding on a  daring presentation style, amazing wit and rare spontaneity.

Dan Foster
Dan Foster

Apart from Praise Jam, Dan also anchors the early morning daily breakfast show on Inspiration. He was on the same belt while he was on Cool FM

And since Foster left Cool FM in 2008, Manny has gradually wormed his way into the hearts of a few followers on the breakfast belt therefore proving true, the old adage which says “the sky is large enough for everyone to fly” right

A musician, DJ and talker, Manny first gained our attention in 2007 with the release of his first single titled “Stay”. Now, in spite of putting his tiny feet in Foster’s extra large shoes, Manny has succeeded in becoming one of the powerful voices on radio. He alongside many others like Freeze have continued to raise the bar; working hard to make sure the drowning station regains its glory.


DJ Freeze joined cool FM in 2001, as a broadcaster and production officer. Right now, he hosts “The Road Show” the drive-time show Storm 360 honcho Olisa Adibua handled at Cool FM before leaving to join Beat FM.

Real names Ifeoluwa Oderinde, Freeze’s Road show kicks off at 4pm and runs through till 9pm. He is a graduate of Sociology from the University of Ibadan.


One of the most respected voices on radio, Olisa Adibua has been on air since 1988. His experience cuts through Television, radio, film all the way to live events. The bachelors’ bachelor has been almost everywhere before his move to Beat FM in 2009.

Olisa Adibua
Olisa Adibua

He presently combines his job as the host of the morning drive time on Beat FM with being the programs director on the same station where Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi and Tolu Oniru (popularly known as Toolz) now call home.


Hi Toolz of Beat FM is the bomb” a fan posted on Beat FM’s face book page on November 2, 2009. Her Mid-day show starts at 11am and runs till 4pm when she hands over to Ms 411 Gbemi Olateru Olagbegi

When she announced she was leaving Cool FM to return to school on Monday June 1 2009, a lot of fans thought that was the last to be heard of Miss Olateru Olagbegi’s already booming career as a radio informant and on-air personality. But the 25 year-old OAP who hosted Midday Oasis and Radio Graffiti on Cool FM took up the 4 pm to 9 pm shift on Beat FM a few months after.

Gbemi Olateru Olagbegi
Gbemi Olateru Olagbegi

Ms 411 became one of the few exciting voices on radio during her days with Cool FM,  with her daily week-day shows Midday Oasis and Radio Graffiti. And she hasn’t lost any of the magic since pitching her tent with Beat FM where she now anchors the evening drive-time show.

With more than four years experience, Olagbegi is one of the most popular female voices on radio right now, but unlike her other female counterpart Matse Uwatse of Wazobia FM, who at times dabbles into family affairs and matters of the heart Gbemi popularly known as Ms. 411 is content with staying on top of day to day activities in the Entertainment industry inside and outside Nigeria.


But one thing that keeps taking the fans back to Wazobia FM’s Matse is not only her strong voice, but her music program “People’s choice” which airs every Thursday where there is a lineup of certain songs and the audience is left to choose.

“I’m not particularly a radio person, but a couple of weeks ago, while riding in a friend’s car, I listened to a programme presented by a lady (Matse) on Wazobia FM and enjoyed myself thoroughly” blogger and Model Linda Ikeji posted on her blog in an article titled Introducing Matse Uwatse of Wazobia FM on October 17, 2008. “Before now, the only On air personality I used to be into before now was Shola Thompson until he left and since then I’ve never bothered with the radio’ Miss Ikeji wrote

Yes, Shola Thompson! Who’s behind that sexy baritone voice on radio? You might want to ask over and over again, as that is one of the questions many have asked since his days at Rhythm FM before he left to join Inspiration FM in 2008.

Shola Thompson
Shola Thompson

Mr. Thompson who now hosts the night beat at Inspiration FM is a darling amongst the love sick fans. And thanks to his call-in show where he tries to solve matters pertaining to love, he is gradually finding his ways back into the hearts of radio fans after taking a short break from radio.

Won’t this list will incomplete without Nanya Diali? The strong personality who hosts the morning belt on Rhythm FM. His show runs from 6- 10 am every week except on Wednesdays. Nanya has been in the game long before a lot of other on air personalities, and he keeps redefining himself with each passing day.

Nnaya Diali

Nanya’s fans are scattered around the country, as he is well known for his ability to hold the audience, but someone else with such ability is Radio Continental’s Femi Sowoolu

Femi Sowoolu

With more than 20 years experience in broadcasting, Mr. Sowoolu has been an authoritative voice from OGBC, to Rhythm, all the way to Radio Continental. He presently anchors the morning belt on Radio continental which runs from 6-10am.

While Mr. Sowoolu is at it in Lagos, residents of Port Harcourt driving to work or doing house hold chores are busy listening to LD Xtralarge

“He is about the most authoritative radio personality in Port Harcourt” rapper Mtrill says in a discussion with NET last week.  Real names Loknan Donbin, LD Xtra large hosts the breakfast show on Rhythm FM Port Harcourt. His show runs from 6.15am to 10am on weekdays. His Saturday show ‘Rap culture’ is a must hear amongst rap fans all over Port Harcourt.

Interestingly,  while LD reigns supreme as the number one authority on Radio in Port Harcourt, those who live in Lagos will beat their chest and tell you that the ‘MeccaDon’  JAJ is the boss any day any time.


Born Jacob Akinyemi Johnson, JAJ’s is one of the voices that cannot be slept on in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Call him a veteran if you want, but the fact remains that being in the game for more than two decades is not only what has stood the Mecca Don out amongst other radio personalities; and although his smooth deep voice is an addition, it is impossible to over look the fact that whatever joint he certifies becomes a hit.

Setting the pace doesn’t look like such a big deal in JAJ’s case, and as young OAPs like Tyeng Gang and Dooshima Dabo’Adzuana keep finding their way into mainstream radio, making their voices heard and setting new standards, they have got the Abuja audience locked down.

Tyeng Gyang

A change from Cool FM Abuja to Kiss FM Abuja and the duo are yet to get a crack in their voices? Tyeng Gang was this year named best On Air Personality at ‘The Future Awards”. The young man handles the morning belt after which he hands over to angelic voice Dooshima who handles the afternoon gig.

Dooshima who also doubles as an events anchor is a darling amongst Abuja listeners, and not only has she risen to one of the top 10 in the good books of the audience, she is also gradually making a name for herself, rising rapidly to the very top, to join enduring masters of the game, like Keke and D1.

Keke and D1
Keke and D1

Yes, same Keke and D1 responsible for Primetime and Kennis Music. Famous for their show on Ray Power on Mondays and Fridays from 2pm to 5pm, the respected duo has for more than 10 years penetrated our homes and hearts, remaining relevant on radio, even though these days, they have their hands in so many interests…

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Comments (35)

  • lookin' good.def lovin Gbemi's smile, Shola ever lookin like a bad boi then we should include Aibeekay of Raypower, Kris the razor and the guys at radio continental – Tony lovechild,Ladani and em…

    • Joj is nt bad but his eyes are very big, but i think i like his voice anyway good work guy you dey too much carry go.

  • I m pretty sure Freeze's name is Ifedayo Olarinde, not Oderinde as claimed in the article (pedantic!!!! I know, lol). Apart from that absolutely love the piece!!

  • Am seriously wondering where you put IK Osakioduwa aka WildChild in your line up. And once more i must wonder since when the phrase "stood him out" was grammatically acceptable in the English Language. Altogether not a bad article but am still waiting for a Nigerian entertainment piece that is not all praise. Where oh where are the critics???

  • 'Impressive line up…I hope to see credit given too to "voices" that albeit we dont hear now, but helped create the image of some of these stations in the past like Dare(Cool Fm), Chinye(Rhythm Lagos) and Tolu(Cool Fm).

  • Not a bad piece but I will say that a lot of research was not done on the presenters…just surface details.

    Matse on wazobia is beautiful and so is her voice and intellects. Glad to see the face to that name. Thanx!

  • Dan foster has been a blessing to me every sunday morning,i followed him from coolfm since the year 2000 and can't even let go now that he's with inspirationfm,sometime earlier this month i met him at shoprite and he allowed me to take a picture with him,it was a happy day for me to meet the big dog live.

    ken from surulere.

  • shola thompson has and will always be the best in the love zone.. i have listened to his show for a long time even when he was at rhythm.. dude still has the flow in i.fm.. big up to u man i love u..

  • gang,i just want you to know that this year is your year.and that you have not seen any thing yet,the good lord is seriously prepairing another package for you in 2010.keep the

    moving train going ,kiss fm is the best.god bless you.

  • Jaj as a cool voice but just one more problem his eyes are just too big, but all the same good work keep it up and carry go.

  • As one hoping to build a career in broadcasting,it feels good to read a piece as this,especially having worked wif some of this people.However,some great names like IK,Oge(brila),Tito(raypower)Mofe(starfm),were left out.

  • Nike…nice write up…really nice, am so proud of u..and i have the biggest crush on Toolz, Oreka and Gbemi..

  • Very nice write up. I appreciate d fact dat u put pics bhind d names but where on earth did u put my Ik? He’s also realy gud too. He’s my role model. I’ve got luv 4 al dem presenters dey r realy cool esp cool fm, rhythm, beatz n inspiration. Dey r dope. kip it up

  • men! I dnt even no where 2 start. Shuld i star fr….. Well, i gv it 2 my best,role model,naturally giftd OAP’s lyk JAJ da meccidon,Spaceboogie,Benny ark,big sid,matild duncan n el da mainace.

  • The entrance of Yaw, Matse, Anyiedu and Lolo into the scene brought a whole new dimension into radio presenting and Lagos has been better for it. My radio dial is permanently tuned to Wazooooobia 95.1 Fm

  • great post, very informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector don’t notice this. You must proceed your writing. I am confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

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