My first experience of radio listening came in my mum’s shop. My mum used to have an old Aiwa radio in her shop and it filled the immediate atmosphere with the sounds emanating from the limited radio stations that existed in 1998/99. As a little boy, below the age of 12, I got attracted to Rhythm 93.7FM which filled the air waves with cool music. I couldn’t miss opening my mum’s shop every Sunday before 12:30pm to listen to Fela Jamz played non-stop for 30minutes.
In that my pre-teenage era, when a Christian tape isn’t playing, I locked my mum’s dial to 93.7 and occasionally tuned RayPower100.5FM for some other flavour and OGBCII Fm stereo to listen to the Apostle of the denomination I attend. I later found out about Cool 96.9FM and there was competition. Admission into a Unity boarding school restricted me from the air waves and in 6 years I have lost the little touch I had about radio programs and presenters.
Between2004 and 2006, Brila 88.9FM came onboard. The first sports radio in Africa founded by Larry Izamoje. A survey in Lagos and south west Nigeria indicated that Brila was the station most listened to. Larry fascinated me with his Sports and Music, Bimbo Adeola held me captive with his MTN Player Score card. Others like Yemi Fagbolagbu made the station the bomb. I dare not miss Sports Drive and The Fans Assembly unless NEPA decided otherwise. I credit Bimbo and MTN Player Score card for making me Love “Stand Up for the Champion” by Right Fred.
In late 2005, I travelled down the East to start university education and Brila FM was left behind in Lagos. In my naivety I tried tuning 88.9 in Owerri to get Brilain Lagos but to no avail. I had to make do with Radio Nigeria Heartland 100.5FM in Owerri. The station couldn’t stand amongst the Lagos stations but it was better none.
Then came my good friend Algernon Ilea.k.a. prof, who introduced me to the Kchibo transistor radio. When we couldn’t watch any match in the viewing centers we would make do with the transistor radio and tune BBC. I fell in love with the BBC and Kchibo and after the next holiday I had my own. Ile taught me how to get BBC and I later realised that the radio commentary was faster, more explanatory and full of information and excitement. We do go with it to viewing centres and they knew us for shouting “goal!!”first before the television displays it. When NEPA strikes, they relied on us.
Every Saturday in those days, once it is 1400GMT our portable transistor radio wouldecho “This is Sports World with Rosser Feller…” How would we forget Mike Ingham, the BBC chief football correspondent?His opinions were respected. You dare not miss Alan Green’s football commentary. The vivid image you get from his use of adjectives to describe proceedings on the pitch is only comparable to watching it on a 3D TV set. I missed the masculine-voiced man that reads out the summary scores at 1600GMT or 1700GMT. I also love that correspondent that reports as if he is unserious but very funny. I credit BBC for teaching me how to pronounce “Wenger”. It is pronounced “Venger”.
The BBC became my hope for news even in areas without neither GSM nor radio stations around. Where so ever I went, my Kchibo went with me. It was my bestfriend. I didn’t miss Focus On Africa,and I enjoyed Farai Mongazi’s anchorage of Africa Football.
Between2006 and 2009, I followed BBC sports and Heartland FM. But Oba Stephen introduced Cosmo FM Enugu to me.That station held Enugu, Anambra, Kogi, Benue and others captive. That was the beginning of the revolution in the South East and South-South. I remember always keeping a date with Frank’s Sports Track every 7:30am with Stephen’s radio in his room.
In May 2009, I moved to Port Harcourt and fell heads over heels with the sportscrew at Family Love FM. The crew had Carl Orakwe and China Achueru and two others. They made up my breakfast from6:45-7:00am. I dare not miss their midweek show at night. I later heard Bimbo Adeola’s voice on a station only to realize that he has left Brila FM. He was running an Etisalat sponsored sports programme round the federation. He had a unique voice that you would love to listen to.
Returning to Owerri in 2010, a certain Hot FM had emerged and had stolen the Owerri populace from the hands of the government owned Heartland FM and Orient 94.4 FM.They were exciting to listen to but they were APGA-like, yet I couldn’t turn away from the PH stations. I still tuned Family Love FM and Cool FM PH.
Cool FM PH became the happening thing in Rivers, Bayelsa and Imo. There I heard Femi Obong-Daniels for the first time.I was surprised to hear China Achueru’s voice in cool FM PH and later realized he had moved to the Cool Family. The Cool Football Fans Time every evening was superb with facebook comments read always.
Later,Femi Obong-Daniels left PH for Lagos to spearhead the Cool Football fans Time on Cool96.9FM in the evenings. Deji Tinubu and his crew held the cool sports fans in the morning with the unique Sports Express. Sports Express later left Cool 96.9FM after Femi and the Gang was formed to take over all sports in Cool FM and Wazobia FM.
Nigeria info FM was born as a talk station to make up the CoolWazobiaInfo Family. Its frequency is 99.1 in Lagos. Femi and the Gang are in charge of all sports show on the station. No matter the sports event, they are living up to expectation, following and reporting live be it Champions League night, any football event, Formula One,Tennis and even Boxing. And anyone can be a presenter; just call. Femi and the Gang have presenters like Femi Obong-Daniels, Princess Fiona, Kelechi Nwosu, Emmanuel Etim, Okon Inyang, Bolarinwa, Titus, Bimbo Awoyele and Kelechi Nkoro who just left on 22April, 2013. The Gang used to have Carl Orakwe and even China Achueru. They still work togethe rsharing vital information.
Jimmie’s voice attracted me to Classic 97.4FM. I loved his tone and direct sports reporting. He had to move to The Beat 99.9FM to continue his good work. This was because Sports Express had shifted to Classic FM. Sports Express have people like Leye Adeloju, Bode etc. I hear Classic FM, The Beat FM and Naija FM are together.
Every morning I am torn apart by Jimmie, Femi and the Gang, Sports Express and Brila FM. 7:00-7:15 is Jimmie’s time on The Beat 99.9FM. I immediately switchover to Femi and the Gang on Nigeria Info 99.1FM which is actuallybetween 7:05 and 7:30am. 7:30-7:45am is Sports Express on Classic 97.4FM beforeI switch to Cool 96.9FM for Score with the Gang till 8:00am. By8:00am I tune to Brila FM till I am tired.
My weekends have been taking over by Femi and the Gang. They get to the studio on Saturdays from 12pm-8pm and Sundays from 12pm-7pm. I momentarily switch to Brila FM for Talk Sports from UK and rarely use my Kchibo again for BBC views. When I am not watching, I am listening to the Gang be it mid-week or weekend.
This chronicle was originally written in the light of Kelechi Nkoro’s absence from the Gang for a period but things change and errors are corrected, views are sampled, explanations become clearer. Before this present edit, this was how the post ended:
This chronicle was instigated by the exit of Kelechi Nkoro, the Italian Mafia, from the Gang and the CoolWazobiaInfo Family. He left for higher achievements but I feel something went terribly wrong. I love every member of the Gang and respect the views of every presenter I have come across in every station I listen to. I love Nkoro’s controversies, insightful arguments and humour. Would there still be Kelechi Nkoro’s Top 20 Team?
Thanks to digital radio on phones, I would search for him anywhere he goes. Be it the BeatClassicNaija Family, his views is all I seek.
Nkoro remained and I PORTed. I moved to the seemingly garden city and have almost been robbed of my Radio experience, starved of my favourite radio shows in Lagos, whining in distaste for the level in Port Harcourt. I still follow on twitter and facebook.
But, in hope, Love FM PH remains and the spice from my speakers from 6:45am to 7am is enjoyable and the PH Gang of Nigeria info FM have captured the PH populace. 7:05am to 7:30am is like a most for many and the weekends seem customary now. I don’t miss the weekend shows with Chuma Nnoli and his assistant Ngela. They tune in to Lagos sometimes and I become excited hearing Femi and the Gang again.
In all, I value every one that works behind the mic in various studios. I appreciate your diligence in dishing out information. continue the good work. I can only wish I was part of you. If I wasn’t an engineer, I would have been a sports presenter. keep it up radio presenters.
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