Adesuwa Onyenokwe, Olusola Obada: Where are they now?

These individuals that can be described as women of substance made impressionable marks in public service, but for a while now, not much has been heard about them again; SUNNY IDACHABA writes.

Adesuwa Onyenokwe

Mrs. Adesuwa Onyenokwe is a television/screen personality whose image dotted the screens of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) way back in the late ‘80s as a reporter and as newscaster from the ‘90s until she retired, went into private practice as an independent television producer and editor of a magazine she established.

According to her narrative, her father wanted her to be a lawyer, but she had always dreamt of being a TV personality from childhood. She first came in contact with broadcasting when she was posted for her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at NTA Sokoto in 1983 where her talent was discovered by Danladi Bako then as area manager of the station. When she finished the national service in 1984, she left Sokoto, got married in Benin and moved with her husband to Lagos where she picked her fresh appointment with the NTA. Although she had a brief break, she returned and started producing programmes. She later presented the magazine show called ‘Newsline’ aired every Sunday at 9pm until she retired. In 2000, she started a half-hour independent TV programme titled ‘Today’s Woman with Adesuwa’ which ran for 10 years before it ended.

As someone passionate about the media, in 2007, she launched a women lifestyle magazine called ‘Today’s Women’ magazine where open and secret issues that concern women were feely written and analysed by experts. Adesuwa is a successfully-married woman and mother who knows how to combine family life with career such that both do not conflict. For instance, while commenting on the secret of combining both, she said, “Well, for the benefit of those who are in the media industry, I would say that in the course of my job, I travelled a lot. If in the course of the job I end up having dinner with a man I want to interview and we are alone somewhere, it is important that my husband knows because if a man is having dinner with a woman that is not his wife, people would raise an eyebrow.

“Assuming I did that and did not tell my husband and someone informs him, I can imagine how he would feel. If it were me, I would doubt him and feel that there is something hidden. Both parties need to be open and clear.”

Today, Adesuwa who has travailed almost every aspect of the media industry seems to have decided to rest because for a while now, not much has been heard about her again.

Omotayo Omotosho

Mrs. Omotayo Omotosho, a former broadcaster, was also the former director-general of the Nigeria Tourism Development Commission (NTDC), where she worked tirelessly to turn the face of the organisation around. Her face used to be regular on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) in the 90s when she presented a programme entitled ‘Towards a Greater Nigeria’. At a young age of 32, Mrs. Omotosho was appointed into the board chairmanship of Lagos State Broadcasting Corporation where she turned things around like bringing back to shape the Lagos-state owned television and Eko FM.

According to reports, it seemed that was the height of her success even at that age; but that was merely a tip of what destiny had for her in the course of her career.

Omolabake Fasogbon, while writing about her, said, “Aside the output of her 30-year-old ‘Towards a Greater Nigeria’ television programme by which she addressed political and economy issues, her footprint in the nation’s tourism sector as a former DG of NTDC is legendary. Till date, nobody has been able to rival her achievements in the industry. Still, she owes her feat to grace from above. On earth, she is grateful to her parents and husband’s teaching. Her alias, ‘Madam Tourism,’ didn’t come so cheaply as she had to break all known and unknown barriers to place Nigerian tourism at a very attractive spot on the global map.

“This period, according to her, was no doubt challenging but an indelible moment of her life. Highly spiritual and religious as she may be, she never fails to neglect the rule of beauty, no wonder she is untouched by age even at over 55.”

For a while now, Mrs. Omotosho appears to have retired finally as no one has heard anything about her again.

Olusola Obada

Olusola Obada was both the deputy governor of Osun state from 2003 to 2010, as well as former minister of state for defence and later as substantive minister from 2012 to 2013. A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), she was a member of the Goodluck Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organisation in 2015, but her efforts and those of others could not return the party to power, the reason for which she appeared to have lost out entirely since then.

Her last known public appointment was as chairman, governing council of the Federal University Dutsin-Ma in Jigawa state; a position that ended shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari dissolved all appointments made by the PDP administration preceding him. Apart from few society weddings and public functions this former minister attended, not much has been heard about her again.