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Ojinika Obiekwe: Behind The Stories – 12 Years & Counting | Fela on Broadway



Ojinika-223Ojinika Obiekwe‘s vivacious spirit is evident when she gets in front of the camera. This hardworking and professional journalist, has worked for the past 12 years wearing multiple hats just to get the job needs to be done.  At BellaNaija, while we seek to entertain and educate, we also hope to inspire our readers and show them that there are people who keep striving  to make a difference in their chosen careers. In this vein, we spoke with Oji and shared her story with you.{Click here if you missed it}.

As she looks back on her journey so far, she has chosen to share 12 memorable stories from her career. As she recalls her growth path and the lessons she has learned, she hopes to reach as many people as she forges ahead to an even brighter future.

Read part III of her chronicles below:


If I said I was once one of Fela’s women, I wouldn’t be completely lying. Technically, I was…but before you jump down my throat, let me explain.
It obviously wasn’t in real life, because although I’m old…I’m still kinda young to have ever been one of his boos. I never met him in person, but I met the guy that played him on Broadway…

That counts, right? well in my head it does.

Once upon a time, I heard the story of Fela was coming to the “great white way” – that’s another name for Broadway here. I still have no idea why they call it that and never got the “great white” part but I just went with the flow. Come to think of it, I should google it to find out…

Back to Fela on Broadway…
It was very exciting news for me…to hear that his story/music was about to be told in such a fashion. I was sooo excited that you’d think I was making money off of it (I wasn’t, I wish). I was mainly happy because my parents were big fans so I grew up listening to him; I’m sure many of us did and still do.

Everyone was talking about it, there was a lot of buzz around it.I guess my bosses thought well, Oji is Nigerian – we should send her. Or maybe it had a little to do with the fact that I kept bugging them about how it’s such a big deal so we should definitely cover it. Here’s the deal, everyone that works with me or knows me gets to hear about Nigeria and Africa every single day.

Everyone knows where I’m from because I tell them. If all the vowels in my name don’t give it away…no problem, I will let you know myself.
If Africa was a sports team, I would be the cheerleader on the sidelines for every single game. So as the unofficial “African Ambassador to the world” I gladly went over to meet the cast for rehearsals.

It was a fun shoot and relatively easy. At this point, I was comfortable putting together pieces. I’m a natural born storyteller, in every possible way.
I pretty much know what direction I want to go with a story before I even start my interviews. Sometimes it works out that way, other times surprises pop up but you just go with it.

This particular one had no surprises. I honestly don’t get to take all the credit – the camera men I’ve gotten to work with are just amazingly talented people and they make my life easy. Whether it be as a reporter, producer or my time as an assignment editor.

For this shoot, I was supposed to go talk to the cast and watch them rehearse. But when I met the “women who played the women” in Fela’s life..I knew I not only had to talk to them. I had to be one of them…and they let me.
Some face paint and a few dots on my face later; I was in.

So that’s what I meant by that first sentence. I was one of Fela’s women, kinda sorta…

I even got to paint my face again the day the piece aired because I had to be on set. All I wore was a wrapper…no joke. I tied it around my chest, painted my face and I think I tied my hair. I, of course, changed into my regular clothes right after I went on-air but I didn’t wash my face.

The dudes from Boyz II Men were guests on the show that morning and I forgot my face was still painted.
I stood there with them, yapping away about nothing, taking pictures and telling them how these other girls and I had to be them for a talent show in school when I lived in Nigeria (told you I bring it up any chance I get)

When I eventually saw the pics we took, I realized I never explained why I had dots painted on my face. They probably just thought I was on drugs or something. But they didn’t say anything. I should find that picture; I think I have it on FaceBook somewhere.

I guess I have to shut up at some point and actually show you the Fela interview, don’t I?
Here you go…part of my look back series at my 12 years doing “this thing” that I do for a living…
Here it is, the piece I put together for “Fela on Broadway”…this was about 5 years ago or so. I’m guessing. I can’t count. Sorry.

Watch it here:

With a career in television that has spanned more than a decade, Ojinika Obiekwe is a Nigerian-born Emmy award-winning journalist who has interviewed people from all walks of life - from A-list celebrities to politicians to the newsmakers of our time. A chance encounter brought her to New York’s WPIX-TV/Channel 11 as an intern. Now as a producer/correspondent for PIX11 Morning News, Ojinika not only writes and produces for the news program but also steps in front of the camera to interview some of Hollywood's biggest names which include the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Jennifer Aniston and many more.


  1. @edDREAMZ

    October 2, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Making sense write up no doubt….

  2. Smiley

    October 2, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Well done.

  3. MK

    October 7, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Nice job Ojinika, you are hilarious. For some reason the videos wouldn’t play on my mobile it just me?

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