We can boast of the largest sports program across radio, TV stations in Nigeria — Hakeem Ojaleye

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The celebrated producer of Ibrahim Adesola Aremu’s programme “Aye Akamara” in Rainbow 94.1fm and the Executive producer Seven Degree Media Outfit  Hakeem Ojaleye on 27th May, 2016 paid the last respect to his late father for a life well spent. In an encounter with EDIALE KINGSLEY and AYODELE OSHIKOKHAI at the venue of the event in Iju station Lagos, he spoke passionately about his late father, what he missed most about him, his background, his relationship with Ibrahim Adesola Aremu and many sundry issues. Excerpts.

CAN we take a journey into your background?
I was born in Lagos Island about 40 years ago into the distinguished family of the late Alhaji & Alhaja Abdulrafiu Osuolalekan Ojaleye whose root is firmly planted in Ijebu Ode, Ogun state. I had my Nursery, Primary and Secondary education in Lagos state before my admission into Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Abeokuta where I read Marketing before going into the media.

Now that you are into the media, do we say you have finally dumped marketing?
I have not dumped marketing for the media rather I am still practicing it and at the same time, I have what it takes to be in the media through professionalism. I am not just into media without acquiring the necessary skills. I am working towards my M.Sc in mass communication to enable me exercise more authority in broadcast Journalism in Nigeria.

Is Seven-Degree Media your label’s name?
Seven Degree Media is my outfit’s name. I am into sports in particular. I am the executive producer of Seven Degree Media sport programme on Rainbow 94.1fm. I have programmes on sport in most radio and television stations in Nigeria. We have sport at down by 6:45am mid-day sport 12:15pm, centre sports 3:15pm and sport at sunset 6:00pm respectively in both radio and television stations in the country.

Ibrahim Adesola Aremu is passionate about you as the producer of Akamara programme in Rainbow 94.1fm, what is your relationship with him beyond celebrity level?
Adesola Aremu is a Talented Independent Radio Presenter in Rainbow 94.1fm who I can say is a blessing to the Yoruba race with his creativity and ability to filter out of complex situation truth. I met him only in 2011 and since then I have never stopped loving him. He too has never disappointed me and I have never regretted knowing him. I have the passion for liking him because of his talent, sincerity and objectivity on any issue brought to him.
You have just carried out the final burial of your father, Alhaji Abdulrafiu Osuolalekan Ojaleye.

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Can you tell us what you missed most about him?
My father was a very jovial man with the heart of gold. He was not only nice to us his children, wives and friends, but was also kind to strangers. He could go hungry for the sake of even stranger who visits us without food when things were rough with us. His usual philosophy was that all his children must be educated and I thank God, we attainted that height today.

Was your faith tested with the death of your father because of your closeness to him?
I was emotionally shattered when he died. His death came to us as a surprise. I was very close to him and we were the best of friends when he was alive. As at this moment, I still found it difficult to have a replacement for him, I miss his love, kindness, wisdom and intelligence dearly.

Can you recollect one memorable thing about your late father that you cannot forget in a hurry?
Alhaji was a strict man and a disciplinarian, he instilled discipline in all his children, No one was above discipline at home. If he corrects you once and scolds you, he forgets about it but, when you repeat the same thing again, he would not hesitate to use his whip on you. He was objective to the core. He says things the way they are without fear or favour.

What is your take on what people were saying about your father during his final burial ceremony at Iju station Lagos on Friday 27th May, 2016?
I would say with sincerity and honesty of purpose that I was humbled and honoured to receive various testimonies from people about my father. It is this kind of legacy he left behind I wish for.

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You have come a long way. What will you consider a turning point in your life?
Oh, If I may answer your question objectively I would say the turning point of my life, was when I came up with my own media outfit “Seven Degree Media”. It was after the establishment I realized that the road to success is not without thorns, but it is full of challenges but to be able to overcome those challenges, one need to be discipline and committed to the project so that it may not fail. No one would help you to make your business succeed if you are lazy and not determined.

How do you relax?
When I am not working, you can find me in the comfort of my family. This relaxes me. We sometimes watch D.S.T.V or I go quietly into my room to read or play game in my computer.

You look like a young man in his late 20’s, what is the secret of your youthful looks?
The first secret of my youthful look is God and my simplicity. I bear no grudges against anybody that offends me. I can easily forgive anyone that has offended me. I am blessed with good health and peace of mind. With you having peace of mind you will be getting younger every day. I am in my early 40’s and when my Daddy was 70 years people, though he was in his late 50’s. It is the grace of God.

What is your happiest moment in life?
My happiest moment in life is that I was fortunate to have been born into the distinguished family of Alhaji Abdulrafiu Osuolalekan Ojaleye in Ijebu Ode.

What is your greatest fear in life?
My greatest fear in life is failure, I hate the thought of failure and poverty thus I have to work hard in order not to fail or become poor.

What is your objective assessment of Nigerian media today?
Nigerian media is not vibrant enough as in the foreign countries. At present, Nigeria media is improving on objective reporting and I know if we keep up this tempo, we shall get there.

Far from lime light, who is Hakeem Ojaleye?
Well, Hakeem Ojaleye is a lover of sports. He is a very jovial man who cracks jokes a lot. He is a man who loves to stay and play with his family. He likes to make people happy too and can be very strict. He is a disciplinarian and introverted by nature.

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