She started off as a reporter at the Unilag FM during her school days at the University of Lagos and today, she’s one of the fast rising On-air Personality in Nigeria. Tosin Adekeye popularly known in the media circle as CuteKimani is fast turning into a serial media personality as she’s involved in many aspects of the media from TV, Print, Social Media to Online Radio and more. In this interview, she let us into her world. Enjoy!
What's been happening to Cute Kimani?
The brand CuteKimani is a combination of so many things inside the box "Media Personality". The brand CuteKimani puts forward the On-air personality CuteKimani, the Online personality, host of the only Twitter interview in Nigeria #KimanioffAir, and lastly the brand CuteKimani under the PR company Estol Props Media handles Media and Public Relations for the Music and lifestyle channel -AfroMusic Pop TV ( DStv Channel 326).
How did you get the name Cute Kimani?
The name CuteKimani evolved over time. While in the University of Lagos, I was working at UnilagfFM as a reporter and also working with a magazine called Bif Magazine and my bit was to get scoops, gossips and reveal the faces behind cultism; get pictures of lecturers caught in the act, etc. So I needed a name to hide under and I chose "MYSTIQUE", in class I was called Esther, on radio Fantasia. When I graduated in 2008 and left for Port Harcourt, I met Mr. Gibson Lee, the then manager of Silverbird Group in Port Harcourt, and he asked what name I will like to be called if I get the opportunity to work in Rhythm FM and I Google up various names but I wanted a name that is African and defined my persona until I found Kimani, which meant "Smart, Sexy and Successful" in Ethiopia.
How did you get into broadcasting?
I wanted to be a newscaster. I loved Abike Dabiri and Sadiq Dabar a lot the reason why I put in for Mass communications, but one of my seniors back then said to me "newscasters are poor people oh, you better do PRAD (Public Relations & Advertising) so I started picking interest. But I was too much of a hustler to be idle, so I went to UnilagFM before it was officially launched and the then head of programmes Mrs. Bisi King Paul gave me the opportunity to be a reporter and never allowed me into the live studio except when taking the news bulleting to the newscaster. After disturbing her over and over, she finally gave me the chance to understudy a few presenters, then I started co-anchoring and here I am.
What were the challenges you faced when starting out?
Hmnn! Challenges? No one wants to give a novice a chance, not because they don't want to help but they don't want to risk losing their jobs. As a female, it’s a little hard to have a leveled playing ground.
Challenges make you better so in actual sense, they are not challenges.
As an OAP and Social Media Influencer, how tasking are these?
I am a born hustler and joggling between jobs has always been my thing from childhood, dancing, acting, chanting in Tunde Kelani movies while schooling.
Fortunately, I don't have to be on radio every day, and for social media, I can do it anywhere. For instance, I am currently in Nairobi for #KimaniToursKenya powered by Kenya Airways, and back I'm Nigeria I’m working on two campaigns, a movie trailer by Tosin Igho and a radio campaign for Klever Jay.
Can you share with us your education and family background?
I am the first of four children. I attended the University of Lagos Nursery and Primary School, Methodist Girls High School, Sabo - Lagos and University of Lagos for my BSc in Mass Communications, majoring in Public Relations and Advertising.
Your memorable moments on campus.
I was a "tomboy" in school until I met NiyiGiggles. I was quite mischievous, everywhere, I was the class representative throughout my stay in school so I just have to be active.
Unilag was home to me because I and my parents had lived there before and all my education cycle was at Unilag basically, but I enjoyed snooping on the bad boys and writing about them. I enjoyed disguising into the male hostel and sleeping over just to get details about the "goons". I enjoyed hiding behind my name to expose lecturers and students.
I enjoyed schooling and growing altogether.
What's your take on Payola, especially when new artistes complain about OAP demanding payment before their songs or videos can be played?
The case of payola is one that is very dicey and one that can not exactly point accusing fingers at anyone.
No artiste owns airtime, so it is at the discretion of the station/ OAPs to air the materials on whatever grounds, be it money, content, relationship or even the house style. This is why artistes are advised to employ the services of publicists who act like middle men between the artistes and the media. The publicist advises on promotions, its budget and how it will be managed.
What's your assessment of the Nigerian entertainment scene?
Entertainment in Nigeria is evolving and we are becoming a force to reckon with internationally.
What's style to you?
Style is what makes me look comfortable and chic for the occasion. I am not a fashionista but I personify my fashion and style.
Your favourite fashion items.
Shoes and leggings.
Your signature perfume.
I love old perfumes, CK- In2u, Kenneth Cole - Black, Burberry - The Beat, and Terry - D'hermes.
I am not fashion forward.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by young people doing big things. My background also inspires me. My siblings inspire me, my clients inspire me and I inspire myself too.
Your dream and aspiration.
My dreams scare me... I just want to be a happy and a successful woman.