Toke Makinwa Nigerian radio personality, television host, vlogger, lifestyle entrepreneur and author.
She is known for hosting The Morning Drive on Rhythm 93.7 FM and for her YouTube vlog series Toke Moments. She released her book On Becoming in November 2016.
Toke recently had a chat with Nigerian journalist Chude where she took listeners through her journey as an on-air personality and the money she makes.
Speaking about her radio career, Toke said:
Radio is a job. It’s my first love. I’ve been doing radio since I was 19. My first radio stint and I fell in love with it. People will usually think that with all the other things you’re doing, you hear people say ‘Are you still on radio?’ and I say yes.
That’s my first love. I will always, I mean I hope I will always get the opportunity to remain on radio because it’s given me the platform to birth so many things. So TV came from radio cuz I’ve always believed that radio presenters actually make better TV presenters.
Now before TV presenters kill me, let me tell you what I mean by that. I feel like if you look at the greats, Oprah Winfrey, Ryan Seacrest, Wendy Williams, they started on radio.
Because radio gets you comfortable. There’s no cameras, there’s no prying eyes, it’s just you, the monitors, you can make your mistakes, stumble. So it’s literally you getting better at the craft. Then when you add a camera, you’re already comfortable because dude, I do this in my sleep.
Chude then said: “Financially, I don’t believe that you need radio.”
To which Toke responded:
I don’t. Radio is my least paying job, but the opportunities are endless. For instance, my first radio salary – I don’t know why people think radio presenters are that poor – I don’t know about other presenters but my very first cheque from Silverbird was N250,000, this was eleven years ago.
Very first cheque. I was leaving banking, had to take a little bit of a paycut but it wasn’t that bad because I was earning N250k per month. So it wasn’t so bad for those years. Over the years, it has increased.
I feel like people might feel like your salary is not the best, but if you’re good at what you do, brands will want you. They want your slot, they pay you. So a radio presenter earning N300k a month can walk away with N3 million because you have a big brand who is doing sponsored programs on your show.
You know, voice overs, things like that. So you make money. In the end, it’s not like it’s a wretched man’s job. It’s the least paying of all the things that I do, you must be passionate about it but also if you know what you’re doing… I tell you for free, the radio presenters on the Nigerian bilingual Wazobia, Igbo, they are making a killing! Cuz all those bus drivers, okada, that’s what they listen to.
So now when people want to place ads, they can decide to go for one urban radio station but you see, those local stations will always get the ads because the average guy in the bus needs to know.
They will find a way to do their adverts in broken, so their revenue is always good.
When you look at the list of top earners, they always come first. First eight at least will be all these vernacular speaking radio stations because they have their market and people always advertise with them. So radio presenters are not poor, they have cars and they have houses.