They are the four OAPs that have held the South-Eastern airwaves captivated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2-4pm. They are the members of the popular NgwoNgwo Parliament on Dreamfm, Enugu’s hit show #OneNigeria.
Created to replace #Nnamehn in 2015, the One Nigeria show began as an experiment which literarily lampooned Nigeria’s national assembly. The idea was to expose how lawmakers make policies while highlighting the effects of these policies on the masses. As comical as the show is, it was set up to educate people on national issues from the perspective of the three main tribes Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. Then of course there is a moderator, Madam Secretary.
As the senate is the upper house of the national assembly and the House of Reps is lower house, The #NgwoNgwoParlament is seen as the middle house tasked with the responsibility of making sense of the policies made by the upper and lower houses.
It’s important to note that the show One Nigeria was at first created to exist only on special occasions like October 1, Christmas and Easter. However, when Nnamehn abruptly ended and the station couldn’t find a suitable presenter to handle it, the accidental on-air experiment, One Nigeria had to become a staple.
It might also shock you to know that the characters chose their names while on air. Yes, that’s how spontaneous the show can be.
Speaking of spontaneity, the show is neither rehearsed, nor scripted and is a live presentation (not pre-recorded). Everything you hear is thought of and executed for the first time right there in the studio.
Up Close this week, we meet the members of this parliament of which I am one.
ALHAJI TANKO AKA DAN BURAM KANO. This role is played by Jude Thomas dawam, the host of DreamFm’s Breakfast show and head of programs.
Jude is from Plateau State and studied pharmacy at the University of Jos. Haven been in broadcasting for over a decade, Jude has worked in Zuma fm Abuja as well as Kiss Fm, also in Abuja from where he joined DreamFm, Enugu in 2012. He is married with a daughter
Who is Alhaji Tanko aka Dan Buram Kano?: Alhaji Tanko is a very wealthy, uneducated politician who represents the northern (hemisphere lol) constituency at the NgwoNgwo Parliament. He wants to help his people, mostly because it makes him look good and that’s how politics works in his area. He loves attention and derives pleasure in using big, mostly incorrect, English words to prove he is educated. He sometimes forgets himself and continues in hausa language till he is corrected. Alhaji Tanko loves taking new wives. He currently has three wives and is shopping for a third whom he is hoping would come from the Igbo constituency
How did the name Alhaji Tanko come about? According to Jude, Tanko is the name of a good friend of his who was Muslim. He was however killed during the 2001 religious crisis in Jos. So when it was time to pick a name for his character, Jude quickly picked the name of his late friend Tanko who was a medical student at the time of his death
What is it like being Alhaji Tanko?One would ask how Jude gets into the character of Tanko seeing how different the two personalities are. However Jude admits that Alhaji Tanko is his alter ego. The character of Tanko loves politics while Jude is an entertainer. So once, the on-air conversation turns political, Alhaji Tanko shows up.
According to Jude, once the montage (into-song) of the show is cued, Tanko takes over. The switch is almost automatic, he says. Also once the other characters are present, Tanko immediately takes over.
How has playing the Character of Tanko Changed Jude’s Life? Jude admits that playing Alhaji Tanko has greatly changed his life as this character gave him the opportunity to star in a nollywood movie (as Alhaji Tanko). This movie, The Mummy Why Series, earned him a nomination for best supporting actor at the Cross River State Film Awards. The name Alhaji Tanko has also overtaken his in certain circles as some would rather call him Tanko and not Jude. According him, the character has become much bigger than Jude, the entertainer.
What is it about Tanko the audiences don’t know: Alhaji Tanko is not as wealthy as he says he is. Though, he owns many businesses, most of them are just registered business names and are inactive. Also Tanko loves to drink alcohol. However since his religion abhors it, he hides that info. Tanko is an enigma.
OTUMBA SHONEKAN AKA OTUMBA FUNKY YAW. This role is played Lyrics Moemeke. Lyrics is a natural comedian and haven been born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, he embodies the character of a typical Yoruba man. He is actually from Delta state and is the host of Dream fm’s Tuesday pidgin-english program “Area”. He is also the assistant director of music at the station. Despite his seemingly unserious persona, Lyrics is well-read. He has a first degree from mass communication and his second in law both at the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is married with a son and another on the way. Will keep you posted on that development “wink wink”
Who is Otumba Shonekan: Otumba is the representative of the Yoruba constituency. He is supposedly the annoying illiterate who believes he is the smartest in the room. He supposedly studied “Med-law” (whatever that is) from the fictional University of Ampton (not The Hampton University which Is a private historically black university located in Hampton Virginia, USA). He is known for attempting to explain every English word used by Madam Secretary which he fails woefully at. He is also a womanizer, a party lover (faaji), a leftist in his opinions and derives pleasure from taunting Ogbuefi (the Igbo representative)
How did the name Otumba Shonekan come about?: Otumba is a title in Yoruba culture and according to Lyrics, the name Shonekan was chosen because it was rare and did not depict anyone currently in government. He said this was to avoid any controversy that may arise from liking the character (who is always saying crazy things) to anyone in particular.
What is it like being Otumba Shonekan: According to Lyrics, Shonekan is his alter ego who allows him to be as annoying as he wants while getting away with it. Born in Oshodi and raised in Mushin as well as Ikotun, Lagos, Lyrics was exposed to the Yoruba persona which is assumed to be loud, chaotic and tends to show off. Unlike the other members of the One Nigeria crew, Lyrics is the least deciphered. Most people find it hard to believe the dreaded, pierced eared and flamboyant Lyrics is actually Otumba Shonekan.
What don’t people know about Otunba? According to lyrics, Otumba is the most unpredictable character so anything is possible with him. One thing is for sure, Otumba will continue to cause more havoc in the parliament
CHIEF OGBUEFI AKA GBURUGBURU: This role is played by Emmanuel Anyanso from Amokwe Item in Bende LGA, Abia state. He is popularly known as OBJ and is the anchor of the Saturday afternoon show called ‘Comfam house” as well as the Sunday Old-School show “Golden Era” both on DreamFm, Enugu. He is an up-and-coming artist though he has been in the game for more than a decade. He is famous for his hit songs “Afiam nere”. He is very single so ladies don’t hesitate.
Who Is Ogbuefi: Ogbuefi is a titled man who represents the Igbo constituency. He is the stereotypical igboman whose major interest is how all issues brought to the house can make him some money. He is always at odds with the Yoruba man and is quick to rain insults on Shonekan or anyone who offends him. Ogbuefi has more titles than anyone else and is still acquiring more. He is most popular for always talking about his “drone” which he supposedly his means of transportation. He gave Madam secretary her nickname #MadamSekem
How did the name ogbuefi come about:Ogbuefi is probably the most popular title in Igboland. It literally means a person who kills cows but in reality describes a wealthy philanthropist who helps his people. He added Gburugburu to it to give him some kind of relation to the current Enugu State governor thereby increasing his affluence.
What is it like being Ogbuefi? According to OBJ, the name has completely taken over his. He says people call him Ogbuefi wherever he goes. The name has also brought him a lot of favors like hosting jobs and live artist performances at events
What people don’t know about Ogbuefi: Ogbuefi is an actor. He has made a lot of skits most popular of which is his call to “Okechukwu Donad Trump”. You can watch that on www.facebook.com/emmanuelanyaso
MADAM SECRETARY FROM THE VERY HIGH PLACES which is of course played by me, Gloria Orji-Emodi aka FabulosGloria. Gloria is currently the head of News and Current Affairs department at DreamFm. She is also the content-producer of the Show, One Nigeria.
Gloria Orji-Emodi is an internationally trained journalist/broadcaster who has been in the media for over 12 years. Starting her broadcast career in January 2005, she has worked in almost all sectors of the media industry. She has worked in more than 4 media houses, some of which she has held managerial positions such as the head of programs and production at Raypower, Enugu (2008-2012). She also a media consultant, advertising and branding consultant, a compere/host and content developer.
Gloria is married with two kids
Read more about me from my bio here (http://fabulosgloria.com/about.php).
Who is Madam Secretary?: She is the convener of the sessions and is seen as the conduit of the president (Oga at the Top). To bring about balance in gender and views, this medium had to be female, hence the character of Madam Secretary.
She is the smartest person in the room, haven recently returned from Britain at the request of the president #OgaAtTheTop to bring some sanity to the parliament. She very polished, well-read, well-travelled and quite exposed. She is a high society, prim and proper and very condescending rich lady who was born in the UK to Nigerian parents.
She is meant to bring up matters for deliberation at the plenary and relay the resolutions (which are hardly NEVER reached) to the president. She is meant to bamboozle the three men with big grammar.
Where is Madam
Secretary from?: She
is from the very high places lol. No one knows. To ensure there is no bias in
her views and representation, her Nigerian background remains a mystery. Where
do you think she is from?
How did the name #MadamSecretary come about? The name was really coined from her role as the moderator of the house and after one of my favorite shows, Madam Secretary. The appendage ‘From the very high places” is meant to show how well-read and sophisticated she is.
What is it like Being Madam Secretary? It’s a bit tricky for me. Though I speak “decent” English, to play Madam Secretary, I had to become conscious enough to only speak with a strict, prim and proper standard British accent. For this, I had to mimic my favorite English character, “Hyacinth” from the old time British show “Absolutely fabulous: Abfab”. However, being this character somehow came naturally to me as being the head of the news department at Dreamfm, Enugu, I am meant to speak impeccable English and always be accurate.
What you didn’t know about Madam Secretary? No one knows where Madam Secretary is from; if she is married and who she is married to. Her background is vague. No one really knows the true nature of her relationship with the Oga At The Top. Some insinuate it could be romantic while she says she is Oga’s confidant but what does that really mean?
So to laugh till you drop join the #OneNigeria crew every Monday, Wednesday and Friday 2-4pm on 92.5 Enugu’s dreamfm via the Tune-in app.