You may have seen Arit Okpo on TV and marveled at her grace and poise. Arit currently produces and presents The Crunch, the flagship news show for Ebonylife TV. On The Crunch, she discusses and analyses current affairs issues and stories.
When she’s not producing content or presenting shows, Arit writes prose, opinion pieces and discussions on current affairs. And she doesn’t stop there, Arit has also functioned as facilitator and event MC for a number of public functions.
With all this, it’s kinda hard to believe that Arit is an introvert. For someone who is constantly in front of the camera (whether at work or on her very active Snapchat), Arit has found a way to make her shyness work for her as she forges her path in Nigeria’s media industry.
How did you come to be a presenter and producer?
I had been thinking about going into media for a while, but thought it was going to be purely behind the scenes as a Producer and Director. One day in 2013 however, I got a call from my now CEO Mo Abudu, informing me that she was launching a new show and that she thought I would be great for it.
I had participated in her reality show The Debaters in 2010 and she had remembered me. Even though it was totally unexpected, I knew immediately that this was the opportunity I needed and I said yes to the job!
As someone who is shy and an introvert, how do you appear so comfortable in front of the camera?
I call myself a socially adept introvert, meaning I have learned how to engage actively in social settings. I bring this to my work in front of the camera, I try to chat and engage as if the people I am talking to are friends sitting right there in the studio with me.
When I’m in front of the camera, I talk and act in the very same way I act in my everyday life. In a nutshell, instead of stepping out of my comfort zone, I take my comfort zone to work with me.Instead of stepping out of my comfort zone, I take my comfort zone to work with me - @menoword Click To Tweet
What is the typical day in the life of a producer like?
I produce a daily news show and so my day usually consists of; previewing the episode going to air that day, then checking that all the other inserts of the show are ready or being prepared (we produce these ahead of time). I check invitations to events and say yes to the ones that align most closely with our direction as a show and send these off for scheduling.
Then, I review the work we have to shoot and try to craft a direction for it. I check the news for the next day and send it off for recording and finally, I scour the web for possible stories and guests that we can feature. This is aside from the meetings, budget preparations, planning and general craziness that is all in a day’s work.
What do you think other young women can learn from you career path?
There is no one way to achieve your goals. My career path is very varied but each time a new opportunity came up, no matter how out of the way it seemed, I always looked for (and found) a thread tying it to the past and leading to my future.
Don’t be afraid to say yes to unexpected opportunities and don’t be afraid to try things you’ve never tried before.Don’t be afraid to say yes to unexpected opportunities @menoword's advice on career paths Click To Tweet
Do you have a career development plan? If so, can you share it with us?
I am very excited about curating and sharing the everyday stories of the continent. Whether it’s our food, our habits, our people or our politics, Africa is a very interesting continent.
I look forward to creating content that celebrates the very fabric of who we are –our similarities, differences, hopes, failures and successes.
You’re very active on Snapchat. Do you use this medium to actively build your brand or is it something you do for fun?
It’s pure fun for me. It’s a chance to share my everyday life, my thoughts and my activities.
I enjoy the chance to share with people a little bit more about who I am away from the camera.
Your hairstyles and clothing choices on The Crunch are always on fleek, what’s your favourite clothing item?
I have a fantastic styling team that does such an awesome job of making me look good and they’ve given me some incredible looks.
For my every day look, I’m crazy about my ankara pants of which I have quite a number; they’re comfortable, versatile and made in Nigeria!
Do you always have a good night’s sleep?
Nope! I only get a full night about 2 nights a week. I am very nocturnal and so my brain starts to wake up around 10pm at night and goes strong till 2–3am.
Sadly, this lifestyle is not very compatible with a 9 to 5 job, meaning that on average, I get about 5 hours during the work week.I look forward to creating content that celebrates who we are - @menoword Click To Tweet
How do you find time to write while working full-time on The Crunch?
I have to say that it is not always easy. Sometimes I am tired, other times I am simply not in the mood, especially because my job makes me associate writing with work.
Deadlines help though, once I have a submission deadline I make it happen. I’m going to work on writing more next year though (I say this every year).
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