By Damilola Fatunmise

In this exclusive interview, Afolasade Samagbeyi, the host of premier TV show, Exclusives With Afolasade, has narrated how she tells stories of Africans who inspire change and greatness. Please enjoy it.


Tell us how the journey as anchor of Exclusives With Afolasade show started for you?

I grew up watching Teju Babyface, Mo Abudu, Oprah Winfery, Trevor Noah and dreamed of hosting my own show. So, I started my YouTube channel talking about things like Black Lives Matter, struggles of busty girls and other societal issues. Over time, I launched a bigger project, Exclusives with Afolasade where I share people’s stories – their struggles, wins and failures. My aim is to tell the unique stories of exceptional Africans who inspire change and greatness.  Who, through their unwavering determination and perseverance, have achieved greatness, overcome obstacles, or served as catalysts for change thereby inspiring others.

What are the challenges you faced at the initial stage?

Getting guests wasn’t easy at the start. Being a newbie, there’s always that ‘Who’s this?’ vibe, whenever I reach out. Plus, coordinating schedules with some high-profile folks made it tricky. Letting people know this isn’t just some random show added another layer of challenge. See, I’ve got a goal – I’m not just putting anyone on Exclusives with Afolasade. You’ve got to be about something. And sure, I’m Gen-Z, so people might expect drama and controversies because they sell, but that’s not what this show is about.

What’s the best thing this platform has ever given you?

I consider the privilege of people opening up to me as something truly invaluable. Having individuals like Dorathy Bachor share vulnerable moments, even shedding tears on my show, is priceless. The mental health of public figures is a top priority, and Exclusives with Afolasade provides a safe space where they can share their stories without fear of judgment. Knowing that their narratives could be a source of inspiration for someone out there holds deep significance for me. Moreover, the access this platform grants me is truly amazing.

Tell us about your growing up, your dream career and your parents’ take on it?

Related News

I had a great time growing up – the love, the fun! Being the middle child and only girl, I was everyone’s favourite, especially daddy’s. Home was always buzzing with drama because we had lots of uncles and aunties around, each with their own vibe. I always knew I wanted to be a journalist, even from a young age. I have always been outspoken and super creative. In high school, I wrote a poem that my Literature teacher praised, and it felt like winning a medal. I even represented my school in journalism and broadcasting at Lagos State Television (LTV). Thankfully my parents indulge my passion, at a young age. My dad even entrusted me with writing my grandfather’s tribute, a humbling experience. My dad hoped I’d be an accountant, but I guess life had other plans. Mom, my number one fan, and my brothers are my biggest supporters.

Is your look a plus or minus to your career?

Honestly, being a plus-size girl has its challenges. Opportunities may not come our way simply because we’re on the curvier side. And let’s not forget, I’m dark-skinned too! But I’d say this: things have improved since I first started out. There are people like Toolz Oniru, Latasha Lagos, and Peace Hyde who have helped people see the light. Society is evolving, recognizing that being plus-size is not a constraint but a unique contribution, adding richness to the media landscape. I refuse to be defined solely by my appearance; there’s depth, eloquence, and purpose beyond the exterior. I’m more than that, and I bring much more to the table! It’s a journey of breaking stereotypes and redefining beauty norms.

How do you source your guests for the show?

In getting guests for my show, I keep it simple with a mix of networking, emails, and events. I tap into my friend’s circle, hit up social media like LinkedIn for cool connections, and send snappy emails emphasizing why they should be on Exclusives with Afolasade. I’m all about online groups and industry events for more leads. There’s also a spot on my website for guest pitches, and I often team up with other creators. Recommendations from friends and PR agencies spice things up too.

Which of your episodes would you say sold you out to the limelight?

The episode with Chioma Ikokwu aka Good Hair, CEO of The Good Hair Limited and Brass and Copper Restaurant, was a wild ride! It came with a lot of gbas gbos. Internet people dragged her, and then dragged me. When they started dragging her, her loyal fans jumped in, creating a real showdown – all these contributed to the overall success of that episode. The outfit I rocked was on the edgy side, adding to the fun vibes. It was a mix of fun, education, and entertainment. Chioma Good Hair is a good person; she spilled the tea and made me feel super comfortable throughout the episode. Overall, it was a blast!

Tell us the day you will never, ever forget?

Among the many unforgettable days, the most recent one etched in my memory is when I received a nomination for Media Personality of the Year at Nigeria Achievers Awards. Honestly, when the news broke, Imposter Syndrome hit hard, and I questioned if I truly deserved it. Reflecting on my media journey and how far I’ve come, I had to shake off the self-doubt. The nomination was not just humbling but made even more special by the incredible community I’ve built. Their unwavering support and assurance that they were rallying behind me to secure the win meant the world to me. Huge shout out to everyone cheering me on – you guys are the real MVPs!

Where do you see yourself in the next three years?

In the next three years, I envision Afolasade becoming a global brand, making significant impacts across Africa, Asia, Europe, and beyond. I’ll have a thriving production house and evolve into a PR and marketing guru, overseeing major campaigns in Africa. By then, I hope to have interviewed at least three presidents from different nations and who knows, maybe share a cup of tea with Oprah and Trevor Noah!

However, in the pipeline for me is the much-anticipated season 3 of my talk show, Exclusives with Afolasade, and I’m gearing up for something even more substantial. This time around, I’m really going into grassroots storytelling, spotlighting some of the most genuine and authentic stories from Africa. Currently, I’m hands-on with marketing campaigns, and the prospect of taking on more in the future has me truly excited.