The ever-cheerful Holland based Ghanaian On Air Personality (OAP), Nkechie Asante is no newcomer to the business. Her success in the industry is no doubt an inspiration to many, who also love her fashion sense and voice. Nkechi has spent the last 2 years speaking to listeners through the radio and her popular Nkechi Late Night Show creating not just a cult following but a strong bond. In this interview with the Publisher of Pleasures Magazine, Ola Babatunde, she shares insight on how she started her career in broadcasting, developed herself and what it takes to be an On Air Personality.
A warm welcome to you Nkechi Asante, your names are confusing, Nkechi is a an Igbo (South-East) name, while Asante sounds like Ashanti. Are your parents from Ghana and Nigeria?
Hahaha! I knew this would be your first question. Well I’m fully Ghanaian but the name Nkechi just sounds so beautiful. The meaning “Gods own gift” made such an impact on me so I decided to use it as a brand name. I was born as Daniella Okoh Armah Asante.
Can you tell us who Nkechi Asante is, your background, education and family?
Nkechi is the mum of a beautiful daughter named Kimora Noelle. I was born in Holland 29 years ago. Returned to Ghana at the age of 9 years and completed my JHS. I came back at the age of 15 and studied Hotel Management. I later decided to study Tourism but unfortunately dropped out after a year. I was raised by my mum Esther Asante and my stepfather Daniel Okoh Armah who passed away on the 28th of May 2015.
Tell us what growing up was like for you?
Well growing up was like what the Ghanaians called “Dada Ba”. Was too pampered haha so my mum decided to take me to Ghana and be hard on me. I was in a boarding school and I must admit it’s the best choice my mum ever made. It made me strong, disciplined and see the other part of life I never knew. I also have a big brother but he left the house quite early because he went into the army.
Tell us a few things you remember about your childhood and a few you remember about your parents.
I honestly remember everything of my childhood. I have a very good memory. I had a great childhood but saw a lot of sadness from people around me that had an impact on me growing up. That’s in the love, finance and emotional aspect.
How did you get to be an OAP? And why Netherlands and not the UK, or the United States?
I started at Hiradio in July 2015 right after my father passed away. Basically it’s because I live here and there aren’t much Ghanaian ladies on air right here. So I wanted to share my voice. When I got the call from HiRadio I knew it was the right place to be.
You are the Host of The Nkechi Late Night Show, what is the show all about and how did it all begin?
Everyone knows I love to talk it’s not a secret. We used to have girls night and all we did was talk about our love life, sex life, boyfriends etc. I actually started with a group of friends from Facebook. Unfortunately most of them and I have parted ways but I will forever be grateful. When it went well I opened two groups on Facebook called Nkechi TalkTalk & Nkechi Sex Talk. Both groups are doing so well.
How has the experience been like since you started?
Different! I have problems with not being myself. People watching my every move so I need to be careful but sometimes I still act crazy haha. Asides that, the acknowledgement of the fans when I travel out gives me so much joy and motivates me to work harder.
Are you happy doing what you are doing in Netherlands, or would you have preferred to do it in Ghana?
I would prefer to do it Ghana but I also have responsibilities over here that I can’t easily let go. I do have plans of relocating but won’t share the location yet.
Who are your listeners?
My listeners are between the ages of 18-40 however sometimes, I meet our elders that claim they love the sex topics. I met a couple one time in London at the Kofi Kinaata concert and they walked up to me and said they tune in every Friday. I was happy to hear that
What are the rudiments of being a good OAP?
Funny most definitely. Be fast to reply and know how to handle critics.
Most OAPs also combine MCing and hosting with their job, are you also looking in that direction?
I have had conversations about MCing but I don’t know if it’s my field. I also Host some events and I have been booked for a great event in Ghana October this year. Looking forward to it.
Tell us about some of the hosting job you have done in time past?
I have hosted a Bisa Kdei Event, red carpets, Empowerment events, Parties and we are hoping to have more in the future.
Let’s talk about style, what is your view about fashion and how do you describe fashion?
I think you are your own style. And what you choose might be awesome to someone else. People love to follow people lately. Just be your own. Create your own style.
What is your style? What kinds of clothes do you like wearing?
I’m a very simple person. I just wake up and wear what I feel comfortable in.
In what ways would you say that fashion is relevant to today’s woman?
Very important. But what women need, is to be up to date. Always follow the trend. That’s why it’s difficult to be a woman.
What determines the clothes you wear in a day?
My mood I guess. I can have my dress moments and my jeans moments. It really depends on my mood.
What fashion accessories will you do without?
I don’t like earrings, watches and all those accessories. Even though I have them I just don’t know why I still buy them.
Television and Radio personalities are considered glamorous, what does glamour and makeup mean to you?
Well, I’m not a makeup freak. I could stay a week without it. The only times I wear makeup is when I step out, go live on Facebook or have an event. I can stay without make up all day haha. Glamorous is just you. Make up doesn’t make you glamorous, your personality does.
Has there been any time you chocked on a question from a caller that caught you off guard?
Yes I remember being on the hot seat one day on air. So listeners had the chance to ask me questions. The question was when did you have sex for the last time? I couldn’t answer haha and I think you know why.
You have hosted a couple of big stars such as Patoranking, on your show, what was the feeling like?
Interviewing the Stars is so amazing. Although you have fun ones and the moody ones but I enjoy every time I get the chance. You see the other side of them than what we see online.
What to expect from The Nkechi Late Night Show in the next one year?
Right now I’m just taking it easy and working on me. I had a fall back because I trusted in the wrong people. But I will surely rise up again.
So what are your plans for the future?
First is for God to keep me alive to achieve my goals. Secondly I need to rebuild and trust in me again. Thirdly focus on a project I have in my head that I really want to bring out. Lastly have another child before I clock 31.
With what you have achieved in your career at the moment, how satisfied are you with the height you’ve attained?
I feel blessed but I won’t say NO to more.
Any mentors or role models?
No, I’m my own role model but I love Oprah.
What inspires you?
Strong Black Women. I love to see black women strive harder. I get pissed when I see lazy women. We were not created to be lazy and selfless.
Which artist are you really feeling now on your playlist?
Shatta Wale for sure.
How do you spend your holiday?
A glass of wine, sun, and a good movie.
Do you have memories of a particular holiday you enjoyed?
Yes Italy 2005. A guy took me on a trip to Italy just to ask me to be his girlfriend. I almost thought he was asking me to marry him. It was the cutest ever.
How do you relax or take stress off? Do you dance?
I honestly can’t dance. I listen to music when I need to relax.
Your advice to youngsters
Never give up. Don’t throw away your dreams because someone discourages you. Believe in yourself.
Thank you for your time.