Media personality IK Osakioduwa in a new interview with Punchng has opened up a bit about his personal life and career.
From his wife to being a dyslexia kid, IK shared detailseveryone shpuld definitely pick a thing or two from.
As a live TV host, what’s been your most embarrassing moment?
I’ve made so many mistakes that I don’t know for sure which the most embarrassing one was. I have had wardrobe malfunction that exposed parts that should have been covered, fallen off a stage before. I have made ridiculous mistakes with scripts and even stumbled over saying my own name. Whatever the blunder, coming back from it is always the same road. Acknowledge the mistake (sometimes even to the audience); dust it off; then give it all you’ve got after that. You will find your feet. You are only human. Mistakes will happen.
When did it hit you that you had become a superstar?
Funnily, even now I would never use the term superstar in reference to myself, but I understand that this is referencing the fame. It started hitting me when I’d travel to various countries and people would recognise me. I’ve had immigration officers gather from out of their booths to take pictures with me. The police in South Africa pull me over, and make me speak to their mums on the phone saying, “Hi, this is IK from Big Brother.” Those are the things that could make you realise that you are no longer just the Regular Joe.
As a dyslexic kid, what were the difficulties you faced?
Back then in Nigeria, there wasn’t a lot of clarity about things like dyslexia, autism or other challenges that affect educating a child. So, teachers were mostly at a loss on how to handle such kids. I remember I had serious reading issues. I thank God for the parents I had and the patience they showed. My father would read with me for about an hour every day. My mum would also take out time every evening to take me through various reading books. By this time, my sister, Ifueko, who is two years and some months younger than I am, was reading very well. She would finish in one hour a book that would take me weeks to go through. And even in that time, I would require supervision.
In school, I was also having trouble writing. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand letters and words. It was more like there was disconnect between my head and hand. So, when I wrote, it came out in mirror images. Teachers could not understand it and so, one day, they asked my parents to come to school and proceeded to inform them that I was still not able to write and believed that I needed to be withdrawn from the class. They had drawn their conclusions based on the fact that they couldn’t understand a word of what I had written. It really wasn’t their fault. My letters were in mirror image and the words jumbled. Luckily, my dad asked me to read back what I had written in their presence, and to everyone’s shock and amazement, I read it all back to them. The teachers accepted that they were wrong, and my parents got to keep me in school.
Explain dyslexia to us from your point of view and experience.
I know dyslexia affects people in different ways. Like you said, this description is not a medical explanation of dyslexia but more so an account of how it affected me. When I picked up a book back then, the words were not static on the page, the way they would be for most people. Instead, I would see the words floating and shifting. And so, reading through lines was really difficult. Also, as I mentioned before, when I would try to write, even though I could see in my mind clearly the thing I was trying to write, it would eventually come out with each word with letters back to front. And even after writing this way, I wasn’t able to see that it wasn’t correct; not easily at least. It took my parents/teachers pointing it out for me to notice. It took me years of reading and writing practice to have a decent education. Up until my primary four, my dad and mum would still make me go through reading and writing exercises. I wasn’t topping the class but I was keeping up.
How does dyslexia affect you today?
Well, my parents’ training really helped me a great deal; so, I can mask it to the general eye. However, my words still jump occasionally and my reading is certainly slower than a lot of adults my age (and even slower than many kids I know). But none of that has stopped me from having a brilliant career on television where I often find myself reading scripts on live television to all of Africa via teleprompters.
I met my wife at the Lagos State University, Ojo, one day when I was visiting the campus. She and I were instant friends. Although we were both dating other people at the time, we kept our friendship going for several years. One day, sometime after my last break-up, I found myself wondering why none of the girls I dated ever understood me like Olo. In that moment, I realised that I was probably trying to turn other girls into a lady that already existed. I knew I already found her pretty and loved her personality. I called her up on the spot and said, “Hey, what’s your blood group?” She asked why I wanted to know, and I told her that I had had this thought, that she and I were great friends and could probably stay best friends for the rest of our lives as a married couple. I also mentioned that I realised she was in a relationship, but I didn’t believe it would last forever. “So, when it ends, I’ll be waiting,” I said. After a month or so, that relationship was over. We gave it a few months and then we started dating.
How have you and your wife been able to have a successful marriage even with the spotlight on you?
Simply put, we don’t ‘do it for the Gram’. That doesn’t mean we don’t post things on social media. We certainly post a lot of stuff, but we’ll never post something that isn’t true. We don’t do things, go places or post pictures just to “pepper dem.” We live our lives and keep it real with ourselves. We also prioritise ourselves above everything and everyone else. We won’t go to a party and be smiling at people while we are fighting each other. Instead, we will stay home and fight till we make peace.