My Journey into Story Writing & #RadioDramaSoap Production

I am an advocate of using storytelling to inspire social change and development. Allow me to blow my trumpet a little here 😊

My journey into story writing began as a child. I enjoyed reading story books and I read so many while growing up. Often I would rush to carry out house chores assigned to me then lay crouched on the soafer to dig into whatever story book/novel I had to read.

Some of the Books I read… Did you also read any of these :

*All Shakespeare series – “Macbeth” , “As you Like it” etc
* Pacesetters Series
*Mark 4 Series – Bible story book for children Volume 1-10
* A few Mills and Boons
* Crime stories from James Hardly Chase
* Of course the cartoon series on fairy tales : Cinderella, Rapuzel, Snow white and more 😄
* Inspirational Christian stories

My father couldn’t keep up with buying me new books because I quickly finished each book he got and begged him to get another 😀

As a voracious reader I started to tell my own stories through writing and here I am today still writing.

My journey into Radio Drama Writing & Production:

After I started working in the media (Radio Nigeria) I took interest in the radio drama production. The producer, Abiodun Ogidan who later became my mentor made the recording sessions in the studio very interesting. Often I will join the cast crew in the recording studio not as an actor but just to watch. I call it humor time. 😀 We always had a lot to laugh and giggle about as the characters took their lines – a lot of jokes flowed through as we pause to correct mistakes.

On one of my annual leave while at home with so much free time on my hands, I became inspired to try my hands on writing a radio drama script. Not knowing where to start I picked up my first-degree thesis which was a creative work and developed it. The title is, “We Can Begin Again”. I took my 13 episodes scripts to my mentor and she edited and encouraged me to record it. And that was how my journey into writing and producing radio drama soap began.

Today I have written and produced over 400 episodes of radio drama soap aimed at behavioral and social change. Some of my productions include :

Giggles – A 5minutes series on the message of rebranding Nigerians, promoting integrity, hard work, environmental sanitation & more – over a 100 episodes

Abiye – 15-minute drama soap on maternal d child health – Over 200 episodes

Hilly Willy Hospital – 15minutes promoting healthy living – 27 episodes

Greater Tomorrow – Climate change laced with the issue of poverty and girl child education and discouraged child marriage – 26 episodes.

The Long Wait – struggle with infertility and how couples can cope.

Some of my stories have been broadcast on the network service which broadcasts to all parts of the country. These include – “Flower in the Mud” (child trafficking)
“The Last Assault ” (Gender-based Violence)
” Ufiala ” – (community fight against Rape) written by Tokunbo Dada & produced by me

I am excited about the current drama soap, ” Twists and Turns”, been broadcast already on the airwaves(Premier FM 93.5). It was inspired by the need to take a closer look at the long-term effects of female genital mutilation and cutting on women and girls. It is a 28 episode storyline. “Twists and Turns”, is co-written by me and Tokunbo Dada. Produced by yours sincerely, it’s been a lot of fun and hard work working with my cast and crew.

FInd your passion and follow It; you never know where it would take you.

I have been privileged as a result of my flair for storytelling and radio drama writing /production to get a scholarship with the Radio Netherlands(RNTC) on a training in “Soaps & Society” which took me out of the country for three months. And I can’t begin to tell you about all other opportunities that have come my way. These opportunities have given me international exposure and I have met some amazing people.

Doing what you love and know to do opens doors of opportunities.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) 
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

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Radio Program Series You will Totally Enjoy Listening To: Entertaining, informative & Engaging!

I was part of the team that designed the intriguing and engaging stories by African Radio Drama Association(ARDA) and Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI). Stories were designed for three states and I tell you we had so much fun putting it all together. Now the program is set to begin a new quarter this February.

Find the details in this press release below:

“Get It Together” Radio Programs Return:
Weekly Program to Air in Kaduna, Lagos and Oyo States

Abuja — We are back with a brand new season of the “Get It Together” Radio programs Se’rigbo in Lagos, Ireti Eda in Oyo, and Komai Nisan Jifa in Kaduna starting the week of February 12th, 2018.

The radio programs are part of the Get it Together Campaign of the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2) which encourages all Nigerians to KNOW the facts about family planning, TALK to their partner, and GO for family planning services.

In the episodes of these popular radio programs — Se’rigbo in Lagos, Ireti Eda in Oyo, and Komai Nisan Jifa in Kaduna — audiences follow the lives of characters and their interesting journeys through everyday life in Nigeria. The shows also give listeners the opportunity to call-in and speak directly with family planning experts, who will answer their questions live on-air. Listeners also have a chance to win weekly prizes of N1,000 recharge cards.

Speaking about the programs, Dr. Mojisola Odeku, NURHI 2 Project Director said, “Listeners are hooked on the programs’ serial dramas and real stories. Fans calling-in to the program to have their questions answered by family planning experts is one of the more popular features.”

Radio Show premiere dates, radio stations, and broadcast times are as follows:

Lagos Se’rigbo :
-Bond 92.9 FM: Mondays 4-5pm
-Radio Lagos 107.5FM: Mondays 4-5pm
Both start on February 12

Oyo Ireti Eda :
-Fresh 105.9FM: Wednesdays 4-5pm (Start date: February 14)
-Amuludun 99.1FM: Mondays 3-4pm (Start Date: February 12)

Kaduna Komai Nisan Jifa :
-Liberty 91.7Fm: Saturdays 4-5pm (Start Date: February 17)
-Nagarta Radio 747Khz: Wednesdays 3-4pm (Start Date: February 14)

Radio listeners can join in the conversation and see what other fans are saying and catch up on previous episodes on Get It Together’s official Facebook page: @getittogetherng

About the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2)

The NURHI 2 project uses communication to increase demand for family planning among men and women. It is led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) in partnership with the Center for Communication Programs Nigeria (CCPN).

The Get It Together radio programs build on the success of the previous seasons and the campaign’s 2016 hit song “Get It Together,” featuring Paul ‘P Square’ Okoye and Tiwa Savage. NURHI 2 has also helped establish a network of trained health providers offering friendly and confidential family planning services. NURHI 2 locations can be recognized by the blue, yellow and orange puzzle piece logo with signs that say ‘FP services available here” and the National Family Planning ‘Green Dot logo’.

For more information please visit http://www.nurhitoolkit.org, send an email to cokereafor@nurhi.org or call Chukwuemeka on 0805-334-0599

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

PRESS RELEASE: “IRETI EDA” Radio Program Returns: Weekly Program to Air in Oyo State

The “Get It Together” Campaign, led by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2), will launch 26 new episodes of their weekly radio program – Ireti Eda – during the week of July 14, 2017.

The new episodes of Ireti Eda in Oyo continue the captivating drama it was known for intermixed with real-life testimonials from community leaders, health service providers, and program listeners. This combination of entertaining and educational content encourages all Nigerians and Oyo people, in particular, to KNOW the facts about family planning, TALK to their partner, and GO for family planning services – the key message of NURHI 2’s Get It Together campaign.

“I like the radio program, Ireti Eda, because it educates us on Family Planning, especially through the drama characters, highlighting the need, importance, and methods of Family Planning. I do not miss any episode as I have learned a lot from the expert that answers questions also, as some of the things they said are things I have experienced as a woman. The program is very good and It it should be continued.Bunmi.

As in the previous three seasons, this radio program will feature the latest jams, real-life stories from satisfied family planning users, and the chance to win the weekly prize, which will be N1,000 recharge cards. The programs will also offer listeners the opportunity to call-in and speak directly with family planning experts, who answer their questions live on-air.

Dr. Mojisola Odeku, NURHI 2 Portfolio Director said “Listeners are hooked on the programs’ serial dramas and know they can trust the project to provide factual and accurate health information. Fans can even call-in to the program to have their questions answered by family planning experts, one of the more popular features.”

The new episodes of Ireti Eda radio program build on the success of the first seasons, NURHI 1’s popular radio programs, and the campaign’s 2016 hit song “Get It Together,” featuring Paul ‘P Square’ Okoye and Tiwa Savage. At the same time, NURHI 2 has helped establish a network of trained health providers offering friendly and confidential family planning services. NURHI 2 locations can be recognized by the blue, yellow and orange puzzle piece logo with signs that say ‘FP services available here.’

The new episodes’ premiere dates, radio stations, and broadcast times are as follows:

Oyo:
Splash 105.5FM: Fridays 3-4pm (Start date: July 14)
Amuludun 99.1FM: Mondays 3-4pm (Start Date: July 17)

Radio listeners can join in the conversation and see what other fans are saying on Get It Together’s official Facebook page: @getittogetherng

For more information please visit http://www.nurhitoolkit.org, send an email to info@nurhi.org or call Toyeke on 0905-261-5272.

About the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2):

The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2) funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/T. J. Mather is using communication to increase demand for family planning among men and women. It is led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (JHCCP) in partnership with the Center for Communication Programs Nigeria (CCPN).

Published as released by NURHI

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Personal Story: What you Stand to Gain from that Extra Work your Boss gives

women-workEight years ago on the corridor my boss handed me a bulky script to work on and produce on the station’s radio drama serial- Tales of life. I took a deep breath, collected the script and wondered how i was going to manage producing it in the midst of my many already scheduled weekly recording.

When I finally settled down to read through the script UFIALA…I was drawn in. It was such a rich story that focused on something I am passionate about. Women and girls.

The story is about a rapist on the loose in a community. Young girls preparing for marriage are afraid to go the village stream alone or anywhere else for that matter. This rapist even raped  married women. One in particular called Chika committed suicide because her in-laws blamed her for the incidence and believed that she had brought a curse on their family. That is where the story begins…

I enjoyed reading through the story but it wasn’t ready and perfect for recording yet. It needed to be rewritten and mechanized to fit into a radio drama. Nobody was going to pay for this!!… I thought to myself but…

When your boss gives you an assignment you better do it.

Now you can decide to do it really well or just do it for the sake of doing it.

Well I decided to give it my best shot. It was a lot of work rewritting and even adding some scenes; auditioning for casts; studio recording and editing. The other thing that was a bit stressful was getting a praise singer for the king’s court. And guess what…It was a story set in an Igbo cultural environment.

You have no idea what this meant to me…I was in Yoruba land, the south west Nigeria. So I contacted my Igbo brother, Emeka Darlyton who got me someone to do it…I can’t remember paying the artist but I did have to give him transportation fee. All these for a story authored by someone I didn’t know from Adam and I wasn’t getting paid for the extra work done.

When the story Ufiala did hit the airwaves it was a great success. It went on to be broadcast on the Network service of Radio Nigeria, Abuja.

And In 2011, I got a phone call telling me that I had just won the award for the best producer of the year, National!! Wao…all due to my production work on the story…Ufiala!

The most rewarding part was that I got to meet the writer of the story, Tokunbo Dada after it had been produced and broadcast. Today we have become a formidable radio drama team. I call him my right hand man and brother. tokunbo

Lessons:

  • Whatever your hands find to do, doit with all your might and heart.
  • Opportunity comes wearing an overall, so dig into the work and enjoy the blessings of your new opportunity.
  • Always go the extra mile because it ends up giving you that extra notice that puts you ahead of your contemporaries.
  • Hard work pays
  • Be willing to work without getting paid sometimes…It is quite rewarding…Benefits of my award – A deep freezer and Cash money.
  • When your boss gives you a new assignment, not palatable…DO IT! *wink*

You can listen to the audio by clicking on the link below

 Ufiala

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Pim Pim Pim! What?? Where? #Radio Drama Breaking

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Pim Pim Pim literarily means, “Cut cut cut”. What is been cut? Who is cutting? Is it painful? Is it harmful?

Someone is definitely cutting something and it turns into a serious saga!!

Pim Pim Pim is the story of a princess and her twin babies. What she proposed to do is a taboo in her community. The Royal chiefs become enraged…Her father the King might lose the throne if she insists. The whole community goes agog… who is going to save the day?!

Maybe the young doctor in the community, maybe the women, maybe the youths who are protesting….ITS A SERIOUS “SAGA” OR “GBEGE” AS WE SAY IN PIDGIN LANGUAGE.

It was fun producing the story for Amuludun F.M 99.1.       I had a great team to work with.

So do you want to know what is up with the Princess, her babies, the king, and community? Tune into radio stations in these states weekly:

SUPPORTED BY UNICEF
EBONYI, EKITI, IMO, OSUN AND OYO
MEDIUM: RADIO
PERIOD: 13 WEEKS: FROM JANUARY TO MARCH 2017
DURATION: 15 MINUTES

SOUTH EAST

1. HEARTLAND FM 100.5, Owerri (Radio Nigeria)  Wed 3.45pm Imo  Pim Pim Pim English

2. ORIENT FM 94.4, Owerri (Imo Broadcasting Corporation) Fri 10.45 am Pim Pim Pim Igbo. Repeat Broadcast Tues – 7.00pm

3. UNITY FM 101.5, Abakaliki (Radio Nigeria) Ebonyi  Sun 10.30am Pim Pim Pim English. Repeat Broadcast Tues- 1.45pm

4. SALT FM 98.1, Abakaliki (Ebonyi Broadcasting Corporation) Ebonyi Sat- 11.00am Pim Pim Pim Igbo Repeat Broadcast Wed – 5.00pm

SOUTH WEST

5. SPLASH FM105.5, Ibadan Oyo  Pim Pim Pim English – Sat 3pm

6 AMULUDUN FM 99.1, Moniya, Ibadan (Radio Nigeria) Oyo  Thurs 6.15pm Pim Pim Pim Yoruba

7. LIVINGSPRING FM 104.5, Osogbo (Osun State Broadcasting Corporation) Tues – 3.45pm Pim Pim Pim English

8. ORISUN FM 89.5, Osogbo (Osun State Broadcasting Corporation) Thur- 6.00pm  Pim Pim Pim Yoruba

9. EKITI RADIO FM 91.5, Ado Ekiti (Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State)   Fri 11.45am Pim Pim Pim English

10. PROGRESS FM 100.5, Ado Ekiti (Radio Nigeria) Thurs – 6.15pm Pim Pim Pim Yoruba.

Good news…The story is broadcasting in English, Yoruba and Igbo languages.

For comments, questions or inquiries call: 08173330586 OR email – pimpimpimng@gmail.com

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

A visitor at Night- Arike’s story

I just thought i should share this : An excerpt from a radio drama i wrote and will be recording soon. It is the story of Arike a teenager forced into sex slave trade and her journey to freedom…Her story mirrors so many other girls  lives.

SCENE 3 INTERIOR- DAY
1. MADAM GIDIGBA: (CALLS) Arike! Arike!
2. FX: ARIKE’S FOOTSTEPS RUNNING
3. ARIKE: Yes mummy
4. MADAM GIDIGBA: (HARSHLY) Don’t mummy me. Have you
Finished washing my clothes
5. ARIKE: (SHAKY) Ye…yes ma
6. MADAM GIDIGBA: And the bathrooms?
7. ARIKE: I have finished all the work in the house ma. I am preparing to Iron your cloths after I finish pounding the iyan you want to eat.
8. MADAM GIDIGBA: (PLEASED) Good girl. You are a very hardworking girl unlike the other girls who are so lazy.
9. ARIKE: (RELIEVED OF TENSION) Thank you ma.
10. MADAM GIDIGBA: And very obedient too…hmmn I will reward you handsomely Soon. Well get on with the rest of your work.
11. ARIKE: Em Madam Gidigba…
12. MADAM GIDIGBA: How many times have I told you to only call me mummy?!
13. ARIKE: (JITTERY) em …sorry mummy…em I want to ask you something
14. MADAM GIDIGBA: I hope it is not about school again?
15. ARIKE: Er…I just want to remind you…it is one year now
16. MADAM GIDIGBA: Arike you will go to school in good time don’t worry. I am trying to get you a very good one overseas.

17. ARIKE: (SURPRISED) Me…go to school oversea?
18. MADAM GIDIGBA: If you don’t want to go no problem. I just want to reward you for all your hard work.
19. ARIKE: (HAPPY) Haa…mummy thank you…God will bless you.
20. MADAM GIDIGBA: Don’t get too excited…em there is a process and I want you to prepare for an interview with the man who will
help us get your papers to America.
21. ARIKE: (CLAPS HAND DELIGHTFULLY) A…me …ri…ca….!
Hee… Mummy you are too kind.
22. MADAM GIDIGBA: So prepare the man is coming to the house this night.
23. ARIKE: (STOPS) Night…in the house…?
24. MADAMA GIDIGBA: He does it for me all the time, he is a very good friend. Now go and finish your work.
25. ARIKE: Ok mummy

SCENE 3B NIGHT- INTERIOR
26. FX: NIGHT SOUND- CRICKETS
27. FX: DOOR OPENS
28. MADAM GIDIGBA: Arike the man is here to see you.
29. ARIKE: (SLEEPY) ok mummy I will change and come to the sitting room.
30. MADAM GIDIGBA: No need, he will quickly ask you the questions in your room. Prince treat my girl nicely o.
31. PRINCE: No problem Madam Gidigba. (CYNICALLY) She will be ready for the journey when I am through.
32. MADAM GIDIGBA: Arike cooperate with Mr Prince, he is a nice person.
33. ARIKE: (AFRAID) Mummy don’t leave me.
34. MADAM GIDIGBA: Relax I will be back soon.
35. FX: DOOR SLAMS SHUT
36. ARIKE: (OFF MIC – BEHIND CLOSED DOORS SCREAMING)

Adebisi Adetunji (C)