The acronym OAP stands for On Air personality. This is usually assigned to radio presenters whose job are to either host a show or do some other work on the radio. Much importance has been attached to OAPs these days as opposed to how they we’re regarded before now. Most OAPs within and outside Nigeria do not just host talk shows on radio. Rather they have gone ahead to becoming brand ambassadors and media gurus. Some of them have worked years as radio presenters without been recognised but,the whole game has changed as the system itself “radio set” has been attached a lot of value. A radio set is one of the easiest mobile system you have in the 21st century. On our mobile phones whether smart or unsmart, you have a radio system which makes it more important than a television set. As mobile as radio sets are ,so are the contents– which are the stations i.e frequencies and the voices- the presenters.
For these and many more reasons as to how important OAPs are , people have raised controversial questions in different ways to know what makes an OAP a celebrity. Such questions are: how much are they paid?, how many people know them?. These are questions that have been popped up by many people who feel that OAPs should not be tagged or mentioned in the celebrities circuit.
In opposition to the speculation as made by people of different thoughts and reasoning, firstly I will like to opine clearly that in a country like Nigeria where the issue of power supply is epileptic, radio stations have done a lot to keep the nation informed and entertained as the populace can access them with or without power supply. It is overly impossible to find a house without a radio set even while they do not have a television set which requires being powered by the availability of constant electricity supply. People long to listen to their favourite radio stations and OAPs across the country and because of this,radio stations now hold programmes like morning shows, which are more of news and less entertainment. They also hold afternoon or mid day shows to keep those at home, corporate organisation workers informed and entertained while at work or leisure. The drive time shows and night shows are virtually the most important shows especially in a city like lagos where the burden of traffic can easily beset one’s mood. The shows are done to ease this burden with traffic reports mostly done by listeners. Also songs are been requested and in the middle of this, information are passed on issues of current affairs in form of news report both local and international. Commercials are also done, this I think is the major source of income for any public or private owned radio stations. All these cannot be done via the radio sets without the OAPs.
The most valuable asset of an OAP is said to be his / her voice which is what listeners far and wide have been able to reckon with. The facial or physical appearance may not be their thing because it is only the voice that is transmitted. However, some OAPs have gone beyond just radio anchoring to hosting TV shows and appearing in movies which has broaden the horizon of popularity for them. Again, almost all radio stations now have cameras in their studios to enable the listeners stream their shows live via social media platforms. Popular OAPs like toolz, dotun gbemi freeze,toke makinwa, Ik osakioduwa,tosyn bucknor etc.to mention a few have been referred to as celebrities with so many controversies to follow. These People have been able to build a name for themselves by doing what they know how to do best and they have become regular faces on TV, famous magazine covers and also making it to the list of influential celebrities just like other artistes In the entertainment world.
A dictionary meaning of the word “celebrity” is a person who has a high degree of recognition by the general public. As pertaining popularity,the social media has helped over time to buttress the meaning. Most celebrities are followed and liked on social Media platforms such as Facebook,Instagram, twitter etc . on this,it is important to know that the way an artiste( movie and music) is liked and followed on the above listed platforms is equally how an OAP is followed. Some of them even have a larger fan network than the artistes. In terms of financial buoyancy,OAPs may not earn as much a musical or theatrical artiste.Nonetheless, being a celebrity is much more than the wealth you can amass for yourself. It deals more with how much an influence you have on people resulting into being recognised by the society.
Looking at the negative sides of being a celebrity. It comes with so.many controversies, from family life to social life and even their daily lives. Every persons want to to talk about how these people fair and live. The way a blogger writes about omotola jolade ekehinde’s life is the same way he/ she writes about tolu oniru’s( toolz) because they are in the eyes of the society whether locally or universally. Being an OAP may not accord you universal profit as in comparison with the artistes because movies and music go a long way than a frequency dial except you do so well to download radio station applications to listen to your favourite radio stations and OAPs everywhere you go.
Furthermore, artistes had long been the cynosure of all eyes unlike the OAPs who have just been accepted into the circle. So it takes a gradual process to universally accept them.
To conclude ,I believe I have been able to clear our doubts and answer our questions on the topic as raised afore concerning the celebrity status of OAPs. One can in his / her own opinion refer to them as celebrities with the capital letter C or small letter c depending on how you see them. But if you think there is more to being referred to as a celebrity, you can start off as an OAP to get a more lucid answer.