✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

‘Ekweremadu aims to project Igbo culture with Dream FM’

This is because it  is seen as accommodating and liberal in its various programmes.  Any guest could be allowed to use it as a medium…

This is because it  is seen as accommodating and liberal in its various programmes.  Any guest could be allowed to use it as a medium to air his views on topical issues affecting the society so long as such guest will not deviate and deliberately abuse people or institutions or incite the masses while on air.

Speaking in an interview with the Sunday Trust in his  Enugu office,  the station’s Managing Director, Mr  Antonio Cruise said Senator Ekweremadu, before establishing the radio station, made it clear that he was giving the people of Enugu a “radio station that  is trendy , the type you have in Lagos and abroad.”  
He said aside being the people’s radio station, it is seen as the mouthpiece of the southeast zone in the sense that it projects the cultures of the Igbo people  but with a bias for educating, showcasing and packaging entertainment for the millions of listeners in and beyond the southeast as well as outside the shores of Nigeria. “You can listen to Dream FM even in London or anywhere abroad through the internet because we are online,” Cruise said.
The station’s MD  said Ekweremadu does not interfere in the daily operations of the Enugu-based Dream 92.5 FM, which he founded about three years ago with the philosophy that it must be a trendy radio station for the Enugu people rather than for any particular political party or religious organization.
Dream FM has several programmes such as “Nna Men,” which actually kick-started the station and popularized it especially among the younger generation of listeners in the area. It was designed to be a lively and trendy programme targeted mainly at the young at heart, although it was fashioned after the slangs spoken by the Igbo traders at Alaba Market in Lagos.  
According to Cruise, “somehow, the presenter of the programme could not manage the fame that goes with broadcasting and he suddenly began to do things he shouldn’t be doing and the management decided to let him know that nobody is indispensible,” he explained.
He said,  “In life, some people cannot handle fame, they cannot handle power. It consumes some people, and unfortunately it consumed this young chap who was presenting “Nna Men” to the extent that he felt he was beyond anybody.  He felt he has become a superstar and he could do and undo and we quickly let him realize that we can do without him. That programme,  ‘Nna Men’ actually catapulted Dream FM to limelight. But sadly, the person who helped to create the programme was the same person who killed it,” he said.
 He added that  the Head of Programmes, Mr Okey Udukwu is now anchoring it. “We have programmes in English, pidgin, and Igbo languages.”   Some of them are:  “Mid-Day Express,” which is like a magazine programme dealing with a lot of issues; “Morning Drive,” presented by Uncle Jude; “Political Voices,” which is all about politics  and lots more.
We don’t care which political party you come from; you are given a chance to air your views as long as you don’t abuse people or try to incite the people. And that is because of an outstanding instruction from the Deputy Senate President that he didn’t want to hear that any party come here and  we didn’t give them the same audience as they deserved,” the MD explained.  
On the performance of the station, Cruise said he wouldn’t want to rate its performance in terms of audience listenership but since March this year, Dream FM  has maintained a topmost position on the chart as the most often listened to radio station in the area.  Citing the chart of ‘Nigeria Diary March 2014 of Radio Station Listen To Most Often’’, Dream FM Enugu since March this year has remained on top of others. We are the number one in the southeast zone on the chart  produced by Nigeria Diary, March 2014,”he said.
Cruise said Dream FM maintains Top 30,  followed by Ebonyi Salt FM which is on 25, then trailed by  both Radio Nigeria Enugu (sw) and  Caritas FM, Enugu which occupy 15th position on the chart, among other stations in the downward order on the chart.   
In an attempt to actualize the objectives of the radio station, he said, the Dream FM team had to introduce or initiate programmes that are different from what other stations in the area are offering listeners, as well as assemble a galaxy of uncommon presenters who are efficient and effective in their jobs. “We like presenters with beautiful voices, presenters who will not bore the listeners but rather arrest their attention till the next programme comes up on air.  We recognize that when one person does something wrong it affects the whole system of operation. So we make sure that everybody does his or her job correctly,” he said.
Every Wednesday, the Dream FM team holds a meeting during which they discuss and correct errors or mistakes of the previous week.  The MD himself  relates very well with all the workers, making himself very friendly and accessible without carrying himself too high as the boss.
“I don’t like creating a barrier between the staff and me. I don’t like people running or dodging when they see the MD coming, because it doesn’t give a good impression of the working environment,” he said.  He  insisted that he prefers wearing modest and casual wears to flow along with every worker . “At times, when you enter the premises, you wouldn’t know I’m the MD because of the simple way I dress. I  respect my staff, they respect me as well and the work goes on fine. The issue of ownership censorship or  interference in the running of the media house has raised  dust in the media industry in Nigeria but Ekweremadu  give me a free hand to manage the Dream FM which is a dream he has been having for a very long time before it eventually came true,” he said.
According to him: “When we started, the Deputy Senate President called me and said,‘Mr Cruise, as you notice I don’t have any family  or friends involved in this business because it is not good to have family and friends involved. So you are here as an outsider, with your experience from overseas, and that’s why I chose you.  You are totally in charge of everything  in Dream FM.
‘You will not have interference from me or anybody else for that matter. If anybody comes to you and says I said this and that or that I sent, him, you first call me, and that’s it.’ And he has stuck to his words because so far, I don’t have any problem working here.”
Aside the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the body set up by the Federal Government to regulate the activities of broadcasting houses in the country, Dream FM has not had issues with the government in terms of interfering  in or disturbing its operations. “NBC is just keeping us in check and keeping us on the right track. In terms of outright interference from government agencies, no, we  never had such experience”, the MD  said.
 He also talked of the challenges of losing a staff to the cold hands of death or having a sick staff without anybody to cover up the gap created by the absence of the sick worker. “Obviously these are challenges and then, of course, occasionally you have an equipment break down. But we try to manage all such situations,” he remarked.
Although Dream FM is already on the map of radio broadcasting in Nigeria, Cruise assures that in the next few years, “I really want to secure the southeast so that when you are talking about the southeast, you are talking about Dream FM as number one,” he maintained.
Trained in London as a broadcaster, Cruise had a brief stint with the BBC London and other stations before coming to work in Nigeria with such radio stations as Kiss FM, Hot FM and Silverbird. He believes that the radio stations in the zone, especially the FM stations,  should make themselves more relevant to society and listeners by creating more vibrant  and exciting programmes that will not bore the audience a bit. 

LEARN AFFILIATE MARKETING: Learn How to Make Money with Expertnaire Affiliate Marketing Using the Simple 3-Step Method Explained to earn $500-$1000 Per Month.
Click here to learn more.

AMAZON KDP PUBLISHING: Make $1000-$5000+ Monthly Selling Books On Amazon Even If You Are Not A Writer! Using Your Mobile Phone or Laptop.
Click here to learn more.

GHOSTWRITING SERVICES: Learn How to Make Money As a Ghostwriter $1000 or more monthly: Insider Tips to Get Started. Click here to learn more.
Click here to learn more.

SECRET OF EARNING IN CRYPTO: Discover the Secrets of Earning $100 - $2000 Every Week With Crypto & DeFi Jobs.
Click here to learn more.