PGI's July Girl: MOPE (The Dope Girl-Next-Door)
On Friday afternoons, when the yellow school buses line up across my street to pick up the school kids, chances are that I am listening to Mope Oyetunji's distinctly chirpy voice, discussing inspirational topics with her guests on the TGIF radio show. Most of the time, I find myself hollering my opinions at my radio, hoping that they are a little telepathic. Lol.
I’ve known Mope for about 5 years now and in that "short" time, I can testify with both hands on the holy book that she's remarkably special, she inspires me with her heels, her words, her happy heart, and her dedication to God. During our interview, she touched my heart more than once, without preaching a sermon and that’s not something you see everyday.
She also has a truck load of girlfriends, if you are a guy, you might want to get her number. Be warned though, her husband is over 6'3 tall and I will not rescue you, I repeat, will not. Lol.
She discusses the key to work-life-God-self balance; her experience "living with a boy"; busts a popular modeling myth and insinuates that Moimoi trumps Akara. Let's meet her, and the many sides of her colorful Rubik's cube personality!
Warning: We laughed for a good part of this interview. Bear with us, laugh with us!
First things first, I will start with the most important question to ask a style-savvy Engineer:
Is it possible to look good in a hard-hat?
Yes! *laughs* with some lippie and a great smile!
What was the best part about modeling?
The Giveaways! I’m kidding, the ‘Dress up’.
How did you get into it?
My friend, Bubu, recruited me. She had just started her label, iamisigo and she needed someone to help her model her clothes, so I volunteered. I did some other jobs after, mainly through referrals. Even though it was short term, I made the best of the experience and enjoyed every second of it.
What skills do you need to begin a modeling career?
Confidence. Courage. Strength. It's important to look after yourself- face, body and overall health. Also developing networking skills is a plus, referrals are big in the fashion industry.
Any modeling myths, you could bust for us?
The most obvious myth would be that models don’t eat! That’s not true at all. I’ve met a model who eats like a horse. Sometimes, it’s really just their genes and other times it’s eating healthy as well as portion-control. It’s all about those portions!
Do you dance in changing rooms?
Absolutely! Who doesn’t! *laughs*
Your hugest style influence?
My Mother. I call her "Fashionista Mama". My friends back in Nigeria go to her sometimes for material choices for events.
Do you ever hide an outfit in the store with plans to return to buy it?
Hahahaha! Definitely! Especially when it’s on SALE and I need to do a quick inspection of the clothes in my wardrobe that go with it!
Cyber shopping or store-shopping?
Cyber shopping (only because I don’t have the time)
What was the last thing you bought but had to return?
A pair of Mustard heels from Zara.
You are in a Men's clothing store, name two items you'd grab for your outfit?
Oh la la! Suspenders and those shocking brightly-colored socks.
What's the key to maintaining great relationships with girlfriends?
Loyalty and discretion. You shouldn’t tell Girlfriend C what Girlfriend A has told you in confidence.
What’s the key to being friends with guys?
Being truthful. Boys love the truth!
So girls don’t love the truth?
*we both burst out laughing*
What's the hugest lesson you've learnt from being married?
Compromise! In marriage, you’re a team and for two people to work together as a team, each member must give and take once in a while. Note: I said once in a while (no one should be a door mat)*laughs*
What's the coolest thing about "living with a boy”?
You get to wear his shirts, when you can’t be bothered about dressing up around the house!
How did you meet God?
I grew up in a Christian home but never really knew God for myself until 2006 when I was involved in a car accident in Ghana. I had a divine encounter with God and I remember saying “Lord, I am Yours, I want to be a vessel fit for Your use. I dedicate myself to You, use me for your Will.” From that day on I began a journey to enter a new spiritual life through God's Holy Spirit.
What's the coolest thing about Him?
His Sense of Humor! No jokes- I’m here asking God for akara meanwhile He has moin-moin in the oven waiting for me but I just don’t see it. His plans are always grander than mine.
Do you serve in church?
Yes I do, I’m a Junior Church (Children) teacher primarily. I’m involved in the Broadcast department where I host radio shows and present the news on Sunday (Visual). Lastly, I’m in the Virtuous Women’s Committee which is built to guide, strengthen and encourage women in the church amidst their busy schedules in life.
*Side eye* I just want to say for the record that I serve in ONE unit in church and I still feel a little overwhelmed! How do you do it? How do you balance it all-life, God, work, marriage, friends… all in heels?
*laughs* I think what works for me is ‘Prioritizing’ I’ve always used Jill Briscoe’s word Picture: picture each priority in your life as a box. Don’t try to completely fill each box or you’ll be exhausted. I ask God which boxes should be first in line for the season, even for the day. I reorganize them accordingly and then only fill up the first ones in line, voluntarily leaving the others only minimally filled, there’s that calm. That’s my balance – filling up what God wants me to and leaving the rest for another season because I’m no super girl. *laughs*
Describe hosting a radio show with one word?
AMAZING (A mix of Splendid and Unpredictable)
That’s 7 words!
I know! *laughs* Hosting is unpredictable because you never know what the audience is thinking and what their response might be on the other side.
Does it help to look pretty going to the radio show even if you won't be seen? Like, does it
help you get into host-mode or help your show-biz psyche? Lol
Hahaha! Sometimes, but saying that I think a lot of times my mood dictates my style for the day as opposed to the other way round.
Do you ever feel like not talking on the day of the talk show? Let's assume you've had a long, tiring day, do you scowl at the mic?
*laughs* No! There have been a couple of times when I’ve been super knackered after a long week but you’ll be amazed how the topic in itself motivates you or even simply getting in front of the Mic and thinking ‘No one wants to hear grumpy’, you just kinda shake it off.
What types of topics throws the station into an excited, air-pulsating frenzy-with phones ringing off the table and guests almost off their seats?
Do you ever have me-time? What do you do then?
Oh yes, I do- it keeps me sane and re-energizes me. I read inspirational articles (online- I don’t do books), listen to podcasts or I go for a run (if the weather plays nice).
5 things in your handbag right now as we speak:
Cocoa butter lip therapy Vaseline, my bunch of keys hanging off a cowboy-boots key-holder, nail file, spare earrings (just in case I leave home in a hurry), tissues.
Eau de Parfum or Eau Naturale?
Eau de Parfum. Ike, don't even play like that. *laughs*
4 Things I've learnt
1. Put spare earrings in all your handbags! They are the easiest things to forget in a hurry.
2. Daily priority list- ask God to tag the most important items for the day!
3. As a girl, I really should listen when my friends advise me and I should try this baked moi-moi recipe…hmmm.
4. Opportunities arise from being a blessing and being selfless. Who needs a model for free? *Grin*
Thank you so much, Mope, for being PGI's July girl!! Love you to style heaven and back!
Catch the TGIF show on Fridays at 7pm GMT, here!