Olutola Omoniyi
Olutola Omoniyi

Priscilla, Canada — In the light of the just concluded Praiseworld Radio celebration of two years, I decided to have what I termed- A RAPID-FIRE-CHAT! With the CEO. (Figure it out. Smiles!}

To some, he is the Boss, to another; a Mentor, to others; a Brother, to some; a Friend, to one; a Fiancé, to one; an Uncle, to a great couple; a Son!’ Whoever and whatever he is to you, He still remains Olutola Omoniyi aka ‘SpiceOnTheMic’ the CEO of Praiseworld Radio – Africa’s #1 Online Gospel Radio Station.

Tola who also features as Master of Ceremony {MC} at weddings as well as a professional Compere for Social & Corporate Events, ‘On Air Personality’ of the popular ‘The Praise O’clock Show’ that airs every weekday from the hours of 8:00am to 12:00 noon

‘The Praise O’clock Show’ with TOLA recently emerged winner in the Radio/TV Show of the Year {2014} category of YadaMag Awards 2014.

In 2013 Praiseworld Radio was nominated by the Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Awards as the Online Radio Station of the year

Praiseworld Radio’s official website www.praiseworldradio.com was on May 16 announced winner of the “Website/Blog of the Year” courtesy YadaMag Awards 2014. ‎

I met Tola way back at the University courtesy of his two gorgeous sisters who were my Hall mates. Fast forward. Praiseworld Radio established a relationship for us that I cherish and don’t take for granted.

Tola is very principled and demands excellence; a witty person that has a large heart. My favorite part is – He listens! Whether you make sense or not LOL! Patiently listening to all my lovely rant and frustration on work related issues.

Despite the crazy time difference, Tola finds time to pick my calls whenever he can. I pray God grants you wisdom, strength and all the resources you need to steer Praiseworld Radio successfully.
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SOME PWR CREW REMARKS ON TOLA (spiceonthemic):
Amy @emrysmilla202 – A brilliant/ Inspiring Writer and Blogger on Praiseworldradio says:

‘Tola is a selfless leader.’

Gilly @angelgilly – Soft spoken and Co-host of the Breakfast Praise show with Tola says:

‘Tola is a realist, very lovable & humble to a fault!’

Awhy of God [In J-Moss’s Voice] @AWHYOFGOD – Funny and loving Co-host of Afternoon Groove with Acube)

‘TOLA spice, the set man of God with a large heart and strong passion for the work of God, leader of resources rather than men’

Dora Ndidi @aDORAbleOma, a Praiseworld Radio team member:

Tola is not just a man of God but someone who is a goal-getter with a great sense of humor.

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SPECIAL FAMILY REMARKS
Tofunmi @ElStarExpress – The first sibling and sister to TOLAspice who is currently the CEO of El-star Express – Speaking for the family says about her brother;

‘Tola loves his family so much; he is God-fearing, caring, nice, respectful, brilliant, and responsible; also a great uncle to his niece. Tola is simply our baby!!!

PW-{Hummn! Someone is definitely spoilt! Oops! Did I just say that? No!!}

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TOLA’S RESPONSES
Priscilla PWR – How did you feel about your Praise O’clock show winning the Radio/TV Show of the Year Award from Yada Magazine as well as Praiseworld Radio winning the Radio Website of The Year award?

TOLA (spiceonthemic)- One thing awards do is encourage and motivate its recepients. For me, it was very humbling. Humbling to know that people love what we do, and were not hesitant in expressing it. It’s also a challenge to do more. Like they say, “The reward to a work well done is more work”.

Priscilla PWR – How and when was the idea of PWR impressed in your heart?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – In the place of worship and prayer back in September 2007, I got a revelation from God about establishing His praise on earth via gospel entertainment on various media platforms.

I was still in the University at that time. I immediately set up a 12-man team with whom I had weekly meetings with and kept sharing this vision repeatedly to them.

Five years later, after working in four different radio stations, God divinely impressed it in my heart to make this move (i.e. starting an online radio station). This was in January 2012. Five months later, we officially launched Praiseworld Radio

Priscilla PWR – Did you undergo any formal training on how to manage a Radio Station?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Well, formal training – no. Informal – yes! Like I mentioned before, I worked in several radio stations before PWR. During that period, I was carrying and nurturing the vision God gave me in 2007.

So, in my service as an OAP/Producer in those stations, I was in the process- learning by observation and training from various departments within the station on how to manage it. I also learnt how NOT to manage a radio station (Now this is a very important lesson too)

Priscilla PWR -Who was the first person you shared the vision with?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Urrmm!….I’m not sure I can exactly recall the very first person, but the first people I shared the vision with was my Pastor (Wale Akinronbi), my family, my girlfriend at that time, and the 12-man team which I assembled.

For the vision of the online radio station itself in 2012, I shared with my friend Omojuwa with whom I had earlier had a discussion with about the whole idea.

Tola
Tola

Priscilla PWR – How did you feel when Praiseworld Radio had 10,000 ‎followers on Twitter? Now 13,000 plus.

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – I always stress the fact that Praiseworld Radio is blessed with family, and not mere fans. I understand people buy followers on Twitter these days, and buying this amount might not be a big deal for some.

However, our joy is in the fact that a bunch of these followers are family to us. I am a lot more driven by meeting the needs of those who God has given unto us.

A lot of times, God rewards you with more, when you have been found faithful with the little He has given you.

Missy, Tola, Ope
Missy, Tola, Ope

Priscilla PWR – Talking about your relationships, how do you separate relating to PWR correspondents/personnel’s on a friendly/casual and official level?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – The Praiseworld Team is a closely knit family. We are also a result-driven team, and the ability to manage both relationships is of utmost importance.

So basically, I try to communicate each team member’s tasks/goals to him/her (official). We have fun in the process. I’m friends with all members of the team, and we relate as such, caring about our individual welfare.

Priscilla PWR – Where there times you had put your foot down on a decision as opposed to others?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – A lot of times, especially when it is an instruction from my Boss (God).

Priscilla PWR – Can you recall the first major challenge you encountered on PWR?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Wow! There were quite a number of them. However, I recall we had some challenges when we were about kicking off live talk shows. We also encountered some challenges in getting the radio more mobile friendly, as well as some major issues with the website.

There have been quite a lot of challenges. However, God always helps us surmount them. No challenge leaves you the same way it meets you. You are either better off or worse off. The former has always been our case, and we give glory to God.

tola

Priscilla PWR – How do you fund and maintain PWR?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Actually, though we have a few clients that patronize some of our services (adverts, live broadcast of events, independent programs on air, etc.), our expenditure is still a lot more than our generated revenue. This means we spend more than we earn.

This also implies that we fund and maintain Praiseworld Radio by GRACE. We are also open to our kind friends who are willing to support the vision financially.

Priscilla PWR – Where do you see PWR five years from now?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Availability, affordability, connectivity and quality of internet in Nigeria and Africa is getting better by the day. This in turn will positively influence the reach of Praiseworld Radio within the continent and beyond.

Priscilla PWR – Are there plans For Praiseworld TV {PWT}-Praiseworld Television? If yes when do we expect that?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Yes, there is. There always has been. But please don’t let us kill the surprise by my announcement here. LOL!

Priscilla PWR – What’s your day like? Do you follow a routine?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Well, for now quite busy. I host the breakfast show on Praiseworld Radio (The Praise O’clock Show) between 8:00am and 12:00 noon every weekday. Now that’s routine. I fix my meetings after my shows.

The other parts of the day don’t necessarily follow a particular routine. But I try to get some nap when I can; squeeze out my ‘fun time’ of the day; research, work, read, and hang out with family when I can.

Priscilla PWR – How did the nickname ‘Spice on the Mic‎’ come to be?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – While in the University, I was an OAP in a radio station with the name Toliano. I always loved to have some sort of tag line to go with it, but none came to mind. I met with a fan one day, and he went on and on complementing the work I do on radio.

In his words, “you just have this spice you bring on radio”. He kept emphasizing on the word “spice”. Shortly after he left, I thought to myself, ‘that’s it!’, and that was it. LOL!

Priscilla PWR – What international and local artist would you want featured for the Exclusive Interview Series?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Kirk Franklin! He’s always been an inspiration to me. I admire him a lot. Sam Adeyemi is not an artiste; I would have mentioned him here. Oops! I already did.

Priscilla PWR – {Laughing! – would work on them}
What is your favorite scripture?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Mehnnnn! I’ve got loads of them. Which do I chose to share with you now? *pondering* “Paul Planted. Apollos watered. God gave the increase”. It always reminds me of the SOURCE.

Priscilla PWR – Hummn! That’s a Deep one!

tola (2)

Priscilla PWR – Looking back at Praiseworld Radio, is there anything you would have done better‎. As well as is there any decision you regret making?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – I am still very much in the process. Praiseworld Radio is a process which is ongoing. I won’t say there is any decision I regret making right now. I am very open to corrections and when it comes or when I notice areas I should have done better, I am quick to rewind, pause and straighten it out.

tola-love

Priscilla PWR – Aware that you are officially engaged to someone to be married, how do you balance your crazy busy schedule to investing in your relationship?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – She’s a priceless gem, who is also sold out to the vision. Now that’s a plus for me *wink*. However, I always do create time for ‘family’. This is a deliberate move, ‘coz if one waits for when there’ll be spare time, one might wait a lifetime.

So what I do is… put a stop to work sometimes, decide not to honor some invitation, or just turn off my phone just to create time for ‘us’. *wink*

Priscilla PWR – {Laughing}
When do we hear the wedding bells?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – As soon as they ring, you’ll probably hear the sound. I love to do things in special ways, so I won’t want to ruin any bit of the surprise by saying ‘when’ now.

Priscilla PWR – Hummn! Good answer! Patiently waiting.

Does your fiancée shares and supports the vision of Praiseworld – as well as your family?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – She absolutely does. I sometimes call her my Manager. She’s a rare gem. She gives me that push sometimes when I tend to relent. Did I mention something like that in the song I composed for her? Yeah, I did.

My immediate family is definitely my #1 fan. My parents, siblings and niece are my biggest fans who will stop at nothing in supporting Praiseworld Radio. Loving them is my hobby.

TOLA rocking the stage during Praise Party, Abeokuta
TOLA rocking the stage during Praise Party, Abeokuta

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QUESTIONS FROM PRAISEWORLD RADIO FANS WORLDWIDE:

Genius Kingston {Jamaica} is there a line between secular and gospel lyrics? If there is, how do we listeners know when a song has gone secular even if the artist is still professing Christ?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Let me help by asking, “How do you get to relate with a sermon by your Pastor when he shares about happenings in your country, shares about how to raise a child, or a holiday trip he had with his wife over the weekend?” Does it make his sermon secular? No!

However, if the content of what he says in the process of addressing these issues are not in line with the values of the Kingdom, then it’s NOT ‘gospel’. The same applies to music.
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Nike O. {Nigeria}: Are you single or engaged? What do you look out for in your wife to be?
TOLA (spiceonthemic) – I’m engaged and she’s such an angel!

Priscilla PWR – {Smiling sheepishly and clearing my clogged throat!!!!
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Amaka (Florida} Do you feel threatened by other gospel stations in Nigeria?
TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Definitely not. It’s a proof that you are on the right path when people follow a trail you’ve blazed. I’m glad that other radio stations are emerging every day. It’s good for the industry at large.

Every radio station should have a niche, the more gospel stations emerge, the easier it is for each to build on their specific niche. Also, you also can’t claim to be #1 if there is no #2, #3…
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Annonymous {South Africa} I do hear some kinda music on PW and I wonder if the songs are gospel, my question is what should gospel music be about? What should it sound like? When we listen to Gospel Music, should we not relate it to the scriptures or is it meant for pleasure because it seems Artists just take stuff from the secular industry and infuse gospel into it?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – The Bible is such a complete manual that touches on every area of our everyday living. How do you feel when you read Songs of Solomon? Do you for a minute feel you are reading a wrong book? The Bible is perfect, and no book made it in there in error.

Now talking about music, when a born again Christian who has his values based on God’s Word sings about peace, love or celebration…, I think it is something to reckon with.

As a media practitioner who is passionate about the effect of music in the lives of its listeners, I have come to understand that ‘entertainment’ is a need and this is part of the reasons why Praiseworld Radio exists – to meet this need in a pure and clean way pleasing to God.

If all we churn out is praise and worship songs, you’ll probably slot in some Chris Brown CD into that player of yours when you’re celebrating your Wedding anniversary.

That’s for the message (Lyrics). As for the genre (‘how it sounds like’). Hip-hop, R&B, Jazz, Salsa, etc. are genres of music. Most people relate them to secular music only because the secular artistes have made the best of it.

Phillips {Nigeria} What Church do you attend please?
TOLAspice- Daystar Christian Centre
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Chima (Atlanta) Hi Tola, It is often said that worship is a lifestyle, what are some of your practical examples that applies aside devotion and singing? ‎

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Chima, worship to me is giving honor and reverence to God, and like you’ve rightly said, shouldn’t be restricted to only singing and for devotion sessions.

Here’s my guide. In everything I do or intend to do, I ask myself “Would this bring honor to God?” This applies to my everyday decision, and relating with people as well.
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Dave (London): what partners would Praiseworld radio want to partner with? ‎

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Dave! Yeah! We’ll love to partner with Dave and every other kind friend of ours out there.
Praiseworld Radio is family. So having members of the family partner with us by sharing their resources (financial, spiritual, human, mental, etc.) is always welcome.

Simply send us an email via [email protected] with the subject SPONSORSHIP. Thank you.

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Mike (London) Hello Tola, I don’t have any question, I just feel I should use this medium to tell you that you’re doing a good job and I enjoy Praiseworld radio especially your breakfast show.

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Thank you so much, Mike. That’s another reason for me to work more. God bless you. (And remember to tell your friends about it)

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Anonymous (Malaysia) Aside your breakfast show, do you have plans of hosting other shows or programs?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – We have a plan to start off a weekly radio show branded “The Praiseworld Radio Show” to be hosted by 3 seasoned presenters including myself. This looks to be something fresh, unique and top notch. I’d advise you stay locked to PWR to find out all the details, which will be unveiled in the very near future.

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Racheal (Missouri) my questions are based on your team, how did you meet ACUBE? How did you get Nikki Laoye to host Girls Rock? ‎

TOLA (spiceonthemic)- (Interesting question} Racheal Hmnn!… I met A’cube a little over 2 years ago just before launching the radio station. I met him through Provabs {a gifted gospel artist in Nigeria} who gave me his contact in my quest for getting urban gospel DJs on board. We’ve become brothers today, and I appreciate him a great deal.

Nikki Laoye was a guest on my show one morning back in the day. She had such a blast, and later proposed to me to air her show on Praiseworld Radio. The rest is history. Oh! Did I mention she’s such a sister to me as well? I just love the Praiseworld family!

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Cynthia (Ghana) ‎ how do you unwind if you ever find the time?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – “Family-ing!” – Please don’t even bother searching for that word in the dictionary; it’s my own definition of spending time with family. {Smiles} I love ‘family time’ a lot, and wish to have even more time for it. Hanging out and having a good laugh with my folks and close friends does it for me.

I also love movies. Though I don’t see as much as I would have loved to

Felix (Ottawa) if you were given an option to set Praiseworld ‎ in any country aside Nigeria, where will it be?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Urrr…You mean our headquarters, right? Hmnn! I honestly never really thought of this. But now that you’re saying it, maybe Canada won’t be a bad idea. Ottawa, here we come!!! LOL!
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Toke (Nigeria) How do you pick the location for the Praiseworld ‘Praise Party’ and where will the next Location be?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – So far, we’ve hosted only one edition of our Praise Party series outside Lagos (Abeokuta, Ogun state precisely). We are open to bring the Praise Party train to whatever city where we are guaranteed of individuals, group or preferably a Church ready to host us.

So Toke, if that sounds like you or your Church, please send us and email to [email protected] and we’ll be glad to take it from there.
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A‎nnonymous (Nigeria) how do you fend off female fans who tend to go overboard. Considering the fact that you’re attractive?

Priscilla PWR (clearing my clogged throat again!}

TOLA (spiceonthemic)- I have over the years learnt how to “RUN”. I think that remains one of the wisest ways to go about it. Years ago, I used to feel like some superman who knew how to manage stuff, but I learnt by falling.

So the password is R-U-N. Ask Brother Joseph of the Bible for details on this art. It’s called ‘RUN-101’. LOL! (And thanks for the compliment)
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Anonymous {Nigeria} You composed a Love song for your fiancée. What instigated that? And how did she react?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – It was St. Valentine’s Day and I always love to do things special and different. So I chose to write a song. I stormed into ‘Okey Sokay’s (another gifted gospel artist in Nigeria} studio and boom! We started off the project.

I premiered the song on my show while she was listening to it. Awww!…It was romantic jor! It worked just fine. She still hasn’t gotten over it. Her family loves it too. I felt like one superstar like that. Hehee!

Priscilla PWR (this clogged throat again!!}
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Ugonna (Tampa) where do you see Praiseworld Radio in 4years time?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – Our goal for the next 4 years is to have greater and more direct impact on the lives of our listeners through more innovations, content and outreaches tailored to their needs.
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Gbenga (NTA Lagos Nigeria‎) “What is or what would be PWR’s corporate-social responsibility to Nigeria and Nigerians in these trying times of the Nation’s Socio-political history, especially in the light of promoting religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence”?

TOLA (spiceonthemic) – We strongly believe that fervent prayer is highly important at this time as a nation, in order to get revelation from God as to what specific direction to take. We regularly take time out to pray for our dear country during our shows, as well as encourage of fans to do same.

Praiseworld Radio is also very aware of the power of the media especially in trying times such as this, and we utilize our platforms (radio shows, social media tools) in sensitizing our audience positively in this light. We have also received lots of music submissions with the ‘peace’ theme which we have been giving heavy rotation.
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TOLA’s WORDS TO PRAISEWORLD RADIO FANS
Thanks for being family to us. Thank you for the love and support you give us.

Now, remember that one thing God impressed upon your heart that seemed bigger than you? Start today! Start with a step and watch God take it from there. I Love You!!!

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Thanks to everyone reading and special thanks to Tola who created time for this Interview,

God bless PWR crew. God bless Praiseworld Radio, God Bless Dami and God bless you.

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Coming up next: Two Nigerians in the UK doing great exploits- a 2 in 1 Special… Don’t miss it!!
Stay blessed.

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