Meet Anike Agbaje-Williams: Africa’s First Female Broadcaster

Anike Agbaje-Williams: Africa's First Woman Broadcaster

A woman of many firsts!

Trailblazing newscaster and presenter Anike Agbaje-Williams is reputed to be “the first face” to appear on Western Nigeria Television Service, the first TV Station in Africa. Braving up for an interview in the male-dominated industry, she wowed the panel during her interview phase and began work at the media firm in 1959.

Known for her sonorous voice and magnetic presence, Ms. Agbaje-Williams, boasts of over three decades wealth of experience before her retirement.

Dubbed Africa’s First Lady of the Tube, the veteran journalist, became the first female television staff announcer and broadcaster in Nigeria. The pioneering broadcaster and journalist born 23rd of October, 1936 in Abeokuta, Nigeria,  attended CMS Girls School, Lagos, which later was renamed St Anne’s School and relocated to Ibadan, where she finished her education.

Upon completion of her secondary school education, she began working with the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, Ikoyi, Lagos as a Junior Technical Staff at the NBC. Fate came calling when one day Abgaje-Williams had to fill in as a newsreader when a co-worker didn’t show up to work. The supervisor upon hearing her voice was impressed, she was then asked to join the programmes department as a staff announcer and that’s when her career as a broadcaster took off.

Anike Agbaje-Williams: Africa's First Woman Broadcaster

Following the establishment of the First Television station in 1959, she became the ‘first face on television’ in Africa on August 31, 1959, as well as the first voice on the First Commercial Radio under the name WNBS (Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service).

Never one to slow down, the top broadcaster acquired many in-service training in Glasgow, Germany, and USA, as well as completed a certificate course in Management Studies at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).

From establishing herself as the first female broadcaster of the station to becoming a producer and director of programmes at the television station before retiring in 1986, Anike Agbaje-Williams’ legacy lives on.

 

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