“I have not been submissive enough to men” – TV host, Vixen Ekwere speaks on #TheYNaijaInterview

by Wilfred Okiche

 

Television presenter and entertainment journalist Yvonne ‘Vixen’ Ekwere is one of the pioneering faces of the modern red carpet scene. She has been off the grid for some time now working behind the scenes as a producer and attending to other business needs. We sat with her and she revealed quite a bit about her career, rivalry in the business and the price of being an independent woman.

Enjoy excerpts from the interview.

You were raised by a single mother. What was the experience like for you?

Growing up was hard because I believe every child deserves to have a balance of both parents in their lives. I can’t say that it was easy because I had my mum who at a time was out of work and struggling to raise me properly. I learnt a lot during that period but I sincerely wish my father was around because in every girl’s life, the first man she knows is her dad and from their dads, they get to understand how men are in general.

Has this absence of a father figure affected your relationships later on in life?

Well I don’t want to say it has but in a way it has reared its head in the sense that if my dad were available to help me understand how men are wired, I would have handled some relationships better, respect the men more and be a bit more submissive in order to find the right kind of guy but that is neither here nor there as men have been flocking all around me so I guess I need to focus and be careful.

Are you saying you have not been submissive enough in past relationships?

You people want stories abi?

For me it has happened when people come to tell me “Vixen you are too headstrong, you are too stubborn, you work too hard, you need to be more submissive, more agreeable.” Stuff like that.  I don’t know if I really am or why I come across this way but these are the feedback I get from people I have been with. So, yes sometimes, it may be a problem but I believe a real man should not be intimidated by any woman’s drive or character. I am a goal getter and whoever I am with should be able to understand me.

Are you a feminist?

With a capital F. I am all about the girl power.

Maybe you haven’t found the right person yet. Would you consider doubling down for the right man or for the sake of starting a family?

It is tricky but yes I would consider stepping down some of the things I do to raise a family. Stepping down mind you, not stopping totally.

You seem to enjoy your work thoroughly?

Of course I do. There would be no point working this hard if I didn’t

You have your hand in so many pies; describe the various things that you do for a living

I started as a jeweller, I used to make handmade beaded jewellery. I am a television producer, presenter, entertainer in that I am a poet and an performance artiste. I am also an actor of recent and I have a fashion line.

Okay, is there anything you don’t do?

I don’t steal. But because I am a goal-getter, I try to use all the talents that God has given me to make my daily bread.

How do you find the time to rest?

You can tell from my eyes that I have not rested in a while. I have not slept for some time as I have been moving around a lot. But anytime I have a break, I don’t do much with it, I just sleep. I find time to make a life outside the industry because the industry is so fast paced and crazy so I make time to be with family and friends outside of the industry even if it is just a movie or dinner. I cherish quality time with the people I love.

Do you find that life moves too fast for you sometimes?

In the past it has and it knocked me down so bad that it took the grace of God to bring me to my feet. So now I am able to see life and my career in a different perspective. I am calmer, more mature and nothing really moves me. So with all the paparazzi, I see beyond all of that and I am not moved. These days I don’t force myself to achieve anything because nothing happens outside God’s plan. If it seems like it is getting too fast for me, I take a chill pill and observe, then talk to God about the next move to make.

Are you still with Silverbird television?

Right now I am an entertainment TV producer with Silverbird but I am not on air like before. I run my production company called Vixen Red Carpet Limited and Mbok ventures. My Twitter people know I say mbok a lot.

Are you from Cross River state or Akwa Ibom

Akwa Ibom. I love my Akwa Ibom people.

There is a glut of on air talent now, females especially who rule the airwaves and the red carpets equally. Do you feel threatened by any of them?

I never ever feel threatened by anybody, rather they feel threatened by me. I don’t feel threatened by the rise of on air or red carpet stars because it is something that I pioneered along with other people many years ago. In fact I am happy because those days you could count the number of people doing it but now there are so many and I am happy for this development. The only time I would get furious- not threatened- mind you, is when there is no show of respect. In every organization there is hierarchy so it is important we observe that in our business, I have come across so many ladies on television and radio who see me in public and they give me a dirty look and move on and I just laugh because that shows how threatened they are by me. Instead of that why not walk up to me and say hello and move on. Isn’t it healthier that way?

So in a way, you take credit for the rise of the new wave of television, red carpet and radio starlets?

I don’t take credit for anything oh, there were people before me now. I am just happy there are a lot more vibrant young people who are like me when I started out. I don’t take credit for anything but if you want me to teach you, I can teach you.

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  1. Vixen Ekwere speaks why she has not been submissive to men.

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