The saying, “there is more than meets the eye” is a quote than resonates with the personality of Delphine Okobah, a graphic designer and Red Carpet host. My first encounter with her was at the book reading of “The Smart Money Woman” by Arese Ugwu at TerraKulture; after the event, we got into a chat and I could feel the positive energy exuding from her. In a world where people give up too soon and easily get discouraged to pursue their dreams, Delphine took a bold step, pushed against all odds and quit her job as an architect to follow her dreams as a Media Mogul .
As an ardent believer that life is what you make it, I was drawn to how Delphine was able to creatively interweave the different aspects of her personal interest (TV/Red Carpet Hosting, Event Compering & Graphic Design) into one and create the life she wanted. This explains why she describes herself as a “multilayered media mogul”. Since 2015 when she hosted her first major red carpet event (SELMA Movie Premiere), she has gone ahead to host many notable events like The CEO movie grand premiere, 50 movie premiere, 93 Days movie premiere, SERA 2016 (Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards) and AFRIFF (Africa International Film Festival) just to mention a few.
Popularly known as “The Delphinator”, Delphine speaks to LynnVille about how she started, how she was able to carve a niche for herself in the saturated media industry, what it takes to be a TV/Red Carpet host and some advice for the entrepreneurs who want to delve into the media industry as a red carpet host.
Can you give me a little insight into who Delphine Okobah really is?
I’m a Multi-layered Media Mogul. The CEO of TDAtelier a digital design and communications firm in Lagos. With a background in Architecture, I’ve been exposed to various forms of lifestyle, art & human interaction. This potent mixture influenced my interest in TV/Red Carpet Hosting, Event Compering & Graphic Design. Finding creative expression where all three interests are in harmony, my goal is to go one-up on “Pinky & the Brain” by (actually) taking over the (media) world.
From your Instagram page, you’re a red carpet host and also a graphic designer. What’s your educational background?
I have a B.Sc. in Architecture and a Masters in Environmental Design.
So which best of these two do you love more and why? I’m guessing Red Carpet hosting.
Well, they work hand-in-hand; I just see it as different forms of media and communications.
How long have you been a red carpet host/event compere and what was your first event like? Did you have cold feet or were you dishing out the boss lady vibes?
I have been involved in the media industry since university days, since 2009 to be precise. But I never quite did it full time until this year. My first event was a House of Nwocha fashion show. I sure was nervous but I was able to hold my own.
The media industry in Nigeria seems to be saturated but you have carved a niche for yourself and doing an excellent job at it. How were you able to do this?
I didn’t set out to be a red carpet host, it just sort of happened. I got this gig with MyDiamondTV to do 10 episodes of a red carpet show back in 2015. I had so much fun doing it that I decided to just go with it. Coincidentally, I was working on my personal Brand Identity Development at the time, so I included details about red carpet hosting. I then put it out on social media and BOOM, we were in business!
Looking from the outside, all people see is the lights, camera, action; but I guess there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. What does it really take to be a Red Carpet host?
For one, appearance is key! Hair, Makeup, outfit, everything! Seriously, I believe it takes more effort from me to glow up than it does other girls. It can be tiring but, we gotta do what we gotta do! Also, I do my best to dress as comfortably as possible.
Secondly, I have to be prepared! The research I do before each event is unparalleled. This cannot be overemphasized. Even if it’s an event with just a handful of people, I still research, research and more what? RESEARCH!
Thirdly, before each event, I make sure to find out all there is to know about the event: subject matter, guest list, venue, time, camera crew, etc. There’s no such thing as being too prepared.
You’ve hosted more than 10 events in 2016, how would you describe the journey so far from January to December?
It’s been a roller coaster ride! I quit my job in construction in December of 2015 to do this full time. At the time, I had no clue how it was all going to work. But I just believed that somehow, it would all pan out.
Which of these events was your most challenging & most interesting and why?
Hmmm… I can’t say that any particular one was challenging per se. But there are some that are more fun than others obviously, lol. I’m not going to say which, because a girl needs those repeat customers! Ha!
The media market is quite a large one and most event managers look for an artist, OAP, TV host or comedian to host the red carpet. How do you get your clients?
I mostly get my clients via referrals. Also, one job always leads to another. This is one of the reasons why I take my work very seriously. I always ask for feedback from each client to make sure they were satisfied with my work. This in turn pushes me to over deliver on the next project.
Which three Red Carpet hosts inspire you (local or international)?
I’d say Ryan Seacrest, Robin Roberts and Giuliana Rancic.
Fashion is usually part and parcel of the red carpet and you never cease to slay with your elegant dresses. Your sense of style is very unique. What inspires your style?
Anything and everything. For me, function comes before form. For instance, I started wearing hats so I wouldn’t have to deal with going to the salon to fix up my hair. And that just sort of became my thing. Also, I’m very pro #MadeInNigeria so I’ve been experimenting with a lot of African fabrics and been styled by Nigerian designer’s like Ayo Van Elmar, Amarelis Atelier, etc.
What 3 major pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to go into the media industry as a Red Carpet host?
- Work on your appearance and styling
- Know your tools and crew members
What other projects are you working on?
Something is cooking on TheDelphinatorTV! So watch this space!
As the year comes to an end, what three things are you most grateful for?
Grateful for God, family and supportive friends!
Any last words for your fans out there?
Kaizen: This is a Japanese philosophy I subscribe to. Find something that you’re good at and continuously improve on it.
Connect with Delphine on social media