Tina Korosso, Radio presenter at Radio Maisha
What does radio mean to you?
Radio has given me the opportunity to learn and share. It is the place I can influence as many people positively. There are many people who see radio as a channel to escape from the challenges they go through. My co-host Zulekha Suchh is the best part of it.
How has your personality helped you in your flourishing radio career?
My listeners would not know this, but I am a very serious person. I am a very crazy person too. The show does not need my serious side, therefore, I tend to find a balance between the two personalities.
Radio presenters have been said to advise the public on matters they have not gone through...
For me, I do not share what I have not experienced. I talk about things I have gone through: abuse, divorce, hustling, motherhood and so on. I feel it is important for radio presenters to talk on what we know and those that we don’t know about, we shut up.
With your eloquence, you could be a great English presenter. Did you feel that being a Tanzanian you had the pressure to be a Swahili presenter?
Though Tanzanian, I grew up in Botswana and studied in South Africa then went back to Tanzania later. Truth is, I love Swahili. When I was working in Tanzania, I was around Swahili people and I had to read a lot of Swahili materials. It is my dream to be the best Swahili radio presenter.
Many people who go outside the country return home for different reasons, what was yours?
I went back to Tanzania when I was in my early 20s. I was all alone. When you are in a foreign country for a long time, you feel lost and misplaced. I wanted to go home, know my people and tribe. I came to Kenya when Najib Balala was looking for presenters for ‘Pilipili FM’ and after auditions, I got the job. I am staying in Kenya because it is a beautiful country and more advanced. Unlike in Botswana and SA, I feel I am home away from home. I believe East Africa is one country.
From Tanzania’s Clouds FM, to Mombasa’s Pilipili FM to Radio Maisha, the fan base is not quite the same. How have you managed to lock your fan base and also expand it?
I made sure I am attentive to my audience. I am also particular to their preferences and stay true to that. I knew from the start when I got into Rome that I had to do what Romans do.
Interestingly, you are from a royal family,tell us about that.
I am from Nyakusa tribe and if it ever makes sense, I am a princess. I do not think that it matters now because times have changed. I have not kept much of my focus on that but I know there are great responsibilities that come with it. For example, there was a lot of money to be paid for dowry and it had to be approved by the girl’s family. They also controlled who marries you and demanded quite a lot.
After your divorce, what is it like living without your children?
One day, my former husband came and took away my children. I used to cry every night and could not imagine the thought of being away from them. Nowadays, I talk to them every day and even visit them. It is not the same as living with them since I don’t watch them grow and, for a mother, that is tough. I tell myself God had a reason for that to happen.
Would you wish to get married again?
Yes, I desire to be there again. I don’t know what God has in store for me, as I cannot plan as Tina. I honour, respect, treasure and love the marriage institution. If the whole world could have stable marriages, then all systems would work. A lot of challenges we face in our society stem from the marriage institution.
Your advice to newly-wed couples?
Friendship matters and no one is above the other. If the two realise they are one, they would not want to hurt each other. In marriage, the husband or the wife is part of you, so you would not want to do hurt yourself. Also, people look for a person to complete them; no human being can complete the other. It is only God who completes us. A couple should come together when they are already whole.
What is your advice to women in marriage?
Honestly speaking, divorce is bad, more so when children are involved. There is no formula in marriage, but I usually tell women that there are things that can be worked on. Prayer is key. If a woman prays for her herself, her husband, children, and marriage, things will work out. A woman should have a strong relationship with God, find a balance, know her role and her place, and not just put emphasis on her career. But if a woman’s life is in danger when living with a man, she can leave.
What are your plans in the near future?
I would like to have a TV talk show. I want to be a TV show host. There is magic and power in TV because people see you. I want to write; I feel I have a story I can share in writing and stories of others. But above all, God knows best.