Femi Oke is a British-Nigerian journalist, media trainer, and television and radio correspondent.
Early Life and Education
Oke was born on June 30, 1966 in London to Nigerian emigrant parents. She attended Ensham Secondary School in Tooting, South London from 1977 to 1984. In 1988, she graduated from the University of Birmingham with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Language.
Oke's career began when she was fourteen years old, when she was a junior reporter for the United Kingdom's first talk radio station London’s Biggest Conversation (LBC). After graduating from the University of Birmingham, she joined theBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a radio reporter and producer. She presented the BBC's flagship educational science programme Science In Action and was also a presenter on Top of the Pops, a British music chart television programme. Oke also worked for a cable station called Wire TV (the predecessor to Janet Street Porter's L!VE TV). She presented several shows for the station, including the popular Soap on the Wire with soap opera expert Chris Stacey.
Oke has worked for GMTV (now ITV Breakfast Limited), London Weekend Television (now part of ITV London), Carlton Television (also now part of ITV London), Men & Motors, Sky Television, and all of the UK’s terrestrial television networks.
She joined CNN International in 1999. Based at the CNN Centre in Atlanta, she spent nine years anchoring and reporting. At a time when CNN's Africa coverage was sparse, she helped launch and reported for the network's weekly award-winning African affairs programme Inside Africa, a programme which explores the economic, social and cultural affairs and trends in Africa. She eventually became its host, a position she held until 2008. The show is now fronted by Isha Sesay. She also anchored CNN International's World Weather Service and presented weather segments for the programs Your World Todayand World News, and appeared as a daily newscaster, contributor and interviewer on Public Radio International/WNYC's morning public radio news program, The Takeaway.
Oke has assisted the United Nations World Meteorological Organization with training international broadcast meteorologists in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Mozambique. Her speaking and lecturing credits include the University of Liberia Emory University in Atlanta, University of South Carolina, the European Commission , the World Food Programme in Rome and theUnited Nations Development Programme in New York, Nairobi and Monrovia. She also appeared in the short film The Last Hour in 2005 and is a co-director of Fazoke Films, a documentary film production company.
Awards and Honours
Oke was a National Association of Black Journalists Fellow from 2005 to 2006. The fellowship took her to Liberia to report on the historic elections which culminated in Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s becoming Africa's first female head of state. In 2007, her work in Africa was recognised by The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Communications Agency when she was presented with an African Achievers Award. In the same year, Oke was named Nigerian media personality of the year and received the Interaction Media Award in 2008 for her commitment to shedding light on the complex issues facing the African continent.
Watch: Oke's speech at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2009