The Nigerian media space has been experiencing phenomenal growth in recent times, with great contents being created to the delight of audiences. One of the latest wave-making media personalities creating sensational contents is Debrah Waters. Over the years, Debrah has navigated her way both on-screen and off-screens as a sought-after TV presenter, content producer & director. She has carved a niche for herself in the entertainment industry as the ‘QUEEN OF CONTENTS’.....CONTINUE READING
Debrah Waters, a graduate of Computer Science from Redeemer’s University is multi-faceted, a Newscaster, TV Reporter, TV Presenter and On-air Personality. She has worked with Ebony Life TV, TVC Nigeria and GreenLotto Nigeria. She currently works with Silverbird TV and Ryhthm 93.7 FM.
In this exclusive interview, she speaks about her sojourn in the broadcasting world among other topical issues. Enjoy!
Can you tell us what the Deep Waters with Debrah Waters show is all about?
Deep Waters with Debrah Waters is a spin-off of Deep Waters podcast. It’s an hour long live show on radio & tv (simulcast) that invites people of all class to talk about topics that are mostly personal to them. Deep Waters with Debrah Waters boasts of over 150 episodes and still counting. From rape survivors to organ theft survivors, the show continues to share untold stories with its audience. It is a judgement- free zone where the guest gets to share their truths and deepest fears with a live audience.
“Listeners and viewers are not left out; they are able to call-in on the show to express themselves. The show attempts to explore the experiences of individuals- either emotionally, psychologically and physically and attempts to answer the whys behind their life-changing decisions or seemingly ‘stupid’ decisions that have caused them something. It is a show where people can see their “real” selves on TV and say ‘that could easily be me’. It is a show that thrives on self-disclosure from both the host and guest.”
Deep Waters is broadcast live simultaneously on TV and radio – [Silverbird TV (DSTV 252 & Startimes 109) and Rhythm93.7 fm] to over 24 million people nationwide. Deep Waters airs live on Mondays (4.30pm), Wednesdays (5pm) and Fridays (5pm). Show also airs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 11pm on DSTV 252.
How was it like starting out in the industry?
I started presenting professionally in 2017 as a Game show host for a lottery company. It was so insightful, fun and different from the conventional music and talk shows presentations I used to do back in my school days. In 2020, I launched a podcast on YouTube called “Deep Waters” where I bring in people to talk about things that are mostly personal to them. We discuss deep controversial topics scathing beyond the surface. Deep Waters launched me fully into the TV industry.
In 2022, I bumped into Ben-Murray Bruce, the founder of Silverbird Group, just after a business meeting with a friend and the rest is history. Deep Waters with Debrah Waters wants to see individual become emotionally, psychologically and physically whole one show at a time!
What are the challenges you’ve experienced so far?
The first challenge I experienced was not really having a guide /mentor in the industry. I wanted to become a renowned TV host and producer and I had to create a road map for myself as a novice in the industry. I thought that if I got employed at a TV station (any tv station at all) irrespective of the capacity I was employed, I could work my way to the top and be on the big screens. I never knew it wasn’t that simply.
When I got posted to Cross-river state for NYSC, I was so elated to intern at Ebonylife TV. I started as a production Assistant to Arit Okpo for News Report, one of Ebonylife’s flagship daily news shows. It was quite challenging to say the least but I survived. The job was my initiation into TV Production. I went on to become a super content producer, producing talk shows, reality tv shows and musical shows for top brands like Multichoice to mention but a few. Sadly that distracted me from TV hosting, but just for a while.
Transitioning from TV producer back to TV host wasn’t very easy. Getting people to see you not just as a creative but as someone with great on-screen talent was one of the most challenging experiences. I caught myself trying so hard to prove myself to my colleagues when I didn’t have to. Most times they knew what I could do and they recognize it but just can’t move past my identity as a Producer. TV Hosting was my thing. After 3yrs of Content Producing, I went on to produce my first visual podcast, “ Deep Waters”.
Your educational and family background.
I come from a Family of 5 kids and 2 parents. I am the first child. Average family…my dad could afford to send all 5 of us to school & feed us comfortably. Business woman mother and an estate surveyor father. The pair was unstoppable and determined to make sure that we were better than them. Born and bred in the north even though I hail from the west, my parents ensured that we all had a taste of all parts of Nigeria. I learnt to work hard and be resilient from my parents.
I love the arts but for some reason, I excelled more in the sciences in secondary school.
I went to the prestigious Redeemer’s University where I studied computer science bagging a 2nd Class Upper. After school, I attended the Federal Radio Cooperation of Nigeria (FRCN) for a short course in Presentation. And that was the beginning of my career in TV.
What made you take up broadcasting as a career?
I’ll tell you a short story. Growing up as a church girl, we used to have celebrations one of which included “Children’s day celebrations”. It was a day where the kids would handle everything in the church down to prayers, singing and reading the Bible. In preparation for that, one of my church teachers, Aunty Kemi, told me that I’d be presenting the church news alongside a church boy. I think I was about 10years old at the time. After presenting the church news eloquently and confidently with my cohost, the church roared and everyone stood up to clap for us. The feeling was wholesome. I loved everything about it. “If it feels this good to present then I want to present for the rest of my life”, I thought.
Who or what do you consider as the greatest influence in your life and career?
God has been my greatest influence. Even as a child, learning that there is an invisible force that birthed man and gives him/her a dream and a purpose to pursue has somehow influenced my decisions. The knowing that there is a reward for the good and punishment for the wicked has also affected and influenced my thoughts and actions in general. Apart from God, my second greatest influencers are my mother and my mentor, Arit Okpo.