By Latasha Ngwube
Tolu ‘Toolz’ Oniru-Demuren is a vivacious award-winning media personality widely recognized for her work as a radio presenter. She is currently the Deputy Programme Director at Beat 99.9FM where she also hosts her own radio show ‘The Midday Show with Toolz’ (weekdays).
Before trying her hand at radio presenting, Toolz gained extensive experience in the British entertainment industry having worked at MTV Networks Europe for several years before moving on to the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group.
It’s no longer uncommon to see radio presenters make the transition to television, effectively expanding their fan base while taking on a whole new challenge of adapting to this media form. When it’s done well, the result is a seamless transfer that carries viewers along as though it had always been the case. Tolu is one of those who has managed to achieve that feat and, after a somewhat lengthy screen hiatus, is back with a bang with a new show. Allure’s Latasha Ngwube had an interesting conversation with Tolu Oniru-Demuren on the new TV show, her status as a role model and the mystery behind “The Toolz Effect”.
Tell us what’s got you excited about your new project?
Very excited! It’s a chat show called ‘The Wrap Up With Toolz’ where I get to discuss a wide variety of topics with special guests. Some are rather risqué and we often leave our filters at home.
Why have you been away from TV for so long?
Radio and my other projects do take up a lot of time. Plus, I didn’t come across a project that really interested me.
What can we expect to be unique or exclusive to ‘The Wrap Up’?
Our unfiltered approach and watch out for the crazy games too!
You’ve come a long way since being in the media. Do you remember your very first TV gig and do you swell with pride or cringe a little…?
My first time on TV (for a full project), I believe, was when I hosted X-Factor West Africa. I do have cringe-worthy moments where I messed up my lines quite a few times. I actually came very close to tripping and falling on stage at one point. Nonetheless, I’m super proud of the opportunity.
Change and growth are constantly necessary. Looking back, what would you say to that version of yourself that would put her completely at ease?
I would tell her to relax more and have fun with it. I got very nervous and self conscious and would sometimes forget to enjoy the moment.
Without being bashful, would you describe “The Toolz Effect”?
Emmm… Tricky question but I think a large part of ‘The Toolz Effect’ is that I don’t take myself too seriously… I love to laugh, be silly and goofy. And, I tend to forget I’m on air.
As a curvy woman first and also a woman in the entertainment world, are you regularly reminded of your ‘physicality’ especially with regards to television work?
Absolutely! When I started in this industry, I felt like the odd one out because I looked different. Photo shoots were particularly difficult as I was often told by the stylists that ‘pulling’ clothes for me would be tricky.
Many young women look up to you as an icon for your size, your style, career trajectory and, most recently, your new phase as wife and mom-to-be. How does it all make you feel and how do you find yourself responding?
If I’m going to be completely honest, I get quite scared when I think about being looked up to. I’d always thought that being in that position meant you had to be near perfect and here I am with lots and lots of flaws!
When I get positive messages from young women, I get very bashful but it has to be the best part of my job. Asides from being a successful media personality, my main aim was and is to make a difference in society. If me being me has impacted someone positively, I’m truly thankful to God.
We hear your wardrobe this season on ‘The Wrap Up’ is kind of sizzling. Who are some of the designers you were loving?
I love and wore Makioba, Design for Love and Zephans & Co.
We’re all simply dying to know if L’osban (that’s your pet name for your husband, Captain Demuren, right?) is guesting on ‘The Wrap Up’?
(Laughter) You’ll have to watch to find out!
Where are you in life right now?
I’m evolving. I’m about to start a new chapter in my life and it’s very exciting and scary. There are no manuals so I’m definitely trusting God more than ever.
What blogs are you reading these days?
I love the Accelerate blog because it’s always packed with the juiciest entertainment stories and Aboutthatcurvylife to nurture the li’l fashionista in me.
What’s your song of the moment because you heart music?
Ohh! ‘Too Much Juice Too Much Sauce’ and ‘Humble’ by Kendrick Lamar.
P.S.! I was invited to be a guest on the show at Accelerate TV’s studio headquarters during the season’s recording but was unable to honour the request due to a pesky stomach bug so I missed out on the fun on set and a chance to give first-hand information (and a bit of behind-the-scene gossip). I do know you should expect to see faces like Juliet Ibrahim, VJ Adams, Ebuka Obi Uchendu, Damilola Adegbite-Attoh, Stephanie Coker, Ajebutter 22 and a host of other celebrity guests.