Mursty Adinoyi is the presenter cum producer of the TV programme, Hitlist N Cruzin, which won the best entertainment programme at the Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Awards (NBMA) 2016. He speaks to SAMUEL ABULUDE about the innovation of the award winning program, challenges among other sundry issues.
What is new about your program?
Hitlist N Cruzin is not just a music video program but basically about celebrating Nigerians by taking them on a shopping spree when they answer a question on the show. We travel all over Nigeria to celebrate the winners. Right now, we’re trying to expand our map to places we’ve not been before and we’ve now added Oyo state to our map. Last year, we added Ogun, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Benin. Now, we’ve added Ibadan and plan to add even more states quite soon, and we even plan to go off-map as far as Nigerians are there, once they send us texts and if any of them happens to be our winner, we’ll be there for them.
How challenging is it travelling to all these states from Lagos?
There’s this man, I don’t want to mention his name, he said, and I quote: ‘If we have to do what other people do, then we don’t have any reason doing it’. The only thing that can keep you in business is when you go the extra mile. So going the extra mile, of course, is going to take time. Like we were in Ibadan, don’t forget that Ibadan happens to be the largest city in West Africa. So from the map, because we follow Google map, where we were going seemed close, lo and behold, we kept driving for like three hours to go and pick the winner. Of course we were not happy going through that stress. But what matters is that at last we got to the winner and she prayed for us. This is a woman that has grandchildren and when she wanted to play, , her kids were like, ‘Mama, abeg, do you think these people will come from Lagos, or Abuja, (it was an Abuja episode that day that they were watching) because of you?’ But she wasn’t dissuaded, because she loves the programme. Now you can imagine a woman of such age loving my programme, a retiree. But like I told my team, let’s not look at the stress but put our minds on the results so no matter now challenging or stressful, our goal of celebrating every Nigerian all over Nigeria is what matters to us and we’ll go through anything to achieve it.
Do you feel vindicated that it’s a woman whose children didn’t want her to play that eventually turned out a winner?
Well, I happen to know her story and that’s why I shared it with you. But there are lots of people out there who have their own stories that we don’t know because they haven’t won. It’s because she won, of course her story now becomes interesting. So someone else might be sending texts week-in, week-out but hasn’t won. And we hadn’t been to Ibadan before, but we went in and that woman won. Meanwhile, we might have someone in Lagos, Abuja texting and they haven’t won. So it’s like that. When a winner is sharing his, her testimony, it looks juicy and interesting. So also in Benin there was this lady who had been watching Hitlist N Cruzin for a long time and sending texts and we had never been to Benin before. Luckily enough, when we got to Benin, we looked at our log and discovered that this person is up for cruise. So it’s just by luck. That’s what I keep on telling people. Some will call me and say I’ve been sending texts and I’ve not gotten to win. It’s not how many texts you send. A single text can make you the winner. It’s not about sending a hundred texts before you can win. That interest you have that you want to be on Hitlist N Cruzin is what matters most and is what will get you on the programme even with just a single text.
Is there a particular state or region that you get the most texts from?
Well, Hitlist N Cruzin is a weekly programme and sometimes more texts come from Port Harcourt. Sometimes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa, so it’s not fixed. Sometimes more come from Kaduna, Kano and many other states we’re yet to get to. The acceptance and love that Nigerians are showing us these days is spurring us to do more, but sometimes, we’re limited because of funds. But we pray God Almighty will make things better for us so we’ll be able to touch every part, every region of the country. Hitlist N Cruzin is capable of employing more hands. That is, have people in every region recording and cruising for us.
Why not make it a daily show in order to celebrate more people as you desire?
The one thing that is constant in life is change. So for me and my team, can we run a daily show? Yeah, If we have the air time. Don’t forget that this weekly air time, we pay heavily for it on all the channels we are. If any of these stations calls us and says we’ll give you more air time, do more and give us a daily show, we’ll be able to do more. I already told you we can employ more hands, create more jobs, so if we were to run daily, all we have to do is employ more hands all over the country, just like the TV stations are doing by having correspondents all over. So I’ll be happy to go daily, but right now, do we have the financial resources to do that? It’s not there. But if we have partnership with a TV station that is ready to give us the air time, then we’ll do that. And if we have the necessary sponsorship, we’ll do that.
What are the new innovations you plan to add to Hitlist N Cruzin?
Yeah, sometimes back, there was nothing like 60 Seconds on Hitlist N Cruzin. But it’s now there for the stars and creative people in general to talk about themselves in just 60 seconds. You see, we have just 26 minutes to do whatever we want to do. Cruising takes 5 minutes, E-Cruising takes another 5, so 10 minutes is gone already. We need to play at least two music videos to keep people on their feet to keep watching what we’re doing. So we don’t really have enough time for all the ideas we have on ground. We’re just waiting for the best time to unveil all of them.
With ideas like this how do you feel not being able to actualize them?
One thing is, there’ll always be barriers in anything one wants to do. But what I also understand is when you keep on moving, before you know it, you’ll achieve it. To get to where we are today, it wasn’t on a platter of gold. We had to work hard both day and night. So other plans that we have, we’ll just keep on working and believing in what we’re doing and we’ll achieve them. Nothing good comes easy.