What is it like to be a female radio presenter? Interview with Unique FM’s Aisha Saidykhan

Written by Alieu Khan


Aisha Saidykhan is one of the young sensations in the world of radio broadcasting. In this exclusive interview with What’s On-Gambia, she talks about personal life, working for Unique FM, Gambian music and love. 

What’s On-Gambia: Who is Aisha Saidykhan? Tell us a bit about yourself. 

Aisha: Well, Aisha is a Gambian girl, last born out of six wonderful big brothers and one big sister. I am a simple and humble young lady! That loves to work hard a lot... 

Are you a spoilt chaat (last born)? 

(Laughs) I am definitely not, but my parents love and cherish me! Especially my mom. She's the core of my being! They taught me to be respectful and decent! And also to be very nice to people! 

Can you give us a brief overview of some of the places you have worked? 

Actually, I landed my first job at unique FM radio, but before that I have worked with a media company named Bizlife, which was for part time and it was owned by Nigerians. 


How did you first get interest in radio presenting? 

To be honest, I'd never dreamt of presenting in a radio or so. But when I was younger I used to watch a whole lot of Lamin Manga reading the 8PM news on GRTS. I grew fond of him with all the intelligence and charisma! He appeared smart and gentle.  He was confident in what he was doing and knew how to do it. That inspired me a lot, and so here I am working for him. 

So you were a small girl that had a crush on Lamin Manga (laughs)? 

OMG no way!! (Laughs) he was only a TV presenter I looked up to, what does a young girl of 16 know about crush? No it wasn’t. He's a good man! 

What programs do you present on Unique FM? 

Basically, I present the International Business News and also I host a Gambian music show dubbed Drive Time Special which is out to promote Gambian music. It’s a full package, were I have interviews with artists about everything including their private lives. Some of them don’t like it! The show has a lot of followers. Really interesting! 

So you like digging into their private lives? 

More than the word, which is the reason why some feel like I’m going to squeeze the day light out of them. But that’s not it, I’m harmless. I just try to give the public what they want and should hear! I think it’s alright to accept negativity with open arms when you are popular! 

How do you balance work and personal life? 

You should probably ask that to a celebrity, not me (laughs). I’m living a normal life. I love my job so, so much I wouldn’t trade it for anything else! But I manage to balance both of them! By making sure work comes first before fun! 

Is it true that radio presenters are poorly paid? 

No, I don't think so; it depends on your agreement with the institution and the individual’s talent. I believe everyone has a price! The simple fact is, no matter how we try to sugar coat things, we live in a highly competitive world. 

As a presenter, do you think Gambians are giving more attention to foreign music than their own? 

Sincerely, Gambian's are in support of their own this very minute! Before, people used to spend more time listening foreign music. But now things have extremely changed! People still complain about our music videos not being entirely good! In my own opinion, we should try to make videos brilliant enough, for people to enjoy! Perhaps getting a makeup artist is one big step too! You think these foreign artists are made with honey? No, they put everything in their music to win people's heart! 

Who are your favorite artists and why? 

(Laughs) now you’re trying to put words into my mouth. I love all of them. They are really trying! 

But who are your favorites? 

Okay fine! Manding Morry and Cyco rock! And also upcoming artist Jizzle and Skinny Amzz!

I love them! 

Now let’s come to the rumor that you’re secretly dating DJ Gfaal- is this true? 

I wasn’t expecting that question! The answer is no! 

Are you single? 

Whuff! I am in a serious relationship. And with the best man in the world, I could give him my kidney you know! A soul mate that makes me feel loved, and makes sure pretty ladies know he's taken. He's my prince, and I’m his property too. 

You’re his property? Who is that prince if we may ask? 

No, you will have to pardon me this time! I'd rather keep that private instead! 

Are you close to other radio presenters? 

Oh yes, most of them! Our relationship is cordial and we respect each other! 

But is it true that you once slapped one of them during a heated argument? 

I don't know how people get to fabricate stories like that. I am not a local champion. Slapping someone is physical abuse! First of all, even if someone tries to disrespect me, I don't exchange words. I just continuously remind myself that it takes two to tangle! I am very simple. For me it’s about dealing with your negatives and working on your strengths! I can't remember me slapping a colleague! I respect myself. 

Aisha thanks for your time. Any final words? 

You welcome! Not at all..