Femi Oke was born on 30 June 1966. She’s an international journalist, writer and moderator. Since the 1980s, she has worked for BBC television and radio, Sky TV, all U.K. terrestrial television networks, CNN and U.S. public radio. Oke’s reporting has been recognized by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Communications Agency and InterAction. You can connect with her anytime via Twitter @FemiOke.
She began her broadcasting career at the age of 14 as a junior reporter for LBC Radio, joining the BBC after university. Memorable moments from her career include wrestling a crocodile in Jamaica and reporting from Antarctica at minus 37C. She was born and brought up in south-west London to Nigerian parents, and now lives in Atlanta, where CNN has its HQ, with her husband. She is reporting live from Johannesburg this week for CNN’s week-long Eye on Africa series.
Femi Oke is an international broadcaster and a correspondent for WNYC Radio’s national syndicated news show The Takeaway. Femi became known around the world for her reporting on Africa after joining CNN International in 1999. She also hosted CNN’s award-winning African affairs program “Inside Africa”. Her work has been recognized by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Communications Agency, InterAction, the Peabody Awards Committee.
As well as her national radio commitments on The Takeaway Femi (@FemiOke) is co-director of the guerilla documentary production company Fazoke films. She is British by Birth, Nigerian by parentage and a New Yorker by zip code!
Femi Oke Biography and Profile
I was a radio geek from the age of 10. In fact, Tommy Boyd, now on BBC Southern Counties Radio, describes me as his first stalker! I’d call up his LBC show every weekend, and enjoyed it so much, I decided that I would work for radio, too.
I’d listen to LBC all day for talk, Capital Radio for the hits, and Radio 1 for the star jocks. On TV, I grew up with Blue Peter, Newsround, Doctor Who, Going Live and Top of the Pops.
When I joined CNN, I knew that there was a lot more I wanted to do than presenting the weather. Seven years later, I have a unique hybrid job. I’m still part of the world weather team, but I also present Inside Africa live, and travel to Africa quite regularly to report.
I catch up with international news first on the net – CNN and the BBC. Once I’m online, the television goes on in the background and I surf around the international satellite news channels.
There are five mini-TVs in my studio. I watch CNN all day, of course, and Reuters TV. When I’m looking for interesting weather stories I look to the net – the BBC, Yahoo News and AP News. One of the best resources are news-agency stills. When viewers see a picture of a puppy stranded in a flood in Romania, say, you’ve stolen the show.
I’m free to decide what to put in my weather broadcasts every day – CNN just lets me get on with it. At first, this freaked me out. It certainly gives you a strong sense of responsibility to check your sources and ensure that the information is correct. So far, I’ve had no mishaps and lots of appreciative feedback.
International journalist and broadcaster who’s been following The Stream since it was a brook! Now delighted to jump in the deep end as host.
Moderate The Panel
Femi Oke Co-founder of http://moderatethepanel.com , the diverse moderators bureau. Tweeting about the world with a British accent.
A great moderator can transform an event. Creating just the right ambience, while keeping the audience engaged is more than a skill; it’s an art. However, in the hands of an amateur, a potential disaster is a mere intervention away, just ask Moderate The Panel co-founder Femi Oke. She’s handled events with royalty, presidents, prime ministers, celebrity actors, superstar athletes, famous artists, global activists and even an enthusiastic Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger bounding onto the stage while she was moderating at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.
In the 30 years Femi has been hosting events she’s seen it all. There was the moderator at an international conference who was so awful that the audience started yelling out “wrap him up!” They were shouting advice to the moderator who was unable to stop a particularly loquacious speaker from taking over the session. Of course the more the audience heckled, the more flustered the moderator became.
Then there was the well-known journalist who generously agreed to offer his services pro-bono to the United Nations. While on stage with his panel, he took out his lunch and proceeded to eat it. He obviously decided that as he wasn’t getting paid to moderate, the U.N. wouldn’t mind him eating a few sandwiches while talking to the panelists. Yes, this really happened!
After years of witnessing moderating mishaps, Femi teamed up with a diverse group of international journalists and expert communicators, so you never have to worry again about the success of your event.
Our simple mission at Moderate The Panel is to take the pain out of planning panel events. Wherever you are in the world, we’re here for you. Give us a call.
Since the 1980s Femi has reported, produced and presented for the BBC, Channel 5, Channel 4, ITV, Sky Television, CNN International, National Geographic, and NPR. Her prevalence on local, national and international TV has led to a second career as a moderator and facilitator at global forums and conferences.
“Moderating a panel is deceptively hard, but Femi Oke makes it look easy. Her moderation skills are world-class and she will work with the conference organizers and the speakers themselves to ensure the event is a success. Last but not least, she also brings joy, wit and fun to your event.” Marc de Fleurieu, “European Development Days”, Europe’s premier forum on global poverty
Femi has traveled the world hosting high-profile events, leading global conversations and teaching moderating workshops. She can be found facilitating regularly for the likes of the United Nations, the World Bank and European Commission. Some of her most warmly received appearances include hosting the NBA Africa All Stars event in New Orleans, being Mistress of Ceremonies for Peter Gabriel at the Witness 25th Anniversary Benefit Gala, and launching the Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
I was awarded a media fellowship to report from Monrovia on Liberia’s elections. The atmosphere was so charged with hope, it was my best assignment yet.
Femi Oke Quick Facts
1982: Joins LBC Radio aged 14 as a junior reporter
1988: Gets a job at the BBC after doing a degree in English, works at World Service, Radio 1, 4 and Five Live
1992: Moves to Central TV as a producer
1994: Presents the weather for LWT while presenting and producing other shows, including Five’s The Mag, which is nominated for a Bafta in 1998
1999: Joins CNN as international weather anchor, and joins Inside Africa as a reporter in 2000
2002: Reports from the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City
2005: Becomes Inside Africa’s presenter and reports live from the Liberian elections
- Femi Oke Biography and Profile