From A-list celebrities to politicians to the newsmakers of our time, Ojinika Obiekwe is an Emmy-Award winning journalist who has interviewed people from all walks of life, with a career in television that has spanned more than a decade.
Ojinika was determined to be a journalist back in grade school. She says it was no secret that was her dream in life. “It’s funny because this boy I went to grade school with found me on Facebook and said so you finally became a journalist, you always said that’s what you wanted to do – I couldn’t believe he remembered and I laughed so hard”.
But her career was definitely no laughing matter, because some way, somehow, Ojinika managed to make that childhood dream a reality, starting it in the #1 market in the country, New York City. She walked into WPIX-TV as an intern in late 2001 and fast forward more than ten years later, she’s gone from Producer to Entertainment/Lifestyle Reporter. Ojinika is proof that dreams do come true, and it’s up to you to make it happen for yourself.
Born and raised in Enugu, Nigeria – Ojinika is the second of five children. At the age of 16, after graduating from high school, she moved to the United States for college where she studied Communications at Seton Hall University. Right before graduation, a chance encounter brought her to New York’s Channel 11′s WPIX-TV as an intern. After her internship, the Executive Producer told her that he was so impressed by her work ethic, that he would hire her without an interview if a position on the assignment desk opened. Ojinika recalls sending an email to him the moment she heard there was an opening; “My message boldly stated: ‘John, remember how you said you would hire me if a position opens without interviewing me? Well, I heard Nicole left, so when do I start?’ He replied: ‘How does Tuesday sound?’ And, that was just the beginning.”
As a correspondent for PIX11 News, Ojinika interviews celebrities, politicians and people from all walks of life. She’s interviewed the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Aniston, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller , Julia Roberts, Kevin Hart and George Clooney just to name a few. “It can be surreal sometimes” she says, “I knew I wanted to be a journalist, but I never dreamt farther than print journalism; I figured I’d graduate, and write for some paper, but luckily fate took its course and I ended up here and I honestly couldn’t think of anything I would rather be doing as a career, except being a Victoria’s Secret model (I hear they get free underwear).”The best part of my job, I think is the fact that I’m good at what I do, but I also realized that with this I can reach so many people and touch many lives, especially women; not just in Nigeria, but the entire continent of Africa and hopefully all over the world.
There is a tremendous fire that drives her to succeed; a drive that perhaps only her life’s mantra can describe; “Looks can be deceiving, and with the makeup and the clothes, everything seems perfect, like you’ve lived the fairy tale life and had no disappointments, but I think that’s my purpose in life, that maybe after someone hears my story, they will know that anything’s possible and that if I can do this, anyone can.”
In front of the camera, Ojinika’s true energy shines through with feature stories that bring New Yorkers the latest and greatest products, places and people out there. She knew being on camera would be her next move after she was awarded a fellowship in 2007 by the National Association of Black Journalists – to report in Senegal, getting her first chance to be on-camera as a reporter; “After that piece on my Senegal trip aired, I just knew that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, doing what I was meant to do and I count my blessings every day. Okay, maybe not every day, but a lot!”