In this tell-all interview with NET, Dan Foster details his journey into broadcasting and media, how he met his wife, how he impregnated his girlfriend at age 14, why he left radio stations Cool FM and Inspiration FM and what he plans to achieve with City FM.
|Dan Foster and wife on wedding day, April 2009…|
You recently left Inspiration FM. That got you some kind of buzz with fans asking why…
Well it was time to move on because I was setting up some stuff so I decided to resign. I turned in my resignation on June 1 and because of my contract I wanted to be out so I could start something I had wanted to set up for sometime now and to do one or two businesses elsewhere. I felt stagnant and I had other business opportunities that were knocking on my door. Inspiration FM is a station I love, of course I set that station up. With the Inspiration family format they pulled me from Cool FM and as much as Cool FM treated me so well, it was the idea of setting up a family radio station that got me thrilled. I really heard God telling me it was time to move. Then again for me, it’s all about the Sunday praise jam. The Sunday praise jam show is a show that I really lunched and created when I was at Cool FM and the Inspiration family it became bigger. In 2003, I did the praise jam concert.
You were being paid about N1,000,000 a month at Inspiration? Yeah, N1.6 million altogether; and it was ok because I was doing some other duties, it wasn’t just being an On Air Personality. There was programming, you know in radio that’s what you have to do, you have to do more than one job or the radio station will just go broke and crazy. You have to have more than one duty, even as an OAP, I was doing some marketing, business development and I was also in charge of events and all that brings in money to the station. So it was a good relationship, and it was a good concept development, and programs like sharing life issues I help develop that and some other great programs that we created to make it seem like it’s close to people and make the radio become more relevant, that was my goal at Inspiration FM. At a point in your career, you had a split personality.
What made you study broadcasting and media:
It was just something I wanted to do. As soon as I got out of the Marine Corps, I went for it. It was easy to school because the Marine Corp would pay your tuition.
How was the Marine Corp? It was crazy; the karate there was excellent.
Why did you choose to enrol? Basically, I got my girlfriend pregnant and told my dad I wanted to marry her but my father was like ‘you ain’t got a job’, and I said, ‘well, you were in the Air Force and you got married when you were 14 years old’ and my father said, ‘but that was 30 years ago’, and I was like; ‘I’m going to the service’ and I went and joined the Marine Corp.
What was your perception about Nigeria before you travelled down? It was negative; I wasn’t going to come because there was an advisory saying Americans shouldn’t travel to Nigeria. They said there were some negative things going on in Nigeria. I don’t know what was negative about it but that and it was not safe for Americans.
How was the experience touching Nigeria for the first time? First at the airport it was a trip, getting our luggage. It was so hot there at the airport. This was late 1999. I was hot and sweaty.I saw a dead body at Oshodi. I remember at Oshodi, I had never seen so many black people in my life! I kept saying I hope the radio station is not over here, with all the traffic jam and the dead body on the road people were just walking by like it was normal. When I got to the Island, pulled into Cool FM, things started to look a lot more civilized. Looking at the city coming from the third mainland I’ll never forget it was just a beautiful view.
Where did you meet your wife, Lovina? In the theatre, at the Silverbird Galleria, about six years ago (2008), at about 11.00am. We were the only ones who came early on a Saturday morning to watch a movie. She was taking some kids to the theatre then she went to see her own movie and I was at the movies too. I was single at the time.
You were formerly married and you have a son called Joshua… Yes, back in the States, but I came first to Nigeria and then they came and they didn’t like it and she took my son back and that’s the only thing that hurts me, I wish my son could see what I’ve done, cause she took a little boy back home instead of letting the boy see what his father does and all the inspiration that I’ve been giving. It’s painful, but I was glad that she found another man because I had choices of her being here and I told her ‘honey I know we’re going to break up but I have to do this, it’s a job thing’.
Do you still communicate with him? Oh definitely, he’s coming.
How old is he now? He’s 14.
And back to how you got hitched with your current wife… I loved her stature and how she spoke when she was dealing with the kids, she was fine, she was so fine, she was so beautiful, that when she entered the theatre she looked at me but didn’t recognise me. She never knew who I was and to me that was great. She was sitting at the back and I was in front. I remember I said ‘I can’t believe we are the only ones in this theatre, and then she said ‘Who are you?’ And then I said my name is Dan. We ended up sitting next to each other watching the movie together… And we got married a year later that was fast. You don’t know how many times I was close to getting married, I really wanted to but it was time and I found the right one and Lovina with the way we talked on phone, it was special. For me talking to her on the phone was like talking on the radio. And while we talked, I kept saying this could be the mother of my kids, she’s intelligent….
You have three kids, how does it feel being a dad, living in Nigeria, married to a Nigerian woman, how do you relate with her family? It’s beautiful, her father gives me so much respect, he’s such a cool guy, relating with them is great even her sisters are ok. I’m a family guy now, there are things you need to do to make sure they are ok, it’s about leaving a legacy behind and now I have three legacies, I didn’t see the school fees coming though (Laughs). Now I’m so attached to them, I feel bad when I’m not with them. I’ve taught them how to swim, back in the Marine Corps, I gave swimming classes so they are really good swimmers.
Would you ever relocate back to the US? Relocate, yes, but my business would be here, US is a great place of course especially for the schools.
When last did you travel? Men it’s been a while, like about three years ago. I want to set up these radio programs because I am making a transition, I am going to travel back again, my kids went back there two years ago to see my family and my family have been here too visiting us.
Are you still going to working on you independent Internet radio? Definitely, I’m working on a family radio; it’s still under construction, my dream is to have a family radio network on the internet so you have to look at the media as being able to spread what we are doing. It’s not all about other radio stations, right now it’s about the media and that is hitting them through the Internet. If I can put it up on cell phones. Then we’ll be having city events; you’ll be having some of the hottest city events coming at your doorstep. But for now it’s putting City FM on the map were the name CITY is as big as the city.