Interviews 29 April 2022
Author: Aaron Adade

GRM EXCLUSIVE: Henrie Kwushue Talks Hosting ‘The Open University: Ones To Watch’ Series & More

29 April 2022

Henrie Kwushue is a woman of many talents. From presenting, DJing, and being an all-around content creator, Henrie has made a lane for herself that she should be proud of. With a wonderful personality and hardworking mindset to match, Henrie’s success comes as no surprise. 

The latest project she has decided to get involved with is one she’s very passionate about, and that’s hosting MTV and The Open University: Ones To Watch series. 

Henrie took some time to sit down with us to talk about The Open University campaign and a little about her amazing career. 

You recently posted a carousel on Instagram featuring some of your latest work. How has 2022 been for you in general and what else are you looking forward to? 

2022 has been pretty good, I can’t lie. I’m very much enjoying my life. I’ve got my usual weekly commitments which are the podcast and radio, then in and around that, I get to do all sorts of different types of work, so things are really good right now. In terms of what I have to look forward to, I’m doing this activation with MTV Generation Change and The Open University that’s called Ones To Watch. Hopefully, I should also be going abroad doing some cute work this year, and by God’s mercy, everything just continues to get bigger and better. 

What have been some of your favourite achievements so far in your career? 

Some of my personal achievements are doing the podcast Who We Be Talks which is one of my favourite things. When I started my docu-series Is Your Area Changing that was huge for me too because it was just an idea that I had and I didn’t even think anything of it at the time. I just filmed it, put it out, and it got so much more of a bigger reception than I ever thought it would get. 

So that to me is an achievement within itself and being able to work outside of London has to be a big one for me as well because I don’t really travel that much. I went to Uni outside of London, but otherwise, I haven’t travelled much and I just love the fact that work can help me do that. 

Who are some of your biggest inspirations? 

I think inspiration is such a huge word. It gives the idea that there was somebody who reflects exactly what you’re doing now. Of course, there are a lot of people doing similar things, but in terms of your personality everyone is an individual. Some of the people that I saw when I was starting out that were doing wonderful things were people like Julie Adenuga, she’s an incredible interviewer. Sian Anderson is another person I loved watching, I saw her in real life one time really early on, I don’t think I’d even started working or doing my career stuff, and I just thought she was amazing. 

Also people outside of the broadcasting world like Nella Rose are incredible too, Faceinthenews is great. Those are people with amazing personalities that when you watch them online it just makes you want to be friends with them. Those are the types of people who inspired me. 

Tell us about The Open University campaign and how you’re involved? 

I’m the presenter for the MTV Generation Change and The Open University Ones To Watch series. It’s a content series that shows you can do your lectures remotely from wherever you are, you can access the university’s resources from anywhere, and get your degree no matter what you’re doing in life at that moment. No matter who you are, no matter what you do, you’re able to get a degree. 

Although I loved the university I attended, knowing that The Open University could also have been an option for me at the time would have been great. 

Why is the work of the campaign important to you? 

The campaign is important to me because I can imagine what it’s like if you’re young and not sure what your options are and are unsure how to get into the field you want to work in. If I was 18 again, I probably would have wanted to start working in my industry now but also get a degree at the same time. Knowing that was a possibility, I probably would have gone with it because the flexibility would have made my life much easier. I think that there are so many different types of people that are out there that have loads of life commitments and want to be able to get a degree at the same time. The flexibility of The Open University offers the chance to study without limiting yourself in other areas. 

I heard about a young man called Steven who has a very inspirational story and big ambitions. Tell us a little bit about his story and your experience with him. 

Steve is great, he’s from Scotland, Glasgow. When I met him, I learned that he was advocating for disability rights. What I loved about Steven is that he was doing many different things and his degree was there to complement all his other interests. There were so many different causes that he was interested in, and his degree was there to help develop all of the skills he has, and I really love that for him. 

How much time did you get to spend with Steven? 

I was almost with him for pretty much the whole day. We went to the City Chambers in Glasgow, where he was doing some public speaking. We went to a radio show that he was a guest on talking about his advocacy. I got the chance to see him do so many different things, he is such a go-getter, he’s up and ready to do what he needs to do to be able to see the changes he wants to implement. Then doing a degree on top of that and knowing that the degree fits around his life not the other way around is beautiful, it was really great to see. 

Do you think that the flexibility offered by The Open University opens up higher education as an option to people who previously may not have been interested? 

Yes. I’m sure that those that are at The Open University love the flexibility, as it allows them to live their lives as they are because some of them are older. So the whole point of The Open University is no matter what type of life you live, no matter who you are, no matter what you do, or how busy you are, you can enrol in a degree that suits you. I think it would definitely encourage people to go and get a degree knowing how flexible it actually can be. Additionally, the OU provides fantastic tutor support throughout the course of the degree, and they provide excellent guidance to help upskill the students in their chosen field of study.  

As someone with a successful career, what advice can you offer anyone looking to make their first steps into their chosen industry? 

God is good you know because I still feel like I’m at the start of my career. Of course, I can’t minimise the blessings that I’ve been given, so I’m definitely happy with what I’m doing right now. 

I think the idea of success can sometimes make us limit ourselves. Don’t ever think of success as one thing because something else could come along and break down what you thought success was in the first place and now here you are doing things beyond your wildest dreams. 

Watch the first episode of the series here.