We Miss Uncle Ted Roberts

Ted Roberts has retired from VOA and Night Line Africa, the program that he used to host is nolonger the same. Here is a piece about the presenter whose baritone voice and passion for his job used to beckon me closer to the radio whenever he was on air.

The VoA’s Night Line Africa Program that comes on air every Saturday and Sunday evening is never the same again. It cannot be the same without its former presenter Uncle Ted Roberts. Just like other members of the Night Line Africa family, I loved Uncle Ted so much. It was his baritone voice; his proffessionalism, his warm sense of humor and passion for his work that kept me and other members of “Nightline Family” hooked to the radio whenever he was on the air.

He is a talented broacaster who spiced up  my weekend. “All was always well. Everything was always all right.” I could pick up my phone and send text messages or call friends to announce that Uncle Ted Roberts was on the air. That ‘the people’s program’ was live from Washington.

I really miss the good oldies that he played on the program. He called them a “blast from the past – music among my souvenirs’. Then, whenever he signed off, Ted always had a quote that inspired us. I used to record most of the quotes and apply them later in my conversation with friends at college.

“After you have laboriously accomplished your daily task,” he could say, “go to bed. Your creator is awake.”

“You know what,” he could pose in another edition of the program. “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression. And that: “Life is like a bank account. You only get what you put in; and experience is your interest.”

When Barrack Obama was inaugurated as the US first Black president, he had a good one for us – that: “Rosa Parks sat so that Martin Luther could walk. Martin Luther walked so that Barrack Obama could ran. Barrack Obama ran so that our children could fly.”

He could then ask us to think about it… “Think about it my friend, take good care of yourself and I will see you on Saturday…is that alright?

The program was synonymous to him. Although Akwe, Imbuga and Shaka Ssali are doing a good job in the program, Night line Africa is never the same as it was when the Howard University communications professor was in charge. The responses from the Night line fans when he announced his retirement proved that he was a darling of many people. I was among those who could rush home to listen to the radio just to listen to his friendly, fatherly baritone voice that was always full of enthusiasm. His professionalism also manifested itself in the way he hosted the program – nice retirement don, we miss you!

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17 Comments on “We Miss Uncle Ted Roberts”

  1. Joel Bulyar Says:

    Hi!Ateka it is a truely captivating pieace of story.It also reminds me of uncle Ted.What happened to the story of the grandmother and how she used the blant panga to get herbs that cured you.That story was realy captivating i looked for it today but i never managed to get it.It reminds me of the old villagers.Please post it on the web i want to read it for the second time.Bravo !keep it up.

  2. Napah Says:

    It is a fabulous piece of a story of those nostalgic memories about the TED ROBERTS,thanks for writing about him Ateka,somebody is gonna write about you one day after you have labouriosly accomplished your achievements! cheers!

  3. sassanga Says:

    Napah and Joel, thanks for your comments.

  4. bagaka Says:

    you made me want to tune in…too late!

  5. Barley Okeadu Says:

    Aie! You are not the only follower, Ateka! I still remember the slot he created to reunite family dispersed by the crises in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Ted is a broadcaster’s model. I wonder if his Night Line presentations are archived. I’d be thrilled to hear once more some of past editions of Night Line Africa. And please, Ateka, let a larger audience read about this great man on Facebook. A platform can be set up for all of his fans to reminiscize and celebrate his impactful work on the air.


  6. Ateka I must give kudos to your work and to other nightline family member who have posted a comment about out beloved Oloriebi (Family Head) we really miss Uncle Ted. Is it possible friends to request that VOA do a compilation of Uncle Ted’s works and make it available for sale. Uncle Ted really change my view to life.

  7. Alfred Okoye Says:

    Is it true Uncle Ted had left VOA?! Oh my God I can’t believe it. I started following him on air in the mid 1990’s when I was in secondary school. Once it is time for his programme, nothing can stop me from tuning my radio to VOA. His style of presentation plus the sound of his voice is so captivating that my mum who doesn’t undastand English will like to listen to his atleast to hear his voice. I can remember my dream then, of going to America to see Uncle Ted and come back to Nigeria the following day. Hun, Uncle Ted, on behalf of other passengers of Nightline Africa train, I wish you happy retirement. God willing, we shall see each other face to face.

  8. Kehinde Anibaloye Says:

    Lovely write up about Uncle Ted. I almost shed tears when I read this. A wave of nostalgia swept over me. I wish I could get to meet him or listen to him all over again. His qoutes, his teasers and his sign off greeting , ” Best Wishes” which has since become my email signature. I love him.

  9. Nyawa Shawulu Samuel Says:

    I missed a lovely voice of uncle Ted.

  10. Alieu Sheriff Says:

    I do really missed Ted Roberts… I remember listening to Nightline Africa when I was 14 years old in Liberia. Today I am 32 residing in the United States. Hope to meet Ted Roberts one day. I would also love to get an audio of any of the shows about Liberia. Especially the night train…….

  11. Victor Dania Says:

    Thanks awhole lot, Ateke. Uncle Ted was simply a phenomenon at the VOA. I missed him dearly as a member of his famous nightline Africa family. Since he left VOA, it has never remained the same again. Does anyone have access to his epistle titled: “Letter to Abdul, my African brother”? There you find Uncle Ted at his best

  12. Odoh Emmanuel Onyema Says:

    Turely am one of the lover of uncle Teb night line Africa, missing link and his voice i als miss him. How can i get his contact pleas help me. Thank you.

  13. Odoh Emmanuel Onyema Says:

    Turely am one of the lover of uncle Teb night line Africa, missing link and his voice i als miss him. How can i get his contact phone, email or facebook pleas help me. Thank you.

  14. wole Omosule Says:

    Yet his quiz questions were quite interesting and educating: As I was going to mount Kilimanjaro, by chance, I met nine old women, each of them carried nine bags , in each of the bags were nine cats, in each of the nine cats were nine kittens. How many were going to mount Kilimanjaro?


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