BBC Earth

Q&A with Jessie Oghenegweke

Jessie Oghenegweke, host of VIPets

Hello! It’s Jessie here, chief pet pal from VIPets!

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Norfolk, which is very green, very rural, lots of cows. But when I was 16, I decided to move to Stratford in East London

What are your hobbies?

I love to paint. I also love cinema - I watch so many films. And I binge watch TV online, which is quite bad considering the amount of hours that go by! I also love going on walks and hiking.

What species is your spirit animal?

I would like for my spirit animal to be something like a bear. But in actuality it's probably a slug! Something quite lazy. It has a lot of aspirations but doesn’t seem to do that much!

What is your favourite holiday destination?

Growing up, we didn't really go anywhere that exciting. But when I was around 10, we went to Devon and it was the best holiday I've ever been on. It was so lovely. The people were nice. It was just change of environment to be honest.

Who would you like to star on an episode of Bugface?

I would like to pick my old Head Teacher to go on Bugface, because I just think that they’d really enjoy themselves and have a great time!

Do you have any pets?

My Dad's Nigerian so he doesn't like the idea of having fluffy pets in the house. But once he let us have giant African land snails, which breed A LOT. So we quickly ended up having, like, 100 giant African land snails!! And because I didn't know which was which, I just called them all Speedy Gonzales. And we were best friends! We had a lot of fun. They’d eat a lot of cuttlefish and cucumber and sit on my hand. It was excellent.

Are you an outdoors or indoors person?

I'm definitely an outdoors person. I think when you're younger, the most exciting thing to do is to play outside in the garden, dig up lots of mud and play with worms. I love going on long walks. I love sort of kayaking and all that sort of stuff. So definitely outdoors.

Would you rather breathe underwater or be a monkey in a rainforest?

I’d rather be a monkey in a rainforest, because I think there are way too many scary creatures in the sea. So, the higher you get, the futher away from scary animals you get. I think I'd be happy and peaceful high in the trees and make cool sounds as well.

Would you rather have fur or scales?

Neither. I would like to be a slimy animal. I'd like to be friends with my snails and be in their habitats. I get quite hot in just normal clothes, so I think hairless and slimy!

Which animal would you least like to be trapped in a lift with?

A jellyfish. I don't get them. I don't know what they are doing. I don't know what they’re thinking. Do they have a brain? Of course, the lift would also be full of water. So that might also be an issue for me.

What was the best part of filming VIPets for BBC Earth Kids?

Meeting everyone else's animals. Having had a lack of pets in my life, I've been able to pretend that everyone else's are mine for a few days. It was amazing.