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Opinions of Monday, 19 September 2011

Columnist: Yankey, Stephen Duasua

My Top Four Radio Morning Shows In Ghana- Part 1

It’s the desire of every morning person to be fed with what’s happening around the world. For even the most religious among the lot, their quest to be current and abreast with world events supersedes their early morning encounter with their objects of worship. In a cosmopolitan city like Accra, city dwellers satisfy this quest in most cases, by listening to the radio; while in the shower, while taking breakfast or while stuck in traffic on the way to work. With the multiplicity of radio stations in Ghana, one doesn’t have to go through much stress finding a suitable frequency. In fact, it seems wherever one tunes to has one show or another going on each morning.

But do morning shows live up to their name? Are they able to light up the days of their listeners? What about their content? Whom are they aimed at? Well, these questions are going to guide the study of my four (4) favorite radio morning shows and no doubt Ghana’s top four morning shows. This write-up presents a listener’s point of view of these shows. Having spent some time following these shows, I believe it’s in the right direction that I undertake this study. To start with, I would give an overview of each show before delving into the analytical phase.

In no particular order, the following radio shows are going to be the specimen for this study; PEACE FM’S KOKROKOO, ADOM FM’S DWASO NSEM, JOY FM’S SUPER MORNING SHOW (SMS) AND HITZ FM’S DAYBREAK HITZ.

The first show to be considered is PEACE FM’S KOKROKOO. The show’s host Kwami Sefa Kayi, affectionately called “Chairman” by his panelists and listeners expertly drives Ghana to work from 6:30am-10:00am every other working day. According to him, the best thing about being a broadcaster is “The ability to affect millions of lives positively and to contribute to the development of my country.” A line he has become known for on radio is “We are soldiering on for God and country” and actually, that’s what he does.

Serving his breakfast in Twi, he is able to capture a wider audience. From the newspaper review segment through the phone-ins and the part where his panelists, usually from the different political divide, battle issues out, KOKROKOO comes across as an interesting show. Chairman’s probing questions always hit the right spot, making his respondents let whatever cats they have out of their bags. Mention can be made of how he was able to draw out the inner feelings and thoughts of the infamous Bishop Obinim. That interview no doubt added more salt to Obinim’s injury as he said more than he should have.

Lovers of politics are left full and smiling all day as their respected partymen and women try to defend various political actions. While Uncle Allotey Jacobs, the ‘educated fisherman’ as he’s widely called, is always violently championing the cause of the ruling NDC and justifying their every action while code-switching between Fanti and English, the sharp-tongued Ursula Owusu of the NPP also presents the minority’s view of nation building and as always, tries to point out loopholes in what the ruling party does. You can also trust Kwesi Pratt Jnr. to be as analytical as ever and with his favorite word “Massa”, he can stop anyone in his or her tracks, just to make his submission. KOKROKOO is never complete without the presence of the man who has a copy of every document underneath the sun, Kwaku Baako Jnr. who in most cases is torn between speaking Twi/Fanti and English. He is more often than not championing the course of the NPP and not his CPP and it can be noted that it was even on KOKROKOO that he admitted having voted for the NPP Flagbearer, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo during the 2008 general elections.

On the average, Kwami Sefa Kayi proves to be a good moderator of his show and of course his station’s flagship programme. No doubt he’s the current holder of the Morning Show Host of the Year (Radio) title as well as the Radio and Television Personality of the Year. Yes, you can say he’s cemented his name in history. This can be attributed to the fact that he is with one of Ghana’s best radio stations, if not the best. Running about a 70% of his show in Twi, a language that most of his listeners; young, old, elite, unlettered, can relate to, he reaches a wider audience. Quite positively, most businesses deem it prudent to advertise their products on his show. Although that’s purely a marketing strategy that also fetches the station lots of money, one thing the show’s producers may not have noticed is that these commercials take away most of the show’s time.

Besides being hugely tainted by politics, KOKROKOO really is a force to reckon with in the area of radio morning shows. Kwami’s occasional humorous nature tends to relax things when they go out of hand in his studio. His studio-hands also contribute to the show’s success. Wherever they learnt how to embellish from, they were studious in the learning process. They can make serious issues appear as child’s play and vice versa, although this sometimes draws attention from the issue at stake.

Nevertheless, when next you want to know what’s going on in Ghana when you wake up, remember to tune in to the Chairman’s show on Peace Fm on 104.3 MHz. Quite interestingly, his show runs on over 25 affiliate radio stations in and out of Ghana each morning. It’s little wonder therefore that KOKROKOO makes my top four (4).