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Opinions of Sunday, 10 May 2015

Columnist: Frankly Speaking

Tribute to Kwasi Brenya

It's unfortunate I can't be in Accra to join the one-week remembrance ceremony of the death of Mr Kwasi Brenya, the late General Manager of the Despite Group of Companies, of which the flagship radio station, Peace FM and the UTV television stations are part. Kwasi died on died on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.

Undoubtedly, it was Brenya, whose brains and hands have made Peace FM and its sister radio stations and UTV what they are today.

I first saw Mr Brenya in 1999 when my senior colleague and friend, Nana Ohene Ntow, invited me to be on the panel of the Kokrokoo programme which he had just started on Peace FM.

I joined the likes of Dan Botwe, and Ofosu Asamoah who later when on to become members of Parliament and Kwesi Pratt among a few others on the programme.

Peace FM was at its very initial stages and the name Brenya was what was on the lips of all the staff as the big shoulder upon which the station was operating, yet this man would never made himself heard.

When Ohene Ntow left Peace FM my friend, Kwami Sefa Kayi took over the Kokrokoo programme. I continued to be on the panel and at most mornings when Messrs Pratt, Sefa Kayi, Sankofa Tete Arthur and I, as our ritual, met early to eat kenkey before the programme, General Manager Brenya was already at post when most general managers would still be in bed.

Until September 2001 when I left Ghana for further studies outside, Peace FM had in such a relatively short time made a huge impact on the Ghanaian media as well as the political landscape as the station had already become one of the major platforms for politicians to reach many Ghanaians.

Usually, when people die, because traditionally nobody talks ill about a dead person, almost everybody begins to praise them with positive tributes.

However, for Kwasi Brenya, from the very humble and unassuming man I saw during the period I was on the Kokrokoo programme, there is no doubt about the kind of tributes most Ghanaians are giving about him.

The fact which many don’t know is that Kwasi Brenya was not an arm-chair general manager, but a very hands-on man, but who surprisingly never claimed any success despite the fact that the Peace FM and all the other Despite Group of companies we see today were carried to their present positions on the shoulders of Kwasi Brenya.

Kwasi, fare thee well; you have left us a good legacy, but also a huge gap to fill. May God give you rest.