At the just ended RTP Awards, Anita Erskine won the Award for TV Female Entertainment Host of the Year 2014. An event in her life, which has opened the gates for the Star and brought her back into homes across Ghana.
At the beginning of the year, you may remember that the name “Anita Erskine” started making its rounds around the dailies, when she was nominated for the Vlisco Woman of the Year. Although she didn’t win, she knew that the year would be filled with a lot of nominations, seeing them as signs that her work is being recognized, both on screen and within her community.
With her eyes set on coming back to television in 2014, Anita jumpstarted the end to her five – year hiatus from mainstream television, with the release of IfactoryLive’s Pamper Your Mum on Viasat 1, which she hosted effortlessly. “Pamper Your Mum, helped me combine two things I am totally passionate about. Helping women and doing this on television to make a point that we can all pitch in!” says Erskine.
Anita, who is not new to Television, got her first dose of the reality of television at the tender age of 16. “I walked in to Metro TV and told them I had just finished my A – levels and wanted an internship with a TV Station.Yes they were taken aback, but I think and I know now that they were in awe of my confidence. They gave me a chance of a life time and I took great advantage of it to learn everything I could about TV”, recounts Erskine.
Although very young at the time. Anita was well aware of how further education would help broaden her understanding for the art of communication. As such, after two years of working on Television, Anita went away to Canada to study. “In some ways, moving away ended my career in Television. At least that’s what everyone said. But I knew what I was doing. Even at that age. By then I was 18 and I wanted to explore the world and learn different cultures. I was looking to be book smart and street smart!” comments Erskine.
Erskine returned to Ghana in 2006 and went straight back to Television “By the time I returned so many things has changed. The Television landscape had changed. It was extremely competitive. The two years experience I had had before I left Ghana were not enough anymore. So I had to start all over again” Off the success of a number of Television shows she hosted such as TV3 Mentor and TV3 Looking for Love, Anita knew there was indeed hope! It was not long afterwards when MNET Africa’s Studio 53 came knocking on her door.
“I always use the year I did Mentor and got into Studio 53, as my first true taste of television. Getting these opportunities did not come easy. I worked extremely hard, hoped and prayed for them!” she reminisces.
After only two years on Studio 53, the series was reformatted and Anita, along with her compatriots on the series was left wanting. “It was a very difficult time for me. I was not prepared for the abrupt end of Studio 53. I had nothing planned BUT, it was also at this time that a light bulb went off in my head! Perhaps it was time to move away from the camera and move behind it to learn a few tricks of the Television making trade! This was when Viasat 1 contacted me to help build its Own Programming content. The most important being, The One Show!” says Erskine.
Erskine took on the challenge with immense pride. “Yes there were terribly difficult times. But there were also extremely satisfying moments. But ultimately there was nothing more enjoyable that seeing your work come to life on the television screen! Suddenly being the Producer of The One Show was absolutely fulfilling….a wonderful moment of self actualization and realization! I was confident that my career in television was now on the right path.”
As her heart would move her and fate would have it, Anita managed to commit to making great television for Viasat 1 for 3 years, after which she jumped off the wagon to get back in front of the camera. “By the time Ifactory Live approached me, I knew I had learnt more about and helped to create some powerful television Brands. I hosted Pamper Your Mum, Making of a Mogul and Cooking With. “Haha yes! I did these three shows simultaneously! It was hectic. But extremely fulfilling!!! I knew I was rebuilding the Anita Erskine TV Personality Brand so I did have to make the extra effort! Erskine recounts.
Anita Erskine is back! With a heart tough as a rock and super thick skin, Anita is ready to take on the mantle of the very show she helped created some years back. “Coming back to Television in Ghana has come to me, perhaps when I least expected it. I am in awe of what’s happening to me right now. How and why it’s happening? Hmmm I can’t really tell. I just know I am so happy that after so many years of being away, someone has resurrected that spirit within me. The One Show is going to be phenomenal because every Ghanaian household deserves it!! Thank you all for the support!”
Erskine, who is fluent in French and English,is the founder of Brand Woman Africa is a Media content development company, with a primary focus on the empowerment and advancement of African Women of all ages, across industries and disciplines.
Catch Anita Erskine as the host of The One Show from Mon – Thurs 5pm – 6pm on Viasat 1.