Since I got actively involved in radio, I have found it quite difficult to talk about radio presenters, especially entertainment show hosts, unlike as used to do when I was only a writer.
Those were the days, I periodically assessed the performance of entertainment show presenters in Ghana, saying my mind louder than anyone could imagine. The biggest of what has prevented me from doing what I used to do was the fact that I also host an entertainment show on Vision FM in Koforidua.
I have the conviction that to develop the arts we cannot do without the media, hence the need to once in a while, do a check up on how the media is impacting the creative arts. Since no one seems to be doing what I used to do, I have no option than do it the best way I can.
So, in this article, I walk you through the turf of entertainment shows in the country, how the presenters are faring, who is on top and what can be done to help improve on what we are doing at present. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to satisfy all entertainment shows in the country. I am only going to write about those that I am able to listen to in my abode in Koforidua. So, if you are in Accra, Kumasi or other parts of the country and your radio station has no coverage in Koforidua, I might not say anything about your show. It is just like my Vision FM not reaching your part of the country.
The truth is that it’s been a long time I listened to Radio Gold’s “Solid Gold Countdown,” one of the oldest entertainment shows in the country. In fact, I don’t even know if it still runs. It got to a time, in the recent past when the show completely lost its shine. Prime Eye relaxed, BB Menson was always unprepared for his ‘beef’ and the whole show sounded prosaic.
Channel R is still running 205 Total Entertainment which is another old entertainment show initially hosted by DJ Abio. That show is primarily an entertainment newspaper review programme and they are delivering satisfactorily in the scheme of things. Adu Boahen is doing well as the host but I always enjoy it better when Christian sits in for him.
When Dr Cann started Showbiz Xtra on Happy FM, I had a lot of problems with him, especially as regard his hitherto cowardly attitude of tackling issues and his penchant for asking irrelevant questions but he has improved tremendously and can now be counted among the top three entertainment show hosts in the country. My Saturday never starts without listening to him. However, he still needs to be serious with his questioning. He should know when to ask closed-ended questions and when to pose open-ended questions? Aside that, he is doing a great job.
I will listen to Kwasi Aboagye on Peace FM’s ‘Entertainment Review’ for one thing, if not for others: he is very intelligent and objective. This, I think, makes him drive topics to the desired objectives. Owing to this, it has been very hard to get a good sit in for him. Anytime he has been away from the show, it is either the one who sat in for him failed or sounded like was hosting ‘Etuo Muosum.’ I don’t decide what topics any presenter treats on his show but honestly, sometimes I wonder why a whole Kwasi Aboagye would treat certain topics. There are countless times when he has tried squeezing sense from a less important story. Maybe because of the litany of entertainment shows on Saturdays, he wants to do what nobody has done or will do.
From 2pm to 5pm on Saturdays comes ‘Adom Billboard’ on Adom FM. Nana Hemaa starts with celebrity interviews before the discussions start in earnest. Anyone who knows Kojo Preko Dankwah as host of the extinct ‘Asempa Entertainment Hall’ which used to air on Asempa FM will attest to the fact that Kojo has matured now in the field. My problem however is that he allows his panelists to misinform listeners on many occasions. There is a panel member on his show who is not articulate in the English language but will always try to speak English. Senior man, I beg it is not compulsory to speak English. After all, Adom FM is a Twi-speaking radio station. In addition, it is about time they moved a bit from the superstitious and sensational stories to more serious ones. Kojo’s show is really posing threat to some of the shows aired almost at the same time as his and I believe he will do better with the passage of time.
‘Agoo Entertainment Centre’ is also another entertainment programme that airs on Agoo FM from 2pm to 4pm on Saturdays. Although it is new, host Kofi De-Aqua is trying his best to win listeners for the show with his entertaining style of presentation. Especially in the situation where some of the big old entertainment shows also run during the same period, it is expected that more work is put into production to make the show more visible to be always captured by my radar. I trust that with hard work, it will have the strength to compete the big ones.
‘Classic Entertainment’ on Hot FM, Hosted by Omanhene Kwabena Asante and Nana Yaw has kept focused on what they do. To have moved the programme from 10am to 12:30pm on Saturdays, it shows they are very brave because this is a very hot period for entertainment shows on Saturdays as I have been indicating in this discourse. Omanhene, even though doesn’t sound ‘entertainment,’ employs the tact developed from his political show hosting to handle the show and he does that maturely. They are doing what they can but I would suggest that they move the show back to 10am.
Tuning to Joy FM, Nii Ayi Tagoe engages very intelligent and analytical panel members and resource personnel in intellectual discussions of issues bordering on entertainment. One thing about Talk Entertainment, the segment on Rhythms A-Z on Joy FM is that you surely will learn something at the end of the show. After the heated debates and everything, the listener enriches his knowledge in entertainment. My only problem is that the show has not been very consistent and that is very worrying.
Celebrity XYZ is hosted by Selina on Radio XYZ on Saturdays between 2pm and 4pm. Radio XYZ is a very professional radio station and one should expect that they tackle issues expertly. From the days of Nana Yaa Agyare to Selina, that professionalism has since obtained. I have on a couple of occasions also listened to Christian Entertainment Review on Sunny FM and another one on Pravda Radio. I will find time to listen to you guys more when I am in Accra.
When he left Channel R and for that matter ‘205 Total Entertainment’ for Rainbow Radio, I was the one who prodded him with my articles to create an entertainment programme on his new network. Even though he initially was unyielding to my request, he later gathered momentum and planned coming out with ‘GH Entertainment Show.’ But I was disappointed when I tuned in on the much hyped maiden edition on the said day and the show didn’t come off. He explained later that he was sorting things out and would bounce back later. He returned, this time with GH Entertainment (without the ‘show’. Was he influenced by Osarfo’s article that sort to advice people to stop using the word ‘show’ to name radio programmes?) Hate him or like him, Agyeman is a kingpin in this area. He is very daring and would ask questions most presenters would dread to ask. You treat a topic on your show, he takes it and does it from another exciting angle. That is Agyengo for you. My humble advice to him is to make sure he doesn’t bring people who fuel tensions onto his show.
Nana Ama Addobea is the only female entertainment show host that I know of at the moment who does analytical discussions on entertainment matters. Frankly, she is far better than some of the men in this particular field. She is pushing ‘Top Showbiz’ on Top Radio to higher heights but I advice her to speak Twi if she wants to or speak English if that is what she is comfortable with. She sounds irritating to the ear when she blends Twi and English unevenly.
In the Eastern Region, a radio station in Adukrom-Akuapem, Radio Mountains, has dedicated its morning show, ‘Tea Time’ to pure entertainment analysis. Even though Nana Kwame Mpere is good at presentation, he needs to soak himself more in arts issues and should also be given a strong entertainment production team because he can’t singly do the job, when he has to do a show on entertainment every day.
While Kojo Preko, Kwasi Aboagye and Kofi De-Aqua are boiling in Accra, Londona also does his thing on ‘Entertainment Arena’ on Emak FM in Koforidua. Like most entertainment presenters, the avuncular presenter needs to work very hard because all the Accra entertainment radio shows get to Koforidua.
On Sundays 1pm to 3pm on Vision 90.9FM in Koforidua, I present an eclectic and well structured entertainment show. My ‘Arts and People’ is the only show on the creative arts that features all the rivulets of the arts and entertainment. My ‘Insight’ segment is a feature on issues on painting, poetry, comedy, dance, photography, film making, fashion, modeling, music, radio and television that are virtually unknown to most listeners. I can’t rate my performance but I can say my show is very different in content as compared to the same old copy-copy type everywhere.
We have all done well as entertainment show presenters but a lot of work must be done. We need not forget about the lowbrow arts like poetry, sculpture and the like. The poet who did the opening at this year’s Ghana Music Awards, Chieff Moomen and the like of Nana Asaase, Mutomobo, Kwaku Sonny and Black Benedict also need to be given attention on our shows. Let us have some airtime for them too.
Secondly, we need to stop wasting airtime on trivial issues. There are a thousand and one reasons why I would never treat the John Dumelo issues on my show. Our arts people lack business astuteness, we are not doing good movies, we have difficulty in marketing our works on the international markets, juveniles artistes are being exposed to the vicissitudes a vagaries of the entertainment industry and we waste time to talk about which celebrity bought ‘koko’ by the road side or which one is having a fake marriage somewhere?
It is about time, as entertainment show hosts, we don’t only see the field as one for mere amusement but also for serious business. We need to learn! Most of the entertainment presenters’ ‘head die’ too much. It is not only political shows that require intelligent presenters. And when you talk, they say you are ‘too known.’
We have helped the creative arts so much and we need to continue. But should entertainment shows only be held on Saturdays? Kudos to y’all and let’s not forget we do this for God and country. Bye!