MY TOP FOUR RADIO MORNING SHOWS IN GHANA; PART (III) – By Kofi Yankey
Over the past weeks, a conscious effort has been made to present what I deem the top four radio morning shows in Ghana. In fact, the rationale and effects of these morning shows cannot be overemphasized. In this edition, I intend to consider the third of these four shows. For the benefit of first-time readers, the previous editions considered Peace Fm’s Kokrokoo and Joy Fm’s Super Morning Show.
Issues considered included the style of the respective hosts as well as how they assert their authority over their shows, the content of the shows, audience participation, target audience, as well as some laurels achieved. Although not following the pattern of the trailblazers, this third part takes a different look at the show in question.
The show’s host is by far one of the most controversial hosts early morning radio listeners may have encountered. Perhaps that is why he has become a household name. Transmitting on a frequency emanating from Ghana’s first port city, this gentleman competes with other big-wigs in the morning show industry each morning, drawing some following to whom he delivers his show. Adakabre Frimpong Manso is this host in question and the show- Adom Fm’s Dwaso Nsem.
“Dwaso” in Akan connotes a market place and by extension, a place where brisk business is undertaken. Dwaso Nsem, as the show goes by, aims at presenting to its listeners, the news-making headlines, the latest sound bites as well as interviewing the newsmakers. At the helm of affairs of this newsgathering and presentation is the UK trained show host who also doubles as a lawyer. Perhaps his legal background gives him the courage to challenge politicians on his show, although he sometimes does so to the extreme. Like Peace Fm’s Kokrokoo, the main lingo on Dwaso Nsem is Akan along with its many varieties including Akuapim Twi, Asante Twi and Fanti.
This therefore makes the show reach out to all shades of Akan speakers in and out of Ghana. This is made possible by the large number of affiliates Adom Fm has around the world. For the sake of the audience, interviews conducted in a language other than Akan are translated. In most cases, Adakabre in his bid to interview people frames his questions in such a way that he answers them by himself, even before the interviewee does. I guess that may be one of the issues he may have to work on, alongside his shouting and aggressiveness on radio.
Dwaso Nsem over the past years gained popularity due to the presence of certain people I dub the most humorous and fearless people on radio including Wofa Sekyere “Popro” Boateng, Afia Pokuaa and then show host, Ekourba Gyasi now with Hot Fm. These personalities were a delight to listen to each morning. However, with the exodus of Ekourba to Hot Fm and the advent of Adakabre Frimpong Manso from Hot Fm to Adom Fm, things took a different turn. The once interesting show was to turn into a platform for politicians to trade insults as well as for the host to “cause fear and panic.”
You may recall the Amina-Yutong Bus rape saga which threw the entire country into a state of distress. In fact, news about the incident was broken on Dwaso Nsem. Adakabre then used several of his shows as a platform to address the implications of the incident. In the end, the incident turned out only to be a hoax. While some may describe that news item as a desperate attempt by the show’s producers to regain their lost popularity, others believe that even if the incident in question took place, the show’s host exaggerated matters. That was not going to be the end of such fearsome news items emanating from the studios of Adom Fm.
One fine morning, Adakabre was on air again, this time with news that had the propensity to fuel yet another national debate; he said on his show that President Mills had earmarked Gh¢ 90 million to be used to fund his campaign towards winning the ruling NDC’s flag bearership race. He alleged that he had in his possession an audio tape from former football administrator, Herbert Mensah, which contained the said revelation. This issue was debated for weeks unending until it turned out to be yet another hoax. Perhaps these further dealt a blow to the Tema-based media house.
In terms of knowledge about the geography of Ghana, I will bet my last pesewa that no one beats Adakabre to it. He tends to know almost every location in Ghana and can give vivid descriptions about the various towns and villages that make the news. Perhaps that puts him ahead of his competitors as he is able to relate to the situations being presented. For instance, if the issue at stake concerns a deplorable road somewhere in the hinterlands of the Brong Ahafo region, you can trust him to tell you where the said road leads to, some popularly food joints along the stretch, some landmarks, among others. All these add to the humorous tone of his show.
Like most of its competitors, in-studio discussions of the day’s big news are always marked by huge political interference. With representatives of the major political parties all in the studio, you are bound to notice that each person skews his presentation in favour of his political party. Well, that is what they are paid to do. However, the show sometimes loses sight of what to discuss. This is a problem with most shows anyway. There is always a conscious effort to discuss issues that have no bearing on the national agenda and which only fuel tribal and political conflicts. However, in a nutshell, Dwaso Nsem serves as a reference point to many political activists and avid politicians.
To this end, one may ask, why is this show part of my top four radio morning shows? Honestly, I find that hard to answer. Perhaps it’s because of the niche it has carved for itself over the years. It may not be your favorite but for my part, it remains a force to reckon with when it comes to radio morning shows in Ghana and quite a number of people share the same sentiments. Let me end by making a quick reference to a gentleman named Isaac who commented on the first part of this series on http//www.ghanaweb.com who said “I think Adom FM is number one, when it comes to morning shows.
Most of the Ghanaian morning [show] hosts are very disgraceful because they’re not helping Ghana develop. Almost all the morning [show] hosts are politicians, working for their ‘masters’ and receiving money secretly in fat and hefty envelopes from politicians. To me, Lawyer Adakabre Frimpong Manso stands tall and thus I recommend him as the number one morning show host. He is brave, witty, funny, well informed, very knowledgeable, fearless, geographically inclined, and has international experience.”