We don’t know what to call this Giovani/Anita Erskine partnership just yet, but we’re making do with GIOVANITA till we’ve settled on something concrete.
It’s been perhaps two months since we’ve began to hear Giovani Caleb, instead of Bola Ray alongside Anita Erskine on the Starr Drive. With Bola Ray and Mrs Erskine, things are straightforward; he is boss and her, boss lady, he’s poised and she bears the fire in her bosom…good cop/bad cop – BOLANITA. There!
Giovani though…Giovani is different, Giovanni is trouble (in a good way, I assure you). Gbevu is what his orientation stems from –and Gbevu is Ewe for “stubborn”, but we’ll come to that in a minute…
It is not for nothing that she bears the alias “Boss Lady”. For one thing, her personality towers us all like afternoon sky; lovely, safe, and a catalyst of broad smiles –like our favourite aunt. At the same time, you will get nothing past her, for she knows everything. Everything! Still, she gives you opportunity to redeem yourself. But don’t bother playing smart, for again, she knows eeeeverything. There’s that specific look she will give you; the head is turned slightly sideways, in your direction, and tightened omniscient eyes are trained on you till you exhale the defeat sigh and confess –like our favourite aunt. How do I know? I feel it too, the current, through the radio.
Anita smothers the boys; co-host Giovani and deejay Vyrusky, whom she constantly refers to as her brothers, with resolute fondness. She’s the overprotective senior relation of them. She’s attentive; taking special interest in their relationships, ambitions, even their grooming routines and clothing choices. I remember how one day, Mrs Erskine recounted that Vyrusky (the shy one who typically would rather be left to play his music) had besieged her to smell new cologne he was wearing. “ Boss Lady, Boss Lady, smell my shormi”, she mimicked in Vyrusky’s voice (which we never hear, by the way). This is clearly how confident Vyrusky is in (Aunty) Anita’s endorsement of his decisions, which is important for his character. When your mentors approve of you, it is vital for your own growth.
It is important to her that her brothers are in good spirits. She will preach, tease, speak French or Spanish or something. And if all else fails, she will sing, in a voice that impresses on you the taste of chocolate cake. It is important to stress though, that usually, teasing does a terrific job. She teases Giovani when he fumbles while pronouncing “Airtel” in an LPM, or about his eyes, or Vyrusky, about his wearing contact lenses underneath glasses –but it all comes out of an affection, so it’s beautiful.
Overall, she is keen on making men of them, or more appropriately, better men of them, and all of us listening. That is what gives the Starr Drive the feel of nothing short of family –a happy family.
Geovani Elolo Caleb is trouble. He brings a lot of baggage, and it’s not merely because he has an instantly noticeable head, size-wise. I’m sorry, that seems to have come out wrong. What I mean to say is this; Giovani is a beautiful person because his mind is rich and untroubled –he’s always laughing, or saying something to make you laugh. He’s grounded, and is everyone’s friend. You know how celebrities can get sometimes when they come across enthusiastic fans. And so when I walked past him on the stairs to Live FM that day, I uttered “nice to meet you” under my breath. He heard it, turned and, with the expression of respect for the strange young man who had said those words, he responded, “nice to meet you too boss”. My day was made.
It’s a big ask to sit in for Bola Ray, for Bola has built clout, but Giovani is doing impressive, if you ask me. His voice feels just as dense as Bola Ray, and Bola’s mentorship is unmistakable, because for two seconds at points in his speech, you swear that it Bola you’re hearing. But then again, he laughs a lot and brings an original atmosphere, so you know it’s Giovani Caleb, aka Gbevu.
Along with Antoine Mensah of Live FM, he’s one of the most committed people to radio this age has seen, and I’m certain that I’m not alone in this conviction.
DJ Vyrusky (born Kofi Amoako) is a man of his own, because since coming into view, has excelled on career defining stages as Ghana Meets Naija Concert, the Hennessey Artistry Concert and at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. A Masters Degree holder, he has also been adjudged among other things, Best Events DJ and Best Club DJ of the Year at the prestigious Ghana DJ Awards. He’s also official DJ for dancehall star Shatta Wale, and that’s no mean feat.
Anita Erskine has been around since we were kids. It is specifically why rapper Sarkodie for instance, refers to her as Aunty Anita, yet she’s hardly aged, in look or flair. This very moment, she’s a true media mogul. Vyrusky knows the music. Giovani, I don’t know what to say…
They’ll be on air by 3; all three of them, and I’m looking forward to it.
–Gabriel Myers Hansen is editor of enewsgh.com. Follow him @myershansen on Twitter.