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Radio & Television

Made in 1977 – Of Our Bola Ray!

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A sharply-dressed man sits for hours in a small room with no windows, talking to himself, laughing at his own jokes. He sports glasses and a clean shave. He has nothing but a microphone and music for company, and there’s a melody to his speech, and a diligence about his articulation.

He’s wearing a large headphone over his head, and his fingers are working channel faders on a console. He’s immersed in himself, but at the same time, is sharing his essence with an entire city. Over time, because of the seamless manner in which he navigates this insanity, and how expertly his performance textures into society, a love flickers, and then grows into a full flame stoked by the feeling of family. So that, tuning in becomes a cherished ritual for Auntie Adiza, who hawks rice dishes by a gutter in a Mamobi lungulungu, a Sowutuom barber who has also now become a regular caller, bank tellers at Airport City, a Spintex CEO looking over 1st quarter numbers…

Gradually, that young gentleman behind the console, disseminating bubbly vibes in spite of his own private tribulations, becomes various things to various people –but in the end, we all concede that he’s a real-life superhero.

Born Nathan Kwabena Anokye- Adisi, Ghanaian broadcaster Bola Ray turns 40 today, March 1st. Also, he marks 20 years since his days on Legon-based Radio Univers. It’s a big deal, because he’s something like a phenomenon at this point. The industry is gearing up accordingly: a series of events (including a marathon of revelries) has been lined up in honour of the day, or more appropriately, the season, and gestures of gratitude and goodwill will overflow, for a legend treads amongst us.

It is to be expected: his mark on Ghanaian radio and showbiz has been both permeating and undeniable. This next sentence too, is no exaggeration, even if it sounds fantastic: a vast majority of those who constitute the emerging generation of on-air influencers in the country have been products of specific engineering on his part. If they’re based in Accra (which EIB effectively governs), then they were most likely led, by hand, to their current path.

Bola Ray turning 40 is also iconic because of the stories he represents – consciously, steadily, he has redefined the possibilities available to people who choose a career in radio. Suddenly, being a deejay is not a “second-class vocation”, because you can ultimately aspire to his feats. Hitherto, the journey of the Ghanaian broadcaster was linear, and ended up one way: walking off into the sunset, gratified to land a modest government appointment in retirement, or in the knowledge of being simply referred to as “veteran”. Occasionally, he might resurface to receive a long-overdue plaque, or to reminisce “the good old days”, or lament falling standards.

Well, until Bola Ray. Finally, and in our time, we have witnessed an “ordinary” presenter climb up the levels to become an actual media mogul, elevating many young talents into positions of power while at it. Guess what, they’re all shining, and are confirmation of his abilities as leader.

His story has entirely been about proving that it can be done. Every step of his journey, he has faced considerable doubt: when as a 19-year old, he asked for a chance to be on Radio Univers, or when he first got to Joy FM, or ventured into TV with Music Music, or began Ghana Meets Naija Concert, or dreamt up Empire Entertainment, or EIB Network.

For young men across the country, it is certainly an instructive message of drive and resilience that cannot be drummed home enough.

Bola Ray heads EIB Network (Ghana’s biggest media establishment today –owners of Starr FM, Live FM, Abusua FM, Empire FM, GH One TV, the Heritage Newspaper, and a host of others). He’s also CEO of the Empire Group of Companies comprising Empire Entertainment and Empire Records. Under that outfit, he stages the annual highly-anticipated Ghana Meets Naija Concert, and has overseen the careers of popular acts as Guru, Ruff & Smooth, and Dobble.

Bola Ray has also distinguished himself as a style icon, daily mentor, powerful visionary, eternal philanthropist, and model family man.  So far has his integrity spread that it has landed him in conversation with national and international newsmakers across various spectrums of society: H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, Coach Avram Grant, Don Jazzy, Dr. Charles Wreko Brobbey, Paul Afoko, Ofori Amponsah, Sarkodie, Shatta Wale, Madam Joyce Aryee, veteran commentator Joe Lartey among several others.

It doesn’t end there: he’s’ recipient of enviable honours as 4th Most Influential Personality at the 2014 edition of Ghana’s Most Influential Awards, International Media & Entertainment Personality of the Year award (GUBA, 2015),  Vector Recognition Award (2010), City People’s Awards (2012), 2016,  Man of the Year – Communication (Exclusive Man of the Year Awards, 2016), multiple Radio & Television Personality (RTP) awards, GN Awards, etc. What does he make of these laurels?

“It means people are watching, people are listening to you, and people are being inspired by what you do”.

Also key to his legacy at 40, is his genius on radio. You see, he has spent half of his time on earth filling our late-afternoons with cheerful colours: his infectious personality, thoughtful playlists, and (of course) the charming density of his voice, have assisted work time and allayed the stress associated with Accra traffic for a whole era – the brightest period being his 11 years with Joy 99.7 FM (it makes him the longest to have ever served in that role there). Bola Ray has taken on a hundred other roles aside Drive Time on Joy: Top City Jam on neighbouring Top Radio, TV3’s Music Music between 2001 and 2009, Top of the Pops for the BBC, personality-based Paradise, Revealed, Personality Profile, Autograph, and Starr Chat. Still, it is his role as drive-belt host that abides most with us. He handed down that baton to fast-rising protégé Giovanni Caleb in August 2016, but the social impact he accrued while carrying out that duty is simply unprecedented. While he compered Drive Time on Joy, it was hands-down the most popular programme in that time slot. Same for his tenure at Top Radio.

 

“Average doesn’t tickle my fantasy”

“Bola” means “big” in local pidgin, and if you went to the prestigious Accra Academy like I did, you may be privy to a story, but I’m not trying to get into trouble, so we’ll stick to a rather inspirational version he submits to Nigerian journalist Familusi Babajide in an interview months ago: by Form 2, he decided that Nati Ray Jnr. (after his care-taker senior) was not original enough, hence he carved his own identity: BOLA RAY – Brilliant, Outstanding, Loving, Affable. Religious, Ambitious, Youthful.

Those are a few of the traits of his person, but also essential are such virtues as discipline, integrity, skill, loyalty, and candour. He credits the Accra Academy for imbibing him with that last value – “to be is better than to seem to be”, the school’s motto translates after all. He’s also quick to emphasise God’s role in his story: “we give God all the glory”, he would always chip in when anyone mentions his achievements.

March 1st, 1977 is easily “Word Bola Ray Day”, because really, not much else happened. Okay, the Bank of America adopted the name VISA, and down here, we tried to make sense of the SMC…but that’s it. There’s a good chance therefore, that the birth of one Kwabena Anokye – Adisi in the mining community of Obuasi in the Central Region, is the most iconic bit of history from that day. Of course, it’s a pronouncement we are only able to make in hindsight –an accurate assertion regardless.

No matter how many ways you turn it, all writing about Bola Ray winds up being an ode, because all accounts about legends end up thus.

Nevertheless, all legends are humans, rest assured –humans who chose to honour their calling to humanity…and the proof is in the discovery of quirky little details as his fear of flying, or his failure with Gadgets & More (an electricals startup which plummeted almost as soon as it was birthed), or his constant fidgeting with his smartphone, or his insufficiencies at artist management, in his opinion.

“It is important for you to live life”, Bola submits during the Familusi interview. These words, because of the everyday manner in which they’re spoken, may easily be glossed over, but conscious reflection reveals what powerful wisdom they hold.

There’s no doubt that the man enjoys life. For a long time, he has actively participated in curating some of the most memorable events on our entertainment calendar. As far as this city is concerned, he’s esteemed nightlife connoisseur. Bola Ray has proven all through his rise, that it is possible to have fun with what you’re doing, something that only happens if you’re living, actually living.

Bola Ray demonstrates all-round success everyday. Therefore, who better to instruct us on the concept of accomplishment than the man himself? Here’s a reflective definition he offers in a 2013 edition of Exclusive Men’s Magazine:

 “a successful man is one who lives a fulfilling life, impacts positively into the lives of others and is at peace with the supreme Lord. I don’t see any man as being successful when the fellow has abundance of wealth and cannot, out of a godly heart, be a blessing into the lives of others”.

 

Our Bola Ray!

 

 

 

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MultiChoice Ghana Holds EPG Workshop For Broadcast Partners

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The eventual completion of digital migration in Ghana will come with the capability of local free to air (FTA) stations to post a detailed electronic programme guide (EPG) on their broadcast. This would allow viewers to better plan their viewing patterns and FTA’s provide more information on their content than ever before. In line with this premium Pay TV service provider MultiChoice Ghana organized a half day workshop for its FTA partners.

In a welcome address, Cecil Sunkwa Mills, General Manager, MultiChoice Ghana, said “our business has grown hand-in-hand with local economies by forging long-term partnerships with local broadcasters” and we at MultiChoice Ghana are proud of the contribution we make to our communities, and will not hesitate to share international best practice to impact positively on our local broadcast partners”. He added “the fast-changing lives of our viewer means they require more information on all media they consume than ever before.

He explains that set top boxes that will be deployed once Ghana concludes digital migration has the functionality of a TV guide which can be populated with programming details.  Currently all DStv and GOtv decoders on the market have this feature and subscribers are unable to schedule reminders on their decoders to watch or record their favourite show. Unfortunately, most of the local FTA’s do not have a functional EPG uploaded, leaving viewers in the dark on information on what they are watching or want to watch.

Facilitating the workshop, PR and Communications Managers, MultiChoice Ghana, Nii Amah Dagadu, took participants through the essence, requirements, functionality of the EPG and the benefits for both the TV station and viewers. Participants were drawn from the programming departs of the following TV stations available on DStv and GOtv TV3, GHone TV, Etv, Utv, TV Africa and Multi TV. There was a hands-on demonstration of how the EPG works on DStv and GOtv to reemphasize the lessons learnt.

Participants commended MultiChoice Ghana for this timely intervention adding that a notable feature to expect in the New Year will be an updated EPG on their DStv and GOtv feeds and ultimately on their channels when Ghana finally migrates onto the digital platform.

 

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Radio & Television

World of Champions secures UEFA Champions League for DStv viewers in Africa

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As the destination of choice for Africa’s soccer lovers, SuperSport is thrilled to confirm that it has renewed broadcast rights to the prestigious UEFA Champions League for DStv customers.

SuperSport was recently involved in a public tender process and confirmed a three-year partnership with the rights holders. The renewal starts from the 2018/19 season.

“This is a momentous day for SuperSport and our DStv customers,” said chief executive Gideon Khobane. “The UEFA Champions League features many of the world’s top players and enthralls soccer fans like little else. We are privileged to be able to tell this great story year after year via high-quality broadcasts.”

SuperSport’s rights include television, mobile and internet platforms, extend across sub-Saharan Africa and supplement a world-class soccer offering that includes the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia and many other top soccer properties, ensuring that DStv customers enjoy the best sports viewing on the continent.

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Events & Places

Starr FM’s Osei Owusu Amankwaah marries college sweetheart – SEE IMAGES!

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An 8-year romance that began in journalism school finally came to fruition over the weekend for Starr FM journalist Osei Owusu Amankwaah and Maabena Dohu Mensah of the Multimedia Group.

The colourful  wedding ceremony came off at the Church Of Pentecost (Tema  Comm. 1 Assembly), and was attended by colleagues in the media fraternity including Joy FM’s Komla Adom, respected deejay Andy Dosty, Jerry Justice, Kweku Obeng Adjei, Francis Abban, Ridwan Karim Dini-Osman of GH One among others.

In a symbolic act honouring the genesis of their story, the couple, radiant in red, cream, and white, made a triumphant return to the Ghana Institute of Journalism for a special photoshoot which has since gone viral across social media.

Amankwaah and Maabena’s story has been met with endless goodwill messages, and been described by friends and well-wishers as a true fairytale that is one more proof that love stories still exist.

We from ENEWSGH wish the newly-weds the very best of marriage.

See images from the ceremony below:

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Radio & Television

Regina Van Helvert grabs ambassadorial deal with top UK brand

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Actress, radio and TV presenter Regina Van Helvert has bagged a brand ambassadorial deal with a leading UK brand.

The deal, which is said to be a huge one, comes with great commercials which will be on screens soon.

Even though there hasn’t been any visible association yet, sources have gathered it is an electrical appliance company which seeks to promote its brand in Ghana.

Regina is currently one of Ghana’s favourite and adorable daughters of the screens. Hostess of Rythmzlive on GHone TV which airs from 1:30 pm – 3 pm, as well as Live FM’s Young,Wild & Free. Her relationship with Ghana’s entertainment industry commenced with her participation in the Miss Malaika Ghana pageant years ago.

 

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Radio & Television

IMAGES: Zone Three 6 introduces VJ Koko

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For someone who has an interest in music, a career as a video disk jockey could be fulfilling and highly remunerative.

The job of a video jockey is to provide information on music videos and host music video related contents.

A video jockey should have the characteristics of being witty, interactive and updated on the new trends in music.

A video jockey currently carving a niche for herself is none other than Ifeoma Okonkwo Kaosisochukwu of the Zonethree6 Media outlet.

The versatile and highly talented video jockey who also doubles as a beautician believes in self-development and has cravings for professional qualifications. “I have the dedication to put in the time and effort to get professional qualifications that will support my ambition”.

KOKO which she predominantly uses as her brand name believes her work ethics and her level of scrutiny and attention to detail sets her apart from the rest as her name even represents that claim.  “In Nigeria, the term Koko means SUBJECT MATTER] 0r the most important thing and as a VJ that would be what my name stands for because I will basically be bringing to them the ‘koko’ the most important thing”.

Koko also represents the view that not being a quitter and paying minds to words won’t bring her down but rather will make her stronger and better.

It’s little surprise that Koko has received great reviews from peers and industry players alike on her quest to become the best.

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Radio & Television

 2017 DStv Eutelsat Star Awards launched 

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The 2017 DStv Eutelsat Star Awards competition is back with a bang after scooping a Better Satellite Award at the third annual Better Satellite World Awards gala dinner in London last night.  The awards honour established companies along with disruptive innovators who make the world a more prosperous, healthier, better-educated, sustainable and inclusive home for humankind. Drawing on six years of success across the continent, the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards is returning for a 7th edition. Students from secondary (high) or combined schools can enter from today by writing a creative essay or designing a poster based on the following topic: “It’s sixty years since the first satellite, Sputnik, was launched, broadcasting a unique and easily captured ‘beep, beep, beep’ signal. Looking back at this historic moment, write an essay or design a poster depicting how satellites have launched humankind into the 21st Century and acted as a unifier.”

 

Reach for the stars

The prizes of this innovative competition are as big as the dreams of a young, energised African generation ready to shape the evolution of our continent. Selected from thousands of entries by a high-standard jury, the essay winner will be eligible for a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two to Paris, France in the company of Eutelsat, and onwards to French Guiana to see a rocket launch into space. The poster winner will win a trip for two to South Africa which includes a visit to the South African National Space Agency as well as exploration of several heritage sites as guests of MultiChoice Africa. The schools attended by the two winners will also receive a DStv installation, including a dish, TV, decoder and free access to the DStv Education Package.

 

Open to learners with a passion for technology

The DStv Eutelsat Star Awards are open to all learners from secondary (high) or combined schools on the continent where MultiChoice Africa maintains operations. Entry forms can be obtained from any MultiChoice Resource Centre, the nearest MultiChoice office or via www.dstvstarawards.com. Entries are accepted in English, French and Portuguese and will be judged on the basis of high-standard criteria of accuracy, creativity, originality and innovation. For the first time this year students are also invited to engage with the Awards community through a dedicated Facebook page.

 The competition closes on 12 February 2018. Only entries submitted on the official entry form will be eligible. The overall winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in March 2018.

All details on the judging criteria, national prizes and finalists’ selection are available on the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards website: http://www.dstvstarawards.com/about.html

 

Supporting Africa’s education needs

MultiChoice Africa and Eutelsat are convinced of the power of science and technology education to encourage young minds to positively change their world. Now in its 7th year, their joint initiative, the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards, inspire innovative thinking among a young African generation. This pan-African collaboration has created a meaningful engagement with students, the academic community and the scientific world. Since the start of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards in 2011, over 6,000 students have taken part in this unique competition.

Founded in 1977, Eutelsat Communications is one of the world’s leading satellite operators. With a global fleet of satellites and associated ground infrastructure, Eutelsat enables clients across Video, Data, Government, Fixed and Mobile Broadband markets to communicate effectively to their customers, irrespective of their location. Over 6,700 television channels operated by leading media groups are broadcast by Eutelsat to one billion viewers equipped for DTH reception or connected to terrestrial networks. Headquartered in Paris, with offices and teleports around the globe, Eutelsat assembles 1,000 men and women from 32 countries who are dedicated to delivering the highest quality of service. 

Entertainment is a powerful way to tell stories that open our minds, bring people together around shared passions, and connect us to new realities. It makes us laugh and cry. It informs, it educates and it inspires. MultiChoice is a video entertainment company, and our purpose is to enrich lives. We make the best in entertainment accessible to millions of households in 49 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. We do this through cutting-edge technology on our DStv and GOtv platforms – delivering the content our customers love and contributing to the success of local economies. Born and bred in Africa, we are rooted in the countries where our customers live. We are managed and run by local people, and strive to provide all our employees with new opportunities. We’re proud of the contribution we make to our communities, and our business has grown hand-in-hand with local economies by forging long-term partnerships with governments, national broadcasters and entrepreneurs. We want to use our influence and resources to play a positive role in Africa, helping to grow Africa’s people and creative industries into vibrant, economic powerhouses. It’s by creating value for our customers, our employees and society that we’ll build a successful business for the future.

 

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