Some of the human interest stories that have been making the rounds (or in social media parlance, trending) over the last week must certainly be about two videos: Rashida Black Beauty showing her wearing her birthday suit and showing her “goods” to the world and a bridegroom sucking the soul out of his bride at their wedding.

There has been spirited conversation about the impropriety of this particular action by even leading to her invitation by the Berekum police for interrogation, according to news sources. She really riled the internet and some other entertainment media with her antics and some have taken the advantage to hurl Molotov cocktail at the former Viasat 1 and all who supported her Jigwe Awards nomination and award.

Then there was the trending video of the young man who at his wedding was asked by the pastor to kiss his bride and he went overboard with his attempt at kissing the woman. The dramatic nature by which he sucked his new wife left many aghast and wondering what exactly it was that motivated his action.

However, what I really want to talk about is not the propriety or otherwise of an 18 year old nouveau celeb’s naked video or the action by a bridegroom to show the whole world how he had waited for too long to kiss his wife and couldn’t be bothered how the world interpreted his passion. I want to talk about a young journalist and broadcaster who I think is really punching above his weight.

I have met Umaru Sanda Amadu only once and we spoke briefly in Dangme. I got to know, within that short moment that the current anchor of the flagship news programme and the leading talk programme on Citi FM, grew up around my hometown. Asutsuare and environs are Osudoku communities and it’s around that place he lived, schooled and grew up.

I have come to know that when he was young, Umaru used to combine his schooling days with taking cattle to graze. He had to educate himself, but he also had to ensure that the cattle under his care were well fed and had water to drink.

I read a post of his on Facebook a while back where the news anchor mentioned a particular teacher who took interest in his education and encouraged him to not just limit himself to being a cowboy. In his estimation, where he finds himself now is because of the mentoring he had from that teacher, without which he probably would end up as just another Fulani herdsman minding his cattle and not taking any interest in education.

My interest and for which I thought I would write about Umaru Sanda in this column today is not to talk about his cattle herding past, but to use that as a perspective to talk about how impressed I am about his way of going about his work as a news person and an interviewer.

I have followed Sanda’s stories a bit as a news person or a journalist and I think his subjects are well chosen and his stories are well treated. He has a penchant to give fair and balanced view of the subjects he talks about and treats his sources with care.

Umaru has a knack to make stories and documentaries that could win awards anywhere. Indeed in 2014, a documentary he made on the scarcity of water and the implications for citizens, especially residents of Accra, captured the essence of the problem the situation posed to residents. This documentary led to him winning the WASH award in Sweden.

My interest really in his new status as the star boy at Citi FM when it comes to interviews. Before he would become the main anchor on Eye Witness News and host of the Big Issue on Citi FM though, Umaru made a big statement with an interview he had with former sports minister and MP for Ningo Prampram E.T. Mensah.

Sanda posed questions to Mr. Mensah on the situation at his constituencies and what his constituents felt about his personality, his style and his performance. The questions were tough and at a point the young reporter from Citi FM cornered the experienced politician.

E.T. Mensah is known to be a tough customer for interviewers who cannot stand their ground to ask the right questions of him. Sanda in this interview came to party with all guns blazing and at a point cornered the wily politician.

I may be wrong, but I hold the view that that interview and the manner in which Sanda cornered him, was the beginning of the end of E.T. Mensah as MP for Ningo Pramrpam. Not long after that interview, the NDC held its primary in the constituency and Sam Dzata George properly defeated his senior colleague and former mentor to represent the party at the national elections.

Let’s face it, Richard Sky has an abrasive style of interviewing that is markedly different from how Sanda goes about his interviewing. Sky likes to push and force his interviewees to accept his side of an issue. Like any good interviewer, Sanda pushes his subjects too, but in a very subtle and tactful manner.

I wasn’t a fun of the Big Issue nor was I of the Eye Witness News because of the style that Sky goes about his interviewing. However, since Sanda took over these shows I have become a customer and a very well satisfied one at that. His style is pleasing to the ear is all I can say about why I spend time these days listening to Eye Witness News instead of News Night on Joy FM.

This is my hope: Umaru Sanda Amadu, the man who has risen from being a cowboy around Asutsuare in my hometown would continue to be the host of Eye Witness News. I can’t be bothered if he is taken off The Big Issue, they should just keep him on the evening news show.

Also, can they give the ladies who usually come on Eye Witness News, Pearl Akanya Ofori and Eugenia Koranteng a lot more active roles to play on the show than just being there to assist Sanda to conduct his interviews and present his news.


Credit: Francis Doku

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