This is the Part 3 of our ‘People of 2016’ List. Our aim was to identify and celebrate people who, in our estimation, made great strides in their respective fields and in the process created something important for themselves and society in 2016. The List is in no particular order.
DECAF PODCAST TEAM
One of the novelty’s I rave about is the Decaf Podcast. Not because I know the team members. It is the fact that, the team -Eli Tetteh, Kobby Graham, EDWVN and Oku Tetteh-are breathing a new lease of life into music. A simple idea of exchanging playlists among friends has grown into a refreshing series of podcast episodes featuring some guests with good music buds. What differentiate the Decaf Podcast from other podcasts is the rich music knowledge they share and the ‘strange’ playlist these music geeks discuss. (Strange because some of the songs aren’t mainstream). Once the session is over, the final playlist is curated and shared online. For now, two episodes are out and available on their Soundcloud page. Other episodes will follow in 2017. Oh, have I told you about their live podcast sessions? LIT! The podcast game has not really taken off here in Ghana. The few ones available are primary ‘talk’ structured. Decaf is different. It brings you a host of music from artists from different genres. The Decaf podcast is your reference point to discovering new and ‘strange’ music as well as the pointer to what music/artist has the potential to becoming a global hit/superstar.
M.ANIFEST & SARKODIE
We can’t recall the year 2016 without the best ‘beef’ of all time between rappers M.anifest and Sarkodie. The ‘godMC’ vs ‘Kanta’ debacle threw some heat upon the hip life/ hip hop scene. The rivalry undoubtedly came with its own benefits to both parties. M.anifest saw his profile rise ultimately winning him new fans (according to Google, M.Dot was among the Top 10 artists searched in Ghana). His ‘rival’, Sarkodie, on the otherhand, saw his influence inch a bit after what seems a little ‘off the sheen’ showing. The fans weren’t left out of the debate, as they came out to support and prove why their artist is the best. In friend Hamza Moshood’s view, which hinged on the reaction of fans of both artistes, the whole episode was when ‘Anti- Intellectualism’ met ’Elitist bigotry’. At the back of this, M.anifest released his album NO WHERE COOL a few months later. Sark also continued his good run. The beef brought excitement to the whole music scene, an excitement whose embers still flickers.
CITI BREAKFAST SHOW
In this era where most people in the public space are unwilling to speak their minds and demand answers from those given the power and authority to protect and promote the welfare of the citizens, it is gratifying to know that, the Citi Breakfast Show team are there to speak for the common man (citizens). Over a ten year period, the award winning show has grown into the biggest morning show in the country. On the CBS, public officials don’t get to slick talk the hosts and the listeners on matters of importance. The host, Bernanrd Avle and his crew-made up of Richard Sky, Kojo Akoto Boateng and Nana Ama Asante- demand from their interviewees important answers to relevant questions by holding their feet to the fire. Unlike other morning shows that fill their studios with political party reps or review the newspapers, the CBS format is simple: the host and crew discuss the pressing issues-social, politics, economics- and either invite or call public officers or experts in a field to share insight(s) on the issues. What also, has contributed to making the CBS a ‘must listen’ show is that, they seek answers to the smaller yet important issues that preoccupies the minds of the ordinary Ghanaian (listeners). Thanks to their proactiveness on social media, they are able to tap into the concerns of their listeners and make these concerns topics for discussion. For instance, days to Christmas, they took time to discuss the issue of transport /traffic management in the city. We have also heard them talk passionately about the ills of illegal mining on the economy among others. Bernard Avle is not scared to ask these politicians/public officers the tough questions and would without fear, tell you if the answers being offered are nonsense or plain lies (a rare quality). Aside playing their role as the ‘common man’s spokesperson’, it is their ability to make errors (gbaas) and laugh about it that renders them ‘humans’, unlike other radio show hosts who appear stiff in their conduct on radio. That is, their free-form approach of presentation is a rarity in today’s morning show presentations. For me, the Citi Breakfast Show has indeed been the most credible, passionate and consistent ‘spokesperson’ for the ordinary Ghanaian.
Talk about a blog dedicated to women issues in Ghana and Sista Clinik readily comes to mind. The blog has, in a short while-it was created in 2015- served as a platform for discussing women-related issues. The subject covered by the blog include the often ‘taboo’ subjects of abortion, rape and mental health (depression) along with the everyday subject of reproductive health and female empowerment. Sista Clinik has become an outlet for women to freely share their experiences and challenges in both their professional and normal life. Sista Clinik, with its progressive outlook on women’s welfare, offers its readers a platform to have a conversation about themselves and find solutions towards their own advancement in the open, for all to listen rather than have it in the comfy of their little clusters.
ACCRA WE DEY TEAM
What can I say about Accra We Dey that has not been said already? Three individuals found a way to tell the story of Accra through various social media outlet. They cover mostly the ‘lower ends’ of Accra and its activities. Through their social media feeds, they educate and inform their followers on the activities in the city including vital history about Accra. On their podcast (available on iTunes), they invite guests from various fronts to share their experiences on their trade. Last year, the podcast featured a lot of people from very diverse background including myself. The wide scope of their activities and their dedication to represent Accra City-both its beauty and flaws in various ways is indeed admirable. If you are in Accra, on any social media channel and haven’t heard of or following the Accra We Dey team of Joey Chase, Pokua and Nii, then, you are very much not in Accra.