Back on the University of Ghana Campus, it was exciting to be on radio. We enjoyed the fans and all other freebies that came with having a voice. People recognized you easily and fine ladies crushed on you too. We got access into gatherings we otherwise wouldn’t even hear about and we managed to take pictures with persons who are revered and sought after. My favorite picture from my radio Univers days was the picture with Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams after he was interviewed by Matthew Nti Ansah.

I was a catholic and I didn’t know so much about charismatics. I had heard of a few names including Dr. Mensa Otabil, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills and the 'Papa'. I had never listened to their sermons. Sometimes, I am tempted to believe that the picture with the Archbishop has gained prominence in my gallery only because I have since learnt who he really is (was). Back then, it was just nice to have.
For my last two years in the University, both in Commonwealth Hall and ‘Pent', my roommate was Matthew. He was 'ogyacious'. Till date, we have never had any serious disagreement because we accommodate each other very well. There were days that he would fail to wake me up for the morning devotion he had introduced in the room, just because he eavesdropped on my free night call and was angry at the highly ‘secular’ conversations I had. In this period, I was hosting Radio Univers’ most popular weekend music shows, 'Weekend Mix & Weekend Teaser'. My predecessor was Paul Apraku Twum-Barimah, 'M’anomaa' (aspiring Member of Parliament for the Dormaa East constituency). Those were fun times.
Around 2007/2008, there were student riots over the University’s controversial “IN-OUT-OUT-IN” residential policy. The gentlemen from the Commonwealth Hall resisted it all the way. As residents in the City, Matthew and I became the default news reporters from the Hall. The protest actions were overwhelming and spontaneous. Matthew walked into our room, 'D4' (not Bush Canteen), with a big-headed skinny dude who had an unusually large gap in his set of front teeth. You will laugh if you saw him smile. Matt did a casual introduction. All I remembered was his name, Caleb, and his interest in radio. “I want to do radio” was a popular refrain we heard from students when they realized we worked with the campus radio station so I just smiled after Matthew's introduction because many don’t follow up anyways. Caleb was different. He will record soundbites on his phone unrequested, and he ran errands we didn’t want to, filing reports and writing news items. He was a reliable resource.
In our early entrepreneurial days, Matthew and I entrusted our start up business’ finances to Caleb who had by then, moved in to join us in our room. Till date, we haven’t gathered the nerves to angrily demand our capital though Gio has never bothered to render any accounts to us. The way Gio will joke, laugh at us and make us look silly anytime we asked of our cash is enough to make us accept our loss.
Caleb became Giovani and in no time, he was a household name in Commonwealth hall and in the Univers newsroom, producing and hosting the daily morning show, Campus Exclusive. He was also producing my weekend shows, and it didn’t take a shrink to soon realize where his real radio interest laid. The practice at Univers was that volunteers often stayed on till after service but for the first time, no one in my batch wanted to stay for service: Umar- Farouk Atipaga, Matthew Ansah and Francis Asare inclusive. We were the station. We were given an ultimatum and we still refused the offer.
I had planned to host my final show and properly sign out after two years in charge. The night before, the Programmes Manager told me not to bother showing up. E pain me rough. I called Giovani, my producer to sit in while we sorted this out with Management.

To my surprise, Giovanni introduced himself on the show with almost half an hour of celebrity endorsements. He would later reveal to me that he had many more he didn’t play. I had barely given him a three-hour notice. I admired his level of enthusiasm and preparation. I later chose a career path in corporate communications while he continued with his love for media, even after school.

Till today, not many believe that I am years older than Giovani. I am unsure if it is the size of body or the facial hair that deceives them. Gio's body has grown to fit his head, and his diasthema is less comic than it was when I first saw him. Nyame ay3 bi ampa!!
Our friendship has since grown into something deeper. Some of the tales and memories we share are best saved for a book or movie.
In 2015, I got a job posting to the Volta Regional capital, Ho. While many friends made comments that fed into the stereotypes about Volta and its people, Gio called one afternoon on hearing I had been posted to work in the Volta region and said “my guy, Volta dierr my home oo. Look sharp and go, we go come around on weekends”. That was a subtle assurance that taking the appointment wasn’t a ‘death sentence’. I accepted the posting, and despite being my first time ever in the Region, I returned to Accra three years after with very fond memories of that place and its people. I loved my time there.
Four years after your marriage to the Lovely Belinda Boadu, and on your 32nd birthday, I wish you the very best and the Lords special Grace. Continue to make your family and friends proud and remember that the goal is to live the name of our whatsapp group which includes Matthew - the dream lives on.
When will you render accounts to us?

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.