How Kafui Dey became a brand
Kafui Dey has the uncanny knack for making a success of anything he does and that has earned him an acclaim. For an introduction, Kafui is a broadcaster, a Master of Ceremony (MC), an author and lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and truth is, he has acquitted himself very well in all his endeavours.
Mr Dey rose to fame in 2009 when he started hosting ‘Who wants to be rich’, which was a Ghanaian show based on the original British format of ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’.
He was also host of GHOne’s morning show, GhToday and was recently announced as the host of GTV’s breakfast show. He published his first book ‘How to MC’ any event in 2013 and has gone on to publish several others.
Taking his turn on the ‘engine room series’ on Springboard, Your Virtual University, Mr Dey shared his broadcasting journey, how he got into the profession and his hero in the field.
He said what he did best was morning TV and interviewing people.
Mr Dey noted that, growing up, he never envisioned himself as a TV broadcaster.
“All I know is that from as young as I can remember, we were surrounded by books and music. We had encyclopaedia which we could just pick up and start reading. We had these exercises my dad used to make us do and we were supposed to deliver 10 words a day to our dad.
“You should have your exercise book with your 10 words, the phonetic transcription of the word, the meaning of the word and then you put it in a sentence and this was without fail
He said these exercises helped him and his other siblings to learn as many words as possible at a very young age.
He pointed out that this was a tradition he had also transferred to his kids but in a different way.
Working as a salesperson
The renowned broadcaster noted that for 17 years, he worked as a salesperson after graduating from the University of Ghana.
“I started out by climbing roofs because I was a roofs’ salesman so you had to go up there to inspect the roofs and find out where the holes are and propose a solution. I learnt how to write a proposal and how to use the computer for the very first time in 1995 through this work.
“I also did various works in sales, from shipping, logistics and marketing in media,” he stated.
Mr Dey said the opportunity to work as a TV broadcaster came in 2009 when he saw an advert in the newspaper and they were looking for a TV presenter for a game show.
Prior to that, he said he had already auditioned for a job at TV3 which he failed.
“All I had was radio experience from the University of Ghana but I applied and prepared very well for the audition. I did lots of research on YouTube and checked out every single show I could follow. I looked at a lot of them around the world.
“In school, copying is not allowed, but in the real world, if you want to succeed, you need to copy from the best and remodel it to your own,” he explained.
He said out of the 40 people who auditioned, three of them were selected for the next round, after which, it was further scaled down to two people which included himself.
“We did a pilot and I was the one picked for the job,” he stated.
In a bid to find out what worked for him, he said he later asked the producers why they chose him for the job.
“They said while we were both equally talented and qualified, the game changer was they asked the crew of these two guys who would you like to work with and I understand I won their vote.
“I asked why and they said it was because I was interested in what they were doing. During the audition, I will I go to the camera guys and interact with them about their work, I talked to the sound guy, the make-up and that was what worked for me because people like to be talked to,” he explained.
He said he learnt that skill from his parents who did discriminate on who they associate with or talk to.
Mr Dey said his all-time hero in the broadcasting profession was the late Larry King.
“I liked his philosophy. He said he does not say I in his interviews because the interview is not about him so he will ask questions and allow the guest to just flourish and he ask very simple questions,” he stated.
On what has been one of the breaking moments in his career, he said that happened when he left his last job at GHOne.
“Two days after I left, some online stories started going round that I didn’t resign but there was some sexual harassment issues against me. I initially ignored it but the thing started building and I started getting calls all over.“I called one of my lawyer friends and wanted to act but we couldn’t find any address to the website. So I informed my wife about it but she told me she was already aware,” he narrated.
He said he had to use his social media handles to issues a press release to debunk the story and within two or three days, the website that started circulating that story shut down and didn’t come up again.
“This made me feel sad but it also gave me a lesson to teach in my journalism class and that is the power of negative journalism. I felt so disappointed because these things can easily escalate and stain your reputation,” he noted