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Portia Gabor shares her life lessons on Springboard

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Portia Solomon Gabor

Portia Solomon Gabor is an astute journalist, media personality and news anchor who works with Media General (TV3) Ghana. She was recently adjudged the Ghana Journalist Association’s (GJA) Journalist of the year for 2022.

Appearing as the first guest on the Springboard, Your Virtual University this year, Ms Gabor shared her life experiences, lessons, time in the wilderness and her journey to the top.

She described 2022 as her breakthrough year after years in the wilderness.

“Sometimes you could be talented but hidden and you have to trust in God’s timing because he makes all things beautiful in his own time. In the years of being in the wilderness, I was still growing like a carrot.”

“That has been one of my anchor themes in life. God has broken through for me severally over the years but last year was my biggest breakthrough,” she stated.

Early life

Ms Gabor said growing up was a bit tough for her as her father died at an early age.

“When my father died at an early age, people kept asking what was going to become of my life but I trusted in God. I lived with relatives, my mum’s friends at a point in time,” she narrated.

She said in her early days she wanted to become a medical doctor and later a lawyer, until an experience in Awutu where she had gone to visit her mother made her decide to pursue journalism.

“In school, I did not initially want to become a journalist as I wanted to become a doctor but my mathematics was terrible so I switched to lawyer.”

“My breakthrough moment came when I visited my mum at Awutu and there was no electricity there so the only form of entertainment for me was radio and BBC’s signal was very strong there so I kept listening to the BBC and I heard Kwaku Sakyi Addo and I loved his reports,” she narrated.

Amplifying the voice of others

For Ms Gabor, she said she saw journalism as a microphone to amplify the voices of people who could not be heard, her reason for pursuing the profession.

“Each and everyone has a voice but there are many people whose voices are not loud enough so they need a journalist to come in to amplify their voices for them so journalism to me is like a microphone amplifying the voices of those whose voices cannot be heard.”

“Seeing Kwaku do all of these things, I was like I think I know what I want to become in future,” she stated.

Time at AUCC

While pursuing her degree in communications at the African University College of Communications (AUCC), she said she was teaching two kids in her neighbourhood, helping them with their homework.

She said anytime they were tired, she would pick a newspaper and pretended to be a newscaster on TV3.

After completing AUCC, she said she did her service at the Information Services Department and during break times, she would gather her friends and pretend she was a news anchor by reading to them.

“By the time I realised they had started recording me and we would usually laugh over it. One day a guy came along with a video camera and recorded me as if I was in the studio and one day while we were doing that, TV3 was looking for a newscaster and a journalist and we saw that on television while I was pretending I was a news anchor and in unison, everyone’s eye turned to me and they were like ‘you are the one they are looking for.’”

“They encouraged me to go for it, I did and it was a success,” she noted.

Relearning

She said she had to relearn almost everything after going to TV3, especially the English language.

“I made mistakes initially and I was asked to sit back and not come on air to do the major bulletins. I was moved back to focus on the news in brief.”

“One day I went to work and the security man called me to open page two of Graphic Showbiz, a professor had written an article on news anchoring in Ghana and he mentioned the names of some people he felt were not good enough to be on television and my name was part,” she pointed out.

She said people made fun of her as a result of this publication, a situation which almost caused her to resign from TV3.

She, however, did not give up as she got herself a dictionary, worked on herself and worked her way back to the top.

Five lessons in life

1. Do not despise your small beginning

2. Put God first

3. Delays are not denials

4. Develop and work on yourself while in the wilderness

5. There is always a turning point moment of your life and God makes all things beautiful in his time.