He always sends ribs splitting whether he is on radio or television, and that has endeared Giovanni Caleb to the hearts of both the young and old, making him one of the affable and humorous presenters around.
The bubbly radio and TV personality who hosts Date Rush and Showbiz 360 on TV3 and 3FM Drive on 3FM steers his programmes with humour, resulting in them being so much fun to listen to or watch.
Talking to the Daily Graphic on Monday, September 26, Giovanni was more than willing to share how it started for him because he says he doesn’t even know how he does it.
‘’Growing up, I have always been the class clown, I was like the guy who would bring big trouble for the class. I can recount the number of times teachers would walk me out or cancel a whole session because I was making noise.
‘’I always found a way to lighten up the mood in the classroom and some of the teachers couldn’t stand that, while others would accommodate and let you know your limit. Generally I was always in trouble.
"I was looking at some of my report cards from primary school and one of the comments read, ‘He should be more serious with his academic work’; the way my Dad beat me for that comment.
‘’I come from a very serious Christian home. My mum went to Bible school so she is almost like a pastor but she is loud. She is the life of the party. My dad is extremely quiet but anytime he speaks, you can feel that deep-seated humour. I think I took that side from him,” he said.
Comedy as a profession?
Has he considered doing stand-up comedy? ‘’Comedians are not taken seriously in this country so I won’t. I will rather inculcate that in my presenting. A lot of people, including comedians and my former CEO Bola Ray, have been telling me to take a look at comedy. They tell me, ‘Giovanni you are sitting on something.’
“When I went on South Africa Tourism, a sponsored trip with some Nigerian comedians, everyone said I made the trip exciting because they always thought it was Nigerians who were fun to be with because they were always bringing in the humour, and that Ghanaians were dull but I proved them all wrong. The thing is I don’t have to think about it, it just happens,” he said.
When Giovanni was about to take over hosting of Date Rush, people were a bit sceptical as to whether he would be able to fit into the shoes of his predecessor, Nii Kpakpo, but he has fitted in so well.
“I think with the success of Date Rush, it will be selfish on my part to take all the credit. I have been hosting some shows in the past that were related to blind date, etc. so I just had to fall back on those experiences. Date Rush is one of the shows that even the presenters are not told what to expect. I think the foundation Kpakpo laid was strong enough, so it was much easier for me to relate.
‘’Again, I have an excellent interpersonal human relations, I relate very well with just anybody so that too plays a very major role. Also, because I don’t force my opinions on them, they speak freely and some of them really go to the extreme. The producers also allow us to operate freely.”
A school of thought also has it that Giovanni overdoes it sometimes but he says, ‘’I don’t even measure how I do some of these things, let’s face it, I am human, I‘ve got my down days and my up days. There are times I may be sad but the job calls on me to make someone who is having a sad day liven up. Spontaneous humour is not like the scripted ones, sometimes you say it and realise this did not go well but you’ve already said it.”
Giovanni Caleb with his family
Throwing light on his media journey, Giovanni said it started in 2008 during his second year at the University of Ghana, Legon with Radio Univers. “Right from there, I did my national service with Global Media Alliance where I worked at YFM and then I continued till I became their Programmes Manager.
“That is also where I started my TV journey from. I hosted the Late Night Celebrity Show and a few others, then they took me to South Africa. Then we had this whole partnership with Kajiso Media, they gave me a few training programmes in radio.
“I was later poached by EIB Network to Live FM as Programmes Manager then I continued to GHOne Television. I did Starr Drive also on Starr FM then I joined Media General in 2019,” he added.
A typical day in the life of Giovanni starts from midday: “I am not a morning person, my kids are home-schooled so I spend a lot of time with them.”
Touching on some of the challenges that come with the job, Giovanni stated, ‘’It is the energy. You know I am not growing any younger, we are in a very competitive space so staying relevant all these years, constant upgrade, I still learn a lot in my field. I taught myself how to DJ, I taught myself how to produce. I actually produce some of my shows as well, it is a lot of work, a lot of pressure.
“Also trying to stay relevant is a huge one, then being a family man and a full-time worker is also another thing but I guess I balance it quite well. I do a lot of social media influencing and I try not to be stale with all of my creativity and find fresher ways to remain appealing to my audience,’’ he revealed.
Giovanni, who grew up in the Volta Region, attended Amazing Love School at Denu, then to Bishop Hermann College, both in the Volta Region, then to the University of Ghana, Legon where he studied Psychology and Linguistics. He also did HRM, UK, a short diploma course, and he is currently at the University of Ghana Business School.
Giovanni is the second of three children born to now retired civil servant Clement Adjomah and retired educationist Stella Adjomah. He comes from the Akatsi District in the Volta Region but grew up at Denu. He is married to Belinda Boadu and they have been blessed with two children, a boy and a girl.
To young people out there, Giovanni says, ‘’When you hear that voice within telling you to go for something, just do it; as long as it is not illegal and criminal, just go for it,’’ he concluded.
Giovanni Caleb joined the Media General Group some three years ago and he is currently the host of Date Rush and Showbiz 360 on TV3 and the 3FM Drive on 3FM which is on every weekday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.