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Giovanita, one year later

Author: Francis Doku
 Giovanni Caleb and Anita Erskina
Giovanni Caleb and Anita Erskina

The airwaves have been buzzing hot since the announcement by Bank of Ghana that UT Bank and Capital Bank has respectively been taken over by GCB Bank following a successful Purchase and Assumption deal.

Nobody likes bank failures because of the reverberations that such occurrences hit the economy with. Almost every business or individual is affected one way or the other when a bank fails and the reason governments protect them until they can’t anymore.

The announcement though was long in coming as speculations had been rife about the eminent collapse of some Ghanaian banks.

As it was always going to be the case after such an announcement, the radio and television presenters, their panel and callers/contributors went overdrive with analyses and more analyses.

Other platforms would not be left out in the melee. Print titles and most especially social media took on the challenge, churning bank and financial experts who understood these things more than the experts at the BOG. It’s been a wonderful week so far of commentary and expert advice all over the place.

Anyway, my duty today is to give a thought about the taking over (not be GCB or Shatta Wale and his crew) by Caleb “Giovani” Adjomah and Anita Erskine of the Starr Drive on Starr FM from their boss and maiden host of the show, Nat “Bola Ray” Adisi.

Bola Ray started the show when he moved to help establish the EIB business with Starr FM as the first station. Along the line, Anita joined him as co-host after the goose of KOD taking over from him was eventually cooked. That was the beginning of Bolanita.

Being the CEO of the EIB Group and consequently having other responsibilities, it was obvious Bola would have to leave the show someday. Enter Giovani who was the head of programmes at the subsidiary station, Live FM where he had previously arrived from, key competition, YFM.

Giovani and Anita had to form a partnership to deliver the drive in a manner that would appeal to the audience and compete strongly with their closest competition aka Drive Time on Joy FM and Citi Drive on Citi FM.

So how has Giovani and Anita performed over the 12 months that they have been together as hosts of the show? Have they lived up to the hype? Is their show what you’ll listen to while driving home? Have the two gelled as they should to make the show interesting?

First of all, let me talk about what I think is the strongest point of the show—music. From when he joined the show till date, DJ Vyrusky has been an excellent part of the Starr Drive and his music has been a great part of the show. His selections are great and relevant to what is happening at any time on the show.

Now to Giovani and Anita. I should commend the two for trying so hard to ensure that they are seen as gelling. The efforts Giovani and Anita go, the dance moves they show, the sharing on social media and the obviously portrayal of having an interesting show is very commendable.

The effervescence is palpable and contagious, but is it really getting the desired results? For some, regardless of all that the two do, it would seem like mixing water and oil.

Anita is an experienced and a tad older broadcaster who has seen it all and done it all, Giovani on the other hand is a young broadcaster with a few years of experience in his belt and with a lot of energy to spare.

There is a kind of a generational gap that the high energy is supposed to address. The show itself may be on a platform targeted at a mid-to high SEC, but the show itself panders to a lot more youthful audience with the music, the DJ and Giovani.

Which makes it look as though Anita is trying to come to the level of an audience that cannot identify with her. They may be aspirational and would like to be like her, but not the person they’ll necessarily “roll” with.

That is the challenge that I see with the show over the period that they have been hosting it. I don’t know if continuing for a while would solve that challenge or better to change lanes and see how that would come too.

That aside, I think the segmentation is bang-on. They have all the necessary things needed to fill the segments. Except you always have a feeling the show is in a rush because it has to end at 5pm, which I think stifles some of the things that would have been done if it ended at 6pm instead.

It also seems to me that the show has taken on a relationship advisory character, which is okay and gathering some interest in the show. I think however that they have to rev it up a bit with the inclusion of characters who will rack up controversy for themselves and the show.

When all is said and done, I think there is still a big room for Giovanita to grow into. I don’t know how they’ll do it, but I think there is disconnect that needs to be worked on to ensure that they’ll become world beaters.

Football is back on Dstv, Kwese Free Sport and Citi!

We found favour in the sight of the gods of football and they decided to bless us with more football. Last weekend was the opening of the 2017/18 season of the English Premier League and already there’ve been some wonderful performances. Depends on which club you support, obviously.

Last year, Viasat1 TV had the rights to show one match per week and the station that took over also has the same rights to show a match every week.

What it means is, Kwese Free Sport, whose mother company, Econet Media won the rights to the free-to-air (FTA) broadcast of the English Premier League will be the only FTA broadcaster in the country to show the matches. Any other television station that shows would have to have bought the rights from them or pirating.

DStv on the other hand won the digital-to-home (DTH) rights to show the matches across Africa, at least until 2019. Econet had hoped that its DTH business, Kwese TV, which launched in the market in February would have had the rights, but it didn’t work out.

As it is now, to get to watch as many matches you want from the English Premier League every weekend, you need to pay your subscription on DStv. There are different categories of matches that can be watched based on your package, if you want limitless then be like me and subscribe to Premium!

Oh there’s also La Liga and very soon the European Champions League will start! Don’t be left out.

For a while now, Citi FM has been the go to place to listen to commentary on the English Premier League and it has been interesting.

When you are on the go and cannot therefore be behind your television to watch your favourite team, the commentary on Citi FM via Talk Sports has been a blessing and this week is no exception.