Radio Gold, a reminisce of a fan

BY: Francis Doku
 Okyeame Badwenba is one of the longest serving presenters at Radio Gold
Okyeame Badwenba is one of the longest serving presenters at Radio Gold

Last Monday was my birthday. Many things happened on that day including the many goodwill wishes I got on radio, TV and social media.

Never mind that I didn’t get any of such messages from my most faithful cheerleader, who also doubles as my editor at this great paper and her little Jezebel (don’t worry, it’s an inside joke).

One of the birthday wishes I got was from Radio Gold. And that wasn’t the first time such a wish was coming, but it does come packaged with mischief and if you don’t stay on your guard you will be caught saying things you don’t want anyone else to hear on live radio.

The reason I knew it was coming from radio was not just because TrueCaller alerted me, but also because I have been listening to the station for some time now and I have laughed out loud at how Okyeame had wound out and dismembered many people, including Felix Vanderpallen and Caroline Sampson on that mid-morning show.

Over the past few weeks I have been listening to the station because of the nostalgia it brings me from the days when we could not live one day without listening to the station, its programmes and presenters. I chanced on the morning show days leading to the budget presentation by the Finance Minister and decided to stay there for a while.

I heard a jingle on the station from the past and it got me hooked again and so I decided to stick around more than I had done in a long time. I love to listen to politics on the radio like the next guy, but stay away from stations that are too attached and are likely to give you content that is skewed towards parties they support.

So in keeping with that spirit, I occasionally tune in to the two stations that espouse the two ends of the polarity when political radio rivalry is mentioned: Radio Gold for the NDC on the one part and Oman FM for the NPP on the other.

However, before Radio Gold would push me to become an occasional drinker of its vintage wine, I was a winnow who could never live a day without swigging several times from its bottle. I actually loved Radio Gold, nine zero point five, as the station’s jingle says.

Back in the day, Radio Gold was the station you wanted to listen to when you wanted to learn and be entertained on varied subjects. There was sports, politics, entertainment, lifestyle and the whole nine yards on a daily basis.

From the morning when Kwami Sefa Kayi did the morning show and hosted the feedback programme Kanawu through to getting Patrice Amegashie (or Yvonne Andoh before him) on the mid-morning show and having lunch with Okyeame Badwenba till Kwasi Anim Adjei or Mikki Osei Berko would bring us the late afternoon show and B.B. Menson capping it all with the awesomely popular Night Train, it was always a good time on Gold.

The station was very heavy on sports. Tony Owusu Amofa (May his soul rest in peace) as the producer at the time was awesome, but it was Fiifi Banson who made sports on the station very seriously interesting.

But there was Randy Abbey as well who cut his teeth at the station as well as Kurt Okraku and Prosper Harrison Addo who brought their knowledge to bear at the time.

However, of all the goodies that Gold brought to listeners back in the day, there was nothing compared to what they gave to us on Wednesdays. From morning when Sefa Kayi arrived till the sun went down, it was talk, talk and more talk.

There was Ephson’s File with Ben Ephson, then Fiifi Banson in character as Kofi Gyan, Lunch With Kwami and a whole lot of other talk related programmes before the Night Train would zoom into motion from one part of the city to another.

And oh there were other programmes and segments that got us glued to the station. For example, Koo Ofori’s Good Morning Mr. President and Kokonsa’s segment on the drive time show was one many listeners never missed. Shirley Frimpong Manso, Akosua Somo Puni and other ladies had their own swag on the station before swag became a mainstream slang.

While listening to the station and hearing those jingles that made us keep our dial on Radio Gold, I realized that we have missed a lot from the days when the station wasn’t overly indulged in the politics of the time as it become over the period.

Okyeame in my view needs commendation for sticking with the station, handling his show as he knows how and making sure that people get terrified that they would be called on their birthday and wound up. He has been doing this radio thing for long and he needs a pat on the back for such a job.

Another person who needs commendation is Wofa K. I should think he is among the longest serving presenters of the late afternoon show on any single station or programme in Accra.

Since taking over from the days when Mikki left to Happy FM and continued to so many other places, sojourned in the UK, came back to Adom FM and left to do other things, Wofa K has remained resolute and doing what he does best on the late afternoon show.

There are many others as well, such as Nana Darkwa Gyasi, the sports presenter who has been there for as long as one can remember. Indeed, having given a bit of my time to listening to the station, it is my opinion that if you look beyond the politics, there is a good degree of content that Radio Gold churns out on a daily basis.