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What’s missing in the Weekend City Show?

Ruddy Kwakye
Ruddy Kwakye

I like to romanticise. If I didn’t why would I always feel that nostalgia for the early days of radio when the airwaves was liberated to allow private broadcasting? 

Why would I feel there is always something missing from the radio of today compared to the radio of the mid-90s to the early 2000s?

For instance, why do I miss Victor’s Cocktail and Tish Ferguson’s Drum ‘n Bass on Vibe FM once too many times? 

Why do I miss Kwame Farkye’s Between the Sheets on Vibe FM, Naa Adjorkor Addo’s (yeah, the same one who transmogrified into Ms Naa in the days of YFM and Live FM) whistle and rambunctiousness on Groove FM. 

And why do I reminisce over what used to be a fun mid-morning show on Choice FM hosted by Rachel Nyann and Vanessa D.D. Odonkor?

Why do I long to hear and feel that verve in late afternoon shows as it was in the days of Gabby Adjetey and need I mention what morning shows felt like when Komla Dumor and then Adwoa Aidoo walked the corridors of 355 Fanofaa Street? 

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What about the humour that laced the shows that Tommy Annan-Forson presented on Joy FM and Choice FM? Where is that gone to?

Oh and what about the sports of the days gone by as presented by the likes of Mavis Afrakoma Akoto, Tony Owusu Amofa, Kurt Okraku, Yaw Ampofo Ankrah, Durosimi Thomas, Stefan Lekweson (never got the spelling right and I am sure this is wrong too), Fiifi Banson and the like? What happened to the passion these people had for what they did?

Why do I miss the days before Radio Gold turned over to become a political radio station, when it had great content and astounding presenters? Why do I miss when each Wednesday, the station dedicated its entire time to talk programmes from morning till night?

Above all, why have I been running in my mind over the past week one of the greatest shows to have happened on urban radio since the liberation of the airwaves: B.B.’s Night Train! 

Whoever decided to take that show off the radio deserves the gas chamber…not exactly, but you catch my drift.

If there is anyone presenter today who reminds you of how the past used to be it has to be Doreen Andoh. She is like driving a 1960s vehicle in 2017 or drinking that wine from the days of yore, kept only for that special occasion. Vintage!

All these reminisces were in preparation for what I wish to talk about today: the fact that I feel a programme I loved to listen to so much has lost its soul. 

The Weekend City Show on Joy FM is a top comic show. It is designed to take the mickey out of people, wind people up and just say silly things on the radio for people’s relaxation on Saturday morning.

The man who erected the foundation of this wonderful show is a man who takes nothing seriously and or rather sees the funny side of every issue. It really doesn’t matter what issue it is: atomic energy, nuclear, physics, quantum mechanics, politics, economics, football or whatever it may be, Rami Baitie will find a funny angle to it.

Thus when the station established a show to get under the skin of people in a very class manner, that is to say, “make them angry while making them laugh” who best could they have chosen to present such a show than the one and only Rami Baitie.

That Rami could be annoying and yet you could not have enough of him was what drove the Weekend City Show. My pet peeve with Rami Baitie was with his frequent insults directed at Manchester United’s fantastic captain at the time, Roy Keane and his characteristic annoying praise for the bogus club he adores, Arsenal. These two always got my goat.

Apart from his annoying monologues most of the time, Rami was a fantastic interviewer (if you care to consider one who keeps poking his guests at every turn as fantastic) and his trademark banter with his guests was everything people with warped sense of humour would look forward to. 

The show was in segments and we couldn’t wait for who Rami would choose as his “toonoo” of the week or what “useless information” he had for the week!

It was heartbreaking therefore when Rami left Joy FM and the Weekend City Show. It was as though the end of the world had come. He did pitch camp at Choice FM and doing a similar show on Saturday mornings, but it wasn’t like it used to be on Joy FM.

Sad part was that, it was always going to be a difficult thing finding a replacement for Rami and it sure was. They tried a few people before finally settling on Adwoa Aidoo, if my memory is correct. 

But of course you could not have a show structured for Rami and have someone else do it the same way and so the show was changed to suit the succeeding hosts.

There was a second coming of Rami to the Weekend City Show and the show took on its former glory. The annoying Arsenal fan was back and so was the kind of humour that made our Saturday mornings very light hearted and enjoyable! Then he left again, to Citi FM this time, and the show has never been the same again.

There have been several efforts over the years to fix the show. There was the Ruddy and Ato Kwamena Dadzie days. I felt it was different from Rami’s, but much lit in its own way. Then that fizzled and we had other eras that were not too interesting until the Nii Ayi Tagoe and Anny Osabutey period.

I think if I should be frank, that period of post Rami Weekend City Show should be the best period. Yeah, different from Rami’s, much different, but came with its own style of humour mongering. Tagoe and Osabutey made a perfect team such that it was horrible when one of them wasn’t available.

When that partnership fell and the show became trite and boring with Nii Kpakpo’s second coming, Ruddy Kwakye stepped in again. I felt it was going well especially when Ato Kwamena Dadzie also rejoined the show. 

As fate would have it, that partnership would fall through again and Ruddy had to be given other people to join him do the show.

It is either my sense of humour has changed or there is something wrong with the show. I don’t look forward to the Weekend City Show, I can’t be bothered if I don’t listen, I don’t feel like I have lost something and that’s for a show I could die for not listening to back in the day.

I don’t know whether it is the partnership, the production angles, the host, the guests, the over reliance on subjects that would have already happened on social media and in the news or it is just me. 

But there is something missing about my previously favourite Saturday morning show that I can’t place my finger on.

As a media buyer, I would certainly place ads on the show to reach a certain audience, because let’s face it, it is still among the most listened to shows on Saturday morning.

 At least, the audience measurement reports show that it is. However, as a listener, I would still romanticize about the days when I looked forward to the Weekend City Show from Wednesday!