Biography: Joe Lartey - Pioneering Ghanaian sports journalist
Biography: Joe Lartey - Pioneering Ghanaian sports journalist

Biography: Joe Lartey - Pioneering Ghanaian sports journalist

Joachim Awuley Lartey, known to all as "Joe Lartey" or "Over To You Joe Lartey", was a revered figure in Ghanaian sports journalism.


He played a pivotal role in establishing the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) and served as its first president. Sadly, he passed away on April 26, 2024, at the age of 96.

Early life and unexpected path

Joe Lartey's upbringing was sheltered. Despite his father's protectiveness, Joe's adventurous spirit emerged at a young age. 

In 1944, at 16, he defied expectations by running away from Accra Academy to join the British Navy. 

Inspired by Winston Churchill's wartime speeches and tales of Robinson Crusoe, Joe craved a life at sea. While his actions would raise concerns today (being considered a child soldier), the Navy served as a turning point. 

It was there that his public speaking skills flourished, a talent that would later define his career.

Finding his calling in broadcasting

After the Navy, Joe became a teacher. However, his fate took another turn when a friend recommended him to Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC). 

In 1961, he started as a senior programs assistant. His broadcasting journey began modestly, summarizing matches during halftime breaks. 

Gradually, he progressed to full match commentary, captivating audiences with his voice. One particular commentary, a nail-biting match between Republicans and Real Madrid in 1962, left a lasting impression.

Marriage and legacy

Joe met his wife, described as beautiful with a bright smile, at a teachers' party. Despite his wife being two years older than him, their bond grew strong.

Joe Lartey's legacy extends far beyond his captivating commentary.  He is remembered as a leader who helped shape Ghanaian sports journalism. His contributions to SWAG and the field as a whole will continue to inspire future generations.

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