In an industry that is overflowing with many talents, one has to be willing to do that extra special something, apart from the usual hard work and perseverance to get noticed and recognised.
And that is what YFM’s Kwame Akyeampong, known in showbiz circles as Official Kwame has done. When he came for a visit about five years ago from Tanzania where he lived, he knew he wanted a career in Showbiz, especially as a presenter so he stayed in Ghana but the competition was great so he took another route.
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He used social media to not only show off what he was capable of doing but to also sell himself to those who mattered and four years on, his efforts have paid off and he is getting a lot of attention for his work with a huge following. It also helped him land a job on radio at no less a place than YFM.
“Social media has been a blessing to me. Unfortunately, most people haven’t found the right way to use it and are not taking advantage of it. I think it is the cheapest medium to sell yourself and brand since all you need is a phone and data to get the world on your platform.
“When you post interesting things and people get hooked on your work, they start picking them up and with time, you blow up. You cannot sit and wait to be discovered when people have not seen what you are capable of,” he said.
Since childhood, Official Kwame has been an outspoken person who loves to express himself. So it is not surprising that he ended up in radio and on a radio station that embraces everybody’s quirks, YFM. He started in 2014, hosting a show called Shouts Weekend and then later Urban Africa in 2016 which has brought him more popularity.
It may not be financially rewarding for a young man who wants to make life better for himself and his family but he tells Showbiz he is happy to be on radio.
“Personally, I love what I do so I don’t really look at the financial gains. Being on radio gives me the fulfillment that I want because I’m chatty. What is more interesting than getting paid for what you love to do as a hobby?” he queried.
His love for talk and his desire to connect with other young people beyond radio is what propelled him to start the Can We Talk show on Instagram in 2017. In about a year, the show has become very popular among Instagram users and he has used the platform to interview a number of celebrities.
“I got the inspiration to host this show from Wendy Williams’ Hot Topics. I vividly remember my first recording was with MzVee at last year’s VGMA Red Carpet session. We had an interesting discussion and the feedback was great.
“I was motivated to do more, especially create an avenue to promote upcoming artistes. That isn’t all, I also wanted to talk about happenings in the entertainment industry and I must admit, it has been a worthy initiative these few months,” he stated.
Continuing he said “despite the good intent the entertainment media has for celebrities, there are few bad nuts who create a bad name for us. As a player myself, sometimes I feel the media is insensitive to our celebrities. In pursuit of news, we ignore the basic ethics and this is creating a lot of friction between the media and celebrities,” he said.
Official Kwame seems to be a busy bee as on top of all these duties he has, he still finds time to host the 3 Music Flavour with Chris Kata on TV3.
Creating an identity in showbiz is very important and one of the things that stand him out is his unique braids. Born to a Tanzanian father and Ghanaian mother, the graduate of the University of Ghana explained that his hair is heavily inspired by his Tanzanian culture.
“At a certain age, the men from the Masai tribe get their hair braided, so I just wanted to represent my Tanzanian culture,” he said. That isn’t all, the young presenter is also fashion conscious and has consistently won admirers for what he wears.
“I will say I’m broke with expensive taste,” he said jokingly and continued, “But you see, you don’t really need to have a lot of money to look good. All you need is what to wear at a particular time and you are good to go,” he said.
A man of many parts, Official Kwame is also into music and modelling. Describing himself as a Pan African pop artiste, he is already making waves with his song, 5 Fingers featuring South Africa’s Sho Majozi and has performed on a number of platforms including La Meme Gang Concert in December last year and at the Jameson Connects event in Accra.