The pillar behind Obonu FM 96.5 - DJ Lalo (The Entertainment Farmer )
One radio presenter, who is capturing the hearts of his listeners and impacting his brand of disc jocking to the people of Tema/Accra and its environs, is the tall lanky Ga-born 6.4ft flat, Steve Tawiah Bortier otherwise known as Dj Lalo, the entertainment farmer.
If you are not an ardent listener of this fast growing radio station especially during weekends where the new kid on the block, Dj Lalo does anything with the console as far as music is concerned, then you are missing a lot. Over the four years or so he has become an epitome of class who is living a world of his own.
Most people in their tender age harbour dreams of pursuing a particular vocation that tickle their fancy thoughts especially when it's hereditary and it becomes more imperative when it continues to metamorphous in the family. So when this time round when DJ Lalo decided to go into radio after his education, little did he know that one day he would become a house hold name on the airwaves.
“It has not been easy for me, I have to experience some hindrances from some of my employers which nearly halted my dream to become a radio presenter” he revealed to Weekly Fylla.
“Even listeners called on my programme to attack me personally, to the extent that they even reported me to management as to why they should allow me to play Hiplife and introduce English on my programmes since the station is for Gas. Some even accused me of not speaking good Ga, can you believe that?” he asked.
Today the stone that the builder nearly rejected has become the cornerstone and valiant. In all these challenges he thanks God for making him who he is today and also he is full of praise for people like Adjei Klu, Oko Dagadu, Afrodu, the late Nii Odai Yinka, Nii Darki Crabb and his former boss Eva Lokko for constantly standing by him and encouraging him as well.
Born at Nungua, a suburb of Accra to Amelon Borteye Bortier and Madam Joyce Bortsoo Tawiah to a family of four which he is the third born after twins. He started his basics at Rev. John Teye Memorial School before joining Presbyterian Secondary School Legon and holds higher diploma in journalism at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
According to him, after school he went to DJ Abio of Radio Universe who also introduced him to Ice Cream and Vylas who assisted him to acquire some knowledge in radio and how to handle the console. In 1999, he had the opportunity to join Vibe FM where he was trained by Uncle T of the “Asenta Oba” fame.
“Uncle T helped me to do a demo cassette in Ga and directed me to Adjei Klu and fortunately for me I met almost all those who matters at Obonu FM: Oko Dagadu, Afrodu, the late Nii Odai Yinka and Mr. Obodai Wentum. After Nii Odai Yinka had listened to it he was highly impressed and I was asked to pair with Obodai Wentum to do the Lunch Train and the Youth Action” he said.
This is where his afflictions started. People called to the programme to criticize him saying all sort of things about him. In fact it was enough to dampen his spirit but he was not perturbed but rather worked hard to justify the trust his “elders” imposed in him.
“You know most of us (radio presenters) feel apprehension in our debut but in my case I really feel apprehensive and insecure to handle whatever I was supposed to do, may be because I was harbouring the phobia of the listeners, but today I can confidently say I am the pillar of the air waves” he stressed.
Before then he was operating under “low frequency” like Obonu Power Mix and Friday Night Flavour. “Then after transmission my madam, would Eva Lokko extended the air time from 8pm-10 to 8pm to 1a.m., as she put it “to make the programme and the station more vibrant”.
Undoubtedly the man has helped the station to become popular and one of the most listened-to radio stations in the metropolis. It is interesting to listen to him when he is doing his own thing with the Francophone music, which is known in the local parlance as “Gbee ohe”. It is full of humour, fun combined with useful tit bits and ad-libs. His style of presentation is unique that he always has his people from Chorkor, Teshie, Nungua and those from far in mind.
When this writer wanted to know why he has passion for Francophone songs, this is what Lalo had to say: “when I got to radio I realized that almost all of us are doing the same thing so I decided to add a little of mobile type of spinning to the studios, after all the only time such music is heard is during parties, outdoorings and funerals”, he stressed.
No wonder he has made those songs so popular especially “O'Alhaji”. Within a twinkle of an eye almost all the radio presenters have toned his line with impunity. It is said that during outdoorings and parties, spinners are stopped to tune-in to DJ Lalo's show.
However, the segment that has really caught up well with the youth is the rap session. This segment allows undergrounds to appear on the programme to participate in a rap competition. According to him this is done to unearth hidden talents to become stars of the future.
Knowing DJ Lalo, the Entertainment Farmer, starts his programme and maintaining the standard shows, without blemish. He treats listeners to Lunch Time Special from Mondays (Lunch Time)with multi flavoured angle that is very popular in most homes and offices: don't forget also the trotros, taxis and commuters to and fro the city. When it comes to old school both Ga and others he treats listeners to recurrent and new hits with diversity.
On Thursdays he reads the Regional News at 3p.m. with Live Presenter's Mention (LPM) through to the weekend where he takes over your radio with Friday Night Flavour (comprises Highlife, Highlife, Gbee ohe to R&B.Hip Hop), Weekend Groove, among others.
Dj Lalo is single and won the 2006 Over All Best Worker 2006.
He is planning to establish a radio school to train the youth in a more professional way in broadcasting. He is grateful to his mentor Clement Ablor Kommey, Nii Darkii and those who have named him after so many objects like canoes, flags and funclubs.