05.04.2007 General News

Once I was a stammerer... - Joy FM's Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah

05.04.2007 LISTEN
By myjoyonline

When Joy FM's award winning presenter, Komla Dumor left the famous station for a new challenge at the BBC, many were those that expected the station to replace him with another popular radio personality.

Wrong! The managers opted for someone who could be described as a 'fresher' on air to run its flagship programme, the Super Morning Show which was the programme that Komla hosted.

One would ask; what informed the decision of Joy FM to take up Kojo-Oppong Nkrumah as Komla's successor?

He is a stammerer. He has no formal trading in journalism. No schooling in media practice at all. And he is quite too young- he celebrates his 25 birthday today.

In fact his father, who is a bank treasurer, discouraged him from taking up a career in radio and rather urged him on to pick up a finance related job.

Kojo worked at the treasury of the British American Tobacco and later left for Joy FM because according to him, the station offered him a big challenge.

He said that he used to stammer so badly that his tongue could hardly handle any consonants, especially the letter 'K' so any word that began with K literally dropped out of his mouth with such difficulty.

According to him, he could not bring himself up to tell a taxi driver that he needed a ride to Kaneshie because of the letter K in the word.

However, after he had graduated from the Junior Secondary School, Kojo challenged himself to release his tongue and say good bye to stammering.

Now, it's quite clear that he has largely won the battle against stammering, "but on few occasions I have had words stuck up in my tongue which I have released with some effort".

During the chat, he showed some signs of a stammerer, as he was seen making some corporal efforts to pronounce certain words.

Indeed, one could see him "forcing" to pronounce the words but when he finally spoke, the articulation was impressive.

His confidence level was also quite high. And his voice? Solid! No wonder he has risen so fast in his career as a radio presenter.

Kojo holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Coast and though he holds no certificate in broadcasting, he loves to talk and also like to set standards, hence his successful marriage to radio.

He said he got his job at Joy FM after the owner of the station, Kwesi Twum had heard him deliver a paper at a programme organised by Students In Free Enterprise of which he was a member.

At Joy, Kojo has also worked as a reporter and a presenter of some programmes including the popular "News Night".

He said he hates to feed entirely on newspapers to run his morning show. He, together with his production team generate ideas and topics that are of public interest.

Kojo observed that development issues were missing from radio "and very soon my production team and I will start a project and set the agenda for what I call development radio".

He also said he hates payola/soli (gifts) from the people he hosts on his show "because those things may negatively affect my work".

He suggested to media owners to pay their employers well to discourage them from taking "payola" and "soli" since they clouded one's sense of objectivity and truth.

I love constructive criticism and team work which I believe helped me to settle down in my job".

At 25 and with a girlfriend whom he loves, Kojo says he does not want to "bask in the euphoria of stardom so that I can concentrate on my work".

Truly Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah wearing the big shoes left behind by the Boss Player," Komla Dumor and clearly they fit him perfectly.

Source: The Mirror