By: Samuel Hanson Hagan
It is not my nature to compare personalities or pitch one against the other, but at times one needs to forgo his or her strict beliefs for the public good. The media landscape in Ghana has been very vibrant since the early 2000’s till now. One media house that has been in the forefront of media pluralization is Multimedia Group Ltd (MGL). MGL is the home of Joy 99.7FM, the once most listened to English speaking radio station in Ghana. The Kokomlemle based radio station currently hosts media giants such as Lexis Bill, Menasseh Azure, Malik Daabu, Evans Mensah, Dorren Andoh, Sammy-B, Emefa Apau, DJ Black and Daniel Dadzie. The flagship program for Joy 99.7FM is the Joy Super Morning Show (SMS) currently being hosted by the relatively unknown Daniel Dadzie.
Daniel Dadzie took over the reigns from Kojo Yankson in February 2018. For a bit of history, Joy SMS has been hosted by some industry greats in the past. The likes of the late Komla Dumor of BBC fame, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (The current Information Minister), Bernard Nasara Saibu and Francis Abban.
In the past, the change of baton from one host to another had been smooth because of the circumstances that surrounded the handover. Komla Dumor, after almost a decade at Joy FM, had the opportunity to join BBC. He had to leave, and his position was taken over by Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (KON). KON also steered the affairs of Joy SMS for 8 years and decided to change career and enter mainstream politics. He resigned and contested as a Parliamentary candidate for the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). The seat was handed over to Bernard Nasara Saibu and Francis Abban. But these guys were unlucky because at that same time, Citi FM had maintained a study production team with dynamic team of presenters for their flagship Citi Breakfast show led by Bernardino Koku Avle. It was this same period that Joy SMS lost it mojo and started playing second fiddle to Bernard Avle’s Citi Breakfast Show.
In the mist of dwindling listenership, management of MGL had to replace Bernard Nasara Saibu with Kojo Yankson. Kojo Yankson before joining JoyFM was the host of ATL FM’s Morning Show, Atlantic Wave. He was virtually unknown in Accra, so he came in as a fresh face to change the fortunes of JoyFm. He did his best but could not change the fortunes of the station. He also had his personal issues with Management and got himself suspended at a point in time. Management had to replace him with another unknown Takoradi based Skyy Power FM’s Daniel Dadzie in February 2018. Daniel is relatively young compared to Kojo Yankson.
Now let’s examine if the choice of Daniel Dadzie over Kojo Yankson as Joy SMS host makes sense and could change the fortunes of the show. I will try to do a short critique of these two gentlemen based on the following criteria; fluency of the queen’s language, voice texture, quality of questioning, confidence on the mic, and the ability to stay on script.
I have listened to both gentlemen on few occasions and they both have their highs and lows (from my lens). On 18th July 2019, Joy SMS sent their team to the LEKMA Hospital and had the show from the forecourt of the hospital. The focus was on the state of roads in LEKMA municipality. Luckily, both Kojo and Daniel co-hosted the show. This afforded me the opportunity to have a good assessment for this piece.
Daniel comes out as a smart guy who has a good command of the English language and speaking comes natural to him without hesitations. On the part of Kojo, although he has had over a decade stay in the UK, he had some few instances of cluttering. On the bright side, Kojo has a wonderful voice for Radio and TV compared to Daniel.
One very important trait of a media person is your ability to ask very tough questions. Kojo Yankson has been known over the years to be someone who asks very tough questions. He is seen as someone who doesn’t get intimidated by the profile of those he interviews. On the other side, Daniel seems to be a bit reserved and does not ask that tough and pinching questions he is expected to ask. He is very young and less experienced and from what I see, needs more time to build his confidence over the mic to ask those tough questions.
When it comes to staying on script, Daniel stays on script perfectly compared to Kojo. Kojo’s inability to stay on script and his over exuberance has been his downfall. Although Daniel Dadzie is very fluent and flows perfectly, he needs to build his confidence on the microphone and needs a great production team to cook things up for him to excel.
From this analysis, it is very clear that Kojo Yankson should be made to stay on Joynews as a morning show host cum current affairs host whilst Daniel Dadzie continues as the host of the Joy SMS. For Joy SMS to overtake Citi Breakfast Show, they would need consistency, relevant programming and revamp of their production team.