He won the the Fashionable TV Presenter Of The Year at the Fashion and Lifestyle Awards in 2018. George Kwaning hosts the Biz Brief on TV3, one of Ghana’s leading TV stations and where he also doubles as a newscaster. In our Personality Chat this week, he gave an interesting view of what life, both inside and outside of the media means to him. Read what transpired between us below.
Laura: Have your parents influenced your choice of career in anyways and how how has their support being so far?
George: My parents have been supportive honestly. You know the troubles and challenges journalists face in their line of duty. For my parents they’ve been privy to brutalities and assaults on journalists but for them to give me their blessing to follow my passion, I must admit it has been a game changer for me.
Laura: Can you share with me that one thing you’d want to improve in your life as a TV person?
George: I want to improve on the impact of my stories on society. It always brings me joy seeing that a story I’ve worked on has brought some sort of change or relief to a less privileged community or even individual. Improving on the impact will mean that more Change will come to society and people will one way or the other have an improvement in their standard of living.
Laura: What led you to your choice of career and why TV3 and not any other station?
George: My senior fellow, Roland Walker and I were all at the same church, Winners Chapel, Tema and so he helped me get a slot at TV3 for internship whilst I was pursuing a course in communication Studies at GIJ. After school, I had the opportunity to do my service and two years after, I gained employment at the Media General. I’ll say it’s by God’s doing because I saw lots of people who were equally good but were not employed.
Laura: How has being on TV been for you so far and where do you see yourself in the next five years?
George: It has not been that easy. Normal life cannot be so. People see you in town and they stare a lot at you so just imagine doing something awkward. I remember going to Kantamanto to get a belt from a customer (I always buy from him because it’s leather, cheap and quality) and you can imagine how people were staring at me like I’m not supposed to be seen there. How can you be there and not expect me to be there too? So if you’re not true to yourself, you might be compelled to live a life that is not a true reflection of you. Honestly I don’t succumb to societal pressure so I always find a way to handle that. I want to see myself on the global frontier. Five years from now if I want to quit, I wouldn’t want to join any local stations but BBC, CNN, DW TV, you name it but preferably BBC.
Laura: You host Biz Brief on TV3, one of Ghana’s leading TV station, what has been your motivation generally in life as a young man?
George: Mentoring and coaching others has been my greatest motivation. What’s so awesome than seeing someone who sees you as a role model whom you offer expert advise when necessary. You one day see that fellow doing amazingly well and even surpassing you in terms of presentation? “That’s my boy right there making me proud.” It is only refreshing.
Laura: Being a screen person, you’re expected to keep the smile on every time, even in your low moments on TV, how do you get it done?
George: It’s such a herculean task oo. For instance, you’re expected in the office before 6′am to read and you didn’t have ample sleep and you expect me to smile? You guys need to give us award for pulling up smiles even at our low moments. It comes naturally, honestly, especially knowing that you can’t explain to viewers on air what has warranted your moody looks so the need to smile constantly anytime you’re hitting air.
Laura: Any word for our readers who sees you as a role model?.
George: Journalism is a noble profession (4th estate of the realm). It’s a big deal to be a journalist but my advice to the youth is that they should not be compelled to do just anything because they want to be on air. Being on air is glorious, yes, but that’s not the work. I take much delight in going out there to report compared to TV because it gets boring sometimes. If anyone should be in my shoes for a day, I bet they’d reconsider their decision to venture into journalism. The TV bit is just like 5% of the job, working on weekends and holidays will only excite someone who is passionate about the job and not one whose sole aim is to read. So be passionate about the job and you’ll love everything that comes with it.
Laura: Any hobbies to share before we sign off?
George: I love to swim, listening to music particularly country and also reading.
Laura: I’m grateful George and Myghairwaves wishes you the very best in your career.
George: You’re welcome Laura!