Thursday, April 26, 2018

Nyansa  Boakwa interviewing the repented armed robber
Day in, day out, lives and properties are lost to individuals and groups who attack us in our homes and offices. Lives that are spared are scarred with trauma.

Though they act inhumanely, they are human just like we are. This leaves us wondering who these people are, why they do what they do, how they know when and when not to attack and how they even come by the weapons they use against us.

These questions will be addressed in the below confessions of a repented armed robber.
At noon on April 19, a young man willingly walked into the studios of Happy FM at Asylum Down after listening to the confession segment on Happy FM’s ‘Nsem Pii’ show.

In an interview with Pastor Nyansa Boakwa, host of Nsem Pii on Happy FM, here is what the 42 year old repented armed robber who will be called ‘Koo’ for the purposes of this story and on grounds of security has to say as he makes these hideous revelations.

According to Koo, negligence from his father and his inability to excel academically resulted in him dropping out of school at an early age. He started gambling at the age of 15. As a result of greed, this habit of gambling landed him in prison when a rich man he gambled with and cheated reported him to the police for stealing from him.

Koo recounted that he connived with the woman who sells the playing cards and tampered with them. When he was done, he told the woman to sell those particular cards that had been tampered with to the rich man.

After the rich man had purchased the playing cards, Koo and the said rich man gambled in the latter’s home where he won 7,000ghc. The rich man refused to accept defeat so he went back to the same shop to buy another set of cards and he was sold another one of the tampered cards. Upon reaching home, he was defeated again and this time around, he lost 3,000ghc.

The rich man refused to let Koo leave his house with his 10,000ghc so he attacked Koo with a knife but Koo got a hold of it and injured him running away with the money. He went to pay the cards seller for her participation.

The rich man later reported the incident to the police and said Koo attacked him in his house and stole from him. The police took the rich man’s word and didn’t believe Koo when he said they gambled and he won.

Koo was arrested after two months when he had already squandered all the money. He was tried and jailed for two years.

Koo had heard rumours of sodomization in prison and that was his fear. But when he got there he realized it was a choice.

According to him, life in prison was not easy. He had to wash clothes of some inmates for one cedi and that was how he was able to buy certain things he needed.

“The food served there was so terrible that it was not fit for a dog. The banku had no salt and the soups were so light that you could see your reflection in it,” Koo stated.

He also revealed that being sodomized in jail is a choice one makes if they decide to enjoy their stay in prison. An older man or a longer serving inmate with money will have sexual intercourse with an inmate who allows it in exchange for giving him good food and basically providing a comfortable life for him.

We have all heard that Indian hemp is sold in jail, I am sure just like me, you wonder how the Indian hemp gets into the prisons to be sold to inmates.

According to Koo, the inmates insert the ‘wee’ into their anus when they go out for communal labour and smuggle into the prison. These inmates before they leave undergo an exercise to widen their anus by inserting a big battery in there. They leave it in there for three days. Other objects that are not allowed in prison like cell phones are also smuggled into the prison through the anus. The people who do this are referred to as ‘cargo’.

Koo went to jail as a chronic gambler, instead of getting reformed in there, he came back worse. There are different blocks for different crimes and Koo knew where each was. He went to the robbery block and as he passed by, he overheard an argument where one person was being accused of being the reason ‘they’ got arrested. He got closer upon hearing this, when he was asked what he wanted, he told them, he was like them, implying that he just wanted to mingle. He was then asked the offense that landed him prison, in order to fit in and impress them, he lied and said he was jailed for shooting someone he went to rob.

He became friends with them and they planned how they were going to go on robbery operations when they were released. In there they get phone calls from people on the outside giving them information about who to rob but since they were incarcerated, they called their counterparts out there and transferred the jobs to them.

The source of the information is the scary part. The information comes from house helps, drivers and personal assistants among others. These are trusted people in our everyday lives.

When Koo was initiated into the robbery gang, he and some other interested participants were trained at the prison backyard which was their meeting place. In the course of the training, there were 99 laws to abide by and if one goes against any, he was fined and inability to pay the fine lands him in a jail set up by the leaders of the robbery gang community inside the prison.

When Koo returned home after 2years with the feeling that he had been left behind in life and needed to catch up with his peers.

His family also stigmatized him and so he left home feeling like an outcast. He then contacted some armed robbers whose phone numbers he had gotten from his new friends in prison.

He moved in with them and served them as a houseboy. He got paid for doing this but he wasn’t participating in their robbery activities. After a while he decided to go with them for the robberies.
Koo’s first robbery operation was in Awoshie. A house girl had informed the gang that her employer was coming home with a sum of 80,000ghc .

Koo disclosed that “we didn’t have any guns but there were some police men who rented out the guns to us in exchange for one third of the money we stole.”

They had told the police they were going to get 30,000ghc when in actual fact they were going to get 80,000ghc. After they had rented the guns from the police, they met with the house girl who aided them to duplicate the keys to the said house.

This, according to him, was done by pressing the keys on a bar of soap to get the impression and the soap was later sent to a locksmith for the duplication.

He added that the house help instructed them to attack at 1am so they did. When they entered they slapped the house help in the face to fake an attack on her. She started screaming for help which called the attention of her boss.

He arrived at the scene but refused to hand over the money to them, his wife joined in and pleaded with the robbers to take the money and leave her family unharmed. As the man struggled with them, they hit him hard on the head with the gun getting him unconscious.

Koo was instructed to rape the 13 year old daughter of the couple who was also present at the scene of the attack, he refused to do it but another member was delighted to have that unfortunate opportunity passed to him, the young girl was mercilessly raped in front of her mother as she cried out “I have given you the money, why are you doing this”.

When the father gained consciousness, he asked what was going on upon seeing the blood stain from his daughter’s rape. Another one wanted to rape his wife, he fought to stop them but they overpowered him and tied him up as they raped his wife right in front of him “at that moment, I thought to myself, what kind of job have I gotten myself into”, Koo said.

“After everything, we took the money and left. We later met the house help at the Accra Mall to give her share of 5,000ghc to her. We met the policeman who provided us with the guns too and gave him his share of 5,000ghc”, Koo stated. He added that he also got 5,000ghc which he was very happy about.

The story continues with Koo recounting his meeting with a different gang who were more established than the previous one and had support from some police officials and Judges for two more robberies on Happy FM’s Nsem Pii.   He said they met at Ashaiman.

Over there they were contacted by a banker who called to inform them that  a client was about to make a withdrawal. She gave them the time the client  was going to pick up the money -which according to Koo was 50,000ghc - ,  the model of car he was going to bring and the car registration number.

They picked up their guns which they had already purchased from some police men at the cost of 9,000ghc and 6,000ghc. They then drove in cars they were given by the police to Dansoman where the bank was.

They went ahead of time and waited for the man outside.  They spotted him when he got there and when he went inside the bank to withdraw the money, the lady called them to alert them that he had the money and he was stepping out. They followed him closely from Dansoman till they got to Circle, a little beyond Odo Rice.

One of the cars overtook his car and stopped abruptly in front of him. He got out of the car demanding for explanations, they also got out wearing face masks and gave warning shots.

They immediately took a pinch bar from their car to force open the trunk of the man’s car and made away with the money leaving a small stick in the ignition to prevent the man from chasing them. Bystanders could not go after them maybe because they were afraid of getting shot.

Koo further disclosed that the cars they used had the real number plates in front whiles the ones behind were fake number plates so they could not be traced. He also revealed that armed robbers never go on any operation without reliable information from an insider.

He made 5,000ghc from that robbery, the banker made 5,000ghc and the police also got 10,000ghc.

Koo spoke about another operation, this time around at East Legon.

Just like the first robbery the house girl gave them the information about her madam returning from abroad.

 “She gave us the time of arrival and the kind of car that was going to pick her up,” Koo added.

Again they went ahead of time and waited for her to come out of the airport. They followed her from the airport until they got to her gate and attacked her right there. The house girl had come out to open the gate so she fell to the ground when they got out of their cars and gave warning shots.

“The woman was refusing to give us the keys so we took them by force and opened the trunk to take out the luggage and drove off in our cars. She had children at the back seat crying.” Koo narrated.

When they got home they burnt the other content of the luggage. All they needed was the money and keeping those other things was a risk they were not ready to take.

They found 30,000 dollars, the exact amount the house girl told them they would find.

He detailed that there are big police officials and judges who assist them when they get into trouble, they assisted them by reducing their charges when they are arrested. For instance, if it is robbery or murder, it could be reduced to stealing. This reduces their jail term to about two years. When they have more money they could get the judge to arrange an appeal for them which further reduces it and possibly lets them free.

Koo said he is a changed man now, because he is afraid he would be forced to kill or become an accomplice to murder eventually. He has cut all ties with his friends and has even approached the police three times to tell them what he knows but they always tell him to go and bring the guns he has. That, he says, has been very difficult to do because he cannot just walk to the robbers and demand that the hand their guns over to him.

He concluded by saying “I want to help end robbery in Ghana and I am ready to talk on any platform, I don’t care if I die and if I die, I die for my country Ghana,” he told Happy FM’s Nyansa Boakwa on Nsem Pii.

By: Susan Amoako Agyemang


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Vodafone’s Chief Executive, Yolanda Cuba was heading off to a meeting when she stopped to assist a customer into the Vodafone building. As it turned out, this man, Andrew Kufuor, a cousin of former President J. A. Kufuor, had come to personally thank a staff of Vodafone for saving his life.

Eunice Ampomah-Manu, with the SME Enterprise team, had called Mr Kufuor sometime last week, on a routine customer check-up. Whilst on the call, Mr Kufuor suffered an attack. He was breathless and told Eunice, he was dying. She panicked but kept her composure.

In a flurry of activity, including keeping Mr Kufuor on the line for about ten minutes, she managed to extract the digits of his wife’s number and called her. In a matter of minutes, Mr Kufuor’s wife rushed home and managed to get her husband to a nearby clinic to receive medical attention. Later in the week, Eunice also called to check up on him at the hospital.

“I was helpless. Her call came in good time and I really want to thank her for what she did. She saved my life. Without that, I perhaps wouldn’t be here today,” he said.

What started out as a cursory offer of assistance to a customer at the headquarters at Vodafone Ghana has become a very defining story of effective customer service.

Yolanda Cuba, Chief Executive of Vodafone Ghana, said: “Providing unmatched customer experience is what we stand for. It is not mere rhetoric; it is a way of life for us and the value system of our business. We really care for each and every one of our customers and we will never renege on this.”

By: Paa Kwesi Forson

Monday, April 23, 2018

This UFO is expected to enter Earth's Atmosphere on Friday, April 27
Information available to Tech Voice Africa indicates that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has sighted and reported of an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) that has entered into the Earth’s orbit and heading towards the Planet.

Per their calculations, the said UFO if it continues on course and maintains velocity, should enter the Earth’s atmosphere by Friday, 27th April 2018.



There are however rumours that the spaceship may be that of Thanos’, a supposed alien from Titan, which is the largest moon of the planet Saturn.

Following this, Tech Voice Africa followed up with the “Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division,” S.H.I.E.L.D to verify the rumours. We were able to get Colonel Nicholas “Nick” Joseph Fury but the Director remained tight lipped on the issue refusing to comment.


However reliable inside source have confirmed that S.H.I.E.L.D are indeed worried that the Ship may be that of Thanos the “mad” Titan. Our source who decided to speak on condition of anonymity confirmed he over heard Directory Fury on the phone with Billionaire Tony Stark urging him to assist put the “Team” together.

The source confirmed to our reporter that the whereabouts of Dr. Bruce Banner and Captain Steve Rogers remained  top priority.

In the meantime we all remain in suspense and hoping for the best. This is because if the rumours are confirmed to be true and it is indeed Thanos heading to Earth, then this spells doom for the entire planet especially in the wake of the division and confusion being rumoured to have striken the “Avengers” Headquarters.

One thing you can however be sure of is that your leading Technology news portal in Africa, Tech Voice Africa will follow the development closely to bring to our cherished readers.

That said, note that Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters this Friday, April 27. Make sure you make a date to actually confirm or debunk these awesome rumours.

If not, we will be there to bring you spoilers and we would not want that, will we?

Source: Tech Voice Africa

Friday, January 26, 2018

It’s that time of year again where Public Relations (PR) persons will gather to strategize for the 2018 fiscal year. To make this year’s planning different, I will be sharing some strategic ideas, communication trends and international best practices.

If you plan on soaring in 2018, here are some ideas to pay attention to.

VISUAL STORYTELLING

In 2017, many companies spent a chunk of their communication budget on broadcast media alone. We can’t keep paying over GHS 6000 for TV news coverage when Facebook Live is free, effective and interactive. We can’t pay for a channel or segment our target audience don’t watch, listen to or read. Feel free to disagree though.

Ask yourself this: “are the demographic factors of my target audience in sync with my choice of media platform?” At the end of the day, we as PR practitioners must review what works in our industry and what doesn’t.

The power of video is undeniable. More than 8 billion average daily views and 100 million hours of video are watched every day on Facebook. As PR and business practitioners living in Ghana, I’m not sure we have milked the dawn of video storytelling enough.

I don’t know if you have noticed also that attention span is shortening. People hardly read newspapers from cover to cover. People hardly listen to news from the beginning to end, etc.

Dear PR people, if you are not harnessing the video era, start now. Go to Udemy, Skillshare and the Khan Academy to take free online courses.

MEASUREMENT

Most people at agencies or with client start off their PR career doing media monitoring and clippings. This necessary evil has become a trend the world over. Because of time and staff constraints, the average PR practitioner monitors for monitoring sake. No trends, patterns, opportunities and the deeper analysis are suggested for planning. I dare say the absence of project/campaign measurement has fuelled the perception that PR doesn’t bring much to the table.

In 2018, let the relevant measurement tools and analytics do the talking in our reports. Tools like AMEC Integrated Framework and Google Analytics can help with PR campaign measurement. You can take free webinars on measurement at Ragan’s Measurement for Communicators Conference.

Let’s look at more PR measurement tools below:

TrendKite: Trendkite’s PR analysis helps to know PR’s true impact. It does this by measuring impact, enhancing quality coverage, and strategically shaping your approach to PR.

Gorkana: Media database, monitoring and social media analysis

Meltwater: Meltwater offers the largest global media database, ensuring you’ve found all of your media mentions. With intuitive dashboards and one-click reports, it’s easy to demonstrate campaign performance and ROI.

Newsmeter: Newsmeter is an online global news tracker service with an award-winning indexing technology. Our platform traces all the global news resources around the world continuously. Our platform has the capability to gather all published news together and generates detailed reports on topics that interest you by analyzing these news articles.

Talkwalker: Protect, measure and optimize the impact of your brand communication with our leading social listening and analytics suite

Hootsuite: Manage all your social media in one place. From finding prospects to serving customers,
Hootsuite helps you do more with your social media.

TweetReach: Monitor all the topics and profiles important to you on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Improve your social media strategy and execution across social media with Union Metrics.

MUST HAVE TOOLS/SOFTWARE

Departments like Marketing, Finance, Operations, etc. have always questioned how PR budget is used. Some practitioners are not able to justify in detail how a campaign’s performance is linked to ROI. In an era of Artificial Intelligence (AI), PR divisions must invest in platforms that provide value and analysis on projects.

Cision: The award-winning Cision software brings together the elements you need to engage the right influencers, get coverage, achieve measurable results and manage your campaigns. Cision circulates media stories globally and with so much convenience. Hence there’s no need to bother media cabal here in Ghana to publish your stories for you; the system does the distribution for you.

Trello: Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.

Mention: Mention monitors millions of sources in 42 languages, helping you stay on top of all brand mentions. It monitors social networks, news sites, forums, blogs or any web page. The app lets you keep track of your team’s actions, shares alerts and assigns tasks. Generating reports and exporting mentions can help you get a snapshot of your mentions by source or language over a selected period of time.

By Paa Kwesi Forson

About the Writer

Paa Kwesi Forson's writing love started after some girl broke his heart 'yayaaaya' (a Twi phrase meaning painfully. lol). That negative experience helped unearth the best in him. He officially started blogging on Myfirstcopybook.blogspot.com and moved it to www.paakwesiforson.com

Mr. Forson never knew he was this funny till he started blogging. He noticed that whether he is writing a piece on nostalgic moments, religion, social issues, or business, there is always a satirical and/or humorous touch to it.

Aside being busy at his day job at Ghana's biggest Public Relations Agency,  he love making music, relaxing with his family, reading stuff and many more.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Joe Mettle
Joseph Oscar Mettle better known by his stage name as Joe Mettle, has reacted to the top 20 most played songs released by The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) for 2017 describing it as an opinion.

A few days ago, MUSIGA released the list for the top 20 most played songs in Ghana for 2017, which had Ebony Reigns topping the chat with her hit song ‘Sponsor’.

The release that did not list any of gospel artists flooded the Internet as people questioned the authenticity of its source.

The Award-Winning Gospel artiste in an interview on Happy FM’s ‘After Drive Show’ yesterday said, MUSIGA is not being truthful with the list they collated.

“Without research, one can tell gospel songs are played constantly on air,” he stated.

The ‘Bo Noo Ni’ hit maker challenged the authenticity of the list with reason that most presenters start their shows with gospel songs.

“I am wondering how the research was done,” he said.

Mettle further added that gospel musician’s work hard and though they encounter challenges in promoting their songs, most played songs does not mean most successful.

“ Until we are shown the bases of the research, the top 20 most played songs is just their opinion and that cannot be challenged,” he said.

Having hit gospel songs such as ‘Bo noo ni’ and ‘Owanwanni’ and others to his credit, Joe Mettle, despite the list released by MUSIGA, looks forward to maintaining his reign as Artist Of the year 2018.

By Diana Teiko Amankwah.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

King Ayisoba
Ghanaian music act, King Ayisoba, has revealed that he is more popular than Shatta Wale and Sarkodie on both local and international front.

Speaking on Happy FM’s Showbiz Xtra,  King Ayisoba, known in real life as Albert Apoozore, said his style of music instantly pulls more crowd on the street and carries deep messages which ensure discipline across.

According to the ‘I want to see you my father’ hit maker, he doesn't feel threatened by Shatta Wale and Sarkodie at all.

“Let the people of Ghana will put both Shatta Wale and I on the streets of Accra and let's see which amongst us will be hailed. You will then notice the number of praise I will get over Shatta,” he said.
 
By Oparebea Sugar

Monday, January 8, 2018

Kidi
Ghanaian music germ, Kidi says his ‘Odo’ hit song deserves an award at the upcoming Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA). 

Speaking on Happy FM’s Showbiz Xtra, the Afro Pop singer, the hit song has made a lot of rounds in the year under review and as such an award at the VGMA would mean that his work and effort in the music industry is appreciated.

He was however quick to add that he will be cool if his song does not get a single at this year’s VGMA.

“You don't do music because of awards and if you are an artist who does music purposely for awards, you will never excel rather focus on your vision for doing music. Don't let awards distract you from doing good music," he stated.

Meanwhile it could be recalled that, Charterhouse Productions Limited, organizers of the annual Vodafone Ghana Music Awards Festival opened nominations for the 19th edition of the event earlier in January.

By: Oparebea Sugar

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Some of you may think I have taken things exceptionally personal about the appeal for the TV License. I started practicing journalism about exactly a decade ago but have not been practising for about half a decade now. That should qualify me considerable as a member of the Ghana Inactive Journalists Association.

This is a surreptitiously averse union which many members are not proud of.  (Mind you, if you are a practising journalist and you are not a registered member of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), or your stories have not caught the attention of the GJA to nominate you for an award, you need no membership fee or periodic dues to automatically qualify as a member of the my imaginary and nascent Ghana Inactive Journalist Association).

One thing about the inactive journalist is that, gate-keeping means such as “soli” and editorial scrutiny have no influence of what we write or say, and in seldom cases, think. We may not have the remote control to set the agenda but we can, in our own infinitesimal ways coax or coerce decision: One of them, among the many, is the push for the payment of TV License fees.

I have read the views of many on why Ghanaians must not pay the TV License and reasons associated do not transcend the personal feelings or experience of those against the payment of the TV License.

One of such views that my attention was drawn to were those of Mr. Bright Simons on Facebook. I learn a lot from notable personalities like Bright Simons everyday even though I am yet to meet him in person: I hope one of my occasional visits to Graphic affords me such an opportunity. My unending interest in meeting him has even made me replace my son’s picture with his as my phone’s screen saver.  You can sense my love and admiration for him.

In a Facebook post, Mr. Simons recently stated that the GBC must not benefit a Cedi from funds generated from the TV License. I felt should the smallest unit of the Ghanaian currency (Pesewa) been commonly used, he would have wished GBC not even receive a single Pesewa.

I copy these points from his Facebook post:  “Even if we are to pay for TV licences, there are at least 5 reasons why GBC mustn't receive a cedi until it fully reforms its ways and norms.

1. It (GBC) competes with the private media agencies for advertising money. Adding tax money on top of that is unfair. The decision to give a sop out of the licence money to the private industry lobby group, as a counterbalance, is a cynical tactic that only worsens the illogicality of the whole endeavour.

2. It does not respect public interest advocacy. When I used to help manage IMANI's events, GTV was the only station that refused to honour a single invitation despite detailed written explanations regarding the public interest value of those events. They refused to carry comments and cover treatments on STX, China CDB loan, China Hassan, etc. All of which became matters of topical public interest.

3. It charges for covering non-commercial events, even those of obvious news value. I have seen invoices issued by GBC to cover newsworthy events of a non-promotional and non-commercial nature. This means that GBC considers its airwaves as available to the highest bidder. To use taxpayer's money to endorse such a retrogressive notion of broadcasting is tantamount to subsidizing unethical broadcasting. This is because charging to cover an event requires that the said event be treated as an advertorial and not as news (viewers need to know that airtime has been paid for by a party connected to the subject or event being covered). GTV regularly flouted this basic ethic.

4. Unlike public broadcasting systems elsewhere, GBC is not organised properly as a Public Trust. It's governance and management are highly susceptible to government of the day influence. Though recent assertiveness of the NMC has somewhat improved the situation there remains insufficient safeguards against state influence in the appointment of board members, managers and other key functionaries.

5. GBC is no longer the primary community broadcasting medium. It's audience share across the country has shrunk to a point of near irrelevance. There is now no basis to suggest that a tax funded model is more effective in delivering any content or covering any niche that the advertising funded model cannot penetrate. GBC's own "strategic business units" probably recognises as much hence the limited investment made to date in community broadcasting and the increasing, even if also awkward, attempts to match the private stations in entertainment programming. Why should public taxes go to underwrite this lifestyle?

It is shocking that the government is allowing the controversy about the TV licence 'wahala' to go to waste. What happened to "strategic policy making"? Isn't this the right time for Government to ride on the wave of discontent to announce wide ranging reforms to public broadcasting with a view to fixing what is clearly a very broken model?”

It is clear that Mr. Simons’ IMANI scenario is just like saying the president should not develop a region because it did not vote for it. Isn’t that too personal?

We can deduce from Mr. Simons’ post that one (if not the only) way GBC could reform its norm is to have honoured IMANI’s invitation on events such as STX, China CDB loan, China Hassan, etc. This, according him, are all of which became matters of topical public interest (which Ghanaians are discussing currently).

It is axiomatic that GBC happens to be the major beneficiary of the TV License. It would, however, be very hypocritical of Ghanaians to downplay the relevance of funds generated from the TV License; It transcends funding, largely, the oldest media house in the country.

Even though many arguments have been raised about whether funding of the GBC by government is not enough, we should not forget that Ghanaians are the most powerful, though invisible, arm of government but not Nigerians, Mexicans or Indians. Even if elected government is to pay for the TV License for us, let us not forget that “He who pays the piper, call for the tune” (https://www.tvlicence.com.gh/qna.php ). And, government has for almost two decades been calling for the tune on (G)TV content ever since Ghanaians stopped paying the TV License somewhere around 1999.

One thing about the one who calls the tune is that, he ensures it goes with the dance steps of no other person than himself. And, if you are among the few who have similar dance step, you enjoy too. This, however, has not been the case of the viewers of GBC.

Let us not forget that ever since the TV License fees collection took a long pause, those who continued funding the GBC were the periodically elected government. And we all know that one of the ways government brings an institution under its subtle control is by stifling their budget or funding.

The only way we can have our share of say is to use the alternative means of funding which we once used about two decades ago—the TV License. Don’t forget that the world's oldest national broadcasting organization, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which almost all broadcasting organizations emulate, is still being funded through the TV License fees.

This is charged to all British households, companies, and organizations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts has helped in making the BBC since its establishment to what it has always been till today. The BBC is a corporation incorporated under Royal Charter granted by the Queen under the Royal Prerogative and currently came into force on 1 January 2017 and runs until 31 December 2027.

This explicitly recognises the BBC's editorial independence and sets out the Corporation's public purposes and sets out the BBC’s public obligations and funding arrangements by mandating the BBC to collect the TV Licence— (http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/foi-about-tv-licensing-AB15 ). 

This is not entirely  different from the Ghana legislation which says the “TV licensing Act 1966 (NLCD 89) as amended, directs that a “a person shall not install or use a Television receiving set unless there is an existence in relation to that set a valid television receiving set license by the licensing authority under this Act.” Section 1.

As a young boy in the 1990s, I realized we exuded a more Ghanaian identity irrespective of our diverse culture or ethnic background. We have done it before and Television content made a clear cultural sense.  That, however, cannot be said now.

Ghanaians nowadays only exhibit their cultural identities through dropping of their first (foreign) names and put on Friday (African) wear. We tend to focus on surface identity and throw away every form of knowledge about our culture in terms of language, festival and lore (history). Who told us history and lore more than the GBC in terms of program content?

Whether to entertain us from BY THE FIRESIDE to SHOWCASE (IN AKAN, GA, EWE, HAUSA, DANGBANI etc), or to inform us through NEWS or THIS WEEK, the GBC programs were carefully tailored with a touch of culture irrespective of the diverse demographic and psychographic factors. The Ghanaian was well informed about his or her diverse culture without necessarily leaning from classrooms or visiting respective rural areas.

Nowadays, the program content of the new Ghanaian have been operationally defined on TV screens: Entertainment is redefined as “foolishness”; Love is redefined as pornography and Ghanaian culture have been raped by foreign ones. How long would we pretend and overlook how appalling our TV screens have become lately? The influx of Asian and Latin American telenovelas exacerbates the current situation of the Ghanaian culture since these programs generate more income from sponsorship and advertisement.

The new Ghanaian gets lost gradually on what actually entails our culture and other independent broadcasters have overlooked all these cultural details since they do not generate more profit.
It should ring a bell for you that this never happened when GBC was GBC two decades ago. And what made GBC GBC was when citizens were committed to paying their TV License fees. GBC was better when my father and other existing septuagenarians were paying their TV License fees for their respective household, though not many, at that time.

They say sleep is the cousin of death. The difference is that the former is temporary while the other is permanent. While we have the ability of waking up or being woken, the latter needs divine abilities to resurrect or be resurrected.

GBC was asleep but not dead. This has been a long sleep induced by the attitude of most Ghanaians on payment of TV License Fees. Doesn’t one get hungry after waking up? This is enough reason to pay the TV License Fees.

Source: Elorm Dogbo

About the Writer

Elorm is an experienced Customer Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the food production industry. Skilled in Advertising, News Writing, Propaganda, Business Process Improvement, and Business Ethics. Strong support professional with a Communications Studies focused in Public Relations/Image Management from Ghana Institute of Journalism (G.I.J).

Friday, December 15, 2017

It’s official! The Walt Disney Company has purchased 21st Century Fox, including the 20th Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses.

The deal includes 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000, 20th Century Fox Television, FX Productions, Fox21, FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky, and Endemol Shine Group.

The deal doesn’t include the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network. Those will be spun off into a newly-listed company.

It has also been revealed that The Walt Disney Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger has agreed to continue in the position through the end of calendar year 2021.

You can read the full press release below:

The Walt Disney Company and Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Disney to acquire 21st Century Fox, including the Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses, for approximately $52.4 billion in stock (subject to adjustment). Building on Disney’s commitment to deliver the highest quality branded entertainment, the acquisition of these complementary assets would allow Disney to create more appealing content, build more direct relationships with consumers around the world and deliver a more compelling entertainment experience to consumers wherever and however they choose. Immediately prior to the acquisition, 21st Century Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a newly listed company that will be spun off to its shareholders.

Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of 21st Century Fox will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each 21st Century Fox share they hold (subject to adjustment for certain tax liabilities as described below). The exchange ratio was set based on a 30-day volume weighted average price of Disney stock. Disney will also assume approximately $13.7 billion of net debt of 21st Century Fox. The acquisition price implies a total equity value of approximately $52.4 billion and a total transaction value of approximately $66.1 billion (in each case based on the stated exchange ratio assuming no adjustment) for the business to be acquired by Disney, which includes consolidated assets along with a number of equity investments.

Popular Entertainment Properties to Join Disney Family

Combining with Disney are 21st Century Fox’s critically acclaimed film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, which together offer diverse and compelling storytelling businesses and are the homes of Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, as well as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hidden Figures, Gone Girl, The Shape of Water and The Martian—and its storied television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, which have brought The Americans, This Is Us, Modern Family, The Simpsons and so many more hit TV series to viewers across the globe. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.

“The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We’re honored and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and we’re excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings. The deal will also substantially expand our international reach, allowing us to offer world-class storytelling and innovative distribution platforms to more consumers in key markets around the world.”

“We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox, and I firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry,” said Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox. “Furthermore, I’m convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger’s leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world. I’m grateful and encouraged that Bob has agreed to stay on, and is committed to succeeding with a combined team that is second to none.”

At the request of both 21st Century Fox and the Disney Board of Directors, Mr. Iger has agreed to continue as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company through the end of calendar year 2021.

“When considering this strategic acquisition, it was important to the Board that Bob remain as Chairman and CEO through 2021 to provide the vision and proven leadership required to successfully complete and integrate such a massive, complex undertaking,” said Orin C. Smith, Lead Independent Director of the Disney Board. “We share the belief of our counterparts at 21st Century Fox that extending his tenure is in the best interests of our company and our shareholders, and will be critical to Disney’s ability to effectively drive long-term value from this extraordinary acquisition.”

Benefits to Consumers

The acquisition will enable Disney to accelerate its use of innovative technologies, including its BAMTECH platform, to create more ways for its storytellers to entertain and connect directly with audiences while providing more choices for how they consume content. The complementary offerings of each company enhance Disney’s development of films, television programming and related products to provide consumers with a more enjoyable and immersive entertainment experience.

Bringing on board 21st Century Fox’s entertainment content and capabilities, along with its broad international footprint and a world-class team of managers and storytellers, will allow Disney to further its efforts to provide a more compelling entertainment experience through its direct-to-consumer (DTC) offerings. This transaction will enable Disney’s recently announced Disney and ESPN-branded DTC offerings, as well as Hulu, to create more appealing and engaging experiences, delivering content, entertainment and sports to consumers around the world wherever and however they want to enjoy it.

The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love. The addition of Avatar to its family of films also promises expanded opportunities for consumers to watch and experience storytelling within these extraordinary fantasy worlds. Already, guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort can experience the magic of Pandora—The World of Avatar, a new land inspired by the Fox film franchise that opened earlier this year. And through the incredible storytelling of National Geographic—whose mission is to explore and protect our planet and inspire new generations through education initiatives and resources—Disney will be able to offer more ways than ever before to bring kids and families the world and all that is in it.

Enhancing Disney’s Worldwide Offerings

Adding 21st Century Fox’s premier international properties enhances Disney’s position as a truly global entertainment company with authentic local production and consumer services across high-growth regions, including a richer array of local, national and global sporting events that ESPN can make available to fans around the world. The transaction boosts Disney’s international revenue mix and exposure.

Disney’s international reach would greatly expand through the addition of Sky, which serves nearly 23 million households in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy; Fox Networks International, with more than 350 channels in 170 countries; and Star India, which operates 69 channels reaching 720 million viewers a month across India and more than 100 other countries.

Prior to the close of the transaction, it is anticipated that 21st Century Fox will seek to complete its planned acquisition of the 61% of Sky it doesn’t already own. Sky is one of Europe’s most successful pay television and creative enterprises with innovative and high-quality direct-to-consumer platforms, resonant brands and a strong and respected leadership team. 21st Century Fox remains fully committed to completing the current Sky offer and anticipates that, subject to the necessary regulatory consents, the transaction will close by June 30, 2018. Assuming 21st Century Fox completes its acquisition of Sky prior to closing of the transaction, The Walt Disney Company would assume full ownership of Sky, including the assumption of its outstanding debt, upon closing.

Transaction Highlights

The acquisition is expected to yield at least $2 billion in cost savings from efficiencies realized through the combination of businesses, and to be accretive to earnings before the impact of purchase accounting for the second fiscal year after the close of the transaction.

Terms of the transaction call for Disney to issue approximately 515 million new shares to 21st Century Fox shareholders, representing approximately a 25% stake in Disney on a pro forma basis. The per share consideration is subject to adjustment for certain tax liabilities arising from the spinoff and other transactions related to the acquisition. The initial exchange ratio of 0.2745 Disney shares for each 21st Century Fox share was set based on an estimate of such tax liabilities to be covered by an $8.5 billion cash dividend to 21st Century Fox from the company to be spun off. The exchange ratio will be adjusted immediately prior to closing of the acquisition based on an updated estimate of such tax liabilities. Such adjustment could increase or decrease the exchange ratio, depending upon whether the final estimate is lower or higher, respectively, than the initial estimate. However, if the final estimate of the tax liabilities is lower than the initial estimate, the first $2 billion of that adjustment will instead be made by net reduction in the amount of the cash dividend to 21st Century Fox from the company to be spun off. The amount of such tax liabilities will depend upon several factors, including tax rates in effect at the time of closing as well as the value of the company to be spun off.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and 21st Century Fox have approved the transaction, which is subject to shareholder approval by 21st Century Fox and Disney shareholders, clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, a number of other non-United States merger and other regulatory reviews, and other customary closing conditions.

Source: Comingsoon

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Justice League
Justice League has finally cracked $600 million at the global box office, despite trailing behind Coco domestically this weekend.

 In the wake of Justice League finally releasing and uniting the titans of the DC Comics, information has begun pouring in detailing how Warner Bros rushed their shared universe into production. Though the wait may seem long, it appears the studio was overeager to replicate Marvel Studios’ success with The Avengers in 2012 and scrambled to make Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel into the start of a similar franchise. Unfortunately for DC fans, the results have been mixed.

As Justice League continues to underperform at the box office, rumors have emerged that WB is upending their plans for a number of movies.

It looks as if fans can breathe a sigh of relief, however, as the DCEU film slate isn’t being restructured at the moment. CCXP in Brazil this weekend featured a plan for the universe matching the one unveiled at San Diego Comic-Con this past summer, and Zack Snyder is still producing Aquaman and Wonder Woman 2. Meanwhile, Justice League has crept passed another milestone at the box office.

Variety is reporting that Justice League brought in an additional $9.6 million at the domestic box office this weekend, bringing its total to $212.1M at home. It couldn’t compete with Pixar’s Coco, however, which nabbed $18.3M and won its third weekend in a row. Luckily, the haul was enough to push the DC team-up film to $613.1M worldwide and maintain its position as the 10th biggest film of the year.

Justice League passing $600 million worldwide means its should (in theory) be profitable now, despite being the lowest-grossing DC Film to date. It’s still well behind Wonder Woman‘s domestic haul of $318M at the same point during its own run. The movie has also failed to come anywhere close to The Avenger‘s $623.3M domestic total and $1.5 billion global gross (not accounting for inflation). Justice League‘s extensive reshoots brought its production budget up to a staggering $300M, which is why it’s only now broken even at the box office.

It’s not all bad news, however, as Justice League has become DC’s biggest hit in China. The film has done well internationally, a market that has increasingly benefitted underperforming domestic blockbusters this year. It could be this silver lining that’s preventing WB from reworking its film plans, though the studio’s plans for the future of the shared universe are already undergoing some big changes.

The next DC film won’t hit theaters until December of 2018, when director James Wan’s Aquaman solo movie arrives on the scene. Wonder Woman 2 and Shazam! have confirmed release dates for 2019 and will follow after Aquaman, but the rest of the DC Film release schedule is up in the air at the moment. That includes the potential Justice League sequel, which seems unlikely to happen now (or, at least, until further notice).

Source: Screenrant

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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