Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Vision DJ
Nominations for the 2017 Ghana Music Honours have been released. The awards, which were established in 2012, seek to “cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to the Ghanaian society; from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the musical breakthroughs of future generations of music professionals”.

Organised by the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), the ceremony sees awards in 20 categories given by an academy of peers and one category voted by the public. There is also an award handed by the president of the union to an artist considered to have “contributed immensely to the development of MUSIGA and Ghanaian music in general”.

This year, the much awarded DJ Black is up for the Best DJ honour. Both VVIP and R2Bees are up for four awards each, while rapper EL has received three nominations.

Nominees in the categories Traditional Music Honour, Music Industry Development Honour, Evergreen Highlife Artist Honour, Evergreen Hiplife Artist Honour, Evergreen Gospel Artist Honour and the President’s Choice Honours are yet to be announced. The date of the event has not been made public.

Full list of nominees below:

Best Band Honour

· Afro Harmony
· Big Heels Band
· OBY Band
· Patch Bay Band
· Shabbo Crew

Best DJ Honour

· DJ Black
· DJ Mic Smith
· DJ Slim
· DJ Vision
· DJ Vyrusky

Afro Pop Artist Honour

· Adina
· Efya
· Joey B
· R2Bees
· Ruff and Smooth

Hiplife Artist Honour

· EL
· Guru
· Kofi Kinaata
· Sarkodie

Highlife Artist Honour

· Akwaboah
· Becca
· Bisa K.Dei
· Kwabena Kwabena
· Ofori Amponsah

Reggae/Dancehall Artist Honour

· MzVee
· Raz Kuuku
· Samini
· Shatta Wale
· Stonebwoy

Gospel Artist Honour

· Joe Mettle
· Nacy
· Nicholas Omane Achaempong
· Ohemaa Mercy
· SP Kofi Sarpong

Music Producer Honour

· B2
· Beatz Dakay
· Julz
· Kaywa
· Kuvee

Best Music Video Honour

· Becca ft Bisa K Dei – Beshiwo
· Edem ft Reekado Banks – Nyedzilo
· Guru – Samba
· Okyeame Kwame ft MzVee – Small Small
· R2bees ft Wizkid – Tonight

Most Promising Act Honour

· Article Wan
· Cina Soul
· Ebony
· Fancy Gadam
· Medikal

Best Male Artist Honour

· EL
· Kofi Kinaata
· Sarkodie
· Shatta Wale
· Stonebwoy

Best Female Artist Honour

· Adina
· Becca
· Efya
· MzVee
· Wiyaala

Best Group Honour

· 4×4
· Galaxy
· R2Bees
· Ruff and Smooth

Best Group Honour

· 4×4
· Galaxy
· R2Bees
· Ruff and Smooth

People’s Choice Artist Honour

· Bisa K.Dei
· Efya
· EL
· Joey B
· Kofi Kinaata
· MzVee
· Sarkodie
· Shatta Wale
· Stonebwoy

Source: yfmghana.com
Not everyone living and working in Ghana can buy or build their own house before the prime of their career; not everyone has a well-paying job that allows them to comfortably go for a mortgage plan at HFC Bank, Ghana Home Loans, etc. to pay for their own apartment.

Not everyone has rich parents who can give an apartment to their children as a present. For the bulk of the ordinary citizens struggling to make ends meet, renting a single room, chamber and hall, chamber and hall self-contain and other room offers has become the order of the day. Let me share with you five critical things to consider when planning your room or apartment hunt.

1. Agents

Due to unfavourable work schedules, the pressures to relocate to another side of town and sheer laziness on the part of apartment seekers, many people are unable to do the apartment search themselves, resorting to agents.

Do not be deceived ‘kwraaaa’. Agents cannot be taken out of the apartment search process. For some strange reasons, house owners trust and love dealing with agents than dealing directly with the individual in search of an apartment; this deepens the frustrations of walking to all the places family and friends may recommend you follow up on. The agents are very connected, know their way around town and know where to find which type of apartment.

Because agents are in business to make more money off their clients, please psyche yourself to invest in their trade: pay a registration fee ranging from GHS 20 to GHS 100, transport the agent to each new site as well as pay them a commission of GHS 30 on the average each day. So before you land a suitable venue with an agent, you may have walked or hired a cab to various places, enabling them help you spend your hard earned cash.

Due to desperation, many clients do not get what they really want (the perfect place) and settle for one out of the coolest places they were taken to. The reality is that you can only be taken to your preferred place only after agents have squeezed cash off you for many days.

When you finally get your apartment, you have to prepare to pay 10% of the cumulative rent. So if the chamber and hall apartment is going for GHS 100 per month and you’re renting the place for two years that makes the agent GHS 240 richer for no or little work done.

2. Stipulated Years for Room Rental in Ghana

Ghana’s Rent Act of 1963 has made it clear that landlords charge a maximum of six months’ rent advance to their client. For the lack of law enforcement by the Rent Control (empowered by Rent Control Act of 1986), landlord or ladies demand between two years to three years rent advance.

Because demand for apartment rental far exceeds the available houses, you sometimes cannot blame those who pay beyond the six month rent advance.

Desperate times, they say, call for desperate measures.

3. Rental Budget

Before anyone goes ahead to rent a place, they already have in mind the price range for the particular apartment they want. Another key thing that has a direct impact on pricing is the location of the apartment.

If you don’t have plenty money, stay off the plush areas in the urban centres. Free advice.

4. Renovations

Many apartment owners and agents make countless promises to the would-be occupant in a bid to get them to commit quickly and move in before the ‘minor’ renovations are done. Don’t always fall for this trick. Always insist on knowing the fine details of when a particular action will be started and completed.

If possible, document any agreement pertaining to renovations and future promises. That may be your number one source of disagreement with your landlady or lord.

5. Free Advice

  • Insist on signing and a keeping a rent card stating the fee and duration of the transaction.
  • Endeavour to ask for clarifications of any matter you don’t know about.
  • Always seek the consent of the apartment before doing major renovations. 
  • Your stay will be smoother and better if you have your own ECG meter. That way, you only pay for what you use at the time you want. No pressures from anyone. Lol.

NB: While we get the National Housing Policy and affordable housing project to work, my shout out goes to all landlords and ladies (both the good and the bad). To room seekers, I wish them the very best.

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.

Next you meet, tell him about HIM. Enjoy reading

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

It’s 39 days into 2017 already. As it stands, the personal/professionals plans and resolutions made for the year are in full gear. To all intents, I can tell you that it is a year, where many envisage great initiatives and executions. For most PR/Communications professionals like myself, the early part of the year has been expended on strategy and execution sessions.

I must hasten to also add that like every new year,  some professionals will seek to take a “great leap” – the situation where professionals, old or new will be keen on making their next move or landing a job in Ghana’s PR industry. For the former, it is often a familiar undertaking but for new entrants, who may have come out of school or seeking a career change, it becomes a rough sea to navigate.

To assist the latter category with some information on what they need to know before getting a job in Ghana’s fledgling PR industry, I sampled views from some established PR/Communications professionals.

Cyrus deGraft Johnson, Corporate Affairs Manager, Accra Brewery Limited

“PR isn’t only about Media Relations. It goes beyond that. Build relationships within the media landscape. Lies can and should never be part of your narrative, no matter the circumstance. If you happen to find yourself among the dominant coalition, always make your case clear and concise if you want to be taken serious.”

Eunice Asantewaa Asante, Programme Assistant, Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations

“You may have a small budget to work with so prepare to be as creative as possible and resist the urge to complain; when your hard work starts bearing fruit, the budget will increase and you can do more. Also, be open to learn new skills and stay up to date with the trends in your industry.”

Richard Ahiagble, Head of Corporate Communications, Airtel Ghana Limited

“Develop a network of influencers not only in the media but across stakeholders. Most of what you do is influencing people. These will be great resources when you have your back against the ropes.

Also understand how the media works in Ghana. You won’t survive your first 100 days if you don’t. Writing and editing skills are your best pals. Irrespective of what level you work, you will do about  90% of the writing.”

Joyce Sackitey-Ahiadorme, Country Sustainability & Community Affairs Manager, Voltic (GH) Limited

“Be interested in your industry since most of the work demands the practitioner to communicate on behalf of the company. There’s the need to learn all the facts, processes and procedures of the company. This helps you to fully communicate efficiency and be prepared anytime. You must look beyond just communicating and understand the key issues in Sustainable Development which matter to your organization; because institutions are concentrating on delivering Corporate Social Investments to enhance their reputation.”

Stephen Boadi, Head of Digital Marketing (Africa), PZ Cussons

“In our digital age, a good knowledge and understanding of the digital landscape and familiarity with listening tool is essential. Also, familiarity with crisis management models and the impact of online is also key.”

Michael Sarpong Bruce, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Tigo Ghana

“PR is extremely rewarding but also challenging. It is a high-stakes industry driven by results and you’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game to the table. Often, I tell friends and colleagues to develop a thick skin, because, the organisation or client you work for will be counting on you. The industry requires multi-tasking and quick thinking; don’t take things too personal. Prepare, prepare well, stay positive and reliable.”

David Appiah, Public Relations Officer, Huawei Technologies (Ghana) S.A Limited

“You should be good with Marketing Communications and understand how you can support Marketing and Sales with PR campaigns. Good writing and presentation skills with a key knowledge in putting together a power point presentation is also essential.”

Compiled by Felix Nana Egyir Baidoo

About the Writer

Felix is a Communications/PR specialist and Social media enthusiast. He combines these two passions to help individuals and businesses build, promote and energize lasting brands.

Over the years, Felix has performed roles in Communications and PR such as stakeholder engagement, customer care, social media management, and media relations.

He is an alumnus of the University of Greenwich Business School and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ghana’s broadcasting industry is gradually becoming overpopulated and if necessary steps are not taken to revive the image of the industry to ensure standards are upheld, efforts and capital injected into such businesses may yield little or no returns.

According to the National Communication Authority’s current statistics, there are 93 authorized television stations in Ghana; an increase of about 32 percent from the 2015 statistics which had 63 television stations.

As for radio stations, the least said about them, the better. There are currently 345 commercial radio stations in Ghana competing for the same listeners and the same clients.

How will these commercial radio and television stations that have choked the airwaves be expected to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of this country?  Can’t there be high standards and strict regulations instituted to protect industry players as implemented in other industries such as banks and telecommunications?

Without the necessary restrictions and regulations, the few good and quality broadcast media houses might close down or not be able to make enough profit to grow, expand and provide Ghanaians with the quality television and radio experience we deserve as consumers.

The effect of this is the increase in strategy imitation and no sense of originality in content and programming on our airwaves. You tune into radio and listen to almost the same style of programming across the frequency unless the few ones like YFM and ATLANTIS RADIO who originated unique programming and have sustained it for years.

When industry regulators and decision makers fail to protect businesses, unethical business practice, unfair competition, illegal business activities and loss of business capital is what befalls the industry.

To lay more emphasis, Greater Accra currently has 38 commercial radio stations in operation competing to attract the same listeners and clients. This has encouraged unfair competition practices such as piracy, extreme airtime price cuts and unethical media practice. Unfortunately, the regulatory authorities are unconcerned whilst media houses engage in such unacceptable business practices.


Some Free- to air Television stations in Ghana continuously broadcast box office movies being promoted at Silverbird. This does not only have tendencies to collapse Silverbird Ghana’s legal business and efforts to reduce Ghana’s unemployment rate by creating jobs but also brands Ghana as a country with no rule of law. In addition, by so doing we profess our inappreciation for the creative arts. The average Ghanaian viewer does not care about piracy and would be happy to watch a box office movie for free but is that the country we claim to be developing for our children? Sadly, some of these stations win awards, mentions and sometimes appear on listenership and viewership rankings out of surveys conducted by leading research companies.

Am I wrong to generalize that these stations lured viewers with their earlier pirated content and introduced original content strategy when they attracted the expected and acceptable viewership. Psychologists explain that similar to other mind engaging activities, television builds loyalty and easily maintains loyal viewers over periods of time. Stations that uphold ethical standard unfortunately suffer by losing viewership and revenue. Therefore, piracy is encouraged unfortunately because broadcast stations like any other business have bills to pay.

Whilst I cannot blame some of these research companies because their research is purely based on viewership and audience, I believe we deserve a performance rating system where business ethics, fair competition etc. are part of the scale of measurement.

What business and life principles are we imbibing in our students and young entrepreneurs? Isn’t content piracy as bad practice as cheating in an examination? If a student can be expelled from a tertiary institution for examination malpractice, why aren’t our television stations setting good examples and why are regulators not doing the needful. Piracy is unfortunately becoming the best strategy in launching a television station and winning audiences.

In recent times, any successful entrepreneur with limited consistency acquires a license and operate a radio or television station and most importantly does not employ professionals to manage and run the affairs of the station.  Is that how low and easy the 4th arm of government has been reduced to?

Ursula Owusu (Communications Minister Nominee) and Joseph Anokye (Acting Director General; NCA), please bring sanity to the broadcast media industry.

By: Timothy Karikari

About Me

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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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