Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ah, blinding quality...at last!

There come times when mediocrity starts being portrayed as quality. That, my friends, is when you should know that there is no benchmark for good quality. In this case, I speak of the steadily nose-diving standards in quality sports presentation, packaging and production in Ghana. Yes, maybe Joy fm is going well with its crew of Ernest Koranteng, Karl Tuffuoh, Ridwan Asante…or perhaps Citi fm with Nana Boakye, Erasmus Kwaw, and Samuel Bartels. Some may argue that on the local scene, Multimedia's Christopher Opoku leads the pack… But more on that in a bit.

Now how many Ghanaians realistically thought that the quintessential radio station in the heart of Accra would ever stream sports? Well it has, and it is. Atlantis Radio 87.9 fm started churning out sports news via the nationally-acclaimed Yaw Ampofo-Ankrah one morning in August 2008.

Ampofo-Ankrah and his OXIGEN team which he acknowledges with panache on air, started with The Torch Beijing 2008 Updates which focused on the news from the XXIX Olympiad. And then after a month of crowd-pulling tidbits that saw a blend of locally flavoured international content, Torch made way for Sports World.

Airing at the same time as its predecessor, Sports World focuses on giving listeners a one-two punch of crisp local, continental and international news. Usually taking a maximum of ten minutes, listeners have questioned the rationale of putting sports on the band that has been known for its solid entertainment for the past 12 years.

Somewhere in November 2008 a new voice was introduced to Sports World. When Rasheedat Kadiri waltzed onto the frequency it was clear that OXIGEN has come with a very different style. A lady and a guy presenting sports over funky groovy music in Ghana, à la BBC? No way! But yes wait a minute, Yaw Ampofo-Ankrah himself is a very astute sports journalist with not-a-little-bit of the beeb experience under his belt, no?

Yours truly, Ampofo-Ankrah and that very dynamic soundman-editor-all-in-one man called Alex Mamphey make up the beginnings of OXIGEN on radio, with Rasheedat forming an impregnable quartet of quality broadcasting. And there’s more to come.

“OXIGEN is a dynamic media organization specializing in public relations services, and the provision of cutting edge sports programmes, events hosting and providing exceptional content for programmes of different genres. So we have so much more in store,” Ampofo-Ankrah says of his brainchild. Oxigen is primarily made up of journalists, business professionals, marketing and sales specialists, event agents and other media services practitioners with finance and legal backgrounds.

With his own solid background in Ghanaian sports from Choice fm, Joy fm, Tv3 and Metro TV, Ampofo-Ankrah has not too long to attain the dizzying heights (and possibly surpassing those) of Kwabena Yeboah, Joe Lartey (yeah, the original Joe Lartey, not the current one at TV Africa) among others. And with him, his 'breathing life into dreams' clique. We truly, truly hope that OXIGEN will indeed bring a blast of freshness into a profession that so badly needs a pro-renaissance.