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MEET FRANKY 5: The Tale Of A Banker Turned Journalist

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He started off as an astute Banking Executive, after he had the opportunity to undertake his National Service assignment with Akuapem Rural Bank at Mamfe, Akuapem in 2005. Following this feat achieved, he worked professionally at the same bank for 24 months as an Assistant Accountant. Later in 2008, he joined United Bank for Africa (UBA) as a Retail Banking Officer. Due to his dedication to work, he won the Most Outstanding Staff award and later was poached by Access Bank, where he worked as Head of Asian Corporates desk.

In less than 3 months at Access Bank, Frank Kwabena Owusu liabilities portfolio had risen to $25million, unprecedented in the history of the bank, as he got recognized by the Board of the bank. Then he moved to Unibank as Head of Commodities Banking, later to Fidelity Bank as Head of Exports desk then finally left to First Atlantic Bank as Branch Manager at North Industrial Area, where he reigned to follow his passion in music and media.

Prior to the banking experience, he had his basic school education at the Alajo Basic School and had his secondary school education at Koforidua Secondary Technical School in Koforidua. He had his first degree at Valley View University where he studies Business Administration (Accounting option) and graduated with 2nd class upper division.

Franky5 has become a household name and one of the most talked about radio personalities in recent times. He is the host of “This is Gospel” radio show on Hitz 103.9 fm, a Multimedia Group. During this period he has conducted big interviews with top showbiz names such as Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, CK Akonnor, Prince David Osei, Obrafour, Yaw Sarpong, Joe Mettle, Diana Hamilton, Nacee, etc, and also securing two nominations, one each at the Ghana DJs Awards – 2019 and
RTP Awards – 2018.

Franky5’s entry into radio space started when he was into Artist Business Management where he managed Gospel music stalwarts such as Nacee and No Tribe music group, Ceccy Twum, One Voice Choir and OJ. There, he developed great love for radio as he encountered and studied top radio hosts such as Kuami Sefa Kayi, Akwasi Aboagye, Andy Dosty, Abeiku Santana, etc.

Later in 2016, he decided to divert to radio and television. His first application was to host the TIG Show on Pluzz fm which fell off along the way, until Mark Okraku-Mantey (Programs Director at Hitz fm) decided to give him a chance to develop his passion at Hitz fm in the same year.

Absolute belief and faith has been his guiding principle in the processes that has led him throughout his career. “If you don’t believe you can absolutely transform your life and get what you want, then you might as well forget about goal setting and do something else”. If you are in doubt, look around you. Everything you can see began as a thought. Make your thoughts turn into reality. The ultimate is to be able put a smile on someone’s face by virtue of my service to God and humanity.

Having worked in the corporate world, creative arts and the media space, his dedication to work and excellence has positioned him to serve on the Board of the 2nd biggest music awards scheme in Ghana, ‘3 Music Awards’ as the only Gospel representative. He also serves as an Academy member the biggest music awards scheme in Ghana, VGMAs. He is also a consultant to Africa Gospel Awards Festival and the Ghana National Gospel Music Awards. He also served on the Board of Zylofon Arts Fund, Ghana Tourism Authority Film Support Fund and currently a member of the “Beyond the Return” planning committee.

Feature

Ghana Music Live Drops Top 10 Ghanaian Songs Of 2020 With MUSIGA

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The year 2020‌ ‌saw‌ disruption of normalcy in ‌the‌ ‌music‌ ‌industry‌ with ‌the‌ ‌COVID-induced‌ ‌shelter-in-place. ‌The pandemic severed‌ activities such as ‌live‌ ‌performances, ‌ ‌tours and physical‌ ‌promotion‌. ‌ ‌The‌ Electioneering ‌campaign ‌ ‌followed, ‌ ‌having‌ ‌direr‌ ‌impact‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌music‌ ‌industry‌ ‌where, ‌ ‌for some artistes, releases‌ ‌were‌ put ‌on‌ ‌hold. Much as 2020 was a difficult year for most artistes, it afforded some a rare opportunity to shine. As most hibernated because of the global pandemic, others made a bumper harvest of the lean season. Music became a companion for many as radio listenership soared during the lockdown.

With‌ ‌the‌ ‌music‌ ‌industry‌ ‌now‌ ‌coming‌ ‌in‌ ‌full‌ ‌circle‌, ‌ ‌artistes‌ ‌like‌ ‌Sarkodie‌ have risen to ‌the‌ ‌occasion; ‌ ‌with‌ ‌buzzing‌ ‌concerts ‌like‌ Rapperholic, Stonebwoy with Activate featuring Davido and Shatta Wale with his hugely popular song “Hajia Bintu”. Jams such as “Cold” by Joey B featuring Sarkodie, King Promise’s “Alright” which features Shatta Wale and Ekorso by Kofi Jamar are still with us.

The list below is a list of the top 10 songs released in 2020 which had the most airplay. Do note that there are songs which might have done better than the songs which made it into the year’s chart but were released the year before. An example of songs which could have made the list but are ineligible because of the year of release are Dw3 – Mr. Drew and Krymi featuring Sarkodie which was released on the 18th of December 2019; Oofeetso by Sarkodie featuring Prince Bright released November 23rd 2019 and Nominate by Stonebwoy featuring Keri Hilson off the Anloga album released on the 8th of November 2019.

La Hustle remix
For months unbend, La Hustle Remix became a street anthem – so popular was the song that it started new online and street terms. The song was released on 25th of September 2020 and has thus far been viewed some 1.7million times on youtube. La Hustle was produced by Dj Krept and features AMG Boss Criss Waddle and Joey B.

Inna Song (Gin & Lime)
Darkovibes released perhaps his most successful commercial track yet in March 2020. The song features silky singer King Promise and became the toast of many a music lover. Originally released with an animation, the song became so popular that a video had to be shot for it and was, later in the year, followed with a remix which featured Stonebwoy. The song was produced by Streetbeatz.

Money
Rising Hip Hop artiste Kweku Flicks released “Money” in June 2020, easily his biggest hit; Money has made the rounds and been in the charts and chants since its release with the song peaking towards the end of 2020. The song was produced by Apya.

Sisa
King delivered on the Promise of hits and classy music in February 2020 with the release of SISA. The mid-range well composed and even better vocally delivered track has been one of the biggest songs of 2020, peaking around March and staying in the charts for several months. The song was produced by Killbeats with an appropriate video which has attracted over 3.4million views on YouTube as of press time.

Putuu (Pray)
Putuu was received with mixed reactions by fans and foes of brand Stonebwoy alike. It marked a departure from what one had come to expect from the Ghanaian Superstar. The introduction of “Gibberish” has never been associated with him; mostly known for classy, stylish, deep and mostly “conscious” music Putuu was not only different in kind but also in hit value as it swept the soul of the Ghanaian Music landscape with every radio buzzing and bars blurring the piece as often as they could. Putuu was released in July 2020 and produced by QobrahbBeatz.

5.Happy Day
Happy Day simply hits differently….. On release two things hit every listener, the beat (Sound) and the controversies which accompany this monster hit. Happy Day was Sarkodie’s major show on “Hit-lane” all through 2020. The song was perceived to be an endorsement of the Ghanaian president as the lyrics suggests. However, Sarkodie claimed it was not an endorsement. Further there was a disclaimer from the featured artiste – Happy Day has been more like 2020 itself… confused yet present and relevant. Happy Day by Sarkodie features Kuami Eugene and was released on November 3rd 2020 and produced by M.O.G Beatz.

Enjoyment
Released in January 2020, Enjoyment, probably, has the highest Beat Per Minute (BPM) KiDi has released thus far. It became an instant party favourite and a radio Jam. The song has stayed in the charts since it first appeared in February 2020. No wonder the accompanying video has one of the highest views on youtube locally in 2020. As at press time Enjoyment had over 5.4million views. Enjoyment was produced by MOG Beatz.

No Dulling
No Dullling is the biggest hit music Duo “Keche” has had in a couple of years. The song met the gradual, cautious and careful return to normalcy and thus enjoyed plays at pubs and bars and in small corner shops and homes; that was not to reduce the frequency of play on radio neither did it stop rotation of its very beautiful cinematic work of art on television. No Dulling features Kuami Eugene and was produced by Willisbeatz and released in July 2020.

Say Cheese
Easily the lockdown song of 2020, the song off the Blue EP by VGMA album of the Year act, KiDi was about the only song by an ace act for several months. The song became the toast of many and had a remix that made it to the ‘billboards’. On social media, Say Cheese was “the song” and was equally huge on Radio. The song was released on the 8th of May 2020 and produced by Kayso.

Open Gate
As though it were prophetic or rather a message to the government “Open Gate” came when many a Ghanaian were tired of being kept home amidst pressures of the Corona-induced lockdown and the cessation of mass gatherings and public events. Days after the release of what would be one of the biggest songs of his young music career, bars and pubs were opened, events started, airports were opened and there was some sort of ‘Open Gate”. The song released on August 7th 2020, played across the length and breadth of Ghana. It became the toast of Radio and its equally beautiful video was all over television as well. At press time the video had some 4.9million views. The song was produced by Willisbeatz.

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Awards and Ceremoinies

3 Music Awards 2021: What To Expect At The Fourth Edition Of The Awards Ceremony

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Music is set to be in the air soon as one of Ghana’s notable and credible awards schemes will be returning for the 4th issue after the third rollout saw a virtual edition of the show due to the up-rise in the global pandemic, Coronavirus; a virus which came paired with some preventive measures, including lockdown and social distancing. No insightful detail (s) pertaining to the fourth edition have been shared, but however, with reference to past editions, it is believed that, the Fantasy Dome, LA will play a host to this year’s edition of the awards ceremony.

The ‘3Music Awards’ is an annual music awards scheme that seeks to celebrate music made in Ghana by awarding deserving musicians by way of popular vote by the public. The 2019 edition was one of the most talked about events as controversial Dancehall and Afropop musician ‘Shatta Wale’ took home the highest number – 13 of awards. The organizers have promised a much more exciting event this year. Ofcourse, in its fourth year, organizers are expected to up their games and improve on the previous editions.

What to expect!

Activities to watch out for: Prior to the third edition of the event, the organizers and the governing board of the prestigious awards ceremony introduced an activity to commemorate the event. Dubbed “FanFest”; the initiative seeked to build momentum and encourage stakeholder participation in the awards ceremony. The organizers also scheduled a day of interaction between the nominees of the ‘3Music Awards’ and fans. Unfortunately all these initiatives were cancelled in compliance with the National Directives on Public Gathering due to COVID-19.

With activities in the interest of the public and the need to gather publicly but outdoor, it is believed the fanfest and nominees jam will host this year, as the government has eased up restrictions on public gatherings held outdoors.

How to watch: In 2018 when the awards scheme was established, it gave Media General TV3 the broadcasting right to air the event live on TV. The Multimedia Group Limited became the media right holder in the second and subsequent edition, thus far, this year’s edition of the awards ceremony will air live via Multimedia platforms especially on Joy Prime Tv since there is a yet to be made communication on this subject. However, in 2020 when the ceremony went virtual with no live audience, it was transmitted live on 3Music Awards’ Facebook page. This broadcast witnessed an unprecedented 1million+ viewers who joined the feed.

Who is/are hosting?: The first ceremony was hosted by Joselyn Dumas and D-Black. The second 3 Music awards was hosted by Lexis Bill and Cookie. The 3rd 3 Music Awards dubbed the “StayAtHome” edition was hosted by Jay Foley and Naa Ashorkor. Looking at the trend of host or hostess for the show, it is likely a creative economy oriented Journalist (s) is/are likely to host the fourth edition, and possibly Jay Foley and Naa Ashorkor and or Doreen Avio will be announced. However, something amazing happened at the last edition where comedians, OB Amponsah and Clemento Suarez were given a slot to co-host the event. There is a high possibility of we seeing another set of comedians gracing the stage this year too.

Who is/are performing?: Since its inception in 2018, prolific mainstream musicians, including Shatta Wale, Medikal, Sarkodie, Samini, Stonebwoy, others had the upper hand on stage as guest performers. At a point in time, the award ceremonies had foreign musicians who also graced the stage. But then, there is a conscious effort of enabling new talents into the music space, hence young and unsung creatives will be dominating this year’s list of performance. The roster may include, Kofi Mole, Kuami Eugene, Kofi Jamar, Yaw Tog, The Asaaka Boys, KiDi, King Promise, Sefa, Wendy Shay, Eno, Camidoh, Kwabanga, YPee, Etc. This year may fall into the book of history as an edition with no mainstream talent on Stage.

Are there any special honors?: Well, not certain but referencing to previous editions, some legendary singers or performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording may be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award and others will be remembered or honored with the Humanitarian Award for dedicating their time to fighting indifference, intolerance and injustice and whose accomplishments are consistent with the goals of a foundation or group.

Stage and lighting designs: The set this year is expected to be an expansion on the 2020 3Music awards set. According to my view, the primary goal will be, to encompass the widest possible stage picture across the arena, including audience areas built into the offstage sides of the performance. This year, the upstage wall of the set is expected to feature an uninterrupted ground-supported LED screen with a series of video tile ribbons above, as it was done in previous editions.

Sound: The house sound system for the annual 3 Music Awards broadcast tends to change incrementally every year as manufacturers release new and improved products and system engineers introduce their own enhancements. For the 2021 edition, as the telecast is believed to hosted at the Fantasy Dome sound providers are expected to rolled out new speakers from the right quarters and further strengthen the system’s failure provisions.

Security: Honchos in charge of the 3Music Awards this year aren’t taking any chances. They are expected to be dropping extra cash to beef up security while keeping an eye out for any potentially troublesome beefs. However, the awards scheme has recorded no violence oriented incident since its debut.

Who will be nominated?: Well, anyone who worked hard or harder under the year of review will certainly make a cut, trust me. But as I mentioned in one of my submissions, there is a conscious effort by the industry to enable new talents to be the face of the industry and with award schemes being an influence contributing to the unearthing and growth of talents, this year’s edition might take new twist where majority of the mainstream talents, especially Sarkodie, Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale won’t dominate the nomination list. The “B” class of musicians will be at the helm of affairs.

However, organizers and the board are yet to make a formal communication announcing the nominees and other activities arrayed in the build up to the event. Keep following www.gbafrica.net for new updates…

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Feature

IB: A Well Informed Journo Who Commands Some Degree Of Public Fascination And Influence In Day-to-day Media

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“You have a lot of people gravitate towards you that if care is not taken you won’t know the fake from the original. I get to read more to have more info and knowledge both if my field and away from my field. You get to earn respect from reputable persons because you are credible and you are respected in society”, Ibrahim Ben-Bako opens up on what makes him unique and his experience as a media person.

From one of the finest coastlines in Ghana, Sekondi-Takoradi, Western Region, is an astute and prominent or celebrity profile who is a well informed professional communicator and commands some degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media.

Born Ibrahim Ben-Bako – IB, the on-air personality has chalked enormous success in his chosen endeavor, and has garnered overwhelming experience credited to his name. In 2002, He assumed his role as Radio and Television presenter in Sekondi-Takoradi, Western Region with Skyy Power FM and making a swift switch to a sister station, Skyy Television in 2003.

“I started my media career as a lead role with radio drama titled Downtown Sekunde then got the chance to be on night radio with Sky Power”, He told GBAfrica News.

When Skyy Television was officially licensed to run as a commercial entity in Ghana, IB was in charge of the audio department and the second in command of the Master Control Room (MCR) where he had the opportunity to birth a youth magazine music request show ‘Slow Jamz’, just four months into his job – that literally justifies his steady growth and prolific status as a media person.

The journey continued in 2009 where he moved to Kencity Media in Accra to join Net 2 Television. During his five years stay at the media firm, he was made the head of the Master Control Room (MCR) – with the experience he had from his days at Skyy Television in the Western Region and had an entertainment talk show titled ‘The 411’. He doubled as the host of the ‘Oman FM Live Band show’.

He joined The Multimedia Group in 2014, Joy Prime and Hitz FM. He started off with ‘The Red Carpet Show’, later ‘Seeing Bee’ was added on and after the first season the company decided the best bran the show had to sit on was the Adom TV brand and thus, was given to another presenter with the Adom brand. He is currently the presenter for ‘The Red Carpet Show’ and ‘Showbiz Now’ all on Joy Prime and sometimes switches to Hit 103.9 FM as an entertainment critic.

He has interviewed great personalities including the former and late head of state, Ft. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, award-winning reggae & dancehall artiste, Stonebwoy, Shatta Wale, Joey B, Samini, etc.

Credited with notable awards, IB has won the best/popular entertainment TV show two consecutive times at the Ghana Television Awards, the most popular entertainment show winner at the Tertiary Awards Ghana. He also had nominations in other awards schemes RTP, Fashion Style Awards and others. With movies, he has been certified with degree in film making at the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI).

When it comes to fashion, Ibrahim Ben-Baako is also credited with fact that he started using the African print in making suits. He has gained 6 months training in fashion design at Rhios Originate in Dzorwulu as a stylist and a fashion designer.

IB mostly ply his trade in the creative economy. Sharing his experiences he has had with talents from across the sector, he said;

“One major thing i have noticed is only a few of the creatives from the lot that i have delt with are straight forward and will call a spade a spade. More often than not they can’t speak their thoughts on issues and be honest about their feelings on it an some also live a double life. Only a few speak their mind and the truth because they are true to the industry.”

“There is a lot of mediocrity creeping into the media landscape so every time I meet young ones who want to ply the journalism trade I always preach to them on being substance driven and them staying true to the industry than just plying the trade because it makes you popular”, IB opens up on helping budding talents who aspire to be like him.

Thinking social media has had a negative effect on his profession, IB opined, “Social media to me has had a positive effect on my profession because I can reach out to more people, it also helps me to know what’s happening in the world by just a click of a button.”

Follow IB on all major socials;

Instagram: @ibbenbako Twitter: @ibbenbako Facebook: @Ibrahim Ben-bako

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Comedy

FEATURE REPORT: Akrobeto Has Got The World ‘Laughing Out Loud’

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Throwback to approximately two years ago when Ghana’s leading local languague broadcasting network – UTV Ghana announced actor and comedian, Akwasi Boadi, also known as ‘Akrobeto’ as the new addition to the list of its prolific on-air personalities to help disseminate news items to its audience, the whole country was left in a state of what was described as ‘discomfort’ due to his ‘poor’ formal education and journalism background.

Akrobeto was born at Ayirebi in the Ofoase Ayirebi constituency in the Eastern region of Ghana. According to his wikipedia, he did not have any formal education. He was a founding member of the Kristo Asafo drama group, when the drama group was founded by Apostle Kwadwo Safo in the late 1990s, along with Agya Koo, Mercy Asiedu, Nkomode the group performed in the Key Soap Concert Party at the National Theater. In 2008, he started featuring in kumawood movies.

What does an “illiterate” got to do with Journalism or radio and tv presentation? Well! I guess this paragraph will justify his call. Growing up in the sonic landscape of Ghana, we met a different style of practical journalism or broadcasting, thus, instead of employing well trained personalities with qualities like Investigative Skills, Tech-Savviness, Analytical Mind,etc into the field (that would however render the masses jobless), local media houses created shows – dominated by softnews that gave “illiterates” (with basically the ability to entertain an audience by making them laugh) to present on odd days and at odd hours. (Ofcourse no producer will air comedy oriented show on actively working days and hours).

Following his appointment as the host of “The Real News With Akrobeto”, the show and the media house started generating interesting conversations amongst the Ghanaian populace of heterogeneous background, majority of which has been centered on the humor aspect of it. Each episode was anticipated as it has become a weekly dose of laughter to cure boredom and to fight stress. The television show has become the most viewed programmed in Ghana with an overwhelming digital presence. Snippet from the show has become the recent social media memes. Internet users use excerpt from to show as comments to other’s posts.

Fast forward to 2020 – an era where the world is battling the glabal pandemic, Coronavirus, the veteran Kumawood actor has gotten international recognition with his comic news on Ghana’s UTV on Fridays. The show focus on trending news – dominated by entertainment & social news and has recently added sports news. He has made the world a little bit brighter with his hilarious sports presentation sketch. Boadi decided to take a shot at reading out a string of scores from the Premier League during ‘The Real News with Akrobeto’, but not in a way you’d expect.

His pronunciation of the club names as well as the players are ribs breaking. The recent news he aired about Cesar Azpilicueta, the captain of Chelsea Football Club attracted his attention and got features on Spanish tabloid – Marca, El Chiringuito TV, Sport Bible, Footyhumor, Falcons among others. Despite UTV being a Twi TV station, Akrobeto combines English and Twi as the medium of communication to his audience.

AKROBETO HAS GOT THE WORLD LAUGHING OUT LOUD

Check out reactions from international media houses below;

Watch episodes of the show below;

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