*Available from 16 March 2020
Few places on earth have the broadcast density as Ghana does. Every hour of everyday, different tongues articulate different topics on air. Expectedly, the nearly five hundred commercial stations have significantly dynamised the national narrative. Or have they? One thing is remarkable, though. Just over two decades ago there was not a thing as private radio or TV.
Focusing on the very intriguing story of Radio Eye, this commemorative publication historicises the nation’s relationship with the electronic media. Two insightful interviews – one with the maverick who broke the glass ceiling; the other with the man who took up the baton to consolidate private broadcasting – provide a rare but enjoyable insight. Enriching the discourse further are six well-researched, peer-reviewed articles that provide a 360-degree perspective on plural broadcasting as a critical development factor.
Plenty Talk Dey 4 Ghana is a well-curated, retrospective and introspective panorama of an African country’s media landscape. What makes it a keepsake for the local and global audience is how the book demonstrates the workings of plural broadcasting to the realisation of democracy.
This book is the autobiographical account of a young Ghanaian man’s unplanned entry into his country’s vibrant broadcasting industry at the turn of the century, and his largely triumphant yet occasionally tumultuous journey through it.
Although his father, Sam Clegg, had been a fixture of journalism as a formidable national newspaper editor for nearly a decade, from 1983 to 1992, Robert Nii Arday Clegg wasn’t drawn instinctively to the media. Young Clegg appeared to have fallen some distance away from the old tree that fruited him. It took a fair bit of coaxing and cajoling to bring him round to broadcasting, initially as a university campus studio cub, transitioning subsequently into the major leagues of radio talk show hosts in Ghana. The obstruction all along, he reveals, was his first love – no, not Mimi his beloved girlfriend who he was to marry later, but the Law profession.
My Media Journey is candid, completely unencumbered by flattery or camouflage. Clegg doesn’t dress b.s. up in make-up and polite synonyms. Excuse the Trumpian expression, but spades aren’t tremendous cutlery. What he sees as corporate shenanigans and acts of meanness are laid out unlaundered in the public square for readers, but so are acts of kindness and brotherly charity warmly and generously recounted.
From chapter to chapter, Clegg’s character emerges of a focused, self-confident and fiercely stubborn young man with an unwavering sense of political independence. He demonstrates this in his on-air and editorial encounters at Radio Gold and Starr FM, both broadcast stations based in the capital, Accra, and which have politician owners. His values-based approach to broadcasting is evident when on multiple occasions he rejects, with ease, offers of under-the-table monetary rewards from newsmakers for work done in the regular line of duty, as well as from unnamed government officials. The title of this book notwithstanding, Clegg throws in his love of sports and regales us with his own prodigious exploits at hockey and the sprints, and how that passion helps to open the doors to his media journey.
Also, he makes no pretence of his pride in his academic achievements borne out of intelligence, hard work and self-belief which, consequently, put him top of his law faculty class and reward him with a long-held dream — a place at Harvard Law School.
As Shimon Peres put it in his foreword to Start-Up Nation – the Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, this book should be taken as an “interim report” on the evolving life and career of Clegg. It is but a small chapter in a much fuller story that is still writing itself.
— FOREWORD BY KWAKU SAKYI-ADDO
This is a collection of the personal writings of Komla Dumor a young man, very intellectually vibrant, an erudite communicator, a passionate patriot and an emerging Pan Africanist. The book highlights experiences he had had during his worldwide travel pursuing his career as a Broadcast Journalist.
These essays rekindle hope and offers opportunities for his generation to build on his dream and the dream of the precursors of African Renaissance. This book raises the question about what constitutes his legacy which would lead us to celebrate him. The book shows clearly that Komla was an icon of International Broadcast Journalism working across different platforms. In his writings he exhibited the audacity of faith, from which emerges his unassailable courage to stand on an international digital platform, as an African, telling his own story and stories of old. The book also shows Komla’s stature, versatility in media practice on radio and television broadcasting, as well as the print media.
Komla was a stage performer with style and substance. His scholarly work was punctuated with extreme humor. In spite of his status, he remained amazingly humble. But the most outstanding passion in his writings was his concern for the future of his country Ghana and the African Continent.
This book presents balanced images of Ghana and Africa. But implicitly, it compels everyone to ask the question “Are we satisfied with the images we see? He lays the foundation for every Journalist of African decent to insist on accountable and transparent governance. He ends the story on racism, ethnic and tribal divisions showing clearly his uncompromising, progressive rejection of these divisions which have been historically and culturally conditioned and presents a new hope and opportunity for Africans to dream again. Here we have The Dreamer – Komla Dumor: The Boss Player in His Own Words.
Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Komla Dumor Foundation.
This story is about Komla Dumor’s meteoric rise to the enviable position of an icon in International and African Broadcast journalism. The story is largely woven on at least three fundamental principles. Namely journalism as a vocation and a calling, journalism and its practice is driven by only one ideal standard.
Journalism is defined both in theory and in practice as defined by an ethical compass and the discipline of verification. It is the adherence to these tenets of journalism that placed Komla at the top of the pile. Indeed Komla argued passionately that, to be a successful journalist within the context of the new digital enterprise, one must accept journalism as a vocation a gift of grace and must make a total commitment and be willing to put his or her hands on the spokes of the wheel of the new African History.
Secondly, Komla believed that the practice of journalism is driven by only one ideal standard that cuts across nations within the global system. This ideal standard and the pursuit of it create the contours for best practices. Those who pursue the ideal standard comprising unethical compass, the discipline of verification are the ones who reach the top of the mountain where the sheep and the goats are separated.
The book Komla Dumor: In His Elements explores Komla’s practice of journalism in Ghana and the United Kingdom against the tested values including personal moral responsibility to the public, personal integrity and the commitment to finding the truth and protecting the public interest. In essence this book is an illumination and exploration of Komla’s journey into the incomparable iconic status – the Icon of International Broadcast Journalism. It is indeed Komla Dumor in His Elements.
Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Komla Dumor Foundation.