Attending the GJA Journalist Awards for the first time felt like a door opening with a hand gesturing me to enter the world of journalism. No, I don’t want to study journalism but networking and meeting Ghanaian journalists would be a way to network with them on content for social media. This years theme was rightly titled “ Ghana In Search of Reliable Energy to Power Development: The Role of The Media
I rushed towards the Banquet Hall, State House after a day of KpoiKpoi eating at my family Homowo celebration. In my rush, I left my business card but then I thought hey, any networking I will do will involve downloading my blog app.
As I climbed the stairs towards the main entrance than I heard some soldiers shouting behind me, ‘ HEY, HEY!’ Then another one who stood at the top gestured for me to not walk on the red carpet. I apologized profusely and stepped off it. What is the purpose of a red carpet at an awards night, I pondered. Then I had to go through a body and bag scanner which made me wonder who was coming to the event. Must be the President.
I walked in to an empty Banquet Hall with a scattering of waiters, ushers and videographers. It was almost 7pm. So how do we as a nation get ourselves out of this Ghana Mean Time (GMT) rut?
Where communicated time actually means a program will start an hour or two later. Well I was right about the President showing up , which he did two hours later when we were in the middle of dinner. Imagine eating Jollof and you hear a voice, ‘Please rise for the President of Ghana!!’ Jollof oh..Jollof!
The event in all honesty was boring. Wasn’t this supposed to be a fun night married with great awards and the like? Décor was below standard, the sound quality from the microphone was not great which made us struggle to hear the names of the award-winners. I found myself dozing during the Presidents speech about the state of dumsor ( he said nothing new) whilst waiting for the best journalist of the year award. On the topic of social media, the President only had scathing comments on how social media is being used negatively to spread false rumors ( the sale of the Osu Castle) . He didn’t say anything about it being a tool which can be used by journalists to create platforms for educating the country on power conservation or for the mass to understand the power situation. Well, there wasn’t any mention either by Guest Speaker Mr. Kweku Andoh Awotwi.
Is there any recognition of bloggers in Ghana by the GJA? I asked Emmanuel Dogbevi who happened to be at my table. He said no. There goes my dream of lifting a GJA Special Award for Best Blogger! Blogging Ghana are you listening (reading)?
Congratulations to Seth Kwame Boateng of JoyFm for winning the GJA Best Journalist Award for 2014! I felt so proud of him (never met him before) as he gave thanks to God for this miracle. A miracle because he started out as a receptionist at Love Fm. From a receptionist to a National Award winner!
He poured praise on his wife as he quoted Proverbs 18:22 and how he found favor because of her. I wish I could have seen her face. As a last born of 17 children this is how far the Lord has brought him. The guy had vim paaa! Shouldering the President like they were old classmates 😂.
At the end of the night, these were the awards presented to journalists who wrote under various categories from Health to Poverty Alleviation and the winning articles they submitted which gained them the trophies.
· Arts & Tourism Award
Rebecca Awuah of GTV ( Remnants of Africa’s Colonial Past)
· Court & Crime
Elvis Darko of Finder ( One Woman Two Husbands)
Last year’s Journalist of the Year Mabel Aku-Banneseh of Daily Graphic ( Rot at The National Service Scheme)
· Education Electronic Media
Wendy Laryea of TV3 (The Waiting is Over)
Daniel Narnor formerly of Chronicle (Galamsey)
Zadok Gyasi of Daily Graphic (Unnoticed Cold Mine)
Samuel Adade (Upper East MDG)
· Features TV
Seth K. Boateng of MultiTv (I shake, I fall, I die)
· Features Print
Jamila Akweley Okertchiri of Daily Guide (Liquid Gold Best Food Ever)
· Investigation Category
Kwete Nartey of Joyfm (Red Light Creche)
Kwete Nartey of JoyFm (Narcotics Schoolboys)
Dela Russel Ocloo of Daily Graphic
· Best Digital Journalist
Wendy Laryea of TV3.
· Photography Award
David Andoh (2 motorbikes in head on collision)
· Human Rights
Abdulai Mumen of GTV ( Killing the spirit of the child)
· Rural Reporting Child Labor
Kafui Kaney of GNA (Kids Abandon School)
· Best Feature Radio
Seth Kwame Boateng of Joyfm
· Best Reporter Poverty Alleviation
Joseph Opoku Gakpor
Gideon Ahiagbor of Daily Graphic (Watermelon not just sugar and water)
- Best Reporter Human Rights
Joseph Gakpor of JoyFm
· Education (Print)
Doreen Hammond of Daily Graphic (State of Libraries)
· Rural Reporting (Main)
Albert Mario Noretti of Ghanaian Times ( Debi Debi Where no-one dies)
· Health (Best Reporter)
Nana Konadu Agyemang of Daily Graphic
· Oil & Gas
Moses Akorvortu Dotse of Daily Graphic
· Business Finance
Felix Klutse of Ghana Business
Benedict Owusu of JoyFm ( Age of Cheating)
· Local Governance
Rebecca Ekpe of GBC Radio
· Best Ga Program
Nii Adjeklu of Obonu Fm (Ebaa hi)
Aryeley Aryeetey of TV Africa
· Health (Newsprint)
Sam K. Boateng of Daily Graphic (Successful Surgery)
· GJA Komla Dumor Most Promising Young Journalist
Seth Bokpe of Daily Graphic
· GJA BEST JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR 2014
Seth Kwame Boateng of Joyfm
Congratulations to all the winners!
My power bank was dead and my phone was on its last 20% legs so I was saving the tiniest power to take a photo of the lead winner to tweet it. Thankfully I could but not before I could tweet. Death to Dumsor!