By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Inside the cozy offices and studios of Accra based Asaase Radio – the latest network adding up to dozens dotted around the country – are murals dedicated to veteran journalists by Ghanaian muralist Nicholas Wayo.
The murals, which are intertwined with texts, comprise images of the late Joy FM / BBC presenter Komla Dumor, US based National Public Radio (NPR) correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, former Daily Graphic Editor / BBC presenter Elizabeth Ohene, ex Radio Zoy (now GBC) presenter Isa Keita and the veteran sports commentator Joe Lartey.
In spite of a lack of attention to detail, Wayo created warm, perceptive and creative images alongside the use of cool tints that managed to transform the walls into incredible magical spaces. Indeed, walls that would daily inspire Asaase Radio reporters, presenters and producers to aim high and uphold the ethics of the profession.
As they create a tranquil atmosphere and vibrancy, these murals effectively connect with other artworks collected by the new media house while reminding entrepreneurs of the need to utilize the skills of muralists to enhance the walls of their work places, offices and homes.
Designated as one of the 100 most influential Africans of 2013 by New African Magazine, Dumor established himself as one of the emerging African faces of global broadcasting while a lead presenter for the BBC. Undeniably, his professionalism, poise, intelligence and skill coupled with his infectious smiles, heavily influenced radio and television coverage across the African continent.
An award-winning broadcaster, Quist-Arcton is currently the NPR’s Africa Correspondent. She spent her early years in Ghana, Italy, Kenya and the United Kingdom and has lived and worked in Europe, the United States and other parts of Africa. She was recently based in Senegal traveling across the continent as a journalist, commentator, host and media trainer.
A Minister of State for Tertiary Education under the John Kufour regime, Ohene was a senior producer on BBC World Service / British Domestic Radio, Researcher and Columnist on the erstwhile Focus on Africa Magazine and Deputy Editor at the BBC African Service as well as being in charge of the operational budget.
Keita, who was a former secretary to the Emir of Katsina (Nigeria), worked at the then Accra based Radio Zoy in the 1940s and was noted with his news dispatches on World War II and other related issues. Born to a noble Fulani family, he went on to carve a memorable political career in the Republic of Nigeria.
A veteran sports commentator and first President of the Sports Writers Association of Ghana, 92-year-old Lartey worked with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, where he operated with the ace Nigerian commentator Ishola Folorunsho.
Currently, the director of Nima Munimmanchi Art, Wayo, whose work largely deals with murals and portraits among others, has exhibited his works in Ghana, Italy and the United States. He has collaborated with several artists including Kofi Setordji (Ghana), Virginia Ryan Izzo (Italy), Lyle Ashton Harris, Prof. Steven Feld (USA) and Matt Baker (Scotland).
A privately-owned radio station, Asaase began official transmission in June 2020 and is operated by owners of the Daily Statesman newspaper. It operates under the tagline “The Voice of Our land”.