Marian Yaa Nyako-Lartey, a Ghanaian Radio presenter on Metro FM, South Africa’s biggest Urban radio station, shares the story of her radio journey, her first TV Hosting stint and how Ghanaian music can make an impact in South Africa.
Q. How did radio start for you?
A. I guess radio was something that has always been at the back of my mind just that growing up sports always took my full attention as I was an avid hockey player with dreams to play nationally someday. It wasn’t until I got to University that I took up what would be my new found passion- radio. Yes I had my favorite on air personalities and shows I would try my best not to miss but never thought I would be ‘that’ person on air. I came across an advert while walking on campus from the campus radio station stating that they were looking for new presenters. I was immediately drawn to the advert and the possibility of actually being selected. I never did quite imagine that things would have turned out the way they have thus far for me.
Q. How many years have you been on radio?
A. I have been in radio for about 9 years now.
Q. Which radio stations have you worked with?
A. I started off my radio career or journey as I would like to call it, in University at the University of the Free State in South Africa. I then got called to join a regional commercial station (OFM) in the area 2 years later. I worked with OFM for about 4 years before my big career move to Metro FM in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2012.
Q. How many years have you been with Metro FM?
A.I have been on Metro FM from April 2012 so I am pushing 3 years on this national urban commercial radio station which boasts about 6 million listeners.
Q. Have you won any awards?
A. Yes, I have won an award at the national MTN radio awards in 2012 for best commercial music presenter. I recently tried my hand at TV presenting about 5 months ago and to my surprise I have been notified of a my nomination for an award in this year’s Nigerian Broadcasting Merit Awards set to take place in November
Q. Which program do you currently host on Metro FM?
A. I currently hosting a house/dance show on Friday and Saturday night with house legend DJ Vinny Da Vinci and Christos on Friday night 22:00 – 01:00 and then DJ Siyanda on Saturday night 22:00 – 01:00 and lastly I can also be heard on Sunday night 22:00 – 00:00 on my own. *South African time*
Q.Is there any program on Metro FM that you look forward to hosting?
A. Yes there is. As a radio presenter as you get better and better at what you do and feel more and more comfortable behind the microphone your aspirations of landing a slot within the 6am – 6pm week day time frame becomes ever more increasing evident. This is a dream I hope to achieve within the next 3 years.
Q. Would you say you’ve made it as a radio presenter?
A. No I wouldn’t say that I have ‘made it’ as a radio presenter. I feel there is still so much I need to achieve like getting onto the prime time slot on Metro FM and even broadcasting on a Ghanaian radio station. I will say however that I have reached certain small personal milestones which I am forever grateful for.
Q. Any TV Hosting experience?
A. My first TV Stint was the show Ghana on Point (#GHonPoint). It ran from April till September (2014) with the last episode having being shot at the end of September.
It was shot in Johannesburg, South Africa with Planet Radio TV productions (PRTV) and was broadcasting on DSTV as well as GoTV.
The feel of the show was a lifestyle infotainment format which was an hour long live show focusing mainly on Ghana but did not exclude news from other African countries.
Q. Any plans to do radio in Ghana?
A. You know ever since I did the TV show Ghana on Point which catered to the West African market, I would really love to do radio in Ghana. If there is a radio station in Ghana willing to set up a broadcast from South Africa then I would start today!
Q. As a Ghanaian living in South Africa, what are your thoughts on the Ghanaian reps at this year’s Big Brother Africa?
A. Funny you ask this question. I actually met both Ghanaian reps while working for the TV station/show I mentioned earlier. The lady M’am Bea and I auditioned for the presenter position for the show and then Kacey was interviewed on the TV show once I got the part. The show was called Ghana on Point or GH on point for short.
With regards to Big Brother it takes a very brave individual to take part in this reality TV show due to your stay in the house being on constant surveillance but as a Ghanaian I am happy that Ghana always has representation in the house and based on the run in I had with our two reps this year, I am pretty sure they will make Ghana proud, given the circumstances.
Q. Is Ghanaian music popular in South Africa?
A. Ghanaian music is known in South Africa but not as popular as the Nigerian music offering, I can add though that each year the knowledge South Africans have of Ghanaian music or even artists is growing.
Q. Any thoughts on Ghanaian music can make a lot more impact in South Africa?
A. I feel the how, where and who markets Ghanaian music will make a huge difference in terms of the music breaking through just like Nigerian music has managed to do and quite successfully in the past 2/3 years. This is something I am looking to improve in my own small way next year.