Ever since he put his teaching days behind him to take a seat behind the microphone, Atinka FM’s Ekourba Gyasi has been a very busy man, moving around so much that sometimes it’s hard to keep up.
He got his start with state radio station, Uniiq FM on their breakfast show. But when the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation(his employers) wanted presenters who could speak both English and Twi for its office in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, he didn’t hesitate and joined Sunrise FM where he stayed for two years.
Perhaps, that was where his love for local radio started because all his next moves have been to Twi stations; from Sunrise he joined Happy FM, then to Adom FM; Hot FM was next, followed by Top FM and now Atinka FM.
Those are a lot of changes but Ekourba tells Showbiz that’s really not how he would have wanted things to be.
“It hasn’t been my intention to move from station to station. For some of them, I was attracted, especially my move from Happy FM to Adom FM, I thought it was a bigger transfer but I haven’t been lucky with some of the stations too; sometimes points of disagreements in terms of editorial, policy, in terms of the direction you want to go force me to leave” he said.
“For some of them, I was also in management positions and when what I will describe as boardroom disagreements occurred and I had to leave my management role, I also moved on as a presenter. It’s not as if I enjoy moving on.”
One of his moves that got some attention was when he left Adom FM.
One moment, he was doing great on air hosting the morning show, Dwaso Nsem, warming his way into listeners’ hearts and the next moment, he was off air without any explanation. He gave some insight into how things unfolded.
“I resigned from Adom Basically, what Multimedia was looking for was performance and they always had a system (tracker) for checking that and there hadn’t been any point in the three-and-a half years I was with them when they told me I wasn’t doing well,” he explained.
“I knew where the station was before I joined and where I had gotten to in the time I was with them. I expected that if any improvement was needed, the management would at least discuss that with me but nothing like that happened.
“Then one day, the management called me into a meeting and told me for business reasons, somebody else was going to do the morning show. My questions on what exactly had gone into that decisions were not well answered and they couldn’t tell me immediately what they wanted me to do. I felt it was unfair so I left.”
Ekourba tells Showbiz that he was devastated. “I had been warned prior to joining Multimedia that they could let you go at any point and had given me examples but I was still very shocked when it happened because it was so abrupt and I didn’t know why someone should do that to me. It shook me,” he said.
“My family was obviously upset. My wife didn’t believe me when I told her what my bosses had said. She thought I might have done something else and I wasn’t telling her. She had a lot of questions. My mum and my dad also didn’t take it lightly and they were worried too because I hadn’t been off air for as long as I did (two months) and they did not like it. It was a really tough time for me,” he added.
Now he looks back and reflects on the lessons he learnt from that experience.
“The whole experience has made me a better person. It brought me closer to God, my prayer life became better and it made me more careful dealing with people, I’ve become conscious about how I relate to people.”
Shortly after he left, he joined Hot FM and the rest is history.
Last Saturday, Ekourba was rewarded for all his efforts in the radio industry when he won the Radio Morning Show Host award at the Radio and Television Personality (RTP) Awards. He has been on Atinka FM for nearly two years and he credits team work as well as his personal effort for the recognition.
“I have always had a passion to see change in the status quo so here on Atinka, I don’t go the typical Morning Show route. I have my personal editorial segment where I air my own opinions on topical issues.
“I don’t want to have to depend on resource persons who sometimes cannot be impartial and I have discovered that the listener likes to hear what the presenter also thinks. I like to empathise with the ordinary person so I guess that has helped the show,” he said.
Apart from hosting the morning show, Ekourba is the Head of Radio for the Atinka Media Village and also oversees the other radio stations in their stables— Agyenka FM and Ahot) FM.
He loves learning (probably because of his teaching background) and is constantly seeking to better himself.
He has a degree from GIMPA and is currently studying Law.
Although his passion for the media is great, beyond it, Ekourba hopes to run his Law firm in the future where he would be engaged in advocacy.
For now, Ekourba is content to stay with the Atinka Group which he says is serious about the role it wants to play in the media. No more moving around… at least for a While.
Graphic Showbiz Newspaper