He is popularly known as ‘Chairman- General’; a communication mogul, award winning Broadcast Journalist, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, MC extraordinaire and currently the most sought after morning show (kokrokoo) host in the country and in addition to his repertoire, he is an actor.
But if our knowledge of him is limited only to his popularity, then his life would be nothing worth writing about.
“You don’t know my story; you only know my glory.” he stated, when asked about how he feels when young people walk up to him in admiration of his accomplishments. “You don’t know what I had to fight, how long it took for me to get here, where I came from and so do not aspire to be like me, be better than me. I’ll let you in on one of my stories.
In 1994, the ship house in which we are seated today used to be a tro-tro station. I used to board a vehicle from circle to this place so I could catch another vehicle from here to my P&P office in Abeka. There were times I had to walk, sometimes for an hour or thirty-five minutes because I had no money to cover transportation. The sad thing was, you could walk to the office with high hopes of getting some cash after filing your stories, only to be told that there’s none.
I remember back in the day when one had to do what I called ‘a round robbing walk’; I would go to GBC to do a few stories there, GAMA films to gather a few actors and producers like Bob smith Junior (diabolo), Socrate Sarfo, Akorfa Adjeani and the likes to profile their upcoming movies and because sometimes my pocket was literally empty, I had to hang around for a while and if I was lucky, someone would offer to buy me lunch, probably do a few voice overs which used to excite me back then because, I knew I would be paid in a week or two and that was my money in the bank.
Sometimes after a hectic day of going round in circles on my daily routine, I wouldn’t have made a cent but I would still put my work together and hoped to be paid in a month or two. Your journey might be different from mine but still, do not aspire to be like me but better than me. Times have been bad, rough and difficult but note this; nothing happens overnight so do not be in a hurry. Work hard ,stay focused and learn your books.”
‘KSK’ as he is fondly addressed by his colleagues, has worked with Peace fm for the last 16 years and has been doing Broadcast journalism in general communications and public relations for the last 23 years. Surely, with his vibrant persona and consistency in the media, he would be best described as an ‘energetic’ man.
Going into his educational background, He is an ‘Odehye’ of Okuapemman School in Akropong (1987), had his sixth form education at the Workers College in Accra; from there, he went all the way up to the Northern Region of Ghana for his National Service and further described that as his ‘moments of excitement’. He started writing for newspapers and magazines after his service.
He worked with the P&P newspaper, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and did radio and television theater on the side. He then studied at The Ghana Institute of Journalism and ended up doing certificate programs in Public Relations, Advertising, Advanced Communications and Marketing.
“Indeed, a lot of people have contributed to my success story.” He said “A gentleman called Ekow Budu Manuel gave me my first lessons in Broadcasting sometime in 1993 which went all the way into 1995. Then in 1996 I joined the then Radio Gold which was a start up and I can proudly say that I was the first presenter to be employed by the station.
I finally joined Peace Fm sometime in September 2000. Looking back, I must say joining Despite Media Group was the best professional decision I have ever made. It was a huge challenge for me though; looking at the fact that I had only done broadcasting in English and this shift would demand that I switched from speaking English to Akan.
People did doubt my capabilities then but I survived and now…the rest is history. I am still in my learning curve and I don’t think I have ‘arrived’ as some people would want me to think. Yes, I believe that I have achieved something that others would like to emulate, but to me, everyday is a learning curve.
I do not intend to set up a school to impart my knowledge in communications but I am certain that others by listening to me and watching me would probably pick up a few pointers to better themselves to become the revamped version of Kwami Sefa Kayi.
I have had the occasion to speak to young people, using my story to encourage them, motivate them and some were in the field of journalism, some of them not.”
Kwami grew up looking up to his late father who was an army officer and growing up under such strict environments there was never a room for mistakes. Young Kwami aspired to be an army officer just like his father but his mother, Mrs. Akosua Safoa, spotted Kwami’s passion for the media, pointed him into that direction and made him see the bigger picture and today, he has no regrets.
“Parents should not necessarily choose careers for their children. They could opt to go by my mother’s approach and point them into the direction they think would be of benefit to them in future but not impose a specific career upon them. Give your children the chance to be who they want to be; of course they would need the necessary guidance from you but help them by sitting back to have a perfect understanding of the bigger picture they would want you to see.”
At the age of 23, with his amazing journalism tendencies, he hosted a program at GBC called ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ which he described as a huge privilege.
Speaking on his acting career, he described it as ‘very dead’ because of the inability to make ample time to take up movie roles and go on sets. The last time he starred in a movie was in 2007/2008 for Shirley Frimpong Manso’s ‘Scorned’ under sparrows productions in which Lydia Forson made a huge fuss about ‘kissing the chairman General’.
When asked what his top five favorite Ghanaian dishes were, he replied, “I would do apem (boiled plantain) any day; apem with Nyaadua (garden egg stew), apem with Nkontomire (taro leaves stew) and I hear people have developed a more ‘sexier’ name for it ‘Palava sauce’… I laugh at this all the time. I am also a rice person so that would go third, followed by banku and fufu. But front burner, ‘apem and rice’ any day.”
I must say it was such an honor to chat with the Chairman General who happens to be one of my mentors in the industry.
He looks up to Jesus Christ, Bob Marley and Kwame Nkrumah. Wondering why? Listen to the audio below.