Thursday, July 16, 2009

Benjamin Willie Graham

For one to thrive and make a mark on radio and television, not only does one have to be articulate but must possess a good voice as well and that is exactly what has made young presenter, Benjamin Willie Graham, a toast of sports listeners in Accra.

With majority of the sports programmes on radio in Accra presented in Twi and Ga, “Sports World”, on Uniiq 95.7 Fm is one of the best if not the best sports programme in English, thanks to young and silky-voiced Graham.

over a few drinks at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) cafeteria, What’s On enquired about life and work for Graham, as he is popular called, at Uniiq Fm. “I will say it has been bitter-sweet as it has been challenging and exciting as well. Sports is not the only programme presented by this smooth talking radio personality as he said: “I present the ‘Sports World’ every weekday morning, I am a DJ and I do news presentations as well as sports commentary, which is my favourite. I also stand in a lot for absent colleagues”.

Growing up, Graham did not have the slightest of doubts as to what he wanted to become as he told What’s On: “I had the love for journalism, either as television or a radio presenter, therefore when my voice started developing, I honed it in secondary school by engaging in public speaking. Also some teachers encouraged me to go into radio because I have the voice”.

Though he is currently on radio in Accra, the journey actually started in Cape Coast. Right after his secondary school education at St. Augustine’s College in 2003, he quickly started with Radio Central in Cape Coast upon a friend’s advice. “I actually started as a panelist on the Sunday sports programme and graduated to become the producer of the programme. My breakthrough came when my boss traveled to the UK and I was asked to host the show which I did to perfection”.

Back then at Radio Central—a subsidiary of GBC—Graham joggled between Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast running football commentary. Radio commentary, his flagship trade as he calls it, is something he has done to perfection so far. With over four years’ experience, Graham has run commentary of matches in the Ghanaian League, matches of the Black Stars and many others.

This calm looking young man who also worked as an investigative reporter for the Enquirer newspaper for two years is also the sports news presenter on GTV’s Evening News. After making cameo roles on Sports Beat hosted by George Lartey on GTV, he said, “I was asked to present the sports news on GTV by the Deputy Director of GBC, Mr. Anane Sarpong after the regular presenter traveled”.

Any role models when growing up? “It was actually difficult identifying someone as my role model but I have one particular voice on BBC which I liked and that is Russell Fuller”. He also has an admiration for veteran commentator Kwabena Yeboah.

Benjamin Willie Graham is the last of a family of nine, attended St. Augustine’s College, Jayee Institute and the Ghana Institute of Journalism. How he relaxes after a busy day? “I either hang out with friends, swim, and play or watch soccer”.

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