Fred Dzakpata – The ‘silent performer’ on the Starr Business Desk

Fred Dzakpata

He is very quiet and unassuming, but turns out to be one of the pillars holding the Business Desk of the Komla Dumor Newsroom at Starr 103.5FM.

A man of few words, but has a great sense of humor, a lover of music, very down to earth and always ready to give a helping hand, Fred Dzakpata, spends time with Starrfmonline.com to take us down memory lane.

Fred at Choice fm Newsroom

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?

I guess am just one of God’s creation created with my own flaws and challenges, but here on earth for a divine assignment which has over the years influenced what I do and continue to do.

HOW WAS IT GROWING UP?

I grew up at New Russia, near Dansoman with my parents and five siblings. I began my basic education at Merciful Nursery School, then to Dansoman 1 and 2 Primary and JSS for my basic education. I also attended New Gbawe Secondary School, NVTI and Jayee University College where I pursued my first Degree in Journalism with Business option. I can say life is filled with ups and downs and I have had my fair share which has contributed to who I am today in terms of principles and beliefs.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FAMILY?

Very loving and unique in its own peculiar way in contributing to who I am today.

Fred’s days at Choice FM

WHAT WOULD YOU LOVE TO CHANGE ABOUT YOURSELF?

How to love and care for those in my life more.

HOW RELIGIOUS ARE YOU

Well, I can say I am not the religious type, but I have tried all my life to build a good relationship with My God through my career as a journalist, a chorister and a Lector as a Catholic.

HOW DID YOU BECOME A JOURNALIST?

My journey towards being a journalist began at an infant stage. I vividly recall my siblings calling me FM but little did I know that I will one day end up working in the radio industry. It all began with my passion for reading at the Dansoman Community Library after our headmistress realised the poor reading habit among students of Dansoman 2 JSS. That honestly spurred me on to register with the Dansoman Library, where I usually borrowed books to read during my JSS era.

The erstwhile British Council Library became my next port of call for building the love for reading to keep abreast of current affairs and acquisition of knowledge. But the turning point for me was when I gleaned an idea from a book I borrowed back then titled “So you want to be a Journalist? It was through this book that I came across the idea of calling the Editor of your local Radio Station in the UK to ask if you could be given the opportunity to witness how journalists operate in the newsroom. Unfortunately, I shelved the idea until I was provoked through incessant harassment of not doing anything worthwhile after school (Hope you are familiar with that Ghanaian feeling of being a door mat at home because you are unemployed). It was after one of such encounters at home that, I decided to pick up a GT phone card to make a call to Choice FM (Now Kasapa FM). I remember vividly my interaction in which I asked the receiver to speak to the Editor, who happened to be one of my most respected Journalists in Ghana Patrick Ayumu. I narrated my reason for calling and he asked me “Oh you are looking for internship?” Honestly, I didn’t know what that was then but I said yes, and the response was come and see one of the Editors who was in charge of that. Luckily for me I took that bold step and was asked to start work. Here I was in the midst of students from GIJ, and other Journalism Schools but had no training in Journalism. All I knew was that I was passionate about working as a journalist. To cut a long story short, I worked from the latter part of 2005 from being an intern, to reporter, Anchor and Head of the Business Desk at Choice FM.

I later in my career realised the need to train professionally as a Journalist by taking a short Course in Radio and TV Presentation at GIJ, with the help of Mr. Fred Oware then the owner of Choice FM, who realized I had some unique potential hence the need to sponsor that training. I later enrolled at Trans Africa College, Sikkim Manipal University, and subsequently Jayee University College where I graduated with a Second Class Upper in Journalism with Business Option. Throughout this moments I have contributed articles to the Public Agenda, worked as an Intern with the Daily Graphic, acted as Deputy News Editor for the ‘Bulletin’ a Campus Newspaper at Jayee University College and Myrejoinderonline.com and Editor for the Christian Daily newspaper until a friend recommended me to join Starr FM at its inception in August 2014 where I was appointed Head of Business News.

WHO’S A BUSINESS JOURNALIST?

Being a Business reporter entails a lot in terms of being abreast of happenings within the economy, organizations both locally and internationally and the ability to write and the eyes for news.

Fred with Okyeame Kwame

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL CAREER?

I guess my ideal career is being able to use your skills to impact lives, and that is what I continue to do as a journalist through informing, educating and sometimes entertaining.

TAKE US THROUGH YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES

My normal day at work begins at 6am with the production for the Business Bulletin at 7am after which I join the newsroom team for editorial meeting to discuss the major stories we intend telling our discerning listeners at Midday. That is followed immediately with a similar meeting with my colleagues on the Business Desk to plan stories for the day and how to get those stories done, which leads us to the Midday News.

After the Midday News, we go into another editorial meeting to plan for the major News bulletin at 6pm after which I usually go for lunch depending on my activity for the day. From lunch I get back to work to work on stories for another major Business Bulletin for 4pm after which I close for the day. But honestly for me work does not end after that because I have to listen around and think about story ideas even at home for the following day.

TELL US ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU HAD TO SLOG YOUR WAY THROUGH A TON OF WORK. HOW DID YOU GET THROUGH IT?

I guess I have always done that in my career as a journalist.

Fred also passed through Citi FM

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE?

“I Can Do Bad All by Myself” by Tyler Perry.

HOW DO YOU DE-STRESS

I normally will be at choir practice or Lectors Meeting and sometimes spend time with my family if am not at work. I normally watch a very nice Comedy or Romantic Movie to de-stress when I am not at work.

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?

A former broadcaster by name Kojo Mensah formerly of Vibe FM (now Live FM and UN Radio) He had command over what he does and I just love him for that.

WHO HAS HAD THE MOST INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE?

My parents and they continue to do so, because of who I was, where I am and where I will be by the Grace of God soon.

Fred presenting the Business News at Starr FM

WHAT MOTIVATES OR INSPIRES YOU?

I draw my inspiration from God and motivation from my dad George Dzakpata and mum Victoria Fiagbedzi who in all their unique ways have contributed to who I am currently.

WHAT WILL YOU LIKE TO CELEBRATE?

How I have used my knowledge, talent and skills to contribute to the lives of special people I come across and to national development.

WHAT WON’T YOU DO?

Being someone else because I enjoy and love being me, despite my flaws.

ANY REGRETS?

I honestly do not have any regrets because although I am not content with where I am currently, I believe my story is just about to begin and would love to write a book about it someday because it is a unique one.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?

As a social entrepreneur.

HOW WILL YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY

I can say the journey has not been easy at all, but sometimes I look back and believe it had been so for a purpose that fits into what I want to achieve with my life. But it has also been fun and wish I could turn back the hands of time to correct some few things here and there to make it more worthwhile.

Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Miriam Hayford

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