Some days ago, I chanced upon one of my favorite TV shows on Ghana’s National Television station. “The Stand Point”, a talk show hosted by one of Ghana’s finest media personalities, Gifty Anti. A journalist, whose face I always looked forward to seeing every night on TV, reading the news with her sweet voice, calm composure and great command over the prestigious English language.
At the tender age of six, when absolutely nothing in the news was of interest to me, I always made it a point to be close to our television set at exactly 7pm, with my father constantly reminding me that getting too close to the TV set was not good for my eyes.
I couldn’t wait to welcome this beauty, this rare gem. A woman I thought was blessed with a natural necklace by God because of the unusual detailed lines around her neck and a dimple so obvious that it was visible from any angle. I couldn’t wait, to welcome this refreshing beauty on my set.
Unlike other presenters, 17 years down the lane, she has moved a notch higher and is now hosting her own talk show, a phenomenal one at that; a show that is concerned with issues affecting women, children and the oppressed in our society. A show I prefer to call the “Oprah Winfrey Show” of Ghana; a show that draws the emotions out of every human being no matter your gender or status, and causes you to always think about others.
“The Stand Point” not only educates, but it also entertains and informs its viewers. No wonder some parents even ensure that their children of growing age watch it with them; at least I know for a fact that my parents made it a point that Fridays, at 8pm, the channel was supposed to be at GTV no matter what.
As part of the 5th Anniversary of the show’s existence, Gifty Anti who is the regular host was rather interviewed on the journey so far. I must say, I was dumbfounded on some of the revelations she made.
Who would have thought that a journalist with such experience and an enviable reputation would have gone through the struggle of getting sponsorship for a show of this kind? A show of such great content, with a great purpose and wide range of a target group; who would have thought that such a show would struggle to get sponsorship so that for a whole year she run the show on her own. I found this even more upsetting when she revealed that even in the fifth year of the show with the whole upgrade of a studio audience, they didn’t have enough sponsorship.
My oh my, what a country in which we live. Fine, I have come to understand that starting something like this is not that rosy but after a year of the program running with all the impacts it had made, with all the lives that it has touched and changed, one would think that companies would rush to embrace the show and crown her efforts with maximum support. But no, here Gifty Anti was on the fifth anniversary of a phenomenal show still naming sponsorship as a huge problem and hindering the progress of the show. But then again, we find ourselves in a country that is seriously suffering from a disease called “misplaced priorities” so it comes as no surprise.
Sometime back, I witnessed a news bulletin on one of our local TV stations and in one headline, a telecommunication company had donated about 2million Ghana cedis worth of cash to the Ghana football association to support the Black Stars in a tournament I cannot quite recall. Right after that news item, another story came where a village in this same country was suffering from an outbreak of water borne diseases because their only source of drinking water had been polluted through illegal mining practices.
I asked myself, is this country done solving all its problems? Why will a company sit down and decide to give all that money to an already developed sector of this country. If the donation had been made to a different department within the sports ministry which is undeveloped in the country, for instance the black queens, the national hockey or basketball teams, it would have been understood to a point, but the Black Stars?
I may not be too old but I have been in this country for a while now. I have lived enough to witness the lifestyle of our football stars. These players live in mansions, with their houses spread across the world. Not to mention the flashy cars they ride in and their lavish spending. I don’t know much about football but I know to an extent that every stage in a tournament comes with a token. It’s also an undeniable fact that footballers are among the world’s highly paid people.
So then I asked myself, what will the money donated be used for? Because as a ministry, they are allocated a budget, and the government takes care of their expenditure. So why is there a need for external grants? Meanwhile, there we have a village in this same country with just a little over 300 inhabitants and they can’t get a decent source of water.
Not only is this village lacking potable drinking water, the roads leading to the village are in very bad shape. In addition, children of school going age walk miles to gain access to education from neighboring towns. The most shocking fact about this village is that they partake in elections too, but that will be another topic for another day. So you can imagine how I felt after hearing that a company had donated over 2 million Ghana cedis cash to the black stars.
I began to ask myself, do these companies even watch the news at all? What is the motive behind donating money to people who were already rich and live luxurious lives whiles others lacked just the basic necessities of life?
This was the same situation “The Stand Point” was facing. I felt all the major companies in this country should bow their heads in shame, for the fact that “The Stand point” is still crying for sponsors to come on board. It is such a shame.
There are so many talk shows, TV series and reality shows that have flooded our screens today. Most of these programs are similar and are really not adding much to this society. Yet, they are choked with sponsors. Should stakeholders and sponsors always be looking at only how it’s going to benefit them?
I think it’s time these so called big companies gave back to society and started doing selfless acts. Gifty Anti and “The Stand Point” are not the only ones who have suffered this fate; several others have been through worse and are still going through. Companies need to start investing and supporting programs that will develop our children and youth and programs that seek to promote issues concerning women, children, the youth and the oppressed in the society to ensure a better Ghana.
The entertainment programs and reality shows might be more entertaining but at the end of the day, we want to be raising leaders to suit every angle of this society and if care is not taken, some sectors would be lacking mentorship.
My name is Franca Efe Plange and just like noses, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion; and this is my opinion.
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