Back in the mid to late 90s, Odeefour had the hottest show on radio. His show on Vibe FM served as a blueprint for what was to become the formula for stations like Peace FM, Hot FM, Adom FM, etc. His impeccable delivery in the Twi language, together with his sharp wit, and knowledge of current affairs, made him a household name. Since then, Odeefour has been a bit low-key, but still active on radio and TV. Most recently, I caught up with him at House Party Go Karting, Kokrobite, where he is posted up, and constantly racing.
What have you been up to recently?
Odeefour: Quite a lot of things, actually. I’m still in the media, but I’m looking at developing alternative means for entertainment in Ghana. So these are very busy times for me.
Tell us about this Go Karting place you’re running in Kokrobite.
Odeefour: Well the dream to establish House Party Go Karting and Food came about 7 years ago, from a big brother and friend. By the Grace of the Almighty, it is now a reality. It’s all about providing people with an alternative means of entertainment. For those that don’t know, Go Karting is like a mini Formula 1 race. It’s all great fun for the entire family, as you race in our Grand Prix. We also have a state of the art games arcade, with some very exciting video games. We have a fantastic restaurant as well. It’s basically an amusement center.
How does your career in the media play a role in how you handle the place?
Odeefour: Positively. There’s absolutely no negativity in this world, as it’s all about entertainment, where people come to have fun. I’ve also been able to draw more attention to the place through my contacts in the media. People are tired of doing the same thing for entertainment. It’s become a bit monotonous and boring. We need to have new ideas. That’s what House Party is all about. This is some world-class entertainment we have here.
What do you miss the most from the “Golden Age” of Ghanaian radio?
Odeefour: The quality. Now there is much more quantity than quality. There is too much copying go on. The right way of doing radio is no more. There are no rules and regulations. Everybody is opening up a media school and producing presenters, accredited or not. Things are not being done professionally at all. There no more ethics. People say anything they want under the guise of “freedom of speech”. Professionally, there are methods to saying specific things, sensitive things on radio. Radio stations and their presenters have become law school, lawyers, and judges. They don’t do their research and judge anybody at any time. People have taken things too personal, and have lost their way. The media landscape is just all over the place.
How does the advent of Social Media affect what you’re saying?
Odeefour: It’s 50/50. They say “if there is no news, you have to create the news”. Positively, it helps us see what is happening around the world in other nations. Negatively, it has caused a lot of damage to societies. In Ghana, it’s not working well. In Ghana, we tend to overdo things. In Accra alone, we have about 45 radio stations. It might be a good thing for people that are looking for employment. But employment doesn’t always mean financial income. Also people tend to release stories without any proof or research, and by the time the truth comes out, the damage has already been done.
What would you say is the most memorable moment of your career in the media?
Odeefour: I would say it’s when I launched my Fan Club. This was in 1997. I can confidently say I still own the biggest Fan Club in Ghana.
What do you do in your free time these days?
Odeefour: The only free time I have is when I go to bed! (laughs) I do a lot of research, though. I like to keep learning, and there is no limit to education. I’m currently looking for ways to make this Go Kart thing become a phenomenon in Ghana. Of course I race a lot as well.
How good are you on the track?
Odeefour: For now I’m doing 1 minute. The record is 51 seconds, so I’m not too bad. But I know by the time your readers read this I would have broken the record. (laughs)
What are your plans for the immediate future?
Odeefour: Well I’m also into fashion. I believe fashion gives me the edge I need. I’m working on my clothing line, and I do interior designing as well. I’m still doing radio. I will never leave radio. There is so much more that I can do. When I left off, people just copied blindly, and have not evolved. Looks like I have to come back and do something new. Every time I step onto the radio scene I bring something new that people start to copy. I’ve worked on radio stations in almost all the regions in Ghana.
Which region did you prefer working in?
Odeefour: I’ll say the Western Region, Takoradi. That’s because apart from radio, I opened up a night club as well. Those were good times.
A message to your fans?
Odeefour: Focus on your own life. Make sure you read a quotation a day. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Read your Bible and love God! Bless.
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