Shortly after she turned 18, Mamavi felt that the distance between success and failure had just grown a gulf wider – as wide as her mother’s separation from her father as news of the divorce sank in.
It stunned her. She didn’t see it coming. Now left alone, she sized up life with a jealous feeling of a disadvantaged challenger.
There was this emotional confusion for the fresh graduate of Zion College in the Volta region.
Faced with a life without the united participation of her parents, Mamavi knew there was going to be no consolatory opportunities, no glory without guts and for a teenager, any masculine hand-out could be poisoned chalice.
Mamavi recalled how she felt 12 years ago – “lost”. The same way an ordinary Ghanaian feels watching American soccer.
The stony implications of her parent’s decision meant Mamavi had to “mature quickly” and find a job even quicker.
And what was she going to bring to the world’s table of achievement?
Moses brought a stick to face the world; David brought a stone to face a kingdom’s most decorated fighter.
But, Mamavi brought her voice as a teenager.
After about 10 years working in the media, Mamavi Owusu Aboagye is today host of Multi TV’s AM Show, host of Rhythms A to Z and Joy’s FM stand-in host for the Cosmopolitan Mix, copy writer, voice-over artist and MC.
Mamavi flanked by her solid production team, Dela Aglanu [L] and Philip Nai [R]
Mamavi Aboagye has seen her life change by adding layers of intelligence to a voice and an even thicker layer of a solid work ethic.
But minus her father’s influence, Mamavi’s future didn’t appear to be heading for a career on the airwaves.
The only reason why she had a thing for the media was because her father sat like an unmovable sun in front of the TV and radio.
His life after work, revolved around listening to radio and watching the news.
With a mother discouraging social activities, it left Mamavi little to do but to hang around her father like one of those smaller planet stalking around the sun.
And it wasn’t fun……in the beginning – like most beginnings.
But Mamavi showed signs of how watching too much TV and listening to too much radio had impacted her life.
She started organising a make-believe students’ talkshow while at Zion College.
It was staged in the school’s Assembly Hall. Students would gather, without the notification of the official timetable – and listen to Mamavi host a talk about the ‘serious matters’ only teenager find serious anyway.
For teenagers, issues like knowing yourself and when to date can be serious G-8 matters.
The tragedy of our generation is how past times have been abandoned for the refined, fix and tight life lanes called career.
Would her recognized talent in her voice be her career’s desert or the main meal in deciding her career?
Unique FM was her first stint with radio as a teenager and a particularly unique voice didn’t make the decision to take her on any difficult.
“What made him pay attention to me was my voice”, she remembered.
She got it by just calling into the station asking to do an internship as a cure to floating around during the vast vacation every secondary school graduate can’t wait to wade into.
Opportunities to actually be on radio during Unique FM internship was sporadic as was another chance at Radio Central in Cape Coast and another at Sky Power FM in Takoradi.
Sporadic chances are like the first intermittent sounds of a baby. It is not failure to speak. Even generators cough before unleashing an unending stream of noise-making.
And so for the teenager, sporadic was resounding success.
Mamavi travelled around to three regions for radio jobs because there was not much her family could do to sponsor her education.
But her real break came in the form of Sky Power where despite being interviewed for radio she found herself at the front desk and as a PA to the Programmes Manager.
But even picking calls for her boss was an opportunity to sell her voice because it left an indelible mark on the callers.
When one of Sky Power’s presenters left the station, Mamavi got his chance to stand in for the Coast to Coast Saturday programme.
It was a week-end show where Ghanaians could talk to a relation abroad live on air. Making an international call then was a big deal for Communication Centers before social media made nonsense of this communication difficulty.
The show was a local hit. Within months, Mamavi would host Spicey Lunch, Sky Kiddy Express and read the news.
Her plate of opportunities had become full. Heady at her breakthrough, Mamavi was teed up with an opportunity to go TV as Sky Power assembled equipment for a TV station.
But the quick ride on radio slowly ebbed as the station recruited more presenters. Mamavi’s wild ride on radio at Sky Power came to an end.
But TV was just about opening up. Yet Mamavi contemplated going back to school.
Nobody at Sky Power could appreciate why a young girl with radio at her feet would consider walking away.
“There will always be a naturally talented person” she thought there was a need to add value to voice.
And 50 cedis salary didn’t make walking away look like a Messi decision at Barcelona.
After 2 years at Sky Power, Mamavi walked away in 2003 and took a seat in the Management class at Central University College.
Time eventually sharpened the advantage of fine looks, a genetic requirement for TV as Mamavi moved from Citi FM to host Today’s Woman at TV3.
Hosting the show said a lot about how far Mamavi had come. From a girl who made a phone call to Unique FM from a Communication Center to a woman discussing feminine challenges professionals go through.
After painstakingly building her tower of independence, love came crushing it down with its sweat romantic hammer.
It was a demolition of sizeable proportion because just after 18 years, Mamavi has had to buy her own food, find her own shelter, pay her rent, pay her fees, take critical decisions and change jobs.
Naturally, her sense of independence was well honed. But well, love doesn’t give a crap about that,does it?
She met a young pharmaceutical analyst, Daniel Aboagye Clyde living in the same Ashaley Botwe neighbourhood. It started off as a lift to work. But a lot of things were working in the hearts of the fated two while the lift went on.
And Mamavi stepped out of the car, every morning with her heart growing warmer and warmer and warmer – until it turned romantic LPG gas – love was in the air.
The marriage ceremony at Christ Temple was so simple, Mamavi recalled. Not too much frenzied planning. Her uncle walked her down the aisle that Friday.
Today, Mr and Mrs Owusu Aboagye have been blessed with two children.
Ghana’s loudest player in the media industry, Multimedia came knocking in 2012 with a challenge to sit in for Doreen Andoh on the Cosmopolitan Mix.
She took it. Mamavi has then nursing her baby. But showed her appreciation for good music and her bubbly personality to hold Accra’s audience tuned in to Joy 99.7 FM from 10am till midday, every day.
Mamavi Aboagye has become a well-rounded media personality at Multimedia. She has become an example of Multimedia’s push for convergence, where human resource of its several platforms can walk and work on any platform.
The only reason she doesn’t appear bigger is because she tames her ego under the lock and key of humility.
Looking back, she talks of great mentors in her life, Doreen Andoh and her sister, Yvonne Andoh, Peace FM’s Kwame Sefa Kayi and Ruddy Kwakye. She calls them “God sent”.
And she has words for upcoming ladies in the profession. There is no need to accept a proposal to move ahead or push a woman’s soft skills into overdrive just to get a job or stay on the job.
“Let your talent speak for you”, Mamavi nailed her colours to the mast.
Story by Ghana|myjoyonline.com|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]
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