Interview- Radio Personality, Kwame Nkrumah Tikesie

Radio Personality, Kwame Nkrumah Tikesie

Kwame Nkrumah Tikesie

Kwame Nkrumah Tikesie

One radio personality that has successfully hidden his face and identity from the public is Kwame Nkrumah ‘Tikese’, host of the ‘Ade Akye Abia’ morning show on Okay 101.7 FM.

Though Tikese has become one of the most popular names and voices on radio, listeners have never stopped debating and speculating on who exactly he is and how he looks. His enviable command of the Akan language has even sparked speculations that he does not speak English.

NEWS-ONE, on Wednesday, bumped into him at the Ship House in Accra and made him pose for our cameras. Tikese also revealed his true identity and explained the secrets behind his ever rising fame as an effective communicator with a local focus.

Tikese, is it true you cannot speak good English?

I speak very good English. I mean flawless, Queen’s English. Twi is my first language and it happens to be the dominant language of my listeners so it goes down well with my programme that I communicate at least 80 percent of the time in Twi. And I happen to have learnt the language well.

Did you study Twi in school?

No I did not.

Did you grow up in an Akan Royal House?

Not really. I grew up in Kumasi where I was born and bred.  Growing up, I listened to radio a lot and admired people like Kwesi Donkor, Sekyere Boateng, Mafia Konadu and a few others who spoke very rich brand of Twi, so from childhood, I admired people who spoke Twi with some dexterity.

That is how come now that I am on radio I have created my identity as someone who speaks flawless Akan language and Twi to be precise.

 Are you saying you do this intentionally?

The Akan language in particular is a cultural tool and we use a lot of symbols to represent what we are saying. It is a tonal language that derives its strength from the tone with which it is spoken.

When you are presenting something to the public on radio, it falls under the aesthetics of performing arts. You must know where to start, where you climax and all that.  All these must be in your vocal discourse and the tone of voice you use must create a picture of what you are saying in the mind of the listener. You should know when to project, when to mellow your voice, when to lay emphasis, when to use a sad tone and when to use a hilarious tone. Your voice is the camera with which you show the picture of the story to your listeners.

Meaning your language power is your greatest tool.

Yes. That, as well as my voice, my intuitiveness towards historical facts, my cultural awareness and my ability to explain issues.

Have you been successful on Okay FM?

My best judges would be the listeners. But I can say it has been splendid and tremendous. I get a lot of positive feedback. It feels amazing that many people do not know me by face yet follow me on radio. It was only until recently when I boarded a commercial vehicle and midway into the journey, I suddenly became a subject of discussion that I realized how far my name had gone. I just sat through and listened without the passengers even knowing I was the Kwame Nkrumah they were talking about.

Tell me about yourself.

I was born in Kumasi. My parents are still alive. I started school from Class 1 at Wesley Practice Annex, Kuofrom in Kumasi then I moved to New Tafo LA Middle and from Class Six I entered Secondary School. By age 11, I was in secondary school form one. I went to OKASS. Then I went to the Winneba School of Music.

I never knew you studied music.

Not exactly, but I had a soft spot for music and did it on the sidelines. I became a composer and I composed several choral songs. I also played the keyboard and was a piano instructor. Then I entered the Kumasi Polytechnic to study Marketing. So aside my degree, I hold an HND as well. I am happily married to Emmanuelle Maame Serwa Nkrumah.

Is she the one we know on radio?

No. This one is not on radio though she is also a journalist. We are married with three lovely children whom we love so much.

How did you get into radio?

I was doing a choral programme at Otec FM when someone encouraged me to go into full time radio. So I worked for Fox FM, then through Father Dickson, I moved to Hello FM and when Okay FM was about starting, I was invited to Accra to start the morning show.

You are dominating Accra’s airwaves very fast. What is the secret?

The secret is about humility and hard work and the providence of God that it shall be well.

Any final words?

Well, I just want to say thank you to my listeners, my team and producers as well as all members of the Despite Group of Companies. The listeners have been tremendous with their support, criticisms and advice. This is what has brought us this far and we can confidently say at this point that the sky is not even the limit focus. It is rather our spring board.  We hope to bring quality radio to the doorsteps of the Ghanaian.

-Interview by News one

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