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Mr Baffoe-Bonnie popularly known as Baboo died on Monday, February 1, 2020. It is unclear the cause of his death.
Radio Gold was among the pioneer radio stations in the country has given opportunities to several broadcasters in the country to develop their talent. Kwesi Sainti Baffoe-Bonnie put together a collection of young men and women to start a radio station at Latebiokorshie.
Located near Barnor Junction, Radio Gold would go on to become one of the most influential radio stations in Accra and Ghana. The team that started the station included Kwaku Boafo Agyeman (who was known from GBC TV and GBC FM…
He was also an actor who is currently out of Ghana for over 20 years), Ekow Baidoo (who we knew from the hit television series, Inspector Bediako), B.B. Menson (who we knew from the youthful television entertainment show Smash TV and later made a hit on Radio Gold with “The NightTrain” Program), Eddy Blay (who was a rapper who eventually joined Native Funk Lords), Kwami Sefa Kayi (the host of the late afternoon show who had done a few programmes at GBC), Yvonne Andoh and others.
It was a very strong team from the onset, but in an era when you had the well-established Joy FM, Groove FM (Now Adom FM) with all their swashbuckling presenters and Vibe FM (Now defunct) with their so-called “abrofusem” presenters, it was always going to be tough early days for Radio Gold.
However, the team that started and those that joined them afterwards ensured that the vision of the founders of the station and the founding General Manager, Baffoe-Bonnie will go on by making sure that their creative abilities were unleashed on listeners.
Some of those who started would leave thereby creating the room for others to come in to blend with those who were left behind to form a formidable team that dominated the airwaves in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
If you were not listening to the Radio Gold of the 1990s and early 2000s, you would assume that it is a station that has always been about politics. But that was not so because Radio Gold was a multi-dimensional station with entertaining content for a long time.
There was the usual morning show, Kanawu with Sefa Kayi, Kofi Gyan with Fiifi Banson, Ephson’s File with Ben Ephson, Lunch With Kwami with Sefa Kayi, there was another programme before Editor’s Helpline with Sefa Kayi at some point there was Teachers Classroom with Banson and Menson.
It was interesting, it was engaging and if you were addicted to the station on Wednesdays, you were going to realise how difficult it was not to listen. Radio Gold’s Wednesday programming was life!
Over the years Radio Gold has produced some of the finest presenters, DJs and interviewers Ghana has known. Kwami Sefa Kayi in the last 20 years since the liberation of the airwaves, that is, perhaps apart from the late Komla Dumor, no other presenter comes close to him.
He was a significant part of the Radio Gold team both before and after Boafo Agyeman, and Baidoo would leave. He eventually took over the morning show and along with other programmes, he handled it very well and established the brand so well.
Also as Programmes Director, he did a lot for the station in the early days. He was humorous, forthright and engaging with his callers and guests. When he left the station it was very painful to them, as it ought to be.
Daryl Ambrose-Nmah, the Liberian refugee who became an integral part of the Radio Gold team of presenters did very well for the station. When Sefa Kayi left, he took over as the host of the morning show and did exceedingly well to drive the station forward.
There were issues with his stay and work permit when in 2000 the NPP came to power, leading to him being deported. He came back and then left again at some point.
Kofi Okyere Darko also found himself on the hot seat as the morning show host.
KOD is one person who has done almost everything there was to be done at Radio Gold. He was in the late afternoon show, mid-morning show and pretty much all day-parts until he left in 2015 to Live FM.
James Agyenim Boateng was for a long time the talk part of the morning show on the station. KOD did the music and other content part and he came to do the newspaper review and interview part.
With Nana Yaw and Omanhene Kwabena Asante. He was a fantastic interviewer who held no punches when sparring with anyone on his show.
He was partnered and succeeded by Alhassan Suhiyini. The station has produced some of the good mid-morning show presenters this city has known.
Patrice Amegashie who used to call himself The Trouble General was one of the top mid-morning presenters of the early days of Radio Gold. He took over from Yvonne Andoh and he shot the show up with his good selection of the African music of those days and other hot music.
Another person who has been a very good part of the Radio Gold history who has been a good mid-morning and lunchtime presenter for a long time has been Okyeame. Great radio voice, good diction and a very fantastic sense of music have been the three qualities that characterise Okyeame Badwinba’s presence on radio. The good thing is that he is among the few people who have stayed with the station till today.
Kwesi Anim Adjei, Mikki Osei-Berko and Wofa K have been the big triumvirate when it comes to the late afternoon show on the station. Wofa K did it for so long, but Mikki set that show on fire then with his performance before leaving for Happy FM.
Baffoe’s links with the NDC meant his station was seen as a political platform to promote the ideals of the Party through radio programs. The station was controversially shut down by the Akufo-Addo government in May 2019 over nonpayment of regulatory fees.
The National Communications Authority (NCA) explained it shut down Radio Gold and Radio XYZ because they failed to comply with the ruling of the Electronic Communications Tribunal (ECT).
According to the NCA, the “Radio stations operating without valid authorisations as determined by the 2017 FM Broadcasting Audit are being shut down with immediate effect as an enforcement action given the decision of the Electronic Communications Tribunal.”
In a statement, it said “Following the FM Spectrum Audit in 2017, some stations were found to be in default and were fined by the Authority.
However, some of the stations in default were not satisfied and proceeded to the various courts; Electronic Communications Tribunal (ECT) and the High Court to appeal against the NCA’s decision.
“This resulted in a decision by the ECT in 2018 which reviewed the status of expired FM Radio Broadcasting Authorisations and which ruled among others that Companies whose authorisations had expired reverted to the same position as a fresh applicant. While some stations shut down following this decision, others did not.”
Who was Kwesi Sainti Baffoe-Bonnie?
Kwesi Sainti Baffoe-Bonnie was born in 1950 in the Western North Region of Ghana.
He graduated from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana with a Bachelor of Arts degree, BA(Hons)Ed, in History: 1978/79 and a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs(MAIA) from Ohio University, USA: 1980/81.
He was appointed Board Chairman of the Ghana Air Catering Services from 2006 to 2007.
He was the Chief Executive Officer of Network Broadcasting Company Limited: the operator of Radio Gold 90.5 FM in Accra, Ghana from 1995 to 2008.
He was appointed the Senior Political Advisor to the then Vice President of the Republic of Ghana; His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, from 2009 to 2012. Mr Baffoe-Bonnie served as a Presidential Staffer and Senior Advisor on Political Affairs to the President of the Republic of Ghana.
He was married with 3 children: Ama Aniwaa Baffoe-Bonnie, Kweku Agyeman Baffoe-Bonnie, and Kwaku Amoa Baffoe-Bonnie. He has a brother, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, a Supreme Court Judge of Ghana.
May His Soul Rest in an absolute Perfect Peace!
Credit: Brixton Quame Obed (Facebook)