Uncommon success was for her, a long distant dream. She was almost always late going to a public school otherwise known as 'syto';
She ends up in a not too popular Ashaiman Secondary School (ASHASEC), and had to polish her grades at a remedial school;
And if you add the bit about her neighborhood that expected little from school kids, you can do the maths or cook out permutations about the likelihood of making it – I mean big time, I mean like continental big time.
Do you find the possibility of a CNN Award in there somewhere? "Hell no!", you could say. But Fate said "in heaven’s name yes".
All she had was a no-nonsense grandmother, a literature book and a mirror with which she stared into while saying “I am going to become a newscaster.. I am going to become a newscaster”.
On 12th October 2013 in South Africa, Miss Gifty Andoh-Appiah was among 27 other candidates and won the 2013 CNN MultiChoice TV News reporter. She becomes arguably the youngest guest this year to take a seat on Joy FM's Personality Profile - a seat unconsciously prescribed for those who have seen it all or seen enough.
This young news anchor and broadcast journalist Gifty Andoh-Appiah has worked at Multimedia Group since May 2012.
Learning journalism at GIJ
Gifty trudged through Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) for a diploma. She liked the training but not the edifice. A new building has been on the drawing board so long, the drawings must be bored.
She had a stint doing student politics. From an improbable angle, she yanked off the position of Local NUGS General Secretary from a highly tipped-to-win opponent, a lady she confesses was fair, beautiful, and with a chest of funds to campaign.
But, she had a motto “ready and willing to serve” and a campaign poster that was a no-no in any handbook on how-to-win-elections.
I mean, a drab poster spotting an ECG meter? Who does that? Well, Gifty Andoh-Appiah.
But that “bigger hand” which she also calls “invisible” turned out to be a Christian group CCF showing up in winning numbers to bag the position against the script. Gifty would go on to become the Coordinating Secretary of Ghana Union of Professional Students.
Chiseling out a career
The once-resisted imprints of her grandmother’s influence in her childhood showed up at this stage of her life. She juggled a degree program at the University of Ghana, a PR assistant job at the Institute for Professional Studies - and news casting duties at Net 2 Television in the evenings.
The discipline we often hate our guardians for ensured that she pulled off this act masterfully well. Too well. She graduated first class in Communications Studies and got a “convincing” offer to leave Net 2 to join Multimedia’s new baby – Multi TV.
Well, there was one casualty though – an increasingly uncomfortable boyfriend. Well, you can live with that if it were you, couldn’t you?
The Award-winning story
It was a story about public toilets in some popular slums in Accra where houses with toilet facilities are the exception rather than the rule. Located at the northeastern part of the Accra city centre and bounded in the west by Kanda, north by Kokomlemle and south by Accra New Town, Mamobi and Nima.
This exit for human excreta was fast becoming an entry for the spread of cholera in the municipality. Doctors confirmed cases were rising, people were dying. Yet in an election year, partisan youths were just anxiously waiting for their party to win so the winning group could take over the administration of the toilet albeit- by force.
It was a story of how politics dulled a sense of a community's response to imminent outbreak of the disease. Whilst lives were being counted, some youths were just waiting to count votes.
Be the judge.
Her story was among over a 1,000 entries from 42 countries across the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking African countries.
But on that South African night, a Ghanaian, a Multimedia broadcast journalist put Ghana on the continental map of quality journalism. We showed South Africans and the world, we have 11 players who can run on a pitch and score goals during the 2010 World Cup. Now we are showing the world more.
Looking into the glass ball
For someone whose toughest decision in life was joining an award-winning company and whose boyfriend is still God (if you understand what I mean), Gifty has so much more to see, and do and achieve. She confesses this –“ I am a beginner, only three years in journalism”.
She would need her literature books more, her mirror to visualize her dreams even more and her invisible hand so much more.
But here is the fact: she is no longer ordinary, this award actually brightens a pretty much colourless background with the sunlight of continental recognition.
It's like having the sun as your light bulb.
A tree of success has popped up in that barren background, and a seedling or two is germinating.
The dry land is endangered with the first signs of greatness. And an afforestation of testimonies and triumphs has began. Soon it will be raining heavily.
Remember the words
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert - King James Bible "Authorized Version", Cambridge Edition
So as the interview draws to a close, the lady at the center of attention lifts up her voice and sings …."moko be…moko be…moko be (meaning There is no one like God)"
Multimedia Group Limited is an assemblage of stars who work together everyday so much that they are unaware of their greatness – just like the milky way galaxy.
Those stars don’t even know they are 'milky' it is astrologers who behold that wonder and celebrate it.
Those news room guys at Multi TV, Joy FM, Myjoyonline,Asempa FM, Adom FM, Hitz FM, Nhyira FM don't see much except the objective of making Multimedia a world-class brand.
And as they generate heat and make light, it is the astrologers like CNN, GJA, BBC and 22 million Ghanaians who see this milky way of talent and occasionally pick out one for the best – and today, it’s Gifty Andoh-Appiah.
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