By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
I got reliable information that industry stalwart, Nii Ayite Hammond is leaving Multiple Concepts, the stables of Charterhouse Ghana, for another venture and refreshingly, the separation was mutual.
He dedicated 17 years of his life to the cause of one Company and there’s no doubt, from the observers’ point of view, that he did exceptionally well. There’s talk that, as practiced at Charterhouse, Nii could and would be called upon anytime his expertise is needed on any of the projects he helped build or any other innovation from the Company. Together with Charterhouse, Mr. Hammond has shaped our entertainment industry and developed talents over the years.
It is imperative that we do not wait till such good men pass on before we tout their good works in the industry, therefore, this edition of the Column is dedicated to Nii Ayite Hammond.
Such A Hard Working Man
As a Director in Charge of Productions, Mr. Hammond presided over a plethora of successful events such as the Ghana Music Awards, Miss Malaika, Ovation Red Carol Concert, all International musical events for the likes of Jay-Z , Ja Rule, Busta Ryhmes, Chris Brown, Akon, Big Sean, P-Square and many others.
He supervised the making of some of the well-watched and renowned television shows in the country including ‘Agoro’, ‘It Takes 2’, ‘The Challenge’, ‘Rhythmz’ and a deluge of others.
The level of expertise he brought on board helped make Charterhouse one of the best in the business, when it comes to the organization of events and production of television programmes.
The VGMA stands out for mention, considering the fact that, it is that Charterhouse-produced event that generates the most chatter – and the story of its journey and success cannot be penned without any critical mention to Mr. Hammond.
That level of commitment, dedication and enthusiasm he attached to the operations of the awards are yet to be matched in any shape or form. The Awards would surely miss his 100% devotion and tenacity.
He Had An Eye For Talent
It is worthy to note the number of talents that have come through Charterhouse; from TV Presenters to MCs, Production Heads and Production Assistants, many of whom are doing well in the industry.
From helping shape Chris Attoh to become one of the most-sought- after Comperes to making Joselyn Dumas a revered TV Hostess to grooming Berla Mundi to become arguably the in-demand female MC in the country – Mr. Hammond had the gift of not only spotting talent, but grooming, tutoring and directing them unto higher grounds.
There are many other personnel who are not in the limelight but have been spotted, groomed and elevated in their respective fields, thanks to the vision of Mr. Hammond; and that quality trait would surely be useful in his next line of trade.
He Never Backed Down
For many years, I have had several engagements, mostly intense, with Mr. Hammond on various platforms, especially concerning the Ghana Music Awards – and it must be stated without any equivocation that he never backs down in his line of argument, ever!
For all the years conversations on the Awards came up, including the recently-held 20th edition, he always stood on his grounds, in his defense and support for the actions and decisions of his Company, regardless of how awkward some of his thoughts sounded.
Mr. Hammond had so much conviction in his Company, its works and every decision it took along the line, so much so that, he hardly took any form of backlash or cynicism – as he always found a way of producing some reasoning for every argument he posed.
As irritating as he seemed sometimes, he also showed a character of someone who was always willing to offer any form of resistance and defense to the denigration of his Company.
It was fascinating how Mr. Hammond and I would be breaking bread, be hearty and chatty after every form of intense argument. He never held grudges and I will surely miss our banter!
Such An Affable Man
Knowing Mr. Hammond for some number of years, he had an attribute of being such a genial spirit. He was easily approachable and willing to offer admonition, insight and direction on anything that related to the Industry.
Unbeknownst to many, he has some sense of humor too and has a way of breaking the tension with such sarcasm interspersed with wit.
Although I never worked closely with him, or never worked under his direct supervision but my encounters with him depicted a fellow who never got angry for a long time. He expresses his displeasure or distaste for something and quickly moves on.
Genuinely, regardless of your rank and standing, he accorded everybody with respect and it made him one of the most revered personalities at Charterhouse and within the entire industry.
I do not speak for most radio presenters and their producers, but in spite of his schedule, Mr. Hammond always made time to represent the Company on varied matters, especially on the VGMAs.
A Man of Religious Faith
It would surprise many to realize that Mr. Hammond is such a religious person and if anybody who knew that fact had any doubt about his faith, then his resolution to leave his job at Charterhouse and pursue another venture in the religious domain is enough attestation.
He has never been ashamed of his religion and his Church and he also did not make it his business to impose his beliefs unto others, never!
Our industry was not the only front that benefited from Mr. Hammond’s qualities as he diligently dedicated some of his time, energy and resources to the Church and the works of the Lord.
As he goes in to work full-time, we know his exemplary skills, communication skills and human relations, plus the grace of God will see him excel. We wish him well!