By Francis DOKU
I wanted to talk about the brand new studio TV3 unveiled on Monday. I really wanted to look at how well equipped news studios with state of the art equipment have become the new frontier of competition among television stations, and oh the dysfunctions there from.
However, on Tuesday morning I decided to change topics to write about Big Akwes and his tomfoolery on live television after coming across a video recording of him from a show on RTV insulting and threatening to beat up radio presenter and blogger NY DJ.
Akwesi Asamoah or Big Akwes is a Kumasi-based actor and TV presenter on RTV. He is a satirical kind of presenter who takes issues and looks at the lighter side. He is also very well known for making serious claims on TV. Some of such claims he is unable to defend or substantiate.
One of the most outrageous claims he made led to a ban placed on him from acting. About two years ago, Big Akwes appeared on a programme, Agoro Fie, on RTV where he was interviewed and he alleged that movie producers sleep with female actors before giving them movie roles.
This allegation, which he could not substantiate, led to a two-year a ban placed on him by the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG), a ban which was lifted after the Ghana Actors Guild had intervened and he had apologized.
NY DJ is the morning show host on Kumasi based YFM (yeah, there are three YFMs in Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi). Before he signed with Global Media Alliance to work at YFM two years ago, he was the host of the late afternoon show on Kapital Radio.
Born Donkoh Ebenezer, NY DJ joined Kapital Radio after a 4 year journey with KNUST-based radio station Focus FM. However, what he is well known for, especially outside Kumasi, is his blogging on the website he set up and runs, www.nydjlive.com. Indeed he is one of Kumasi’s foremost bloggers.
Sometime last week NY DJ made a blogpost about how Big Akwes has gone on air to describe very terribly a lady who had been married to another Kumawood actor known as Mebusem. The blogger minced no words to let the actor know that his views about the young lady who just got married to his colleague were in bad taste.
In the blog titled “Big Akwes Needs to be SANCTIONED for INSANE DISREGARD for Autistic Patients on Live TV” NY DJ made the case that Big Akwes was out of order and that he needed to have known better than joking with people with disability.
“This makes me want to puke and I ask, does an actor and television personality who is supposed to be well informed so as to educate the society go this way to affirm people’s ignorant perceptions about autism?”, he wrote.
He also added that “in a society where no one is ready to crack the whip and get the junk off our media space but prefer to sit back and laugh at anything, this is exactly what happens.”
Following this publication, Big Akwes went on television last Monday to attempt a clarification of his first comment which NY DJ and other right thinking members of society who saw felt was in very bad taste. He claimed that those who were accusing him didn’t understand quite well what he meant.
According to him, what he meant was that he hoped Mebusem did not marry the lady because her mother is wealthy and that would give him access to her money while continuing to sleep with other ladies out of wedlock. He claimed that he was admonishing Mebusem and not to denigrate the lady.
He did not end with his explanation, which if you watched the initial video was as bogus as the “motorway” on his head, rather he went on to vent his spleen at NY DJ and all who had the effrontery to vilify him for the comments he made.
Worse than that, Big Akwes threatened on live television that he would beat up the YFM presenter. “NY DJ are you insane”, he asked, “are you deaf or dumb?” Then he says in Twi “I can come to your house, pull you out of your room and beat you up.” At this stage his colleague in the studio was trying to calm him, but he continued that when he comes back on Friday he will announce NY DJ’s number on air.
Honestly I was gobsmacked by the sheer ignorance and brazen braggadocio displayed by Big Akwes on TV twice in one week. First of all he lied in the second video that he did not make fun of the lady in the first video. He did. He said things about her that I would not want to repeat because they are plainly despicable. A man the age of Big Akwes should indeed know better, as NY DJ pointed out to him, and not spew such bunkum on TV.
Secondly, what he needed to have done in the second video was to apologize to the lady, her husband, her family and viewers for showing such open senselessness on TV, instead of lying about what he was caught on camera saying and threatening to beat up someone else. What effrontery!
I cannot bring myself to believe that an actor of repute goofs on television, gets corrected and instead of bowing his “motorway” head in shame he goes back on TV to lie and threaten another person. I am sure Big Akwes sees himself as Hercules or Tarzan or a cross between the two.
Someone should tell Big Akwes that if he is strong enough he should go and box with Tyson Fury and stop threatening poor bloggers and radio presenters. If I were the blogger he threatened with bodily harm on live TV I would just go to the police to report that a clown with a pathway on his head like Papa Ajasco has threatened to assault me.
I listened to the mother of the lady in question and how she cried because of such vilifications people like Big Akwes had been throwing at her daughter wrenched my heart. And yet Opana saw nothing wrong with what he did.
If there is any blame at all it should be placed on the owners and managers of the station for allowing such buffoonery to go on twice without them calling Big Akwes to order. The station should get him off air for a while. Or does he own the station?
FRANCIS DOKU is a seasoned writer – a longtime columnist for Graphic Showbiz and a highly respected media critic. @TheGHMediaGuru