View Full Version : Veteran Radio Presenter Gabby Adjetey Back Home For Good

19th October 2011, 09:32 AM
There are few names that readily come to mind anytime independent radio is mentioned in Ghana. And Gabby Adjetey is one of them.

Together with the likes of Tommy Annan-Forson, the late Dusty Wayne, Kofi Tsakpornor, Cox Tamakloe and other enthusiastic young men, they took the country by storm with their brand of radio presentation never heard anywhere in Ghana.

Gabby Adjetey

It was new, fresh and highly engaging; in summary a break from what most radio listeners were used to from the state-owned GBC Radio. Gabby was the face of the Drive Time programme, and between 1996 until he left to the United Kingdom in 2001, Gabby gave ardent radio listeners a reason to listen to him and nobody else. Beautiful selection of music, lively presentation and excellent command over the English language - he had it all and brought it to bear on his listeners.

In effect, he owned the show. He created the format of the show and it became his unique brand. But Gabby is not one to take credit for anything, as he said it would have been better if there was a format he had to work with at the time. “So it was initially difficult to get a host to replace me when I left,” he said. The drive is one of the station’s flagship programmes enjoying a cult following. Gabby joined the station during the formative years.

He said he got to know about the existence of the station through a close relative of owner Kwesi Twum and after some trials on air, he got the job. And he fed his listeners with quality music that was mostly difficult to come by. Most of his listeners praised him for the blend of music on his show - reggae, highlife, R&B, funk and the others.

Though it was his first time doing radio, he said he was exposed to the world of music by his parents and through international travels. His father, the late former speaker of Parliament and prominent Ghanaian lawyer, Peter Ala Adjetey, was a great lover of music, so he bought records from different genres. From the likes of Frank Sinatra to Wulomei, his father had it all. Gabby said he caught the music bug from that.

He recalled those early Sunday mornings after church service when his father, after the family breakfast, would slot in a record for the family. Gabby said his father’s appreciation of music influenced him and that is what has kept him until now. “Anytime you hear me play anything from Wulomei or Ramblers, it was something I picked from my father,” he said with a smile.

He was, however, quick to add that his love for rock came not from his father but elder brother, Larry (a prominent lawyer and politician). He said Larry loved the sounds of Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles; and he, too, found those electrifying sounds too lively to ignore. But his own personal appreciation of what a good music is or can do to the quality of radio programming came as a result of listening to foreign radio stations like Capital from London, WLX from the US and, in essence, any good English-speaking radio station abroad.

Gabby is a former student of Achimota School and spent the period 1978 to 83 at Livingstone House. “You have to write it: Livingstone House,” he said, going through piles of music collections before going on the air. He also went to Okuapeman for his sixth form. He did his first degree at the University of Science and Technology.

His second degree was in LLB at Westminster in London. Another law degree followed. He described his father as someone who supported education and was ready to sponsor anything that had to do with their education. According to him, his father told them that their grandfather said the acquisition of knowledge is the best property that ought to be handed over to a generation. Despite his rich background in law, he spent most of his life in the United Kingdom working as a banker with Barclays Bank for five years.

He praised his late father for that foresight to get him education, which has made him who he is today. Gabby, who has been running some shows on Joy FM, said he is back home for good, though he was quick to add that in life you never say never. “I have no flat in my name, I have no car there, and I have shipped everything down here. But if at the end of the day things don’t happen as expected, well…,” he said with a big laugh. He is married with two lovely twins who will be five years this month.

An ardent supporter of English football club Arsenal, Gabby is also going through the pain and emotions most Arsenal fans around the world are going through, thanks to the intransigence of a coach who still believes fragile and inexperienced players can win him trophies. It has been six years without any trophy (even the Emirates cup eluded them) and fans like Gabby are still counting.

Source: B&FT Lifestyle