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The secret is hard work... says Kwame Sefa Kayi

By Daily Guide

Popular Peace FM morning show host Kwame Sefa Kayi, who received two separate awards, the National Honours award and the Art Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana (ACRAG) award, last week, has said the secret behind his success was purely hard work.

“I don't think I work because I want recognition as in awards or something. As I say all the time on my programme, I work for God and country. It is as simple as that. There is no secret for what I do. The only secret is hard work.

“As far as I am concerned it is only in the dictionary that success comes before work, as in S before W. Beyond this, the only secret I know is hard work. You break your bones you will survive, trust me,” were his words when asked why he thinks he merited the award.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Beatwaves in his office, Sefa Kayi indicated that he was shocked about the national award as he did not see it coming.

According to him, for the state to honour you is a great achievement, saying it was his biggest surprise but he was happy to have received it.

“That was a surprise, because much as I knew that I had been working, I didn't think I would come to the attention of those who form the committee, and that was a very pleasant surprise for me.

It was not in my wildest dreams ever. I don't want to sound like I am not happy; I am really happy.”

On the ACRAG award, Kwame said, “I was excited; as to whether it surprised me, I don't know.”

The awards, he prayed, would serve as a form of motivation for him to continue working hard.

“I hope it will help me to keep my feet on the ground which is very important. I am enjoying it so far. I am happy and grateful to God, and I am hoping that I get some more,” he exclaimed.

Throughout his broadcasting career Sefa Kayi has received more than six awards. He picked one award for “It Takes Two”, a TV programme hosted by him; another one for his Kokrokoo programme; picked two others each at the Radio and Television (RTV) awards and Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) Awards in addition to the recent ones.

Kwame started his broadcasting career from the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) as a guest artiste on the programme, Leaders of Tomorrow, produced and presented by Ekow Budu Emmanuel in the early to mid 90s. At the same time he was writing for the P&P newspaper for about two years. Later he joined Radio Gold in 1996 as one of the pioneering staff. Later he left for Peace FM in the year 2000, and eight years down the line Kwame says “here I am”.

Through this journey he also presented quite a number of TV shows. He has been the regular host for the Ghana Music Awards since its inception until this year, and also presented Miss Ghana among other corporate events. With these, he described himself as “a journalist, presenter, social host, TV host and actor. I think everything rolled into one; that is a communicator. I am a communicator.”

He said combining all the above was sometimes tiring and stressful but he manages to overcome that, indicating “sometimes I simply lose my mind”.

Delving into movies, after 14 years of lying low, the father of three hinted a return. He told Beatwaves “I have not quit acting; very soon a movie I featured in recently would show up. It would be premiered very soon. Keep your fingers crossed.”

Concerning criticism of the movie industry, he said “I think all Ghanaians have failed the movie industry. Why are we placing much premium on movies from Nigeria?

“The Nigerians have ensured that they stage a cause. They believe in what they have, they developed what they had. For us, we just sat here and did nothing so I don't want us to blame the principal actors and actresses alone. “It is collective Ghana that failed the movie industry. I mean, why is it that when film makers are looking for money to produce movies, we aren't willing to help.

Give them money, sponsor their projects; that is how people make money. If we don't sponsor them they will not survive.”

Kwame mentioned that he had heard a lot of people saying Nigerian films were better than those of Ghana, but he thinks otherwise. “Look, they don't have better movies; it was because people had invested in them and so they were able to dream and think big”.

“Take somebody like Kwaw Ansah, one of Ghana's celebrated movie makers; why do you think he no longer fancies doing movies again? It is because he spent too much money to do movies.”

Kwame said apart from sponsorship he does not know what else to do to revamp the industry but urged movie makers to come up with credible stories that would attract the public. He lamented the poor lifestyle of certain movie stars, recounting Araba Stamp's poor status before her death, and tasked Ghanaians to “wake up from our deep slumber”.