Triggering inquiries, firing debate, confronting taboos and interpreting fads, trends and sub-cultures have become her hallmark. Throughout her career, her audience have always relied on her to get to the heart of national issues when she meets with any of her subjects.
From her humble beginnings to award-winning journalist to TV news anchor to sports talk-show empress, she has become the media personality that viewers trust without the flash or drama.
Nana Aba is the hostess and anchor that viewers can count on to ask probing questions and hold people in high places accountable for their stewardship.
Through her keen observations and in depth understanding of socio-political issues, the strength of her conviction, and her effectiveness as a communicator, she has positively impacted the lives of millions of people around the country and is a household name in media circles.
After so many years of counting on her to uncover the truth, it was unsettling for viewers to not see her on their TV sets again. Her absence was felt.
But Nana Aba Anamoah is back!
From Monday, February 15, she continues her broadcasting journey with a new twist, a current affairs show, “State of Affairs” on GH One TV. The show, which will run weekdays from 7pm to 8:30pm, would seek to address everything on Ghana’s news and current affairs landscape.
In this interview, Nana Aba shares her excitement about taking on a new role at GH One and how the station seeks to use “State of Affairs” to keeps its viewers up to speed on issues making headlines; how these issues affect them and what can be done to address them. She also shares her story, which is inspiring, not just because of her early achievements, but the fact that she has remained grounded despite constantly being in the limelight.
In a country filtered with countless TV shows, what does ‘State of Affairs’ bring to the table that isn’t on the rest?
“State of Affairs is going to very different. Rather than follow the trend, we’ll be setting the agenda. The show will provide an intelligent window on the country and continent, informing and challenging the audience with quality analysis, combined with a fresh approach to telling important stories. ‘State of Affairs’ will be the show that shines a light on injustice, to give voice to those who rarely get a chance to speak out, and to hold power to account. The show is going to treat national issues to its last possible detail and be the start of the discussion and debate.”
Most critics have said that TV shows are failing to address the difficult questions facing Ghana, particularly the economy and the threat of a national breakdown. How exactly is ‘State of Affairs’ going to change this conception?
“We are going to mention the elephant in the room. On ‘State of Affairs’, we’ll say it as it is, you can trust me on that. We have a duty to provide balanced coverage of the most important issues of the day whether they be political, economic, medical, environmental, social, sporting or cultural, and that’s exactly what GH One TV stands for. On the show, we’ll have incisive analysis and intelligent debate that hasn’t been seen on Ghanaian television before. We will also fact-check the accuracy of claims by politicians, public figures, advocacy groups and institutions engaged in the public debate and discussion.”
There’s a poor representation of issues affecting disabled people on TV shows in the country. How does ‘State of Affairs’ seek to rectify this?
“To be honest, on television, disabled persons are a tiny and often ignored minority. But in reality, they are a large and important section of society. They are a cross-section of society, too. There are disabled people of every age, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation and political inclination. It should sadden and anger us that there are people to whom these simple and obvious national issues are unknown, and that those people don’t have their problems being discussed whenever they turn on their TVs. On ‘State of Affairs’, we want to change the reality where people with disabilities are frequently robbed of their right to representation. ‘State of Affairs’ will be serious about its long-term commitment to equality for people with disabilities.”
You’re known to be blunt. Is this going to be the yardstick for ‘State of Affairs’?
I’m a communicator and I truly believe if there’s an elephant in the room, I ought to introduce it. You can’t solve a problem if you don’t accept that it’s there. In television, you can’t hide anything, so I’m the first to say I’m worried about something and that we need to solve it. I also don’t just focus on problems – rather I focus on resolving them and moving on, which is exactly what ‘State of Affairs’ will do.
For a while, you were off TV. How did you stay motivated through those difficult times?
I’m a true believer in strong positive energy, so in tough times I focus on what I’m grateful for and try to look at the good. But I am human. It’s important to have a secure place to vent. I’m blessed to have a great bunch of close friends, so I can go behind closed doors and have a good vent – getting everything off my chest privately.
What do you love most about this challenge that ‘State of Affairs’ and GH One TV presents?
I’m super excited about this challenge. Everybody is putting in their best effort and I’m excited for the prospects in that. I’m crazy about the behind the scenes stuff too. I genuinely miss putting in my talkback (the earpiece through which the director instructs you) and the countdown to the start of a live show. The fact is: every production is a massive amount of teamwork. I love seeing it all come together. On ‘State of Affairs’, everyone is going to have a clear role and everyone will be accountable for something. Sometimes things may not seem important, but in TV nothing would work without all those little bits being perfectly in place. I love the fact that there’s a lot of respect for a team effort at GH One.”
By: Nii Lexis Koufie-Amartey