Story By: Rahamatu-Lahi Zakaria || Sanatu Zambang
With a career in radio spanning close to a decade, Ewurama Attoh started as just a contributor and a panelist. Her approachable style combines with her natural ability to connect with her audience earned her a spot on Kesmi FM Lunch Time which eventually led her to the Drive Time job after the previous host got a different job offer.
Ewurama Attoh considered the first female in the metropolis to host the Drive Time show has courted everyone with her larger-than-life persona on radio, has entertained, informed, and educated many through her radio program.
Like every child growing up in the early 90s and 2000s, the dream was either to be a lawyer, doctor, nurse, or teacher. That was the dream of little Ewurama Attoh. Born in Kumasi and relocated to Tamale at a tender age, Ewurama dream was always to be a lawyer and every step she took in her formative years, was geared towards the realization of that dream.
But like every child’s dream, the universe has a way of playing games with it and that was what happens to the Queen of the airwaves. Her dream to be a lawyer was truncated after the messy childhood she went through. Completing senior high school and back home to continue with her tertiary education to make it to law school, her home wasn’t the same way she left it and she had to step up as a big sister for her younger siblings.
This process led her to abandon her law dream and concentrate on earning an income to survive. During this period, she would take up two jobs as a graphic designer and a photo editor. In between these two jobs, she would appear as a panelist on radio discussion focuses more on the entertainment aspect.
She still did not see radio as a career she could pursue. She would spend time at Filla FM understudying one of their radio personality and also working at their administrative section where she made money.
Her chance finally came when Seth Klipps, the then Drive Time host of Kesmi FM who she would later take over from approached her to host the Kesmi FM Lunch Time. In the beginning, she was hesitant but with little encouragement from him, she later buckled in and the rest is history as they will say.
As a newcomer in the field of radio which is dominated by men, Ewurama never had the intention of pushing the men out. For her, coming into the field meant doing the usual thing that women do on the radio, thus hosting the brunch time program. But everything changes when she started hosting the program. Now, it was not about doing the usual thing that women do or pushing the men aside but rather creating a niche for herself and doing things her own ways.
This niche she created for herself gave her the opportunity to host the Drive Time on Kesmi FM when the then host, Seth Klipps got a different job offer and Ewurama was asked to step in for him. By then, she did not have that confidence to host the show and was pulling out. The same man Seth Klipps, who pushed her to host the Lunch Time, pushed her again to host the Drive Time.
When it was announced that, Ewurama Attoh was to host the Drive Time, some section of the public was against it because of her gender. To their understanding, a female is not supposed to host the Drivetime. She believed in her critiques, that a woman is not supposed to host the Drive Time when she started. But surprisingly, she proved them wrong and made it her own thanks to the words of encouragement from her loved ones.
One of the incidences that changed her perception about if she is really doing well was when a High Court judge drove to her studio just to greet her for the wonderful job she is doing on the radio. This incident was a reckoning moment for her because it told her the kind of people who were listening to her on the radio and the life she was touching with the unique approach to the Drive Time program.
Being on the radio comes with its own perks. These perks she has enjoyed include MCing job, civil society approaching her to mentor young girls and the current one she is enjoying is being the face of Tamale Fit. Tamale Fit fitness and gym center located in the metropolis. This gig with Tamale Fit has become her saving grace. While struggling with personal depression and workplace stress, working out helped her in dealing with issues and gave her a new meaning in caring for her mental health.
Ethnicity she says has also played a role in her career in limiting what she does and says on radio since she is not from here. She has also had a run-in with some people who did not see why she should get an award when is not from here at the national stage. They feel like she is not the right person to represent the north on the national stage. As someone who does not come from here, she says before she discusses any topic that is related to the culture of the people, she seeks second opinions.
Apart from radio, graphic designer, and photo editor, she has also been a backup vocalist. In the early 2000s, Ewurama sang in the church in a band and later went on to be a backup vocalist for North Lectures which had DJ Carlos as a bandmate.
Ewurama Attoh was born in Kumasi. Her dad, who was then a driver with State Transport Company (STC) was transferred to Tamale. This transfer propelled him to move the whole family to Tamale. Her formative years were in Tamale. She attended Queen Elizabeth, ST Josephs, and Methodist at the basic level and continue to Bolga Girls Senior High School (BOGGIS) in Bolgatanga in the Upper East region for her SHS education where she offered general arts.
She further her education at Business college marketing, she also studied at ICM-UK -business administration/communication and IBM &J (its campus in Tamale olive school ). In basic school, she held the position of section and sports prefect.
At the early stage of her career, Ewurama Attoh gave birth but lost the child later in the early stage.
On the sacrifices she had to make in her radio journey, Ewurama said she had to give up two well-paying jobs but she does not regret her decision and if asked to do it all over again she is going to do it again and again. But what she would do differently is learning journalism before getting into it. According to her, before getting into the field, she did not have skills and knowledge of the field and used words that are inappropriate on the radio which she regrets.
For the next ten years, Ewurama Attoh hopes to live a quiet life and mentor young people especially women to lead the next face of northern radio. According to the radio goddess, she wants to see violence-free airspace in the metropolis. A violence-free in the sense that, no radio personality would use the radio airspace to settle personal scores or preach hate on the radio. She wants to see Tamale become the radio hub in Ghana where everyone would like to come and work.