I’ve seen it butchered a couple of times on Idol but Nina Simone’s original version is the soundtrack to my day today, my first day in my new job as a News Sub-Editor for the Multimedia Broadcasting Group’s flagship radio station, Joy FM.
Took me awhile to figure it out but it’s long been a dream of mine to be a journalist. Freelance dabbling aside though, I deferred that dream as far back as when I was living in London. Journalism from the foot of the ladder is a thankless task with an equally thankless salary and opportunities for growth in a melting pot as large as London were few and very far between back then. I know because I tried looking. I still have a small box somewhere full of the rejection letters I used to receive.
One such letter – from the BBC World Service – was the last straw for me and the first step in my journey back home to Ghana. I had really believed that I would get that job and when I was not even shortlisted for interview, something inside me died. I should have known that I would be reminded once more that the universe has its own order and time for things.
Ghana has been good to me. This is my fourth job here and as I have moved from each one to another, I have felt the Cosmic at play: consequences that – as Lauryn Hill might put it – cannot be coincidences.
As with each job I have taken up since moving here, I came across this opportunity directly through the job I was in before it. What is different and feels so good about this time around though is that this gig came looking for me and that two things that I have been doing for free and out of love – this blog and co-hosting the Soul Explosion on Vibe FM with Anansi – played no small part in the process.
Between its website and the Super Morning Show’s coverage, I think Joy set new standards for election coverage last year. The station also boasts journalists both past (the BBC’s Komla Dumor and Akwasi Sarpong, the latter of whose shoes I’m stepping into) and present (Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Matilda Asante, Israel Laryea and one of my favourite writers, Ato Kwamina Dadzie) who I genuinely think to be (amongst, if not) the best in Ghana. Working with this team is going to be both an honour and a challenge, one that makes this day one of the most satisfying of my young life. To top that all off, it looks like I will still be given the chance to host a music show (with a difference). All that and Joy is online and so my friends abroad will finally get the chance to tune in too.
I used to hear the saying ‘Love what you do and do what you love’ and think that it annoyingly applied only to the Beckhams, Brad Pitts and Beyonces of this world.
That changes today.