>Interview: Ladysmith Black Mambazo

>(To Crystal, Emmanuel and Esi: thanks for the encouragement.)

I owe this one to Twitter.

First thing in the morning, journalists in the Joy FM newsroom scramble for newspapers, trawl through Ghanaweb or call up their contacts for stories (don’t worry: I don’t think I just gave away any big trade secrets). Seeing as everyone has those media covered, I make it a point to be that strange guy who goes online. I ran a search for ‘Ghana’ on Twitter and came across  a tweet about Ladysmith Black Mambazo doing a benefit concert for Ghanaian kids. Yes, it was in Washington… but it was for Ghanaian kids and that was enough to make the story relevant to a local audience. I found who their press agent was from their website and sent them an email, asking if I could interview a band member. By evening, she’d gotten back to me and the answer was ‘yes’. Isn’t the internet fantastic?

Anyway, here’s the interview:

 

LADYSMITH.mp3 –

Sadly, we didn’t air the interview in the end. It was my fault, really. Although my heart was in the right place, there were several things wrong with the report.

For one, it was too long. Although there are moves to change this, Joy News is somewhat politics-driven. It’s unfortunately what our listeners respond to the most. I was very dismayed the other day when more listeners responded to a story on political clashes in Agbogbloshie than the news that half of the nation’s young BECE applicants had failed, but that’s just the way it is. As such, there was no way Joy was going to give 3.25 precious minutes of Newsnight to a general entertainment story vaguely linked to Ghana. In the end, I trimmed the fat off and we played a brief excerpt from the report as a smaller news item.

Secondly, Paul Simon. Much as ‘Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes‘ is a great song, I gave too much prominence to it for a song on which the group mainly sing backup.  And it was a little too loud. In my defense, it was one of the first reports I ever did for Joy. I’m still pretty proud of it.

After all, I did get to interview someone from a group I dig.

4 Replies to “>Interview: Ladysmith Black Mambazo”

  1. >Too bad your interview didn't air but great job anyway. Prrtty cool how much we all get out of the internet. Thanks for the shout. I'd do anything to be able to interview India Arie or Lauryn Hill…Maybe someday:)

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  2. >congrats! Good to see you have started the writing again! Too bad about trimming the piece, but you got to feel how it CAN be done, no? Last month, I was asked to do a book review, which…was eventually not used, but it felt good that even if the piece was not the best, I got to do a book review within 2 weeks. Keep the fire burning!

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  3. >Thanks Guys. Your encouragement really helped. Been mad busy.@Esi: you'd have to beat me down first! My friend Ahmed had to go to a meeting in the Sony building in London when his friend alerted him that Lauryn was in there having a meeting. Can you believe he burst in there, went up to her and gushed his undying admiration.@Emmanuel: where was the book review supposed to air? Oh, and I didn't get to listen this afternoon but I'm hoping it went well. Let's compare notes later.

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