The station, amid pomp and pageantry, stretching from June to July, marked their fifth anniversary under the appropriate theme: "the media as a tool for rapid socio-economic and spiritual transformation." Characteristic of such anniversary celebrations, the programme line-up included clean-up, blood donation and tree planting exercises, a musical concert and a gospel rock show. The anniversary was rounded up by a grand durbar held on 18th July 2009 and a football match between workers of the station and colleague journalists from the republic of Togo. In the football match, the lads of Jubilee, in typical Ghanaian fashion, drilled five goals into the Togolese net without any response. Jubilee Sports host Dzidodo Adzaho (The Big Aarony), who is my brother, told me he scored a 35-yard screamer as the opening goal! The grand durbar was graced by dignitaries such as the Keta Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. Sylvester Tornyeva, Volta Regional NADMO boss, Mr. Ametefee, the deputy Volta Regional minister, Col. (rtd) Cyril Neku and the deputy minister of information, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa. The anniversary celebration of Jubilee has presented the opportunity to explore the role that this station has played so far in the Keta community and its environs.
To begin with, the station, as the first and only radio station in Keta district, has been a veritable vehicle for economic, social and religious transformation. Since the station came into being, it has provided employment opportunities for both seasoned journalists and aspiring presenters. The real transformation has been seen in the lives of the younger members of staff, some of whom have been assisted to go through training programmes in broadcast journalism, seminars and workshops organised by institutions such as Radio and Broadcast Development Foundation (RABODEF), the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Again, Jubilee radio has been an ardent supporter of social initiatives such as HIV/AIDS-awareness programmes. The station was one of the participants in Radio France International's (RFI) "kicking HIV out of the West African corridor" initiative. It has also been a strong voice in national political and governance matters. Finally, Jubilee has been instrumental in the organisation of prayer sessions in support of noble initiatives such as peace in Anloland, peaceful free and fair elections in Ghana and the call for spiritual renewal in the southern parts of the Volta Region.
Jubilee has also enriched the lives of its target audience through its menu of educational, informational and entertaining programmes. The morning show hosted by Kodzotse Zoranu (Papa radiotor), Israel Abotsivia (Areeba) and Silas Aidam serves listeners with a digest of the latest happenings on the local, national and international scenes. The news is not only presented as is, but is analysed comprehensively so as to help listeners track the repercussions of events as they unfold. The educational side of things is complemented by talk shows on diverse topics ranging from current affairs, through sports, to culture. Agbotadua Kumassah's cultural talk show for example re-orients Anlo youth with elements of their culture in the face of the current wave of extreme westernisation. The dishes that Jubilee serves on its entertainment menu are equally palatable. Programmes such as Jubilee drive (hosted by Edem Nyasorgbor a.k.a DJ Ras Muta), Music stream (hosted by Dzidodo Adzaho), Mid-day breeze and Reggae Myelities readily come to mind. There are a host of others. Similarly, the station has organised numerous musical concerts to entertain the buzzing youth of the Keta area and to promote the work of various musicians across multiple musical genres. Artists who have participated in some of these concerts are Ayigbe Edem, 4x4, Praye, Woezepe from Togo, Agbeko and countless local musical hopefuls. It is quite clear that the station has been influential in almost all spheres of the lives of the people of Keta district.
However, Jubilee radio has had its fair share of challenges in its short history. In the early years of its formation, the station was temporarily shut down by the National Communication Authority (NCA) for using the frequency previously allocated to Obonu Fm in the Greater Accra region. This turned out to be due to a mix up. Secondly, the station is often caught in the middle of conflict and competitive situations such as the Anlo chieftaincy dispute, the 2004 general elections and the 2008 general elections. Again, there seems to be a constant exodus of some of the station's best talents, disrupting some of the gains chalked over the years, and thus preventing the station from building on its great success. Finally, lack of funds has often derailed the station's ambition of acquiring the latest state of the art infrastructure that would enable it to broadcast its programmes seamlessly to its target audience. There have been times when the Jubilee radio could not broadcast during lights off (blackouts) either due to a malfunctioning electricity generation set or escalating fuel costs. This calls from massive financial and logistic support from all stakeholders.
On the whole, in the face of these challenges, the achievements of Jubilee radio, over the course of the years, are quite remarkable. The station has been a good nurturing ground for many broadcast journalists who are now handling bigger responsibilities in various media organisations. Mention can be made of Agbeko Ben Cofie (ABC) of Joy Fm, Mary Ayim of Metro TV and Frank Foli (DJ Fresh) of Lorlornyo Fm in Hohoe. They have also recently launched a web-interface from which listeners from all over the world can follow their programmes live. From my observation, the critical success factors of the station during this journey are spotting and nurturing young talents, close collaboration and engagement with the local community, strategic alliances with media heavyweights such as Joy Fm and BBC and reliance on God for direction in its dealings. Big ups to all members of Team Jubilee especially Pastor Adika and Mr. Emmanuel Evortepe (Keta man)!