Growth of our national radio and professional objectivity in the industry has been the concern of Mr. Mike Eqhan Jnr. Ever since he started radio business.
Mike Eghan Jnr. is seen as a sparkling gem among his peers whose eloquence in the English language is now being felt and directed in the path of party and national politics.
Mike has paid his dues as a legend broad caster and commands a good deal of attention in matters of national importance in relation to his track record of having been an accomplished broad caster.
Mike recalled vividly having decided to quit his job due to unnecessary and unwarranted interferences with his job just because he had coined an appellation, as a gimmick to boost his morale.
This, he said, earned him the name the ‘Magnificent Emperor’, a name that won him admiration and a large following by fans who thought he deserved being called by the accolade.
His immediate boss who felt uncomfortable could not do otherwise, because, although he had warned him to drop the accolade, his admirers preferred to use the accolade.
He was not perturbed in the least, for he thought he should give the best that he could offer to enhance the image of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation Television (GBC).
Mike, as a darling radio broad caster was not easily distinguishable as compared with an American or English man for that matter.
However, one thing which was noticeable was his capability, fluency and accent in the English language.
As a matter of fact at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) where Mike, had used his own resources to advance his career and put Ghana on the world map of excellence, the head of the department, under whom, he worked, called and told him, he was so impressed with his radio voice, his phonetic, better still his accent described as neither English nor American coupled with his flawless grammatical language, found it difficult where to place him in the category of phonetic excellence.
His English boss however found a place and described it in a joke as ‘mid-Atlantic accent.’
This explains why on many national occasions Mike Eghan had been assigned the duty of master of ceremonies or an impresario.
At the never to be forgotten Ghana hosted international music fiesta, dubbed ‘Soul To Soul’ organised in 1971, harping on rhythms as a Cross over from America to Ghana, Mike performed and lived up to his accolade dazzling admirably as he walked majestically tall, across the high music dais to explode his rhythmic and rhapsodic voice.
In a chat with The Spectator, he noted with pride that travelling, gave him greater exposure. He said working at GBC for four years was not only interesting but beneficial to make him enjoy a broader scope of learning and enlarged his professional capacity.
Going through the mill, Mike with professional expertise, acquitted himself creditably at the BBC where a programme he hosted ‘Music with African Beat’, became one of the laudable achievements ever by a Ghanaian of the time.
His programme not only entertained but informed and educated the British radio listening public and the world at large.
Mike philosophised on the idea of God given talent which he said every one had.
He believed in freedom and so when his inalienable, democratic right was infringed upon in the performance of his duty in the T.V. series which was his brainchild, he became more determined to prove his mettle, having been told, he could not handle the calibre of late Osofo Damuah of Afrikania Mission.
Mike could not agree to this and pointed out that seven years experience was enough for him to handle such prgrammes. "When I detected the going was still fraught with interferences to kill my initiative and creativity I resigned, disappointing my countless listeners and viewers on radio and TV", he said.
Today, he said comparatively speaking the radio image has been improved in terms of freedom and with proliferation of radio FM stations, there seems to be a healthy competition to encourage creativity to flourish.
To a question, he noted that music is not only dynamic but changing with the times and modern day Ghanaian musicians seem to be losing their grip on authentic and indigenous ingredients that make Ghanaian music distinct from other ones in the world.
An advice to the musical youth was for them to maintain a highlife identity, to enhance our cultural heritage.
In his time, all musicians he said were schooled in proper rhythms and dance forms like Adowa, Kpanlogo and Agbadza at the Arts Centre in Accra and else where, which is unfortunately not the case these days.
Fortunately, he said, few musicians these days still hold fast to the indigenous highlife elements in their music and mentioned Amakye Dede, Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Nana Tuffour, Nana Kwame Ampadu I, Jewel Ackah, Pat Thomas, A.B. Crentsil and few others.
Mike’s musical stint goes back to his college days at Fijai secondary and with his brother’s band as a drummer.
His association with Tricky Johnson, a legend guitarist in those days helped to sharpen his musical ideas and to appreciate jazz, pop music, ever greens and classic stuff of Nat King Cole, Ray Ellington, Ray Charles, Louis Amstrong, Miles Davies, Herbie Hancock, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie among others.
For Latin American music his favourites were, Edmundo Ross and Tito Puente.
He said a lot of programmes, jazz and highlife rendition series gave enough exposure and catapulted him into national prominence.
Undoubtedly Mike for many years became a focal point in radio and Television series and on the showbiz scène.
His records and glittering achievements set and attained are outstanding, recognised and respected by all who see the radio and television business and an ongoing developmental phenomenon as a dynamic force in nation building.
At a recent national awards function honoured by the President J.A. Kufour, Godwin Avenogbor who happened to be the impresario and Charlie Sam all of GBC, happened to be tutored by him. Mike Eghan inspirers have been radio personalities like Peter King of BBC, Leo Riby-Williams, Gilbert Addy, a radio football commentator, Lt Col. Festus Addae, one of the best Ghana has ever had in football and sporting commentaries.