Calls to Naa Ashorkor Mensah-Doku’s phone were placed some few minutes after 8:00 am.
The first few seconds of the conversation went from ‘hi, good morning’ to purpose. An interview was to be done the same day – and Naa, Starr 103.5 FM‘s mid-morning show host, was okay with the arrangement.
At about 2:30 pm, some two and a half hours after ‘The Zone’ – the programme she hosts every weekday on the Meridian House-based network – she was ready for the enewsgh.com reporter.
Below, a transcript of the hearty chat.
Congratulations on your marriage.
*Laughs*. Thank You.
There’s an ongoing debate on whether having a white wedding after the traditional marriage is necessary or not. Your thoughts?
I think it’s entirely based on the individual’s option. It really doesn’t make much of a difference legally but if you are a religious person then you might … it might make some difference to you.
By our laws, having a traditional marriage alone makes it legal and recognizable. However, if you are a Christian or Muslim or whichever other religion, you might want to do a ceremony before your God, whoever he is, just to make it more, religious if I should say so. I’m Christian for example so I may do a traditional wedding which we call engagement and after that, I may just want to do a ceremony in front of my God as the Bible prescribes so it doesn’t make much of a difference.
It does not, just based on an individual’s preference.
The experience with Starr FM; how has it been so far?
It’s been fun, challenging and it’s been a learning experience from day one to now. From the first day, I walked in here till now. I’ve never done radio; this is my first radio job. I’ve never spent more than one hour at a radio station until I joined Starr FM, so it’s been more than anything a learning experience for me. I was happy to join Starr FM because I like new things.
I like trying new things. When I heard about Starr FM, I heard Bola Ray had joined Starr FM; I called Bola and said, why have you left Joy FM? Wherever you are going take me with you, he just laughed it off. And then he called me later; ‘you said you wanted to come to Starr FM, come and lets have a chat’. So I was looking at one, thirty minutes show on a Saturday or something because I’ve never done radio and I came and he said I want you to do mid-morning every day. I was like, no this is big, you need someone who has done radio before you know and he said ‘I trust you, I know can you can do it. ‘I think you can speak well, you can sit on radio for three hours and have something to say.’
I said, if you think so, who am I to say no, if you believe in me, I should believe in me too. So I decided to give it a shot, I spent so many hours on Youtube watching how to host a radio show. I don’t remember anything from there.
Day one was shaky, a little bit or a lot bit (sic) * laughs*. And then I joined Bola on the Drive to watch him, just sit in the corner and watch him and I think that’s what helped me rebuild my confidence. I’m still learning, I’m still growing every day.
How would you rate yourself over the period?
I think I’ve done so well. I’m learning but I think I’ve done so well. I think I’ve grown fast. Like I said, everyday I’m learning. Every day I realize something new, sometimes every hour but I think I’ve done well.
You mentioned that you’ve grown fast, do you compare yourself to the likes of Jessica Opare Sarforo and Doreen Andoh?
I look up to them. I hope one day people will ask radio presenters if they are comparing themselves to me. I’ve been listening to Doreen ( Andoh ) since I started listening to radio attentively; that is like 17 or 18 years now so I by all means admire her. And I hope one day people will ask this question you asked about her about me.
Give me a good reason why i should tune into ‘The Zone?
Unlike other mid-morning shows, there is a breath of fresh air in it. Amongst other things, I have a great DJ who plays great music. His name is DJ Mono. I appreciated DJing but since I started doing my show here at Starr FM, I have appreciated DJing more because he just has the right music. I don’t know how to put it but he plays the kind of music I want to listen to if I was at home or if I was at work or if I was in traffic or if I was in a banking hall queue.
He just cuts across and from 9-12; people are usually at work, trying to get work done, people are stressed, people are tired, people have problems at home, they just left the wife and child and thinking… at that time of the day, it’s very crucial because all kinds of things happen before launch and you don’t want to listen to a show that will further depress you or just basically annoy you so you want to listen to ‘The Zone’ .
We give you great information about your health, fitness and there are real life stories which are told on certain days which appeals to many people across the country.
I CAN TELL BY THE KIND OF FEEDBACK THAT WE GET, AND AMONGST OTHER THINGS THE SEGMENTS ARE DESIGNED TO GIVE SOLUTIONS TO REAL LIFE PROBLEMS, THE THINGS THAT YOU THINK ABOUT WHILST YOU ARE AT YOUR DESK, WHEN YOU GET OUT OF YOUR CAR TO ENTER THE OFFICE. IT’S A HUNDRED PERCENT OF WHAT YOUR MID-MORNING SHOULD BE. AND SO YOU SHOULD LISTEN, IF YOU TUNE IN ONCE, YOU WON’T TUNE OUT.
How long do you plan on working with Starr FM?
As long as I can.
Do you want to have a radio show just as you do on TV?
Well, I could but I haven’t given it that much of a thought.
Between radio and TV, which do you enjoy doing the most?
They are different. On TV, if I’m talking to you and you are making me happy, it is evident on my face without having to say a word. On radio, I have to say you’re making me happy. If I just sit down and smile, nobody knows that I’m smiling so nobody knows what is going on.
On radio, you can’t just express your emotions by body language, you have to speak it, so if I’m extremely tired. I have to say oh, I’m so tired today so radio requires a little extra unlike TV. And radio requires a lot more to be able to build a connection unlike TV.
On TV, I know if I look into the camera, you are looking into my eyes. On radio, I have to say something that will draw you to me so it’s different. It requires an empty studio and you the presenter, speaking to a lot of people but it has to be personal to each of them.