Ace Journalist and Broadcaster, Oheneyere Gifty Anti, was the distinguished guest on the latest edition of Y107.9’s Y Leaderboard Series. The seasoned media personality zoomed in on her upbringing, career, family, and learnings in life during the exciting conversation with Rev. Erskine that spanned a little over an hour.
Gifty Anti relished the fact that she was brought up in the Tema community and still lives in Tema. She boasts of a “wonderful childhood” as she reminisces the fun she had as a child with other children in the community.
In her submission, Gifty eulogized her father as one who supported, mentored, corrected and believed in her. Among the great things she mentioned of her father, she recalled a great important lesson on humility her dad taught her when she ventured the media sphere.
“When I started appearing on TV and I thought I was all that, one Monday morning my dad woke me up and asked me to sweep the gutter in front of our house. The breakfast show was the first-ever morning show on TV in Ghana. This show that I hosted used to be only on Thursdays. And where we lived in Tema community eight, all the company buses used to drive around with the workers. I was sweeping and the people on the buses were passing and were like. ‘Ah! Isn’t it that girl on TV?’
So after sweeping, I went to my room and went to cry. My dad came in and said, ‘Listen, this is not to punish you but this is to let you know that you are the least in this family. You are the youngest in the family.’ I don’t know where my dad got this from but he said, ‘there is something called the curse of stardom. If you let it get into your head, it will mess you up.’ He told me never to forget where I am coming from. I should remember this is just a privilege.”
Gifty furthered that her dad brought home the importance of always staying alert in whatever you do. “My dad told me that I should never forget while I am busy messing up, someone is busy warming up to take over from me,” she added.
While she admitted that she lost track along the way, Gifty noted that her father’s advice was something she always remembered. Speaking on the most admired story of how she got married at age 45 and gave birth at age 47, Gifty revealed that these aspects of her life have inspired many and that she says gives her so much satisfaction.
Gifty recollected the time after she had her daughter at age forty-seven. She says: “I was surprised by the love shown me. I had goosebumps. I knew there were people who loved me, wished me well and looked up to me but what surprised me was the kind of hope it inspired.”
She instanced that prior to the interview with Rev.Erskine, a lady met her and declared, “Aunty Gifty I tap into your blessing and I believe that because God did it for you, he will do it for me too.”
“People who thought that they were in their thirties and are not married so they won’t get married or they are struggling to get a child now have hope that if God did it for Gifty he will do it for them. And for me, that is all I wanted and that is why I named my daughter, ‘Nyame Animuonyam’.
As an excellent media personality, Gifty opened up about where and how she derived inspiration to start her own television show, the Standpoint. She started from when she went abroad to do her masters where she met a very strong woman in the person of Christabel King, her Journalism lecturer, who also happened to be a feminist.
“She wanted me to stay on after my Master’s degree but I said no, I wanted to come back. She said Gifty, you talk about your dad but he’s dead and gone now so what is there for you in Ghana? I told her that I still have to go to Ghana because there’s something for me to do. She said okay but I want you to make me this promise.
When you go, you’re going to do something to change the lot of the Ghanaian woman. You’re going to empower the Ghanaian woman and you’re not going to let whatever you’ve learnt here go to waste. You’re not going to let your challenges be your own because God gave you this opportunity not for you but for the greater good.”
With this, she came back to Ghana wanting to make some changes on the breakfast show which she used to host at the time, but since she was not a boss then, she could only suggest and not change, hence, it was quite frustrating according to her.
Gifty continued that she kept this going till she got to the point where she decided to start her own show on which she could bring women to show people how knowledgeable and powerful they are and to make people aware that there were many other successful women out there aside from her.
“To let people know that there are women out there who are better than me and it’s not because somebody is sleeping with me out there that’s why I have a loud voice or I am assertive and speak my mind but because I have something to offer,” she shared.
Twelve years down the line, Standpoint has been one of the most successful television programmes which are still running and making an impact in the lives of Ghanaian women.
In all of this, Gifty disclosed that it was never her intention to venture into journalism. However, with the little effort and love, many doors were opened for her. She advised all to put in the same energy in whatever they do, and many doors as in her case will be opened to them.
Programmes Manager of YFM, Eddy Blay, commenting on Gifty Anti’s interview noted: “Gifty is not so far in years, but the work she has done in these few years has a lot of impact on the youth and Ghana at large. You can just imagine the many great works ahead of her in her lifetime on earth.
YFM has done its part to assemble great minds on the authoritative leadership show, the Y Leaderboard and I will always encourage people to always tune in.