…discusses her move to Media General
AJ Akuoko-Sarpong is one of the few women pushing the boundaries in radio and television presenting, content production and voice-over art, honing her craft from the age of sixteen and building a career over fourteen years and counting.
A veteran and respected media person as she is, it was all excitement when news broke about her joining Media General’s 3FM, and she did not let listeners down. She lived up to expectation of being a natural broadcast person as she smoothly slid behind the consul and took on the task of co-hosting the 3FM 92.7 Drive Time show – #3FMDrive – every weekday from 2pm to 7pm as well as the host of 3FM’s exciting girl talk and relationship show, Keeping it Real, every Tuesday at 7pm.
Born Nana Adjoa Amaniwaah Akuoko-Sarpong to a dad who is a known politician and chief, and a mum who is a prominent businesswoman, AJ as she is popularly known, made it a point right from career onset to carve her own niche and avoid being over-shadowed by her family’s stature in society.
And she did succeed in creating her own personality and brand by approaching her work as a calling, having sustained her interest in media through self-motivation and passion for the profession.
“Personally, what drives me is my learning spirit at every point of my journey,” says AJ. She, however, credits her success in the media to the mentoring she received from such personalities as Anita Erskine, Apeafa Nfodjo, Samuel Atta Mensah, Nii Atakorah Mensah, Frema Adu Nyame, Apiorkor Ashong Abbey, among others, who gave her the critical exposures needed to deepen the foundation and build on her interest in the profession over the years.
“My ultimate heroes are my older sisters, Afia Adoma Sarpong Baafi and Akua Sarpong, who have inspired me in many ways and cheer me on,” she said.
AJ recalled being “nervous about making a change” when the opportunity to join Media General came up. “However, the rousing welcome I received from colleagues allayed all anxieties,” she said. Sharing her thoughts about Media General work culture, she said: “I’ve been in this building for the last few weeks, and everybody is so kind, hospitable and welcoming of ideas… it is incredible!… I love the company culture and especially how everyone is accepting and respectful of their colleagues”.
As to where she aspires to be in the next five years, AJ says: “I want to be the best at what I do and be named in the list of top 10 presenters on the African continent”. With a glimmer in her eye, she adds: “I don’t want to stop until I am there, I just need to put up with the grind and keep going with one show at time, one audience at a time…”
With close to 210,000 followers on Instagram, 45,000 followers on Twitter, over 181,000 followers on her public page on Facebook, the media personality is poised to reach global audiences in a click, cutting across various demographics and platforms. Prior to joining Media General, AJ worked with various media houses including Citi FM and Citi TV, the EIB Networks, and Live FM.
In between work, AJ acquired two Master’s degrees. The first in Journalism from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and the second in Brands and Communication Management from the University of Professional Studies (UPS). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana.
AJ has applied her hosting skills at major events organised by government institutions, international and non-governmental organisations as well as for leading private sector organisations.
She has also moderated conversations, such as Women on Climate Issues Series, the Women in Science Event at KNUST, and various sessions at the Social Media Week Accra and TEDX Osu. She is a prolific writer and has penned various editorials for notable publications, including Glitz Africa, where she wrote a column sharing her thoughts on the media industry in Ghana.