The excerpts below are from two of the sixteen chapters in B. S. Gadzekp 's radio memoir. In 'Battles at the microphone Gadzekpo describes the diverse ways in which he and other Vernacular Announcers made their mark on wartime programming during World War Two, including how they carefully selected what could be aired as news and rallied local support for the war effort. The chapter 'The music talent hunt ' details his tireless efforts at identifying and recording indigenous music to play on air in order to keep local audiences glued to the radio, especially after the war. The full text of the manuscript is available with the supplementary material published with Audrey Gadzekpo's article introducing this work at <https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972021000012>.
Chapter 5: Battles at the microphone
We (1) made our work as light and as cheerful as possible with jokes of all kinds when there was nothing pressing to be done. We regarded one another as equals among whom there was keen competition, and each did his best to satisfy his listeners. Although there was to be no promotion for us in the Information Department, we worked conscientiously to the satisfaction of our bosses. We were aware that promotion, if there was to be any at all, must be made by or through the Educational Units from which we came. Our secondment to the Information Department did not automatically qualify us for any preferential treatment over our fellow teachers in the classroom.
When the Information Officer was otherwise engaged and could not be with us for the usual discussion and the necessary briefing for the day, we would appoint a 'primus inter pares' among us to lead the discussion. We did this in turn. The following is one of such a morning, and one of the Hausas, Mallam Belo, was in the chair.
(It's 8:30am the Announcers start to come in. They exchange greetings.)
Belo: Good morning, gentlemen.
All: Good morning, Mallam.
Belo: Have the news item been marked to show which we should broadcast?
Gadzekpo: Not yet. You, the chairman for this morning will have to do that. There is a press conference going on now at our Head Office and the Information Officer or his assistant cannot be with us this morning.
Belo: All right, let's go through quickly. I suggest we delete item 3; tick item 4 which I suggest should be done by only the Fantis and the Ewes, as it will be of interest to them as fishermen.(2)
Ankrah: I think it's an important item. I suggest we all do it.
Gadzekpo: This news happened some time ago, when I was teaching at Keta; (3) I can tell you the full story, as I heard it.
Yeboah: Let's hear it then.
Bruce-Tagoe: Come out with it.
Frimpong: Were you present at the incident?
Gadzekpo: Some Fanti fishermen went to fish in the sea at Keta. They were far away from the shore; when they were on their way back to the shore, a German submarine...