#INSPIRATIONAL: "King Kwasi Kyei Darkwah, His Royal Blackness,I am eternally grateful to you". Johnnie Hughes Celebrates His Mentor & Godfather

Multiple award winning TV/Radio personality Johnnie Beresford Highes a bonafide genius of Media General, has shared his success story to celebrate ace broadcaster Kwasi Kyei Darkwah affectionately called KKD, whose help and mentorship has made him who he (Johnnie) is now, as KKD celebrates his birthday.
According to Mr. Hughes, about a decade ago in 2008, he met KKD, a special earth angel whom God used to change his life.

Read his whole story below full of inspiration:

About a decade ago in 2008, I met a special earth angel whom God used to change my life. I was a lead singer of a spectacular sort and leader of the BIB on TV3's Bands Alive reality show. I still remember with nostalgia, how I was the toast of the contest per my vocal power, dress sense, antics and how well I sounded during interview and rehearsal sessions.
But before I got onto bands alive, I had been told so many times that I had a radiogenic voice and that I must start a career in broadcasting. I agreed and searched for an entry point to no avail. So I resorted to being a voice artiste at the Benverj Studio, lartebiokorshie. It was while at I was struggling to make a mark in voice artistry that the founder and owner of BIB band, Nii Kumi-Bruce thought i could also sing so he pitched the idea to me, and even went ahead to pick the bands alive audition form. Guess what? He put my name up as a lead singer (note that, I hadn't sang to an audience before to even think of doing so commercially). A total of 52 bands had applied to make it to the final 12 that would contest for honours.
Fast forward to the audition date and here I was, a novice, among people I had witnessed and admired, singing at pubs, jazz clubs and so on. My knees were wobbly. I had butterflies in my tummy and I felt really really cold when I entered the studio and saw Osibisa's Mac Tontoh, Uhuru band's Nana Nkrumah and Ghana's answer to Michael Jackson, Charles Amoah as judges. I was between the devil and the deep blue sea. And then I thought to myself "why did you sign your own death warrant, Johnnie?". For me, all I had in mind at the time I agreed to the proposal to lead the BIB was to sing at weddings and parties and other social functions and not to appear before such giants on national TV!
Well, I couldn't fail. I never do. My band placed 2nd at the auditions and 2nd runner up at the grand finale. And guess what? We won the most exciting band award!
But Bands Alive brought me the job I have now. And even better, gave me a gifted teacher and skilled mentor for life. A man who knows the total make up of the trade I ply and who is willing to help the next generation to be better than he is. A kind hearted benefactor who has goodness in his genes. He was the unmistakable comperè of the show that shot me to national fame for the first time.
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For the records, I have admired this man since my days at Kaneshie Anglican JSS in 1997/1998. I used to worry my late dad to use his walkie talkie and the national security's control room to find him for me. I worried him because I knew they could find any and everything they wanted to find. But he declined all my requests, insisting that the system was for security not leisure and that one day, I shall meet this man.
And so it was, that I met this giant on Bands Alive and even stood by his side, to hear what the judges had to say about how good or bad our performance throughout the 13 weeks was. I watched, listened and learnt how well he introduced the show, the bands and the songs we sang. He sounded very complete. He stringed his words beautifully and made us feel like super stars. I got so interested and so glued that I wanted to do what he was doing. That was the height of my ambition. I wanted to be the quintessential example on the job like him.
So I prepared for the opportunity by making it a point to read, learn and rehearse every single detail about all the songs we sang.
Somewhere in the 8th week of the contest, after a couple of evictions had been done, each of the 6 remaining bands we given a chance to sing 2 songs per show. On this occasion, BIB chose to sing Louis Armstrong's "What a wonderful world" and our own composed song "Lil down low". The original plan was to sing our own song first and then sing the standard later. But we altered the plan when we got on stage, because Armstrong's songs is a mellow jazz tune and so we decided to start with that instead. Usually, the show host, would bridge our performances with a crisp link. But he couldn't. Not because he was unwilling or unable, but because we mixed up the plan and did the 2:16 secs song first instead of the 5:00 mins song. The host at this time was conferring with the producer and couldn't come up immediately because he would have crossed two cameras. He chose not to flout the rules. And then signalled me to go on.
My face beamed with a broad smile. My opportune time had come. I paused and then I announced the next song, just as I had read and rehearsed. The audience loved it and then I saw the host smile. After the show, I walked up to him and told him I want to be like him when I grow up. I asked for his phone number and he quizzed "do you really need it?" I responded with an emphatic "yes".
I had the number but I didn't call him until after the whole season. And then I connected with him for the first time in the later part of June 2008. That connection got me featured on The Finest Production's "Republic Day Special" on GTV. Then he have me another rare opportunity to host a two-hour live show; Valentine Special, in his stead on GTV. It was a big risk, but he stuck his neck out for me. I became the talk of town.
In between 2008 and 2010, I kept in touch and got the chance to work on major shows as a PA and backstage announcer for him. He would call and give me the itinerary and insist that I get to the event venue early. Of course, he never failed to add "dress Sharp, Johnnie, dress as you wish to be addressed." He didnt just say it, he supported that idea with some books, pocket money and brand new articles of fashion which he gave out for free I vividly remember a case in point, where Afro music Legend Salif Keita ignored everyone including the producer of Maestro Kojo Antwi's "Clash of the Titans" and walked straight to me to ask where his changing room was. When I told him I didn't know, he looked surprised and remarked "your attire looks like that of the owner of this place (the national theatre). Keep it up"
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So my face became synonymous with his brand. As soon as event organisers saw me, they knew I had come to conduct recce on his behalf and, they gave me all the assistance I needed. The going was good and I got remunerated handsomely.
In 2011, after we had done some work for Charter House on Ghana Music Awards, he tasked me to go and pick up his cheque for him. I got my the nod from there, through George Quaye to host the USAID's GoodLife Game Show on Viasat. Then on to TV Africa through Yaw Sakyi Afari and now TV3/3fm.
So you see, no matter how many times you think I have told this story I won't fail to tell it over and over again because it is the truth. Because this is the story of someone who didnt sit on a high horse, but decided to grant a nobody a chance to become somebody. The fact that someone saw in me, what others couldn't see or even despised. The fact that someone held my hand and took me on to the red carpet and gave me a front row seat that has brought me honours. The fact that this someone isn't a member of my family but was used by God to give me a life long gift. That although he didnt know me from Adam, that someone carved out a career path for me. That someone is the person I eulogize today.
King Kwasi Kyei Darkwah. His Royal Blackness. The Finest. The Big Black Brother. I am eternally grateful to you. And as you celebrate your new age, I pray God's grace, favour and mercy upon your life. Be blessed with the blessing of Isaac, the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Samson, the leadership spirit of Joshua, the fatherly love of Abraham, the humility and gracefullness of Esther and be the chosen one like Joseph. God bless!
#INSPIRATIONAL: "King Kwasi Kyei Darkwah, His Royal Blackness,I am eternally grateful to you". Johnnie Hughes Celebrates His Mentor & Godfather #INSPIRATIONAL: "King Kwasi Kyei Darkwah, His Royal Blackness,I am eternally grateful to you". Johnnie Hughes Celebrates His Mentor & Godfather Reviewed by Elormonline on 12/19/2017 Rating: 5

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