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Joe Lartey
Born Joachim Awuley Lartey
6 June 1927(1927-06-06) (age 92)
Lutterodt Street, Accra, Gold Coast
Nationality Ghanaian
Alma mater Accra Academy
Wolsey Hall, Oxford
Occupation Presenter
Commentator
Journalist
Years active 1961–1973, 1978–1990
Employer Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (1961–1973, 1990)
Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (1978–1990)
Spouse(s) Emily Lartebia Adjei

Joachim Awuley Lartey (born 6 June 1927), aka 'Over To You' Joe Lartey, is a retired Ghanaian commentator and journalist. He worked with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation from 1961 to 1973 and 1990, and with Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria between 1978 and 1990.

Early life and educationEdit

Lartey was born on June 6, 1927 at Lutterodt Street in Accra to Emmanuel Akushey Lartey and Madam Emma Araakua Lartey. His father worked with the Treasury Department.

Lartey started his education at Accra Royal School around 1933. Not long after, his father was transferred to Cape Coast and he went with him. However, before he could find another school, his father took ill and was brought back to Accra.

In 1935, his father was transferred to Tamale. He decided to go alone because of the distance. A journey to Tamale from Accra at the time lasted three days. Lartey, his younger brother and his mother were left behind. A few months later, his younger brother took ill and never recovered until he died. His father had to come for him and his mother. At Tamale, Lartey enrolled at the Tamale Middle Boarding School but his father sought permission for him to be a day student, since he fell sick often. In 1938 his father returned to Accra and Lartey was sent to Government Senior Boys School at Kinbu to continue his education. He completed middle school in 1943 and was admitted to the Accra Academy in 1944. He followed events of the Second World War by listening to the war speeches of British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, on radio, and by reading magazines. After less than a year at the Accra Academy, he left home for Takoradi to join the British Navy. He was sent to Free Town, Sierra Leon for further training. In 1945 the war had ended and his group was demobilised in 1946.[1][2]

CareerEdit

Lartey first got a job as a clerk at the Accra Town Council, working under the Town Clerk Major McDougel. He then pursued a course on his own with Wolsey Hall to prepare for Cambridge Certificate (O’Level).

There was a special resettlement package for those discharged from the British Navy, as part of which, Lartey was given a scholarship to train as a teacher. He did the Certificate “B” at Winneba Training College, passing out after two years. Because of the Cambridge Certificate he obtained from Wolsey Hall, he was able to do his post-certificate training at Wesley College, Kumasi. He spent five years teaching at Larteh, Kwanyako, Swedru, Nyakrom and Accra until 1961.

GBCEdit

He joined GBC in 1961 following a recommendation from an old mate from the Accra Academy, Boso Kpohonu, who was the Head of Research at GBC. He spent two years at the Talks and Features Department before being sent to the Sports Department on relieving duties. Festus Addae, another celebrated commentator, who headed the department, refused to let Lartey go back to the Talks and Features Department. Lartey flourished as a commentator at the Sports Department. He and Addae handled commentary together, and this was when the phrase “over to you Joe Lartey” became popular. Any time Addae was handing over to Lartey, he would use the expression.

Lartey was also involved in trade unionism while at GBC. He was divisional secretary of the Public Service Workers Union for six years, directly working under Kwesi Pratt Snr, the General Secretary and father of Kwesi Pratt Jnr.

PoliticsEdit

Lartey left the GBC in 1973 and joined the Food Distribution Corporation that same year as a public relations practitioner, but he left in 1978 to go into private practice. During the era of the Supreme Military Council (Ghana), he was involved in the activities of the People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ) that opposed UNIGOV under Gen. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, working in the trenches with Nana Akufo-Addo, Komla Agbeli Gbedemah and others. He moved to Lagos, Nigeria when the leaders of the movement were being pursued, and stayed there until 1990.

FRCNEdit

During his 12-year spell at Radio Nigeria, officially known as the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Lartey worked with Ishola Folorunsho, the ace Nigerian commentator, who was well known in Ghana and also a good friend of his. Aside handling some programmes on Radio Nigeria, he also taught at the FRCN Training School at Ikoyi, where he had the opportunity to train young Nigerian broadcasters in public speaking and public relations, which were key in broadcasting. 

Return to GBCEdit

On his return in 1990, he hosted programmes such as Sports Digest and Hall of Fame on GTV while teaching public speaking to various groups.

He was the first president of the Sport Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG), of which he is currently a patron.

Today, Lartey still teaches presentation at the Accra Film School.[1][2][3]

LegacyEdit

"Over to You Radio and TV Sports Broadcast Excellence" is an award ceremony named in his honour for his service in sports broadcast and journalism.[4][5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Razak El-Alawa,"'Over to you Joe Lartey' - Still going strong @ 90", Graphic Online, 23 July 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Razak El-Alawa,"'Over to you Joe Lartey' - Still going strong @ 90 (II)", Graphic Online, 29 July 2017.
  3. Gary Al-Smith,"Q&A: Joe Lartey turns 89 today, recalls iconic interview with Muhammad Ali", Modern Ghana, 06 June 2016.
  4. Edwin Appiah,"Personality Profile: Over to You Joe Lartey, Your ace broadcasters' ace broadcaster", Modern Ghana, 19 July 2013.
  5. Daily guide,"Awards Named After Joe Lartey", Modern Ghana, 13 July 2013.

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