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Paa Kwesi Asare: 7 Things To Know About Ghana’s First BBC Komla Dumor Award Winner

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Paa Kwesi Asare, a prominent face on TV3’s News360, has etched his name into history as the inaugural Ghanaian recipient of the revered BBC Komla Dumor Award.

 

The acclaimed British news institution applauded the News360 presenter for his exceptional journalistic prowess, encompassing his adeptness in navigating intricate subjects and his unwavering commitment to telling stories of profound significance.

Currently serving as the head of business news at TV3 Newtwork, Asare boasts an illustrious seven-year career as a cornerstone news anchor.

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His triumph not only pays homage to his exceptional talent but also to the memory of Komla Dumor, whose legacy continues to resonate within the realm of African journalism.

The Komla Dumor Award was conceived to honour the late presenter of BBC World News, who passed away suddenly at the age of 41 in 2014.

Komla Dumor’s pioneering efforts focused on presenting a multifaceted African narrative to the world, encapsulating the confident, resourceful, and enterprising facets of the continent.

Here are 7 things to know about the latest winner, Paa Kwesi Asare.

1. A Ghanaian Pioneer

 

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Breaking barriers and carving a path of distinction, Paa Kwesi Asare stands as the vanguard of Ghanaian journalism, becoming the first of his nation to capture the BBC Komla Dumor Award. A statement from the British news outlet echoed the sentiments of a panel of judges, lauding Asare for his exceptional quality of journalism that captivates audiences while unravelling complex narratives with clarity.

2. A Son of Peki Dzake and Anum Boso

Born on May 3, 1987, in North Kaneshie, De-Mod, to a mother from Peki Dzake, Volta, Ghana and a father from Anum Boso and Goama in the Oti Region.

Paa Kwesi Asare’s roots are firmly planted in the vibrant tapestry of his homeland.

3. Academic Journey

Asare’s journey of learning led him to Ghana National College, where he graduated in 2004. He was in the Afadu House, one of the dormitories for male students of the school.

His academic pursuits took him to the University of Ghana, where he pursued Political Science, a distinct choice that sets him apart from traditional journalism graduates.

Paa Kwesi Asare’s quest for knowledge extended to the classrooms of Birmingham City University, where he honed his skills in Digital Marketing.

After his first postgraduate degree, he went again in search of the golden fleece in education by enrolling at Auburn University, U.S. where he studied Public Administration for his second master’s degree.

This multidisciplinary approach to education has enriched his versatile profile. He even admitted to possessing a modicum of economics knowledge, rather than specializing solely in business reporting.

4. Shaping the Future

 

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The BBC Komla Dumor Award isn’t just a recognition; it’s a platform for growth. As part of his prize, Asare is set to spend three months collaborating with BBC News teams in London, spanning TV, radio, and online platforms. This immersive experience will be coupled with training, workshops, and mentorship by esteemed BBC journalists.

5. Triumph Against All Odds

Paa Kwesi Asare’s journey to becoming a BBC Komla Dumor awardee was marked by determination and resilience.

He revealed that after applying eight years ago and being a runner-up in the inaugural edition, he finally clinched the coveted award in 2023.

His journey is a tapestry woven with experience – from being the former Business Editor at EIB Network Ghana, a former Business News Anchor at Joy 99.7 FM, to his role as a former Business News Anchor at Citi 97.3 FM.

6. Media General’s Top-Tier Journalist

 

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A serendipitous twist of fate unveiled itself when Asare received the news of his historic win from Canada.

Notably, Paa Kwesi Asare is not the only luminary from Media General to shine on the global stage.

His accolade complements the triumph of Portia Garbo, who was adjudged as the GJA journalist of the year, affirming the network’s commitment to nurturing top-tier journalistic talent.

 

7. Challenging Stories and a 10K dollar cheque.

 

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Asare’s journalistic odyssey ignited during his tenure as a student journalist at Radio Universe, where he first tasted the allure of the profession.

Among his portfolio of impactful stories, he cites the exposé on the abuse faced by gays and lesbians in Jamestown back in 2011 as his most poignant challenge.

This experience underscored the significance of empathy in journalism, revealing the stories that often remain unheard.

He also runs a business-dedicated website, PaaKwesiAsare.com where he spotlights small businesses, and international trends and shares his opinions on topical issues.

In a shocking surprise on Monday, Media General presented him with a commendable reward of $10,000 for his remarkable achievement as the winner of the illustrious 2023 BBC News Komla Dumor Award.

 

Reflecting on his victory, Asare conveyed his joy, stating, “This is arguably the most prestigious award for any African journalist.” He added, “Komla’s talent is one that I greatly admired and to be found worthy of walking in his shoes is not only a joy but also a great privilege.”

The legacy of Komla Dumor continues to inspire. His dedication to presenting an authentic and nuanced African narrative resonates through the work of aspiring journalists like Paa Kwesi Asare.

As he embarks on this transformative journey, his story mirrors the resilience, passion, and commitment that shape the future of journalism on the African continent

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