As Ghana marks the 2023 month of March; a month in which the country celebrates its heritage, rich culture, and history – also known as Ghana Month, we take a look at the story of Titus Teye Kitcher, a retired broadcaster of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).
The Ace Broadcaster’s service has been etched in the history of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation as the longest serving and youngest Presidential Reporter during the 20 years’ reign of the late former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.
But what is the story of Teye Kitcher, the broadcaster described as “The Man with the Golden Voice”?
Mr. Teye Kitcher retired from active service at the age of 60 on 7th July, 2019, but by the age of 25 years he was already reporting from the seat of government, making him the youngest presidential correspondent in the history of Ghana.
Teye would go on to become the Head of Radio News of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) when he was 58 years old.
Before that, however he became a News Anchor, a News Editor and Assignment Editor, well on his way to becoming the Head of Radio News years later.
His clear, robust, rich and resonant voice accompanied with confidence during news presentation has won him the nickname ‘The Man with the Golden Voice’.
Born in July, 1959 and affectionately known as TT or Tito, the young Teye Kitcher pursued education so hard, becoming one of the few people to work closely with the late Former President Jerry John Rawlings.
He attended Osu Presbyterian Boys’ Primary School, continued to the Ada Presbyterian Middle Boarding School, then enrolled at Ada Secondary School and finally got admission to the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) where he pursued a diploma programme in Journalism.
He further acquired Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and subsequently offered a Master of Arts programme in Media Management.
According to Mr. Teye Kitcher, he was employed at the State Broadcaster in 1982 but his life changed in 1986 when he was assigned to report on events from the Osu Castle, the seat of Government at that time.
“I went to work one morning and the then Director of News and Current Affairs, Amb. David Anarglatey called me to his office and told me to go to the Castle as a Presidential reporter; first I was shocked because how can I go to the Castle when reporting the Head of State is a preserve of Chief Editors and Assistant Chief Editors but there were people in the newsroom who encouraged me to take up the role”, he said.
Mr. Teye in an interview with Wisconsin News said he was very apprehensive when he reported to the Castle the very first day because during the revolution, people had described Mr. Rawlings as ‘hard guy’, he gets angry very easy and was difficult to deal with.
On the contrary, Mr. Teye Kitcher rather found a Senior Brother and a friend in Mr. Rawlings the very first day he reported at the office of the then Head of State.
“About eight of us were lined up in his office and he looked at me and said to me you are new and I replied, Yes Sir! He continued and said you wear big shoes and I replied in the affirmative and from that day, Mr. Rawlings affectionately called me ‘Shoe’ and that is where our friendship began”, My Teye Kitcher recalled.
Tito is well travelled due to the nature of his job but it is not cozy to be a Presidential reporter thus the job comes with it challenges and Mr. Teye Kitcher has on several occasions come across such challenges.
According to him apart from the mere crashes of the Presidential Jet which was scary, his worst challenge as a reporter with the Presidency was when he reported on the trouble up north between the Dagombas, Kokombas and Gonjas.
“I say so because for a long time I had nightmares due to the number of dead bodies I saw, the destructions, the killings, the displacement of people and the stench of rotten flesh was a bit too much for me and for about three months, I could jerk up out of my sleep at night and have the stench of the rotten flesh in my nostrils; that was traumatic for me”, he revealed.
Mr. Teye Kitcher attributed his long stay at the Presidency as a reporter to his diligence and commitment.
“For me I think my superiors were impressed with my work and it extended to the Mr. Rawlings himself and that is why I could walk to his office anytime and vent out whatever my problem was at that time”, he said.
After 37 years of service, Mr. Teye Kitcher is enjoying retirement but his appetite for teaching is not allowing him to have a full blown retirement rest.
He is now a lecturer at the Wisconsin International University College, Ghana (WIUC Ghana) where he lectures on media related courses.
“I love teaching and now that I am not doing mainstream media, I think it is fair enough and service to humanity to train people to pick up and continue from where we left and I must say I enjoy teaching these students”, he joyfully said.
Mr. Teye Kitcher bemoaned the disregard for professionalism among some journalists across the country, a situation he described as unfortunate.
“Journalism is a highly rewarding career option, but it is not without its challenges. It is an excellent career for many. But, to succeed, you need passion and skills for the news, current affairs, and media”, he said.