Bola Ray; often dressed in expensive and elegant suits, sits with the upper echelon of the Ghanaian successful class, mostly a bunch of aristocrats who have inherited generational wealth and others; politicians and businessmen who’ve made name and money for themselves.
It’s not the powerful friends that Bola Ray hangs out with these days that’s the story: anyone with huge influence and money would be fenced by such men and women of eminence in Ghana.
It’s how he has managed to brand himself and rise out of an industry that’s the least respected in Ghana to becoming a man occupying the topmost seat of a powerful media conglomerate, EIB, that deserves the attention and dissection.
His resilience shouldn’t be mentioned— and once again, it’s what many take for granted, humility and rising beyond pettiness, his strongest and perhaps most valuable attributes, which continue to distinguish him from the others.
A few days ago, he was adjudged the ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the debut edition of MyJoyOnline Influence Awards, organized by the well-known Ghanaian website operated by the Multimedia Group, his former employer.
The rise of Bola Ray has been catalogued by numerous prestigious awards and therefore it shouldn’t matter or even count as news, that the man whose name has become the carrier of multiple awards has won another.
But there’s a hidden relevance to this particular award. It would probably have been the one most people didn’t expect him to win—and yet he did.
After over a decade of working with Multimedia Group, exiting as the Host of Drive Time on Joy FM, the station’s flagship weekday programme, it was speculated that, there were hovering tension and rancor between him and his employer—more also, because he left to head a media company that is on an aggressive competitive race with Multimedia.
In Ghana, corruption is ubiquitous, anything including awards can be purchased or influenced, by those who wield power and have deep pockets. For this reason, most right-thinking persons do not value the numerous easy-to-establish award schemes decorating the names of the affluent folks.
Even if this is truly the case, the most cynical mind would agree that a former employer in Ghana awarding someone who has become their sturdiest competitor, a somewhat pain in their butt wouldn’t do so on any grounds in the absence of true merit, especially when the award would inevitably give him further milestone–the case of Bola Ray and Multimedia Group.
The truth of the Bola Ray’s brilliance may have been captured by his numerous achievements and awards, but to me, it’s this particular award from Multimedia Group, even if insignificant that would create the needed certainty in the minds of the sceptics–that indeed, the man is a hallmark of excellence, a rare personality in our setting and deserving of each award he has received so far.
Bola Ray, real name Nathan Kwabena Adisi is a Ghanaian radio/TV personality and entrepreneur—the current CEO of Excellence in Broadcasting Network (EIB) and Empire Group of Companies.