A shot with Akwasi Frimpong at the Jubilee House, where he’d gone to pay a courtesy call on President Nana Akufo Addo


I cannot believe it’s been a year.

12 whole months.

Yesterday, December 18, was the first anniversary of the last time I wrote an article.


Of course it is. I am primarily a writer, and such acres of inactive time is quite frankly a felony in my world.

But hold on…I have a reason. Or more accurately, an excuse. Sigh.

This year, I took a decision to dip my toes into the waters of TV as a producer and presenter. It was a whole new world for me, and I took a while to adapt.

In fact, scratch that: I am still adapting.

This TV thing, man. It. Is. Not. Easy.

At all.

We’re talking four, sometimes five nights a week of being out there, living your life infront of people, showing up with a smile no matter what you are going through, getting the show done no matter how your body feels. We’re talking astronomical stress levels on the daily, accumulating overtime. It drains you to the point of depression and lethargy. I have struggled. I have complained. I have had second thoughts.

But, good news is, I have survived the first year at least. Yup!

Don’t mind my whiny self. It has not been all doom and gloom. There have been many highs in what has been an intense learning curve. I have to be grateful for the value of growth it has brought to my life and my craft. I also have to recognize how blessed I am to have such an enviable and exciting job this early in my career.

Anyway, that was a digression. Now, back to the main story.

About three weeks ago, I found out that the article I refered to at the beginning of this article had been named as one of the Top 20 submissions in its category – “Writing – Best Colour Piece” – at the AIPS Sport Media Awards.


The AIPS Sport Media Awards, organized by AIPS (the International Sports Press Association) and the Qatar Sports Press Committee, is a reicarnation of the Sport Media Pearl Awards, organized by AIPS and Abu Dhabi Media in 2015.

The Sport Media Pearl Awards may ring a bell for those who know my story: I won the “Writing – Best Column” Award there, in Abu Dhabi, on December 15, 2015. Here’s a link to something I recently wrote in on Facebook remembeing the day.

I am not sure at this point if I will be in Lausanne for the AIPS Sport Media Awards in January – that will depend on whether I make top 3, and that remains in the hands of God – but I am humbled and thankful that my work has, again, been considered good enough at such an esteemed global level. It makes me feel that I am, afterall, headed in the right direction, which is a relieving reassurance at the end of what has been the most challenging year in my life.

The reason for this post is to tell the story of how I came to write the piece in question, titled: “Grand Ma Minka’s boy: The Story of Akwasi Frimpong.”

[And also to promise that I intend to return to writing in 2019 😉 ]

So, here goes:


In February 2017, my boss, Godfred Akoto Boafo, then Editor in Chief at Pulse Ghana and later editor of Business Insider Africa, called me to his desk in the newsroom.

“Fiifi, I just found out about this Ghanaian athlete who competes in winter sports. Isn’t that interesting?!”

I looked at him, surprised but impressed. Bewildered, too, more importantly, because I did not know much about winter sports.

“Look him up! Talk to him. I think we’ve got a great story here.”

I did look him up. I did talk to him too, albeit via Whatsapp texting. From our chat, I later published a short ‘Question and Answer’ article. It was in the wake of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and I was exhausted from the coverage, and so I admittedly did not treat the story with as much enthusiasm or detail.

Fast forward to February 2018, and the athlete in question, Akwasi Frimpong, became the first black African man in the history of the Winter Olympics to compete in the sport of skeleton. Suddenly, everyone wanted a piece of him. The 32-year-old became a global superstar, appearing on almost every major global news platform, putting Ghana on the map with his rare achievement.

To see where this piece fits in, we’ll have to rewind back to July 2017, many months before the spot light was placed on him. Frimpong, still relatively unknown, had made a trip back to Ghana for the first time since he left in the early 1990s. Ahead of his trip, he got in touch with me, since I’d been one of the first journalists from Ghana to tell his story. And, when he touched down, I ended up spending time with him, observing as he went about his activities, and interviewing him at times too.

The next six months after his departure saw me researching and writing “Grand Ma Minka’s Boy: The Story of Akwasi Frimpong” – a long form piece chronicling Frimpong’s incredible journey to the top.

The project, which had the depth the first article lacked, was published in December 2017, two months before Frimpong’s years of hard work and persistence was rewarded with a place in the history books at Pyeongchang 2018.



Here’s also a link to a feature article about my journey so far on the AIPS Awards website: MEDIA TRIBUNE #2, FIIFI ANAMAN, FROM BLOGGER TO TV PRESENTER IN JUST SIX YEARS