The much awaited OMY TV Legendary Night 2019 came off on Thursday June 6, 2019 at the Alisa Hotel in honor of ace Broadcast Journalist, Joachim Awuley Lartey Senior, popularly known as “Over to You Joe Lartey”
Omy TV which is a sports oriented television station with 70 percent of its content dedicated to sports with the remaining 30 percent on Politics and Entertainment brought to the fore, a night of honor for a well deserved legend.
The program saw legends and personalities like Coach Yussif Basigi, Nii Odartey Lanptey, Kim Grant (head coach of Accra Hearts of Oak), Joe Addo, Ekow Asmah, Joe Okyere, Nii Adama Plange, Benjamin Mensah, Gloria Commodore, Sammy Agyei, Tic Tac (Ghanaian musician) Ezeh (Nigerian singer and actor) Pattington Papa Nii Papafio popularly known as Papa Nii Oesophagus, and a host of other legends from various sporting disciplines.
In the quest for developing and bringing sports up high, the management of Omy TV decided to change the phenomenon that legends are celebrated only when they pass away to honoring them while they still live for them to know they are being appreciated and acknowledged by the country they lived and toiled for.
Joe Lartey is a Ghanaian commentator and journalist who 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 Education
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 Minster 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 demobilized in 1946.
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.
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.
According to the management of OMY TV, this will continue each and every year to honor the efforts of the people who have toiled to raise the flag of Ghana high as far sports is concerned.