Today is the fourth anniversary of the hiring of our Managing Editor, Godwin Nii-Armah Okine.
In exactly a week’s time the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia. Four years ago to the day, also with just about a week to go before the commencement of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a young, fresh faced journalist just out of school was hired to write about Ghana’s participation in the mundial for this portal, GhanaCelebrities.Com.
In the time between these two global fiestas Godwin has risen from the guy taken on to write about sports to become the Managing Editor and de facto administrator of Ghana’s biggest celebrity blog.
This is his story.
On the 3rd of May, 2014, Godwin Okine wrote his last paper as a student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism. After that exam, he was scheduled to travel to Botswana to cover the African Youth Games, an exciting opportunity, then return to Ghana to relax during the three month long vacation before commencing National Service in September at the National Media Commission.
Godwin spent ten days in Southern Africa, covering the games for the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the International Association of Sports Journalists — officially known as Association Internationale de la Presse Sportive (AIPS) — returning to Ghana on the 31st of May.
Ready for some well earned downtime, little did Godwin imagine that one message from another fresh faced GIJ graduate would irrevocably change the course of his life.
The call of destiny
Kwame Hagan and Godwin had both completed GIJ at the same time, earning Bachelor’s degrees in Communication Studies.
A week after his return from Botswana (and a week before the World Cup started), Hagan contacted Godwin via Facebook. He was working with GhanaCelebrities.Com and they needed a writer to cover the Black Stars 2014 World Cup participation. Chris-Vincent (Founding Edtior of GC) is notoriously uninterested in football and Hagan was not much interested himself. Hagan, who knew from their time together in school that Godwin was obsessed with sports, recommended him to his boss.
That was the 5th of June. A couple of days later Godwin wrote his first ever article for GC and the rest, as they say, is history.
On the 7th of June Godwin started writing for GC, covering Ghana’s world Cup journey. He wrote about the Black Stars preparations, previewed their group games, profiled their opponents and wrote a match report after each of their clashes. When Ghana’s World Cup journey came to an abrupt end after the group stages, Chris kept him on to keep writing about the rest of the tournament.
Godwin covered every game from the Round of 16 stage through to the final, writing a thorough match report which was published on the site. By the mid-July when the world cup ended, he had proved himself valuable enough to be asked to stay on permanently.
Rise to the top
After being hired Godwin quickly proved himself a prolific writer, churning out numerous stories a day and quickly becoming the go-to guy for stories which were just a tad complicated than the usual celebrity gossip fare. He profiled celebrities and upcoming stars, wrote movie and music reviews, authored product placement articles and covered big events for the site, including the launch of Bola Ray’s biography.
In mid 2017, Chris-Vincent officially named Godwin Managing Editor of GhanaCelebrities.Com.
In his four years with the site Godwin has built an enviable portfolio, working with numerous celebrities including Bola Ray, Joselyn Dumas, Juliet Ibrahim, A Plus, Hammer of the Last Two, Jon Benjamin and many others on varying projects. His highly rated reviews include ‘Potato Potahto’ , ‘John and John’ and episodic reviews of Game of Thrones; and he’s profiled, among others, Dr Felix Anyah and CEO of the A1 Bakery Godfred Obeng Boateng.
He recently represented GhanaCelebrities.Com at GhOne TV during the launch of the ‘End Tramadol Abuse’ campaign, and has worked at other times on different projects with the EIB network and TV Africa.
Godwin, known by friends as Moonbyte or more simply, Byte, was born on the 25th of September 1990 to Comfort Adei Kotey and Laud Thomas Okine (both teachers) in Bubusahie in Accra. The second of five children, he has lived most of his life in Labadi, where his mum hails from.
He had his primary education at the Grace Preparatory School in Ofankor and the Labone Presby Primary School in La, continuing to Great St Paul’s JHS.
After JHS, the entire family relocated to the Volta Region after his dad was transferred to Anlo Afiadenyigba, thus Godwin continued his education at Anlo Senior High School before moving on to the Ghana Institute of Journalism for his undergraduate degree.
A lifelong lover of football, Godwin passionately supports Accra Hearts of Oak in Ghana and Associazione Calcio (A.C) Milan in Italy. A reserved personality who bursts to life among friends or in professional settings, Godwin spends his precious spare time reading, listening to rap music (he’s addicted to Eminem) or watching television shows (sitcoms especially). He never misses a game of football he considers important.
GC’s Managing Editor is in a committed long term relationship with Innocentia Nana Adwoa Amoako, a former classmate who he has been dating since their time together in GIJ. A second GC wedding is just around the corner.
A Public Relations practitioner and writer, Innocentia is the Founding Editor of Innonews24.com.
In a few days the 2018 Fifa World Cup would kick off in Russia, and once again Godwin would be covering it for GhanaCelebrities.Com, although this time as Managing Editor with myriad other responsibilities.
As the saying goes the more things change, the more they stay the same.
You can find Godwin on social media — Nii Smiley Byte on Facebook and @moonbyte on twitter. Contact [email protected]