The Voice of Africa

Daryl Amankwah, DAME Africa portraying Africa in all her glory

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TVOA: Welcome to TVOATV AND Podcast. Today, we have a very special guest who goes by the name of Mr. Daryl Amankwah. He is an entrepreneur and the founder of Dame Africa, a magazine company that is published in Ghana. So, Mr. Daryl, can you tell us a little bit about your childhood growing up?

Daryl: Basically, I was born in the UK but I did grow up in Ghana. So I spent most of my developmental years in Ghana. I was in Christ the King School for primary education and then Achimota School for secondary school education. I obviously developed my personality and my passion for Africa and developed my identity. I was into sports like most young boys are have always had this sort of appetite to be an entrepreneur from a young age. I always had ideas for things. I wanted to do things. I didn’t see other people doing that. I thought there was a market for or there was a demand for and so that’s where everything started. When I was in secondary school, probably about 15 or 16 years, I put together a comedy show. I felt at the time that there weren’t any comedy shows in Ghana and that was probably the first big entrepreneurial project that I worked on which ended up being super successful. Now we’re here and we’re trying to do bigger and better things and mainly just to promote the Continent, Africa. 

TVOA: Right. You mentioned you just wanted to be an entrepreneur growing up. You always had our entrepreneurial spirit. Were there any role models or mentors that you had that you could confide in the process?

Daryl: The honest answer is no and I wish I did because I think it’s key to have some sort of mentor or someone you can actually see what they’re doing, get some tips and advice because it’s a roller coaster of mistakes, ups, and downs. But to be honest, I didn’t have any mentorship. I just did things how I believe they should be done and made mistakes and learned from them. These are key for me. I think that sometimes trial and error give you a lot more knowledge and a lot more confidence about what you’re doing. This why I’ve decided to put myself out there and with my videos trying to help inspire other people. I’ve worked with people that I’ve been mentoring, helping them develop their business ideas and plans, and just because I believe that something beneficial that I didn’t have when I first started my journey, so I’m trying to help other people have that.

TVOA: Right. Can you share your personal experiences? You talked about trial and error that helped shape the way that you approach your job or job acquisition or you know the business that you want to pick up. 

Daryl: Growing up in Ghana, I was obviously passionate about Ghana, and however my passion and my edge to help make Ghana better wasn’t formed until I moved to the UK where even though British but also an African living in the UK, I to found out about there so much positivity and so much greatness in Africa which are untapped or no one talks about so even when I grew up in Ghana, no one was really talking about tourist attractions. It wasn’t a big thing to travel across Africa. When you’re going on holiday, it’s going to America or going to the year the UK and then living in the UK I found that I’m visiting other European countries and some of the stuff that I go there to see we’ve got much better in Africa. So I just started to think the mindset probably needs to be changed around the viewpoint of Africa. I visited many times in a year and I just thought there needs to be a platform where we can actually promote Africa as a destination where people want to go for travel for leisure and just to promote the image of the continent as a whole. So I think my love and my business ideas mainly start to focus on Africa. I started a few businesses here in the UK but I decided very quickly that I wanted to move back to Africa because I wanted to be part of the solution and I wanted to be sort of out there with the Africans trying to figure out how we can make our continent better because there’s so many of us, young, hungry, passionate Africans living in the diaspora. Someone needs to take that step in moving back home to help develop and not what is rather like running away from the problem. So that’s my business ideas and everything. This is where I want to be established. I want to help grow and develop them also to give people the opportunity like I said with job acquisition, making sure that there’re job opportunities for people back home and also showing them that it’s possible to do whatever you want to do and you just need to start to be passionate and find the right way to succeed.

TVOA: Sure. You mentioned you started a comedy show in Ghana. Which of your projects are you most passionate about? 

Daryl: Obviously I’ll say Dame is one of the closest things to my heart so you know it’s passion. Like I said, running the business you have ups and downs maybe the money’s not working like you want it to be but what keeps driving us to keep putting up with content is a bit more than us it’s a bit bigger than business. It’s a massive passion business where even if you know our content touches a few people who find out that Africa is beautiful and somewhere they want to visit, we’re doing our jobs. Obviously, we want to scale that to the biggest possible way possible, but that’s massively passionate for us, but I did work on a project in the UK. I’m also into creative arts and filming, a sort of entertainment side of things. So we put together a theater production in the UK a few years ago, which was inspired by a trip that we took to the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana. So that was also a very unlikely, you know, obviously the older you get to start to process your history a bit more than when you’re younger. I think a few years ago we took a trip down there to see those Castles, took in all the information in the atmosphere and I just thought it will be a great idea to put that into some form of art and therefore you know we wrote a script, produced in the UK and it was a massive success and that was extremely passionate for me because I love to tell African stories, the journey, and the African future as much as I can. So any opportunity I get to do that I’m extremely excited so I say those two projects, Dame and ‘A Cape Coast Story’, which is what the theater production was called, are the two most passionate projects I’ve worked on so far.

TVOA: Well that’s huge. How did you come about with the name: DAME? 

Daryl: I get this question quite a lot. Basically, Dame is an honor title. When people get knighthoods and you end up being called ‘Sir’, Dame is the female version. We always call Africa, Mother Africa. We always refer to as a woman and so it was only appropriate that we are trying to honor Africa and therefore giving Africa a title which allows us to show our love for Africa. So that’s where the name comes from. It was mainly honoring Africa and that’s what we’re trying to.

TVOA: Right. So what’s the process like launching in Ghana especially from the UK like you mentioned?

Daryl: Yeah, it was an interesting process. When we launched in Ghana, it was pretty much of the first magazine and the process of making sure it gets printed and checking everything and making sure it gets shipped to Ghana on time as well as trying to manage a launch in Ghana was quite a challenge, but luckily, my sister lives in Ghana and she was working within events management. So she helped us to put the event together and we had some great help as well from our sponsors. The event was sponsored by Kasapreko, which is one of the biggest beverage companies or Ghana. We had Sun Lodge, which is a hotel they sponsored as well. We had the support of Bel Air Ghana as well. So we had quite a lot of good support and it was amazing, to be honest, but it was definitely hard work, putting everything together being in the UK and making sure that things get done according to how you want them to get. I see, as long as you’re passionate about something, you make it happen. 

TVOA: Very very true. Take us through a day in your life. From a possible morning routine until your work?

Daryl: I usually like to work out in the morning. I head to the gym first thing in the morning just to keep healthy, keep fit, keep the mind active. I use about an hour an hour and a half in the gym, but when I’m back home, it’s pretty much working on DAME from a technical point of view. I run it with my my wife, she’s the editor-in-chief and I sort of manage pretty much putting the magazine together, speaking to suppliers, distribution points. so it’s a lot of communication to make sure that our website is great, the content is going up on there but we also working on quite a lot of other initiatives in Africa. As part of the DAME Africa group we have Tech businesses coming out which is what I’ve been focused mainly on these days and so I’ve got developers all over the world where it’s pretty much speaking to develop these, checking on progress and doing as a high-level management stuff on a daily basis because I focus more on sort of future initiatives and projects at the moment. So it’s pretty much all day long until it’s time to go to bed because business is ingrained in our in our day-to-day activities. 

TVOA: How do you achieve a work-life balance? Because you pretty much go to the gym and you come home and work work work. Do you have some days set up for yourself to mentally relax?

Daryl: Ideally I’d like to but I don’t. I would say no specific day. I take off. I’m sure you know this as well when you’re working on your own business, things get done throughout the weekend or throughout the day and the night. Also working with people in different countries, you end up having time differences sometimes. I’m working on Sundays because somethings need to get done for the next week and but like you know, I work on passion businesses. I’m not too fussed about overworking because I enjoy what I do. And so I’d say I have a work-life balance in the sense unof winding sometimes but on unwinding, I still talk about business. I still think about things to do. I think it’s just in my blood. I think I’m just passionate worker. I work all day every day and any time where I’ve got some free time, I just relax and watch some football or basketball. I’m big on Sports. So I make time for that. But other than that, it’s just pretty much work. 

TVOA: So you mentioned you have a YouTube page earlier. What inspired you to start that page and what type of content to post?

Daryl: Like I said before, growing up and in my journey as an entrepreneur, I didn’t have much mentorship. I didn’t see many people that were young, black and doing things I wanted to do. So I always thought to myself, I’ve pretty much done a lot of stuff in my short years on this earth. I sometimes speak to people that I’ve just met or even friends, they usually get quite inspired. When I decide I want to do something, I go full out to make it happen. And I just thought you know, if I can inspire one person next to me, I could probably inspire a lot more people in the world just by sharing some of my ideas, some of my inspirational advice and even some thought-provoking advice. In the UK, for instance, the system usually gets people into nine-to-five work life and before you notice, you’re way too old to pursue any other businesses or passions of yours. I’ve been able to balance the two which is nine-to-five and having a business. I’ve transitioned now into full-time business and it’s something that most people struggle with: how to ever get to that point. So I think that what I decided to do was put myself out there, put content that gives people a bit more of an insight into how you can either make it happen for yourself. Some thought-provoking topics as well just to get people to want to be better, have the right thoughts and the right objectives.

TVOA: What’s your YouTube name just for anyone that’s listening?

Daryl: It is Daryl Amankwah, my name. I just kept it simple, nothing fancy. So anyone who’s watching just go there and have a look at the content. And if you like the content make sure that you subscribe because I need all the support I can get as it’s a new platform.

TVOA: As someone who has had this much success so young. How are you thinking about the rest of your career?

Daryl: career? To be honest with you, I see that I have just taken one step in a thousand steps to come. I’ve got so many things I want to do and things are just starting to work. I’ve got this new movement, which is going back home to Africa and making real change, making real progress. That is the new journey to embark on, obviously, DAME Africa plays a massive role because the whole premise of the platform is to promote Africa in all its Glory. So, you know, what I’ve achieved so far is great, having a good career, working a nine-to-five that has allowed me to be able to transition and I’ve had a great career so far as an entrepreneur with businesses that I’ve started and how they’re taking shape. I think that there’s so much more to come. There’re so many things that I’m working on at the moment and I want to be in Africa and make real change. It’s going to be years and years of progress and tittle steps at a time, but you know anything is possible and I believe that the more like-minded hungry young Africans all over the world coming together, we can make a real change in Africa. This is what I’m working towards.

TVOA: You’re a big in the travel industry in Africa. How would you like to see the development of that or what change would you like to see?

Daryl: This is massive and hence why we worked on DAME Africa, a travel magazine and that’s mainly because in Africa, we look at so many different industries as big Industries, oil industry is big in Ghana, cocoa industry is big and no one really talks about the travel industry and for many countries across the world. In some countries, travel industry is their biggest source of GDP to the economy. And you many people live in Africa. We’ve got so much natural resource, and we don’t even need to build tourist attractions. There’re waterfalls, amazing rocks, there’s Wildlife. There’re so many amazing natural resources that we can use as tourism and travel and income for countries to add another industry to some of the big ones that we’re currently succeeding at. So my goal is I’ve seen worldwide travel. I’ve seen how much effort in marketing that goes into travel. Over the world countries like Tunisia, even Barley, that country is made of travel income. I look at Africa, we need so many more ways to develop ourselves and I feel like travel is heavily untapped one. So for me what I’d like in the next few years and next five to ten years: more exposure on travel, which is what we’re trying to do through our platforms. We’re trying to show the world that we have beautiful places. Africa is safe. It’s got so much culture, visit experience and love it. And so we want to definitely work on marketing, pushing the message across the world and we also need to think about their travel, transportation opportunities as well. There are not as many transportation opportunities even because of Africa pan-African travel. That’s a big thing. I know most Africans with the resource go on holidays usually go to America or go to the UK. They spend thousands and thousands of pounds of dollars and one travel whereas, if you’re in Nigeria, you can go to Ghana, go to the north of Ghana and have an amazing experience. So we’re trying to raise awareness on pan-African travel and to just worldwide; the exposure that Africa is a continent with beautiful tourist attractions and making that process a lot easier for people that want to experience it.

TVOA: So how can The Voice of Africa support your causes and help aid your movement? 

Daryl: A great question. Obviously, The Voice of Africa is editorial. Your job is putting out content and content is big. When it comes to educating people, giving people information. What we’d like is working with yourselves in any way possible to help spread the message. We are focused on African travel to the core and your platform can allow us to spread that message. I know you’re distributing newspapers all over the world. You’ve got online presence. And using these platforms allow us to reach more people and it’s always great to collaborate with other African and like-minded businesses to spread the word because I think that in a nutshell, we are trying to spread the same word, which is promoting Africa and you know educating people across the world. We’re just focusing on the niche within travel and we can definitely benefit from your platform in educating and putting the word out there.

TVOA: We’d deinitely collaborate and work on that. Last question I have for you is, aside from your YouTube channel, the inspiration that you give to young entrepreneurs for anyone listening, is there anything you would want to tell them that would maybe help them in their future and their Journey? 

Daryl: Yeah, definitely. On my YouTube channel, I touch on topics that would help young entrepreneurs or people with ideas and people with motivations to do bigger things. I’d say the first thing which I have a video on on my channel. So check it out if you’re watching, it is about taking ownership of your life. And that’s a big thing for me, just being able to decide on what you want to do and going for it not waiting for anyone to give you the opportunity. You know what you actually want to do. Everything is possible and I think now with things like the internet things like social media. There’s so much opportunity out there for anyone to pick up whether they want to do and be successful at it. First things, always take ownership of your life take ownership of your ideas. Second thing is don’t be afraid to feel. I think that most times people don’t actually pursue their passions or pursue ideas because they are afraid. I think we live in a society where failure is seen as negative. However, most successful people will tell you that you learn so much more from failure and not actually doing what you want to do. If you have any ideas do not think about failure, don’t listen to other people telling you is going to fail just start doing what you want to do. And if you do, trust me, you’d learn a lot more lessons from that failure than you have learned in your whole life. Just don’t be afraid to fail and take ownership and I think those two are key.

TVOA: Sure. Well, Daryl, thank you for helping. Thank you for sharing these with us. Hopefully we can do more.

Daryl: Thanks for that. I just want to say, keep up the great work. What you’re doing is amazing and we need a lot more young Africans doing positive things for Africa and of course the whole world. So keep up. We’re going to be here to support what you’re doing as well. So give us a shout if you’d like to collaborate on anything or you need anything from us will definitely support.

TVOA: Thank you. We appreciate it. 

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