Anita Erskine: Telling African Stories, One Tale At A Time.


You have a diverse career that spans broadcasting, acting, and advocacy. Can you share with us how you got started and how you’ve managed to excel in these different fields?

I’m deeply appreciative of this question, as it provides an opportunity to reflect upon the incredibly diverse and meaningful journey I’ve undertaken throughout my career. The majority of my professional experience has been rooted in the dynamic world of broadcasting and communications, which has been the canvas upon which I’ve painted my story. This diversity enriches my storytelling, infusing it with authenticity and purpose.

My foray into the realm of TV and Radio Broadcasting initially stemmed from necessity. After completing high school, I found myself without the academic qualifications to gain entry into a university. However, I did possess a natural affinity for the camera and the microphone. This realization prompted me to incorporate an internship in television and radio into my national service year. To my surprise and delight, those internships swiftly evolved into fully-fledged, paying positions, and from that point onward, I never looked back.

Throughout my journey, I’ve adhered to the principle of dedicating myself wholeheartedly to one field at a time, with broadcasting serving as the bedrock of my career. It was during this time that I began to recognize that simply excelling in my craft wasn’t enough; it had to transcend the realm of skills and make a meaningful impact on the world around me.

Personal experiences guided my path toward advocating for Women Empowerment, which naturally led me to champion Girls’ Education, Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, and Digital Technologies for Education. This evolution in my advocacy mirrored my personal growth and the evolving priorities I held close to my heart.

Today, whether I’m conducting interviews with some of the world’s most outstanding women on Anita Erskine’s Sheroes, hosting the thought-provoking community development game show “How Can We Help You,” engaging with Africa’s most innovative entrepreneurs on “Africa’s Business Heroes,” or moderating events centered around sustainability or tech innovation, one common thread unites them all—advocacy. Advocacy is intricately woven into the fabric of my career, providing me with a plethora of platforms to apply my skills and wield my influence in service of positive social change.

This role of advocacy has seamlessly integrated itself into my work as a live event and broadcast host, providing me with immense satisfaction as I use my voice and agency to advance the greater good. As I continue to work toward expanding my global footprint, advocacy has grown to become an indispensable and intrinsic component of my professional journey. It empowers me to leverage my talents to champion vital causes and actively contribute to the advancement of a more equitable and compassionate world.

I remain steadfast in my commitment to excellence, recognizing that it demands unwavering dedication, a commitment to continuous learning, and an unshakeable passion for one’s chosen path. I am resolutely committed to harnessing the diversity of my career to leave an indelible mark on the world, aspiring to create a future defined by positive change and empowerment.

Broadcasting in both English and French is quite unique. Could you tell us about your experiences and challenges in bridging language barriers to reach a wider audience?

Indeed, the opportunities to use my bilingualism have been more prominent in live event hosting than in broadcast hosting. While it’s true that there are numerous highly skilled professionals in Africa who seamlessly navigate between French and English, I find that the beauty of this experience lies in the cultural appreciation and understanding that it demonstrates.

Language isn’t just about words; it’s a reflection of culture, history, and identity. Being able to communicate in both languages allows me to connect with a wider and more diverse audience, bridging cultural divides in the process. It’s a glorious aspect of my work that I truly cherish.

Of course, there are moments of challenge, especially considering that my first language is English. There are times when I find myself searching for the French equivalent, and it doesn’t always come to me as quickly as I would like. However, what I’ve discovered is that in those instances, there’s always someone eager to assist, whether it’s a colleague, a guest, or even an audience member. It’s a testament to the power of collaboration and the shared goal of effective communication, regardless of language.

In the end, these challenges only serve to enrich my experience and reinforce the importance of bilingualism in our globalized world. It’s a journey that continually reminds me of the value of linguistic diversity and the connections it enables! Next language? Spanish!


As a professional compère and talk show host, what do you believe are the essential qualities or skills necessary to engage and entertain an audience effectively?

As a self-taught professional compère and talk show host, I’ve learned that certain qualities and skills are essential to engage and entertain an audience effectively. First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand your audience’s needs and emotions. This means being in tune with how they feel at different times of the day for example. 

At a conference for instance, knowing that in the morning, when they’re likely to be more energetic, I aim to tap into that enthusiasm, getting them hopeful and eager for the day ahead. At an awards show there is generally an air of drama, excitement and anxiety. it’s essential to keep things light, precise, and spontaneous to maintain their focus and keep things moving smoothly. 

In the realm of talk television, transparency, authenticity, and simplicity are key pillars to keep your audience hooked. They appreciate honesty and genuine conversations.

Regardless of whether I’m hosting a live event or a talk show, being well-prepared is paramount. This preparation involves having the right information, the right energy, and setting the right expectations. 

Audiences can discern when a presenter is unprepared or just ‘fluffing around,’ and they value their time. Therefore, it’s essential to provide them with the content and engagement they came for.

In essence, understanding the audience, adapting to their moods, maintaining authenticity, and thorough preparation are the key qualities and skills I’ve found crucial for effective engagement and entertainment.

You’ve had the opportunity to interview many influential individuals. Is there a particular interview or moment that stands out to you as especially memorable or impactful?

Let me start off by saying a massive thank you to any and everyone who has agreed to be interviewed by me! Yes, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing numerous influential individuals throughout my career, and I must say that collectively, these experiences have left an indelible mark on me. Each interview, without exception, has imparted something valuable and ignited a profound desire within me to do more.

Currently , I’m engaged in three exciting projects—a documentary, a podcast, and a new TV talk show. Accumulatively, they give me hundreds of people to engage with. I’m genuinely blown away by the depth of experiences, wisdom, and sheer determination that my guests carry within them.

The thing is, every guest and every conversation, without fail, reaffirms why I’ve chosen this path. It’s a reminder that narrative is an incredibly potent tool for driving social change. These interactions have reinforced my belief that storytelling, in all its forms, has the power to inspire, educate, and transform. It’s a constant reminder of the impact we can make when we share the stories and experiences of those who are working tirelessly to make a difference in the world.

So, while I can’t pinpoint a single interview or moment as the most memorable or impactful, I can confidently say that the collective wisdom and passion I’ve encountered through my interviews have only fueled my commitment to using narrative as a force for positive change.

Your advocacy work focuses on girls’ education. What inspired you to become an advocate for this cause, and why do you believe it’s essential in today’s world?

My inspiration to become an advocate for girls’ education was ignited by my involvement with Discovery Communication’s Impact(Ed) initiative, which leverages the power of media to transform education and empower young individuals. Through this project, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in marginalized communities in Northern Ghana, where I gained firsthand insight into the myriad barriers that hinder girls’ access to education.

The experience was nothing short of humbling and eye-opening. I was profoundly moved by the exceptional brilliance and potential of the girls I interacted with, and simultaneously, my heart ached as I witnessed the heartbreaking reasons that prevented many of them from attending school.

It was an experience that fundamentally changed my life and steered my focus toward using my voice as a tool for advocacy in the realm of girls’ education. I firmly believe that promoting girls’ education is not just essential; it is imperative in today’s world. It is the key to unlocking the untapped potential of countless young girls and ensuring that they have the opportunity to thrive and contribute positively to society. 

When we empower girls through education, we uplift entire communities and pave the way for a more equitable and prosperous future for all.

In your experience, what are the key challenges that girls face in accessing quality education, especially in Ghana and other parts of Africa?

I appreciate this question, as it allows me to shed light on the critical issues that my work and mission aim to address. In my experience, there are several key challenges that girls face in accessing quality education, not only in Ghana but also in various parts of Africa:

  • Limited Access to Schools: Geography can be a formidable barrier. Many schools are located at a considerable distance from girls’ homes, making it logistically challenging for them to attend regularly.
  • Gender Discrimination: Deep-seated gender biases persist, and in some cases, girls are expected to prioritize household chores or early marriage over schooling, denying them the opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Poverty and Economic Hardship: Economic struggles often force families to make difficult choices. In some instances, they prioritize the education of male children over females, perpetuating a cycle of inequality.
  • Inadequate Resources: Many schools lack essential resources, including textbooks, safe classrooms, and proper water and sanitation facilities. These deficiencies hinder the quality of education available to girls.
  • Cultural Norms and Traditions: Cultural practices and traditions, such as early marriage, can lead to girls being pulled out of school prematurely, limiting their educational opportunities.
  • Migration: Economic migration is a significant factor. Girls often migrate to urban areas like Accra in pursuit of jobs, diverting them from educational paths.
  • Early Pregnancy: Adolescent pregnancies can disrupt education. After childbirth, young mothers may struggle to return to school due to childcare responsibilities or the stigma associated with reintegration into the school community.

In my opinion addressing  these multifaceted challenges requires a concerted effort from various stakeholders. While progress may be slow, it’s essential to remain hopeful. 

Every step forward, no matter how small, contributes to the broader goal of ensuring that girls have equal access to quality education. This mission fuels my energy and determination, as I firmly believe that education is a powerful tool for positive change and gender equality.”

The representation of women in media and entertainment industries has been a topic of discussion. What are your thoughts on gender equality and diversity in these fields?

Beautiful question! So here’s what I think. Gender equality and diversity in media and entertainment industries are crucial for fostering a more inclusive and representative media landscape. These industries have historically been dominated by men, leading to underrepresentation, stereotyping, and limited opportunities for women. We need to change that. 

I am currently working on a documentary called, “Women Owning the Narrative,” which will highlight the importance of empowering women in these fields. By giving women agency in storytelling and media production, we are advocating for a shift in power dynamics that can lead to more authentic and diverse narratives. But here’s the thing – this not only benefits women but also contributes to a richer and more accurate portrayal of society as a whole.

Media and entertainment play a significant role in shaping public perceptions and attitudes. When women are actively involved in decision-making and storytelling, it allows for a broader range of voices, experiences, and perspectives to be heard. This, in turn, can challenge stereotypes, break down barriers, and serve as a potent tool for social change.

Empowerment agency should be a crucial focus of promoting gender equality and diversity in these industries so as to harness the full potential of human creativity and expression. It can lead to a more inclusive, empathetic, and representative media landscape, which is vital for building a fair and equitable society.

As an actress, how do you choose roles that align with your values and messages you want to convey to your audience?

So remember how I mentioned before that I believe in gradual and organic growth or pursuits? I say now that my acting career is at its infancy!

So far, I have been highly blessed to have roles that have found me. I have been given roles that allow me to embody and demonstrate the innate power of women are versatile leaders.

Let me give a profound shout out to Shirley Frimpong – Mansu who cast me in 3 pivotal projects that have made immense contributions to my skill as an actor. The most recent was the role I played as Rama Robertson on a soap called Dede….Shirley is an incredible director. But even more so a phenomenal teacher. She taught Anita to bring the worst out of Rama!!!!! I look at the clips and somehow don’t believe I played those strong and moving scenes of deep anger and utter drunkenness! Another person I must thank is Yvonne Nelson, who gave me one of my first roles in film. She literally said « I know you can do it! » and that was it!!!!

What advice do you have for young women who aspire to pursue careers in broadcasting, entertainment, or advocacy?

Another question I love! Here are my points that I wish I had been told when I started my career! 

  1. Believing in yourself and having the confidence that your abilities and vision are valuable! 
  2. Whether it’s with money or time, invest in your education and skills. Above all teach yourself and learn to give your voice it’s own unique texture! 
  3. You can go it alone for sure! But there is value in connecting with trusted mentors, peers, and professionals for guidance
  4. I wish I could promis you that opportunities would come to you….but they don’t …. at least not always! Be proactive in seeking internships, freelance work, or volunteer positions to gain experience and build your portfolio. This is crucial! 
  5. Digital is the now and the future. Explore the latest technology that can facilitate your work. 
  6. Listen, NEVER underestimate your voice and perspective as a woman. You bring value to every space. Show it off
  7. If you hit a snag or challenge, learn from it and be and do better! 
  8. It’s a challenge going after your dreams!!! REMAIN  Resilient. Keep pushing forward even when faced with obstacles.
  9. You don’t have to be an advocate to be successful. If you it’s something you want to be however, make sure to choose a space that you genuinely care for and not one that is simply a mega trend!
  10. Do not be afraid of EVOLUTION! Always look for ways to reinvent yourself! 
  11. Last and most important, Be a disrupter. Shake tables. Make a statement. Create a movement. 




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