Conflict and heartbreak have been present in Joseph Appiah-Dolphyne’s life for as he can remember, and even beyond that. In 1981, when he was just 11 months old, during the days of a coup in his native country of Ghana, his mother was almost arrested for breaking curfew, with him in tow. She was running away from military officers and to save her son, tried to hide him in a dark alleyway. But the infant Joseph protested at being away from his mother. He cried loudly-alerting the officers. They managed to evade arrest only because the officers took pity on a mother nursing a child. This episode, told to him years later, would have a profound impact on Joseph and his views on life.
Growing up in the Western Region of Ghana, Joseph and his younger brother Emmanuel were forced to live separately with different relatives when their mother had to go off and work overseas. Their father had abandoned the young family earlier. Doting grandparents were prominent figures during Joseph’s formative years, The unexpected death of his grandmother forced Joseph to live with his grandfather in another village when he was seven years old. Stories like these of children growing up in splintered families were not uncommon in Ghana, but Joseph says he was lucky he had relatives that were willing to take him in and care for him; the alternative was living in an orphanage.
Joseph was reunited with his mother when was 14 years old; by then the teenager was off to attend junior high school. He says he was happy to have left the village he grew up in as it was a place that had little opportunities for someone with big dreams. ” I had wanted to be a lawyer,” he says. “My motive was I wanted to help my friends resolve their issues.” But the young Joseph also had an inclination towards the sciences. Advice from his peers and authority figures convinced him that pursuing science in the senior high school would beneficial if had ever decided to take up a different course in the university.
Joseph’s passions, however, lay elsewhere. Encouraged by classmates and teachers who told him he possessed an uncommon proficiency in writing and the English Language, and driven by a desire to cause positive change in society in general, Joseph decided to become a journalist. The responsibility of disseminating information to others and his own personal views on the struggle for independence of his country are what inspires Joseph to do his work day in and day out. Any story that touches on human rights and conflict strikes a nerve within him, and because he has lived through them, he is no stranger to these issues. He is a dedicated author of the truth and committed disciple of freedom, and these are pursuits he exercises dutifully and willingly as a journalist.
He is currently an editor of AfricaNews and part of the editorial team in Ghana. A team player by the nature and a multi-tasker as well.
He has worked in many different Ghanaian media organisations.