Meet Rosina Maku Matey. Different, challenging and life-changing are the words she uses to describe her career. Find out why she enjoys being a sound and transmissions engineer. You can also find her on Facebook.
Why engineering? I had a lot of support from home. In the beginning, I wanted to study medicine which I considered a ‘big’ course. My brothers were very forward-thinking; they taught and “took me along”. I held onto this dream while growing up but with the passage of time, my weakness in Biology became evident; so they advised me to opt for engineering since I was inclined towards Maths and Physics. Even in the university, they continued encouraging me. Any time I complained that something was difficult, they would tell me ‘You can do it!”
What did you study to become a sound and transmissions engineer? After secondary school, I joined Accra Polytechnic where I obtained a HND in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. After that, I did my national service for 2 years, then proceeded to the Regional Maritime University also in Accra for my first degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. After completing, I worked for a light aircraft company. My job there was working with air traffic controllers who were dealing with light aircrafts for training purposes. I did this before I joining the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) in 2010. I currently work with the Volta Star Radio, which is a GBC affiliate in the Volta region. I have worked here for 8 years.
What does a sound and transmission engineer do? We do radio and TV. Simply put, we make sure that our signals are strong so that people to have good reception. This applies to both TV and radio. We also do recordings on radio. Clients bring in advertisements and other promos which is one of the ways that the company generate revenue. The sound and transmission team is also responsible for the recording and editing of commercial jingles. We ensure they are of top notch quality fit for airing. Personally, I am also in charge of orientation for new employees and interns. These are some of the things that I do.
What is your daily work routine? The station has three shifts in a day. If I am in the morning shift, I have to be at work at 3.30 am. The first thing I do is to make sure the air-conditioners and similar gadgets as well as studio equipment for the presenters are working well. All the equipment have to be in good working condition. Then, I check to make sure all the signals are working. What is left is to monitor them during operation. Monitoring has to be done with all the senses. If the signal is not good, it is my duty to scout for the cause and remedy it. So you really have to pay attention in this type of job. You can also be called if there is a problem so you make sure that you respond to any query quickly. I also work on jingle recording which are saved in a database for use as and when the need arises.
What do you like about what you do? It is both challenging and interesting. The beginning was difficult but I have grown to love my job. It is indeed refreshing being an engineer.
What do you like least about your job? Until recently, engineering was considered a preserve of men; I had to prove myself for people to see what I could do. That was the challenge in the beginning but guess what? I came into the job market and into this role fully psyched up because of the encouragement and motivation I had from my brothers and well-wishers. In fact, it didn’t prove as daunting as others may have experienced. It is now common to see people calling on me to solve their “technical” issues for them. In my office, for example, any time my boss needs something done, I am the first port of call. They say, ‘Call Rosina to do it for you!”. So it is a matter of working to overcome those challenges. All the ladies who ventured into “men’s bracket” faced this one way or the other, that is why I enjoy talking to young girls who are facing these challenges. A lady spoke to me recently about her experiences in the lecture halls. “When you want ask questions, the guys say ‘you talk too much!’ And they do it in such a manner that could demoralize the faint-hearted.” My words to her, “We all had similar experiences. Stand up for what you want, you don’t have to be discouraged by anybody so far as you are doing the right thing”.
Any other female broadcasting engineers? I am the only female sound engineer stationed at the Volta regional branch. There are a few in the other regions but here in Ho, I am the “odd” one and I take pride in that! Ghana broadcasting corporation has 11 stations. We have ladies who come for attachment but they go as soon as they are done.
Are you doing any mentorship? I joined a group from my community called Kloma Gbi (Voice of the Krobo State). The group exists to champion the interest of the Krobo state. As part of our mandate, we educate young children on how to study and make other social interventions to better their lives. Of course, I encourage the kids to get into science and engineering. I always tell them opportunities exist for them, especially the girls. When people know your background, where you are coming from, and that you have been able to study a course that most people perceive difficult, they get encouraged to do more for themselves to achieve their dreams. It feels good when people tell me that I am a role model to them because I feel that my life is rubbing off on them positively. Kloma Gbi has done a lot of work as a group. We are just about completing the construction of a classroom block for the Kpong Presby Junior High School (in the Eastern region); one of the schools we visited for our educational mentorship programme. This is one of the biggest projects we have done so far.
What are your plans for the future? I have plans for further studies and I am actively working towards that.
What gets you motivated? I believe that if you set a dream to achieve, then nothing should discourage you. Even if something negative comes your way, you equally need to device means to turn it around. I don’t believe that there is a situation that is entirely bad, because something good can always come out of such situations. I am not discouraged by what goes on around me. I will make sure I squeeze something positive out of the negative. I remember how some of our lecturers at the university gave us these tough equations. We always complained that they were too complex and beyond our resolution but they would insist saying, “There is a solution for it. Go and find it!”
Hobbies? I exercise a lot, I like to keep fit either in a group or alone. I also do a bit of reading. I am not so good at it but I try to read. I am currently reading The Gold Coast Boy by Bwana Awetse, a fictitious autobiography.
Parting shot? Stand up for what you want, you don’t have to be discouraged by anybody so far as you are doing the right thing. Don’t spend all the time in complaining. You can do it! For girls in school, Mathematics is very important, and it is not difficult. It is just everyday life. Solve one mathematical problem every day and you will be amazed. Group study is very important.