History was made at the grand finale of The Apprentice Africa as Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng, the amiable gentleman from Ghana was named by Biodun Shobanjo as the first winner of The Apprentice Africa. He beat his erstwhile teammate and rival, Eunice Omole to the title after 18 weeks of fierce competition. In this post-victory interview he granted James Amuta, he revealed the emotions behind his participation in the competition. Enjoy the excerpts of this exclusive interview:
James Amuta: How did you feel in that split second after Biodun Shobanjo announced your name…just before he added ‘you’re hired’?
Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng: It felt like I was in a desert… I felt I was all one… and everything was moving too fast…like in the movies where you have the ominous soundtrack creeping up behind you… my heart was just thumping… because it could have been “you’re fired” or “you’re hired”… Even the final show in Donald Trump’s The Apprentice has no standard rules… it could be ‘you’re fired’ or ‘you’re hired’.
James Amuta: So how did you feel when you heard him announce you as winner?
Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng: I felt an explosion of joy within me… but I was able to maintain my composure and had to control myself from shouting and jumping because I was grossly elated!
James Amuta: How did you feel knowing that your wife was in the audience, and Biodun Shobajo’s decision could have swung in any direction?
Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng: For my wife, I was praying that she’d be able to take it cool with whatever was the outcome… I was worried for my wife. For me I was okay… I could have been able to stomach the disappointment… you know ‘no shaking’ [he laughs]
James Amuta: What are your expectations – knowing that as the winner of The Apprentice Africa, you’d be working with seasoned masterminds like Biodun Shobanjo and Francis Atuche?
Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng: I see it as a million chances in one to really learn a lot from two men I admire so much, Biodun Shobanjo and Francis Atuche. This is the kind of experience every young man would dream of… the $200, 000 does not really matter but the experience is what is most important…
James Amuta: How will you employ your new found status, wealth, and fame to impact of the lives of Africans?
Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng: I have two projects I wish to embark on… first is a youth development initiative for which I’m collaborating the other 17 contestants, everybody is on board…we’ll see how best we fast-track things… we really want to inspire and empower young Africans to believe first in God and then in themselves and move on to greater heights. Secondly I have a personal project…a charity project… where I intend to set up a ‘hearts foundation’ because the heart is the greatest gift you can give to somebody, and it’s the greatest love you can show…I wish to help people in Africa with heart conditions acquire the best medical attention and surgical transplants available in the world
James Amuta: Isaac, as a friend, tell me …what was your trick …what was your strategy for winning this competition?
Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng: My watch word was “be yourself”, my trick was just simple…being myself…I believe in being very passionate in everything I do… I never do anything if I’m not passionate about it. Secondly, the discipline I received from my parents… because once I believe in a cause I give it my 100%: I was brought up initially by two teachers, and with the course of time, one of them became a Reverend minister of the Presbyterian Church which upheld the discipline of the child… that I can say was the reason why I never stepped on anybody’s toes in TAA house… I got along perfectly with everyone…you are a witness to this, James.
James Amuta: Tell us about your decision to embark on this 18-week long voyage in search of the ultimate job? And how tough it was?
Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng: I realized that if you’re holding onto something small and you need to grab a bigger share, you first of all have to let go of that small thing…if you believe in yourself you should be able to dare… to grab a strong link, you must first of all let go of the weak link. I’ll talk about my journey to TAA in details in the book I’m writing… Coming to The Apprentice Africa, I had only one motive and that was to win…I was so confident… my friends encouraged me; when I told them I was going in for the competition, they asked me what the grand prize was and I said $200, 000 per annum job, and when they asked what the second prize was I said nothing – and they said ‘that’s a risk, but with belief you can do it, just go’ then I came to the house with the mindset that no matter what happened that I needed to leave the house honorably if I should be fired… I always prayed against being fired unnecessarily or as a weak link – or disgraced in the house…
James Amuta: Any last words for entrepreneurs in Africa, and wannabe candidates for TAA 2?
Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng: See, believe, and come conquer.