Lights FC on-field announcer Bojo is more than a hype man.
“I’m an entertainer,” said Bojo Ackah, who roams the Lights’ sidelines at every home game like a circus ringmaster.
His stage name dates to birth: Bojo is short for his full first name, Robert Joseph. Short for Robert is Bob and short for Joseph is Jo.
Mix it together and you have a Bojo, who will be holding the mic again Saturday night when the Lights host Orange County FC at Cashman Field.
Ackah, who was born in Toronto and raised in Southern California, received his entertainer name from his parents, a Jamaican mother and Ghanaian father. Pairing the two, Ackah said he’s “Jamafrican.”
Along with jazzing up the crowd, Ackah is a jack of all trades — or at least an announcer of all events. He also works NBA Summer League, UNLV basketball and UNLV football games.
Ackah rose to the No. 1-rated emcee with his afternoon drive-time show on KXQQ-FM (100.5), a Las Vegas Valley radio station jamming throwbacks of rhythm and blues and rap music.
“I could have given up plenty of times,” said Ackah, who worked part time at KLUC-FM (98.5) for almost 10 years and had several odd jobs. “In a nutshell, it was I never gave up, I kept on grinding, and I knew it would pay off. I knew this was what I was meant to do.”
Soccer is not new to Ackah. He earned an athletic scholarship to UNLV and starred as goalkeeper from 1997 to 2000. In his senior year, he was team captain and named all-conference honorable mention.
“I had a really good time at UNLV,” Bojo said. “It was right when the city was just definitely started growing. It was the start of all the clubs.”
After leaving UNLV, Ackah turned his attention to entertainment. He worked an apprentice graveyard shift for a street team and eventually landed a part-time gig.
“After putting in all the hours, hard work and dedication as a part-time air talent on 98.5 KLUC, the first thing I told Bojo when he moved to his full-time position on Q100.5 was … now the real work begins,” said J.B. King, operations manager/program director for the station.
“Bojo has risen to the occasion, becoming one of the top-rated afternoon drive-time personalities in Las Vegas.”
Hype it up
Ackh, in his second year with the Lights, knows coach Eric Wynalda well. The two went to the same California high school (Westlake) at different times.
“His parents owned a soccer shop,” Ackah said. “I would always buy my goalie gloves from them, and my dad knew his dad.”
Ackah is a family man now, with a wife and 2-year-old daughter.
“She gets to come to the game,” Ackah said. “She gets to see her dad out there.
“I’ll come home and she’ll be like, ‘Daddy, you make me laugh,’ and that’s the ultimate.”
Jonathan Eskin covers the Lights for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who: Orange County SC (4-3-6) at Lights FC (4-6-3)
What: United Soccer League match
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cashman Field
TV: KVCW-12; streaming: ESPN Plus
Radio: Spanish only, KENO-AM (1460)
Tickets: Starting at $10 at LightsFC.com/Tix or at La Bonita Supermarkets for $9